A movement started by some of Houston’s most influential women continues with a focus on an all-important topic – their health. The free State of Black Women (SOBW) Health Forum will be held at 5:30 p.m., on Tuesday, Oct. 29, at the Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy (YWCPA), 1906 Cleburne Street, Houston, TX 77004. It will enlighten and educate YWCPA students 12 to 18 years old and female influencers 18 to 70-plus years old. 

According to experts, the stress of racism and sexism, coupled with the stress of being all things to all people, can take a toll on Black women’s health. Black women are also disproportionately impacted by several factors from food deserts and the lack of access to quality healthcare to life-threatening diseases such as cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and even maternal mortality. 

Data shows Black women’s health in the U.S. is in a state of crisis. That’s why the SOBW Health forum will specifically shine a light on Black women’s health inequities focusing on three priorities – physical and mental health, and health relationships and sex. 

“We are excited to host this event,” said Sonny Messiah Jiles, Defender CEO and an SOBW founder. “Our health is one of our greatest concerns and should be a priority regardless of our age. Though too many Black women face physical and mental challenges, the good news is, many of the illnesses that plague us are preventable.”

During the day, YWCPA students will participate in Q&A sessions with health experts responding to their previously submitted questions primarily centered around stress, depression, anxiety, bullying, menstruation, diet/nutrition, and career tips on becoming a doctor. The students will also be recognized for their vision boards created to share with the medical experts. 

The evening forum for adults will kick off with a 5:30 p.m. reception featuring light hors d’oeuvres and beverages, health screenings provided by Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, massage therapy, informational vendors, and music and networking. 

Esteemed panels of doctors and health experts will respond to attendee questions submitted in advance which target stress, hormone imbalance, cancer, diabetes, fibroids, infant/maternal mortality, vaping, weaves, body imaging, dementia, menopause, healthy relationships and sex. 

Energy segments will unveil the winners of the crowd size contest and prizes of $3,000, $1,000 and $500 will be awarded to organizations with the most members present.

Panelists include Dr. Camille Cash, Dr. Crystal Hadnott, Dr. Wanda Mott, Dr. Oluchi Oke, Dr. Rayne Rouce, Vivian Clark, Dr. Adiaha Spinks-Franklin, Dr. Gia Washington, Dr. Richelle Whittaker, Dr. Janice Beal, Dr. Alauna Curry, Nettie Jones, and Dr. Grace Loudd. 

The State of Black Women Health Forum is sponsored by Texas Children’s Hospital, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Barbara Jordan Institute of Policy at Texas Southern University, Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy, HillDay Public Relations and the Defender Network.

The SOBW is comprised of consciously aware women who are using their platforms, influence and stories to make a difference. SOBW’s vision is to be a resource for personal and professional growth through development of the Black Women’s Agenda. A State of Black Women Summit titled “Uniting the Power of US!” will be held in February 2020. For more information visit www.thesobw.com.

What:   State of Black Women Health Forum

When:  Tuesday, October 29, 2019 

YWCPA 6-8thgrades – 9 a.m. | YWCPA 9-12thgrades – 10 a.m.

SOBW Reception – 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. | SOBW Program – 6:30 p.m.

Where:Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy, 1906 Cleburne Street, Houston, TX 77004

Why:    Purposes of State of Black Women Health Forum:

  • Shine a light on Black women’s health inequities focusing on three categories: Physical, Mental and Relationships/Sex.
  • Enlighten and inform, provide useful tools and resources, and debunk Black women health myths.
  • Engage women in a multi-generational conversation that helps to create openness, empathy and understanding of health matters impacting the Black family. 
  • Further build the State of Black Women movement and momentum leading into the State of Black Women Summit February of 2020. 

Free Registrationhttps://sobwhealthforum.eventbrite.com