© 2017 100 Black Men of the Bay Area. All rights reserved. Made by The Scheme Team
The prevalence of obesity has nearly tripled for adolescents over the last twenty-four years. Eleven-year-olds are 11 lbs. heavier today than they were in 1973. If the current trend continues, one-third of the children born today will be diabetic. Unfortunately, obesity is not the only serious health problem that confronts our children. It is disturbing that the roots of ethnic health disparities begin during early childhood as Black children are developing conditions whose onset typically occurs in adults. These conditions include hypertension, type-II diabetes, and poor lung function. Sedentary lifestyle and poor diet are at the root of this problem. African Americans face many social and structural disadvantages that lead to limited access to nutritious food and few outlets for physical activity.
Neighborhood setting also has a profound effect on physical activity levels. A common observation in poor communities is that fearful parents keep their children indoors to protect them from violence in the neighborhood. In these settings, sedentary behaviors are fostered through excessive television watching, playing video games, and eating unhealthy snack food. The decline/lack of structured sports programs is also blamed for contributing to today’s youth health crisis.
To stem the tide of chronic disease among Black youth, creative fitness programs in our communities are desperately needed. The success of such programs depends on collaboration between parents, teachers, community organizations, businesses, foundations, and government agencies. Over the past 16 years, the 100 Black Men of the Bay Area has developed a model health/fitness program called Youth Movement to improve the well-being of Black children.
Youth Movement is an after-school and weekend program that features athletic training and the formation of local track & field clubs. This is the main advertising/recruiting tool for Youth Movement. Track & field training is held year-round and leads to a Bay Area-wide competition with other schools and track clubs during late Winter and early Spring. Over 1,000 young people participated in the Youth Movement athletic training program in 2016-2017.
The 100 Black Men of the Bay Area organizes and sponsors a series of athletic clinics each year from January through May. The clinics are held on Saturdays and last three hours. The day begins with a healthy breakfast followed by a “life skills” workshop that addresses topics such as good eating habits to conflict resolution. Athletic training follows and coaches, including periodic appearances by Olympians/world class athletes, lead training clinics for our students and coaches. The track & field season culminates with the Tommie Smith Youth Track Meet at Edwards Stadium, University of California, Berkeley in the Spring each year. Overall, the Youth Movement Program’s impact on Bay Area communities has been an unqualified success. we have consistently demonstrated our ability to improve the health and fitness of our young participants.
Several cities across the nation have requested technical assistance from 100 Black Men of the Bay Area in replicating our youth health/fitness model. The program has been launched in Washington, DC, New Orleans, LA, Louisville, KY, Hampton, VA, and Gulfport, MS. In 2010, Youth Movement was introduced in La Courneuve, France.
GOALS OF YOUTH MOVEMENT
100 BLACK WINGS MEDALISTS @ INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S GAMES
2009 Athens, Greece
Bronze Medal – Girls 4 x 100m Relay
A’Daeja Davenport, Keionna Devereaux, Samiyah Shabazz, and Niesha Pierce
2011 Lanarkshire, Scotland
Silver Medal – Girls 4 x 100m Relay
Amanda Wahruus, Najon Devereaux, Samiyah Shabazz, and Niesha Pierce
2013 Windsor, Canada
Gold & Silver Medals – Girls 100m
Jaden Nixon, Najon Devereaux
2015 Alkmaar, Netherlands
Gold Medal – Girls 4 x 100m Relay
Najee McDonald, Chinyere Okaraa, Marnae Glover, and Briona Rivera
Bronze Medal – Girls 100m
2016 Taipei, Taiwan
Gold Medal – Girls 100m
Bronze Medal – Boys 100m
2017 Kaunas, Lithuania
Diandrenique Gaines, Zharia Dixon
Gold Medal – Girls 4 x 100m Relay (World Record)
Zharia Dixon, Chardai Victorian, Atallah Allen, Jazlynn Gibbs
Gold Medal – Boys High Jump
Paul Randall III
Silver Medal – Boys Long Jump
Bronze Medal – Boys 1500m