African American Male Wellness Walk encourages men to take charge of their health

August 14, 2013 in Health, Lifestyle, Local News, News, Top Stories

BY DARRYL Q. TUCKER
Journal Managing Editor


A couple of months ago, Toledo community activist Micheal Alexander got a clean bill of health from his doctors.
Not wanting to chance something new since the physical, Alexander stood in line to get his body mass, blood pressure and cholesterol checked Saturday, Aug. 3.
Alexander, second vice president of the Toledo chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, was one of scores of black males who attended the first African American Male Wellness Walk and health screenings at the African American Legacy Project, 1326 Collingwood. There also was a five-mile walk and run.
“This is great for the community,” Alexander said. “This is wonderful and another great outreach going on with the African American Legacy Project.”
Toledo Fire Dept. Deputy Chief Brian Byrd and the Glass City Black Brothers United hosted the Wellness Walk.
The purpose was to get African American men to take charge of their health and get screened and as a prevention to potential health problems.
“This was a chance for us, as firefighters, to do something preventative.  We thought that would be a great opportunity to do here.”
Although this was Toledo’s first Wellness Walk, it has taken place eight years in other cities, said John Gregory, of Columbus, Ohio, and founder of the Wellness Walk.
Also, Ohio Gov. John Kasich recognized August as African American Male Wellness Month.
The Wellness walk also takes place in Columbus, Dayton, Warren and Youngstown.
Harold Mosley, water loss investigator for the city of Toledo, participated in the Wellness Walk and received health screenings.
“It gives people … an opportunity to get screenings,” said Mosley, a retired Toledo police officer. “It’s preventative. If there is a problem they can get it addressed. Hats off to Deputy Chief Byrd and the others who participated.”
Robert Smith, executive director of the Legacy Project, said he was pleased to host the Wellness Walk and screenings because the location is the gateway to the city and it has an impact on the African American community.
“It represents the things we want to do,” Smith said. “It’s an important event for the entire city.”