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Women’s health group celebrates its 20th year

Cynthia E. Griffin | 9/20/2017, 3:23 p.m.

Black Women for Wellness (BWW) on Oct. 19 will host an anniversary celebration from 7 to 10 p.m. at Traxx Restaurant at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, 800 N. Alameda St.

The theme for the event is “The Roaring 1920s,” with the organization paying special tribute to the group founders and their families. Additionally, the founders—Akua Jitahhadi, Shquestra Sitawi, Ndoni Formes, Moyofune Deas Bilawa, Claudie Kiti and Janette Robinson Flint—will be introduced and make presentations.

The goal of BWW is to advocate, serve and promote the health of Black women and girls, and as part of the celebration BWW will pay tribute to the history of Black health liberators, defenders, protectors, advancers and innovators of the period such as cosmetic entrepreneurs Annie Malone and Madam CJ Walker, as well as organizations like the Universal Negro Improvement Association, the African Communities League and the Black Cross Nurses.

The health of African American women has been at the forefront of discussions and research within the medical profession. For instance, the Los Angeles-based Black AIDS Institute has reported that African American women account for 72 percent of new HIV/AIDS cases among women, even though they represent just 13 percent of the female population. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that Black women are 25 times more likely than White women to be infected with HIV/AIDS.

Additional statistics from the CDC reveal that Black women are twice as likely to be overweight, have heart attacks, develop diabetes (high blood sugar), lupus (an autoimmune disease) and hepatitis C (a liver disease). As well, African American women are at a significantly higher risk of asthma, arthritis, cancer and the sexually transmitted disease chlamydia.

Experts have said these health disparities begin when Black women don't receive adequate health screenings. Other CDC findings reveal that only 75 percent of African American women seek prenatal care, compared with 89 percent of White women.

Organizations such as BWW urge Black women to eat healthier, exercise regularly and get health screenings. Among the programs BWW features are Sisters @ Eight, a community forum which brings current health topics and major health and wellness issues to the forefront of public conversation.

For tickets or more information, call (323) 290-5955.