Byllye Yvonne Avery (born October 20, 1937) is an American health care activist, who has worked to improve the welfare of African-American women by creating the National Black Women's Health Project in 1981. She has received the MacArthur Foundation's Fellowship for Social Contribution and the Gustav O. Lienhard Award for the Advancement of Health Care from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science, among other awards.
Avery was born in Waynesville, Georgia and grew up in DeLand, Florida. She is the daughter of L. Alyce M. Ingram, a schoolteacher. Her father's name and occupation is unknown. Her mother graduated of Bethune-Cookman College. She studied psychology at Talladega College earning her BA in 1959, earning her MA degree from the University of Florida in 1969. In 1995 Avery received a L.H.D. from Bates College.
Avery produced On Becoming a Woman: Mothers and Daughters Talking to Each Other (1987), a documentary film which features African-American women and their daughters talking about menstruation, sex, and love. In 1990, Avery, along with 15 other African-American women and men, formed the African-American Women for Reproductive Freedom.
Avery appeared as one of the interviewees in the PBS documentary Makers (2013).
She has also appeared in "Feminist: Stories from Women's Liberation" (2013).Avery, Byllye (Fall 1991). "Empowerment through wellness". Yale Journal of Law and Feminism. Yale Law School. 4 (1): 147–154. Pdf.