Women’s health is of utmost importance especially in the black community. There are so many health disparities that black women have to deal with that ot shohld be comsidered a state of emergency. That’s why I’m proud of my Curl Friend Sirmara Pierce for organizing a community health fair in my hometown, Battle Creek MI. I was a very nice event, one of the nices health fairs I’ve ever attended.
Sirmara and I went to school together from kindergarten through high school. She was always very intelligent, ambitious and compassionate. She obviously became a nurse because she likes to comfort people. She has had a long, successful career caring for patients the Veterans Administration. She recognizes the need to educate and empower the women in our community and organized a women’s health fair, along with her colleague, Regina Dukes, BSN, RN. Our hometown is often characterized by distrust and competition between black women. It was exciting to be a part of a positive initiative to unite and improve our lives. I salute Sirmara and Regina for investing their time and energy into this event. I think partnering with the Urban League was just brillant. I salute everyone involved in planning and executing such wonderful affair. I don’t expect anything less from Sirmara though. She’s always been a go getter… So let me tell you about the fair.
Small but intimate, there were informational booths about health care and insurance, the YWCA, Kellogg Community College, Victims Rights, City Linc, nutrition, dental care, yoga, substance abuse services, blood pressure and diabetes testing, the benefits of walking, the America Cancer Society, and of course I brought information about healthy hair.
I presented research from Black Women for Wellness, a research and avocacy group in California. The group has compiled a significant amount of information that indicates the healthy and beauty products we use contain toxic chemicals that could be contributing toour health issues. We all know that baby powder has been linked to ovarian cancer, but what else? Well, it seems that some shampoos, conditioners, detanglers, soaps, and lotions are also hazardous. They contain carcinogenic ingredients that can cause cancer as well. This is probably because they contain estrogen and estrogen-mimicing properties. It’s messing up people’s hormones, even linked pre-mature puberty in girls and fobroids to black women. Some of it even has asbestos in it. Check out the studies yourself by clicking here and here. Brands such as Motions and … are mentioned. Look at it! I was so happy to have a forum to share this information on.
Knowledge is power so I also discussed how healthy hair is also related to healthy mental health, especially in the black community. We spend billions of dollars each year. I disclosed how I noticed that I don’t attend to my appearance the same when I’m stressed or depressed. I’ve shared on this blog before how I can be flat broke but feel like a million bucks if I think I look good. Our appearance is important and our hair is a thermometer that measures how we feel about ourselves. That’s why women sacrifice so much money for weaves and salon services, to feel good about themselves. When a woman feels bad, her her is often the first thing that gets neglected. It could be a sign that someone is overwhelmed or needs help if it becomes chronic. Black women (and men) often ignore, deny or minimize mental health needs. Knowledge is power and the mind is the most powerful muscle in the body. We must take care of it.
The world around us is crazy. We need to take care of each other more than ever now. Opportunities to fellowship like the one Sirmara and Regina created are imperative. Not only did we learn about resources, but the interaction was incredible. We didn’t just discuss the benefits of walking. Several of us actually walked over a mile. We didn’t just hear about yoga. We practiced it and I learned some really cool new moves. So if you see Sirmara or Regina, give them a pat on the back. They did an incredible job! Thank you for allowing me to be apart of it ladies.