Health & Wellness
Good health and well-being is the foundation of a thriving community. The 100 Black Men of the Bay Area offers comprehensive programs that address the physical and psychological needs of the African American community. African American children are at particularly high risk for poor health, and for the early onset of health conditions.
The African American community is experiencing an alarming increase in the rate of cardiovascular disease, cancer, stroke, HIV/AIDS, renal disease, respiratory conditions, arthritis, and depression. Therefore, the 100 Black Men of the Bay Area places an important emphasis on improving the health awareness of youth in our community. In addition, the 100 Black Men of the Bay Area works to shield African American children from violence and harmful behaviors while instilling in them the principles of community building.
The 100 Black Men of the Bay Area partners with other health-related non-profit organizations and government agencies to promote preventative health strategies, conduct health screenings, and provide education on diseases that are prevalent in the African American community. The 100 Black Men of the Bay Area works in partnership with other community organizations, schools, government agencies and businesses in developing comprehensive programs that address the health crises that confront many African Americans.
The 100 Black Men of the Bay Area Health & Wellness Program is based on the National Health & Wellness Program.
Key Programs and Activities That We Provide In Support of Health & Wellness Are:
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 2018-2019.
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
- Develop a model community-driven/school-based fitness program in low-income neighborhoods.
- Improve the fitness test scores of children in participating schools.
- Develop healthy food choice habits among at-risk youth.
- Establish athletic clubs in Bay Area communities and revitalize after-school youth sports programs.
- Enhance character development.
- Prepare youth for academic success.