Every year, African American men die prematurely of the top five preventable diseases nationwide. The National African American Male Wellness Walk Initiative addresses these issues but also raises awareness from a national perspective.
In 2019, Charlotte, North Carolina has answered the challenge to continue the success of AAWALK by bringing together the community to host its first African American Male Wellness Initiative 5K Walk/Run Health Festival.
This health awareness campaign, which has been in existence nationwide for more than 15 years, will bring together various entities within the community to collectively address the health of African American men.
The goal of the initiative is to improve the overall wellness, education and access to health care of the community by promoting exercise and encouraging men to visit a doctor annually.
As it continues to expand its reach, the initiative continues to build awareness and change lives in the markets it serves using year-round engagement.
The walk/run is dedicated to reducing the health disparities between African American men and the national average. Individuals and families participate for free in activities including the walk, health screenings, the children’s pavilion and the postrace festival.
The Wellness Initiative has provided thousands of free health screenings across the nation, resulting in recognition from former President Barack Obama.
Other programs of the National African American Male Wellness Walk Initiative include:
- Barbershop Talk – This aims to combat mental health awareness in an environment where men are most comfortable discussing their personal challenges. The initiative brings barbers and mental wellness professionals together to address the needs of men who come to the barbershop. It helps barbers be the connectors to community resources.
- Cooking with Dad – This project brings fathers and children together to learn about healthy eating habits. Local chefs provide hands-on demonstrations on making proper food choices and cooking preparation. This initiative provides a great point of reference for kids who are engaging with their fathers.
- Financial Wellness – The program emphasizes the importance of removing the stigma and taboo that are often associated with conversations about money and economic stability.
National African American Male Wellness Walk
When: Saturday, Nov. 2. Health screenings are at 8 a.m. The run/walk begins at 10 a.m.
Where: 3400 Beatties Ford Road, Charlotte, NC 28216
If you have an inspiring story to share, email Kevin Campbell, WSOC-TV/WAXN-TV/Telemundo Charlotte public affairs manager, at Kevin.Campbell@wsoctv.com.
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