April Kiyega plans to prioritize education, community support, affordable housing and community safety if elected to represent District 15 on the Dane County Council.
“Through this triple pandemic, we’ve seen that mental health has escalated, especially in the untreated African American community,” Kigeya told Madison365.
Since 2020, researchers have examined the ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Black and Hispanic households. The pandemic has widened disparities in health, the economy and within the justice system.
Kigeya cited stigma against mental health as one of the reasons black communities are not receiving care. His campaign advocates for alternatives to incarceration and focuses on mental health services.
“Incarcerated people are not the answer. Putting people in jail is not the answer. There must be other forums that are put in place as well as increased mental health services for those who are incarcerated and those who are not,” she said.
Kigeya’s professional background also includes several years of experience in public health. She currently works as an Outreach Specialist for the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health and as a Special Projects Manager for the Black Women’s Wellness Foundation.
“Black women are almost like an endangered species in the fact that we carry so much, whether it’s the weight of our families, our jobs and the fact that we carry that weight has an impact on our health, unfortunately “, said Kiyega.
She also explained that the stress black women face contributes to the high death rate among black infants and mothers, Wisconsin ranks first in the nation for black infant mortality. Through her work at the Black Women’s Wellness Foundation, Kiyega encourages women to lead healthy lives and take care of themselves, which she admits struggles with herself.
“I think it’s in our nature as black women to want to take care of others and realize that we need to take care of ourselves first. So in being on the board as an African American woman, I represent those people who haven’t been at the table, who may be at the table but haven’t been listened to so that our experience can be put forward,” she said. noted.
Outside of work and the campaign, Kiyega is a mother of two college students and two college students who attend the Madison School District. She is vice president of The Flock and co-founder of Mingo Ladies and Featherstone Flamingo, all fan groups for Madison’s professional football team, Forward Madison FC. Kiyega is also pursuing a master’s degree in commerce at UW-Madison.
“I think I’ve been able to create a really nice professional community here and get involved in a lot of volunteer and community activities,” she said.
Some of his recent endorsements include former Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle and his wife Jessica Doyle and the Wisconsin Working Families Party.