On September 17, 2016, thousands of people from Louisiana and Mississippi are expected to participate in the National African American Male Wellness Walk Initiative. This year will be the walk’s first year touching down in New Orleans, Louisiana. This expansion is aimed toward raising further awareness for preventable health diseases across the South.
The local organizing committee, compiled of community leaders, will host the first walk at 9 a.m. at Joe Brown Park, 5601 Read Blvd.
The national effort includes nine U.S. locations including Columbus, OH, Cleveland, OH, and Washington DC.
“We felt this was a great opportunity to bring the New Orleans community and surrounding areas together around a very important topic, and that is the health of our men, who are the leaders of our community,” said Pastor Tom Watson, chair of the local community organizing committee.
Presented by New Orleans East Hospital, the New Orleans’ National African American Wellness Walk aims to increase the number of annual doctor visits, to improve education on healthy habits and to encourage exercise.
The event will feature a day of activities for a variety of ages and audiences. Participants will have access to free health screenings, including diabetes, blood pressure and HIV screenings, beginning at 7 a.m. The walk will follow at 9 a.m.
Entertainment, music and more will continue throughout the day. “This will be the first community wellness initiative targeting male wellness and raising awareness of chronic disease and prostate cancer that disproportionately affect African American males,” said Dr. Corey Hebert, honorary chair of local organizing committee.
The walk is free and open to anyone in the region. While the initiative focuses on male wellness, the entire community is invited to participate. Participants are encouraged to wear green to raise awareness of the wellness initiative.
For more information or to register, visit aawalk.org/neworleansla.