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National Minority Donor Awareness Month

August 1, 2021 August 31, 2021

National Minority Donor Awareness Month, celebrated annually in August, is a nationwide observance to save and improve the quality of life of diverse communities by creating a positive culture for organ, eye, and tissue donation. Founded in 1996 by the National Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program (MOTTEP), the observance aims to bring heightened awareness to the significant need for donation and transplantation affecting Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) – focusing primarily on African American/Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Asian Pacific Islander and American Indian/Alaskan Native communities.

People of most races and ethnicities in the U.S. donate in proportion to their representation in the population. The need for transplant is disproportionately high among BIPOC, and particularly among African Americans/Blacks, frequently due to a high incidence of conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes, both of which can lead to the need for a kidney transplant.

For example, African Americans/Blacks, Asians and Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics/Latinxs are three times more likely than Whites to suffer from end-stage renal (kidney) disease, often as the result of high blood pressure and other conditions that can damage the kidneys. While African Americans/Blacks make up about 15% of New York’s population, they represent one-third of the people on New York’s organ transplant waiting list.