August is National Minority Donor Awareness Month
July 7, 2020 – National Minority Donor Awareness Month (NMDAM) is a collaborative initiative of the National (Organ, Eye and Tissue Donation) Multicultural Action Group to save and improve the quality of life of diverse communities by creating a positive culture for organ, eye, and tissue donation. The National Multicultural Action Group is comprised of leaders from the Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation (AMAT), Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO), Donate Life America (DLA), National Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program (MOTTEP) and National Kidney Foundation (NKF).
National Minority Donor Awareness Month (August 1-31) stems from National Minority Donor Awareness Week, founded in 1996 by the National MOTTEP to bring heightened awareness to donation and transplantation in multicultural communities. Outreach activities during this month include events and messaging to provide donation education, encourage donor registration, and promote healthy living and disease prevention to decrease the need for transplantation. For the NMDAM 2020 initiative, the National Multicultural Action Group will focus on the communities covered by the four AMAT workgroups: African American, Asian/Pacific Islander, Latinx and Native American.
National Minority Donor Awareness Month Background and Name
National Minority Donor Awareness Day/Week began over 20 years ago out of the need to bring a heightened awareness to donation and transplantation in minority communities. This year, for the first time, it will be celebrated the entire month of August to continue to educate and celebrate the strides we have made and the continued work we have to do to help alleviate the large number of minorities that make up those waiting for lifesaving organs in our country.
This year and in the wake of recent events in our country, there have been many conversations about the use of the word “minority” to describe this month. When this celebration began, minority was the word used to describe African-Americans and other racial and ethnic groups that are considered to be in the minority based on population percentages. Since that time, many argue that the use of the word minority denotes “a subordinate group” or being “less than equal”. Several definitions exist for what minority means, one of which states “a group of people that differ in some way from the majority of the population, or any part of a whole that is smaller than the other parts”.
For the 2020 observance, we will continue with the current naming of the observance; however as we advance as a nation and strive to ensure that our messaging remains relevant and fitting for our audience, the National Multicultural Action Group will continue to explore and discuss if a name change for the observance is necessary.
Learn more about National Minority Donor Awareness Month 2020 and find resources to join the observance at DonateLife.net/nmdam and at AMAT1.org.
The National Minority Donor Awareness Month (NMDAM) artwork and copy is the property of the National Multicultural Action Group. The NMDAM observance name, artwork and copy may not be altered or reproduced.