Community Leaders, Health Advocates and Public Officials to Launch 2nd Annual African American Male Wellness Walk Initiative
– by Warren A. Bell
NEW ORLEANS- Even as the month of June concludes and New Orleanians get ready to celebrate the annual Essence Festival with its traditional emphasis on female empowerment, the local campaign to increase health and health awareness among black males intensifies this week as the community prepares for the second annual African American Male Wellness Walk Initiative in New Orleans (#AAMWWINOLA) taking place again this year at the Joe W. Brown Park in eastern New Orleans. And on Wednesday, June 28th at the New Orleans East Hospital, members of the city’s business, civic, non-profit and political leadership will gather once again to pledge their support for the annual walk-run initiative featuring free health screenings for all men that morning, followed by a 5k Walk-Run along Read Boulevard and around the park property; plus exhibitors, musical entertainment and vendors.
The local steering committee has been meeting since last September’s inaugural walk-run to make this year bigger and better. And this year, according to event chairman Bishop Tom Watson of #WatsonMemorialMinistries, “we are grateful to have as our Honorary Chairman none other than 2nd district Congressman #Rep.CedricRichmond!”
Congressman Richmond, who also serves as chair for the Congressional Black Caucus, is among those invited to speak at the June 28th kickoff news conference. During a recent gathering with AAMWWI-NOLA supporters in May he challenged the local community to join him on September 30th to support the cause of greater health and wellness among African American men who suffer disproportionately from multiple diseases often due to a lack of early detection. For the congressman, it is very personal: “Having lost my own father to heart attack while I was still a young boy, then seeing my stepfather die years later over health complications that might have been addressed if detected sooner, I already know why we all must do a better job of getting black men into the doctors’ offices for regular checkups and medical care.” That is especially true with the latest efforts underway to dismantle the Affordable Care Act despite its benefits “for so many Americans who couldn’t afford health care before.”
Originating in Columbus, Ohio, the AAMWWI is scheduled to happen in twelve major cities across the U.S. this year including Atlanta, New York and Washington DC in addition to New Orleans. The inaugural (2016) New Orleans African American Male Wellness Walk brought together an estimated 1,500 participants, volunteers, and health organizations. Advance online registration and further info is available at: https://www.aawalk.org/neworleans.
So make your plans to “Join the Movement” on Saturday, September 30, and be sure to bring along family members and friends to spread the A.A.M.W.W.I. message that—
HEALTHY MEN MAKE HEALTHY FAMILIES!
“Healthy Men Make Healthy Families” News Conference
WHEN: Wednesday, June 28th at 10:30am
WHAT: AAMWWI-NOLa Campaign Kickoff News Conference
WHERE: N.O. East Hospital – 1st Floor – Conference Room
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