Organic & Natural Health Association partners with Williams-Franklin Foundation to increase diversity in natural products industry


The Organic & Natural Health Association has teamed up with Williams-Franklin Foundation to raise at least $50,000 over the next five years. Their goal is to assist HBCU students financially and create meaningful connections between the HBCU community and professionals within the health and natural products industry.

Karen Howard, executive director of Organic & Natural Health, which unites consumers and corporations to support the health of people and the planet, hopes the initiative will help establish diversity and inclusion in the natural products industry.

“We want to make this an industry-wide initiative for diversity and inclusion, and we want it to be as big and as noteworthy as what Vitamin Angels has achieved for dietary supplement distribution to countries in need,” Howard said. “Exposure to our industry is the biggest barrier to lack of diversification in our organizations. Together, as an industry, we can proactively work to change this dynamic.”

The Williams-Franklin Foundation is a nonprofit established in 2014 by Dwight and LaShelle Franklin, a husband-and-wife team who are both HBCU graduates. The association’s strategic alliance with the Williams-Franklin Foundation further solidifies the organization’s commitment to ongoing networking and career opportunities for HBCU students and graduates.

The Foundation’s mission is to provide academic scholarships, business and career networking and mentoring opportunities to HBCU students with extreme financial need. The Organic & Natural Health Scholarship Fund will also support internships and career building opportunities with natural health executives to further generate diversity.

“We are looking forward to this partnership and providing our students opportunities to succeed within the natural products industry,” LeShelle Franklin said.