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Conference Shows Blacks And Latinos How To Live Longer

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By Ashley A. Jones

According to Phyllis Y. Clark, President and Founder of Healthy Heritage, this year's overall goal was to get as many people as possible to commit to a change. She said she wanted to provide enough information to assist the public in making an informed decision. 

Pictured from left are Phyllis Clark, founder of the Healthy Heritage Wellness Conference; San Bernardino County Supervisor, Fifth District Josie Gonzales and Lisha Smith, a field representative to Gonzales’ office. Gonzales was one of several elected officials who awarded certificates of recognition to Clark and the Healthy Heritage Wellness Conference.
Last Saturday's event was held on the campus of California Baptist University. The program offered several information booths and workshops focused on promoting healthy eating habits, physical awareness and personal care. Attendees of this year's event had the benefit of participating in free bone marrow, HIV/AIDS, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer and blood sugar level screenings.

The conference featured keynote speaker Kimlin Tam Ashing-Giwa, Ph.D, Director of the City of Hope Center of Community Alliance for Research and Education of Duarte, California. Dr. Ashing-Giwa educated the audience on "A Multi-Dimensional Approach to African American Wellness." She highlighted the status of African Americans both historical and current, slave experience, health, education, and economic conditions.

Dr. Ashing-Giwa said, "It's so critical to address the issue of healthy disparity and health equity among our community. It's very important to give back and foster healthy heritage." She also said, "We need to use this opportunity to grow, respect and value our community. We need to be healthier."

Robin Allen, Founder/President of De-Ivy Management of Riverside motivated the audience in her presentation on "Life in Balance, How to Strategically Design Your Life." Allen focused on organizing a healthy lifestyle including good diet and exercise. She also advised her audience to have a "Yes I can" approach to health and wellness.

Among the supporters was Councilwoman Nancy Hart, who said, "This conference gives women the opportunity to gain valuable information, internalize it, take it home and spread it throughout their community."

Sandy Bradley, executive director of the American Cancer Society, Border Sierra Region, shares information with an attendee of the Healthy Heritage Wellness Conference. The event was held Saturday at California Baptist University.
Attendees and residents of Riverside County said they found the conference to be very beneficial. Julie Burgess of Riverside said, "This conference has helped me in so many ways, specifically in providing health resources." Mark Sanders said, "The conference has extended my knowledge on health and wellness."

4D College nursing students were also in attendance. Instructor Terri Jackson brings her students each year so that they can get more involved and understand the real issues. She also added that the conference was great and that she would be back next year.

Clark's goal is to take the Healthy Heritage Wellness Conference nationwide, to educate more people. She said, "This conference is unique because it is solution oriented. My speakers offer solutions the audience can implement." She concluded by encouraging members of the African American community to, "Live life consciously."

At the conclusion of the conference, attendees did make commitments in writing to change and in return they received a free Healthy Heritage Wellness Conference "I Commit Photo."

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