Letter from the Editor - Eric Von
Getting it Done in June
What a month June was. Graduation celebrations, Fathers’ Day and Men’s Health Month all wrapped into a 30 day span. For some people, there were reasons to celebrate each of these momentous occasions.
At Brain Brawn & Body we focused on Men’s Health Month. As the primary advocates for the recognition of this period in the city of Milwaukee, we engaged in a number of activities to raise awareness about men’s health, particularly that of African American men.
I am happy to say that the response and support was tremendous. The response from the men and women in this community we witnessed at several events we participated in, as well as those we hosted, was great. I wish I could say the response was overwhelming, but we’ll take what we can get. Every incremental step in this journey is an important step, as I see it.
Our Men’s Health Symposium, while it didn’t reach the numbers of attendees I had envisioned, those who were there expressed deep gratitude to us for undertaking the effort and addressing the issue on the level we did.
We had participants on the teleconference from many cities across the country – another goal of the symposium when we planned it. I’ve received phone calls and emails from those people, again, showing their appreciation for the event.
That was what it was all about – bringing those of us in the business of improving health outcomes for African American men and their families together to find better ways of achieving that objective.
Each of us knows how difficult it is to accomplish this. We’ve been told by people in the healthcare arena that, “African American men aren’t our demographic…” Statements like these are undoubtedly why many men are in the dark about ways to live healthier lives. I’m not talking about the type of information that can be found in fitness magazines or tips you can get from a personal trainer at the gym, I’m talking about really serious disorders and diseases, the one’s Black men suffer from at greater rates than all other races and ethnicities.
I don’t mean to suggest that fitness isn’t important, but there are a lot of brothers out here who look “fit” but are standing at the cliff of heart diseases, hypertension, and diabetes and may be practicing unsafe sex. It is these brothers that we have to reach and educate. Some are young, some are old, but all can use a bit of wisdom on the topic of health and wellness.
In June, I met a number of people and learned about programs dedicated to improving the quality of life for African American men and the ones they love. I would encourage a brother to stop and listen to the people who know and who are trying to impart this life changing information. I would also encourage a brother to stop and find out as much as they can about programs that could help him live healthier. They are out there and many are free.
So naturally, while I’m encouraging a brother to stop and listen and enroll in healthy programs, I will take advantage of that teaching moment to invite him to Brain Brawn & Body. It’s free information that is transformational.
As always, I invite you to . . .
Read, learn and enjoy!