May 17, 2024

Coalition of 100 Black Women, Men to host health fair this Saturday at Eastern Star Church

Tenise Cornelius, president of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women in Indianapolis (right), and Andre Givens, president of the 100 Black Men of Indianapolis (left). - Elizabeth Gabriel/Side Effects Public Media

Tenise Cornelius, president of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women in Indianapolis (right), and Andre Givens, president of the 100 Black Men of Indianapolis (left).

Elizabeth Gabriel/Side Effects Public Media

The national Coalition of 100 Black Women and the Coalition of 100 Black Men of Indianapolis will host their first annual community health fair on Saturday at Eastern Star Church. 

In Marion County, nearly two-thirds of serious mental health needs are unmet.

The local Indianapolis organizations will kick off the weekend by hosting a conversation called “Mental Health Matters'' on Friday from 6-8 p.m. at the Indianapolis Central Library. Experts will discuss the complexity of mental health challenges endured by the Black community, and Indianapolis at-large. 

People of color, especially Black community members, often face more health disparities and barriers to treatment. Stigmas around mental health continue to be more prominent in communities of color. Of those who felt comfortable talking about their or a loved one’s mental health, 40% were White, 12.5% were Black, 12.5% were East Asian, 8.33% were Latino, 4.17% were Southeast Asian and 4.17% were Middle Eastern, according to a 2018-2019 survey in California.

“We want to move away from that stigma of not seeking help and to bring those resources to our community so that our youth, our men, our women of all color, have the resources that they need in order to live a better life for themselves and for their families,” said Tenise Corneliusis, the president of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women in Indianapolis. 

The fair will have blood donation booths, nutritionists, dental and mental health screenings, among other services. There will also be personal trainers who will demonstrate exercises people can do at home to stay fit, such as household items that can be turned into weights, like hula hoops and jump ropes. There will also be bounce houses for kids. 

The goal is to encourage community members to take the initiative and make medical appointments and live a healthier lifestyle. 

The events are in addition to monthly fireside chats about mental health that 100 Black Men of Indianapolis started hosting this year to address mental health issues and the stereotype that Black men shouldn’t be vulnerable.  

“No one's coming to save the community,” said Andre Givens, president of the 100 Black Men of Indianapolis.We have to work together in order to continue to uplift our community.” 

The community health fair will be Saturday, May 18 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at 5750 E. 30th St., Indianapolis 46218. The organizations will also participate in Walking for Dreams on Sunday, May 19 from 1-4 p.m. to raise funds for nonprofits around the city.

Contact WFYI’s health reporter Elizabeth Gabriel at egabriel@wfyi.org

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