The 100 Black Men of America focused on the awareness and solutions for a number of health and wellness issues impacting African Americans at its 27th Annual Conference held in New Orleans.
Under the theme: Optimizing Health and Wellness: Body, Mind and Spirit, more than 2,100 attendees, including many youth, heard experts on panels and in workshops, learned about new mentoring and education techniques, and recognized best practices to improve health personally and in their communities.
“Health and wellness is crucial to the youth we serve through our ‘Mentoring the 100 Way Across a Lifetime.’ Our efforts, that also include education and economic empowerment, are not nearly as effective if the youth we mentor are not healthy and well,” said Curley M. Dossman, Jr., chairman of 100 Black Men of America, Inc.
“So we are intensifying our efforts to raise the consciousness of the state of health in the African American community, and enhancing our programs’ impact in this area.”
The health state of African Americans was put in the spotlight since there is greater incidence of prostate cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and HIV/AIDS for them versus the general population. Further, African Americans are more likely to die from heart disease, lung cancer, and stroke than Caucasians. Obesity and high blood pressure are also significant issues that are affecting Black youth.
In his conference keynote address, Dr. John E. Maupin Jr., president of Morehouse School of Medicine, challenged the audience to help change the health and wellness culture of the African American community saying, “We are out of balance, out of order, and almost out of time.”
In response to the growing risks for prostate cancer – the incidence rate is 60 percent higher for African Americans and the death rate is 2½ times that of Caucasian men — the 100 BMOA reaffirmed its 2012 Prostate Cancer statement that the current standard medical guidelines for prostate cancer screening are insufficient for African American males, putting them at greater risk.
As stated by Dr. Adewale Troutman, Health and Wellness Committee chairman of 100 Black Men of America, Inc. and president of the American Public Health Association (APHA), “The problem before us today is there are no definitive guidelines for African American men at highest risk of prostate cancer. Therefore, 100 BMOA stands by our 2012 statement and urges the AUA (American Urological Association), the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, and other appropriate organizations to convene a panel for the specific purpose of developing guidelines applicable to high risk men.”
The 2013 Education Issues Summit was titled, “Reclaiming Our Black Males and Public Schools through Advocacy, Public Policy, and Community Engagement.”
Chairman Dossman moderated a panel which consisted of David Johns, White House Initiative on Education Excellence for African Americans; J. Delano Ford, Louisiana Recovery School District; Dr. Amy T. Wilkins, The College Board; John Jenkins, University of Houston; Dr. Bryant Marks, Morehouse College; Ken Campbell, BAEO; and Henry Hipps, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
In addressing a condition that results in only 50 percent of Black males graduating from high school, the panel offered solutions for both our communities and school systems.
100 BMOA conducted its traditional Community Empowerment Project (CEP) by providing a health and wellness fair for Central New Orleans residents in partnership with the 100 Black Men of Metro New Orleans. The CEP was held at the Ashe´ Cultural Arts Center.
More than 1,200 residents received health education that included: disease prevention strategies, diet and exercise, disaster preparedness, spiritual health, financial health, and affordable health care access. In addition, health screenings for HIV/AIDS, prostate cancer, breast cancer, dental issues, and stroke were conducted, as were body mass index and blood pressure checks.
Exhibits and demonstrations on health-promoting subjects, such as how to cook nutritious meals, were also given in a festive atmosphere of healthy food, fun, and games that engaged the entire family.
At this year’s conference, 100 BMOA announced the following partnership investments: Wells Fargo $400,000 (Impact Expansion in Mentoring and Education), UPS $125,000 (Leadership Development and Scholarships), Anheuser-Busch $175,000 (Mentoring and Water Conservation), Aetna $50,000 (Health Power 2013 / Youth Movement), and General Motors $35,000 (Impact Expansion for Mentoring and Education).
“These partners reflect our collaboration with like-minded organizations and individuals who share our common cause of mentoring youth in at-risk situations,” Chairman Dossman said. “As part of our ‘100 as One’ platform, we are deepening our One Cause and broadening our One Network. These partners are part of that network which extends internationally through our 110 chapters.”
During the conference, individuals and one corporation were recognized for making a significant difference in their respective areas. The awards and honorees that were announced were:
Chairman’s Award for Education — Asia Matthew, medical and doctoral student at University of Massachusetts Medical School; and Ashley Matthew, medical and doctoral student at University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Chairman’s Award for Economic Empowerment — Alden McDonald Jr., president and CEO, Liberty Bank and Trust Company
Chairman’s Award for Mentoring Leadership — Dr. Charles Teamer Sr., vice chairman of the Board, First NBC Bank
Chairman’s Award for Transformational Leadership — Lt. General Russel L. Honore´, United States Army (retired)
Leadership in Youth Activism — Mary-Pat Hector, founder, Youth Move
Wimberly Award — Kevin Patterson, chair, Conventions & Meetings Committee, 100 Black Men of America, Inc.
James T. Black Award — Charlie Hill, 100 Black Men of Virginia Peninsula, Inc.
Knight Award — Marvin Dickerson, vice chairman of development, 100 Black Men of America, Inc.
Community Impact Award — Dr. Norman C. Francis, president, Xavier University-Louisiana; Walter M. Kimbrough, president, Dillard University; and Dr. Victor Ukpolo, chancellor Southern University at New Orleans
Chairman’s Award for Leadership in Health and Wellness — C. Vivian Stringer, head women’s basketball coach, Rutgers University; Dr. Louis Sullivan, chairman of the board, National Health Museum; Dr. David Satcher, director, Satcher Health Leadership Institute; and Dr. M. Jocelyn Elders, professor emeritus of pediatric endocrinology, University of Arkansas School of Medical Science
Corporation of the Year — The Coca-Cola Co.
Mentor of the Year — Cornelius Stafford, 100 Black Men of DeKalb, Inc. (Ga.)
Mentee of the Year — Brandon Fountain, 100 Black Men of DeKalb, Inc. (Ga.)
Collegiate 100 Chapter of the Year — Collegiate 100 of Hillsborough Community College.