Heal a Woman to Heal a Nation Conference

The Problem

Founded in 2004, what started as a pamper party turned into a day of empowerment and prestige. Created by college seniors, April 2004 marked the birth of The Heal a Woman, Heal a Nation (HWHN) conference held at Morgan State University sponsored by Vivian Ryan and the Office of Student Activities. The conference’s goal was to aid in fostering a relationship between collegiate women and women in the surrounding community. It persuaded its participants to look to each other and to become the vanguard for positive change within their communities. The uniqueness and originality of the HWHN stems from its target audience, this conference is not only marketed to collegiate and professional women but also women who live in transitional housing. The conference has grown to incorporate community partners, such as The Afro-American Newspapers, TurnAround, Inc. and The Black Women’s Health Imperative. HWHN Conference 2007 marked the largest number of participants at 145 women from the Delmarva region, and promises to continue to grow, establishing it as one of the most powerful women’s conferences in the Baltimore area. In 2007 we underwent a slight name change to clarify our purpose and meaning. Now, Heal a Woman to Heal a Nation has grown four years later into an entity that will serve the needs of families by first building and repairing the lives of women. Our conference workshops are informative and powerful. Each are designed to further develop participant’s knowledge in the areas of health, education, economic and self empowerment. Each year we tackle a major health issue through our workshops, exhibitors, and testing. Our previous topics included breast cancer, depression, obesity, and lupus. The health topic for 2008 will be HIV/AIDS. Sisters Together and Reaching will be providing free HIV/AIDS testing to all conference participants. Conference Objects: To assist 200 women of color to live holistically healthier lives driven by purpose through providing interactive and informative workshops that address the topics of Health, Education, Economic Empowerment, and Self Empowerment. To encourage women to participate in continual learning through providing reference materials to each participant. To encourage all conference participants to monitor their health and well-being through providing access to HIV/AIDS testing, exercise and self defense for all conference participants. Encourage acknowledgement of alternative healing methods through providing a Relaxation Room that conference participants will utilize throughout the day. “Heal a Woman to Heal a Nation Conference” addresses the targeted population of urban women of color in the Baltimore metropolitan area. Every aspect of this conference covers a public health need. The purpose of this conference is to empower the minds of women of ages 17 and up, promoting knowledge, confidence and self-respect. This Conference will cover and address the different aspects of health including mental, emotional physical and spiritual. Enlightening workshops are offered with motivating topics. There is a need to address the mental, emotional and spiritual public health issues of urban women of color in the Baltimore Metro Area. Issues such as low self-esteem, involvement in abusive or unhealthy relationships, depression and not loving yourself are fiercely attacking the women of Baltimore. These issues can lead to dramatic health problems such as drug addiction, imprisonment, unwanted pregnancy, poor parenting, poverty and allow women to become susceptible to a gamut of diseases. Workshops such as “Are You A Toxic Waste Site ”, “Chart Your Course ”, “We Are Family: The Family and Parenting ”, “Heal a Mind, Heal a Body: The Mind Body Connection ”, “Lady Sings the Blues ” and “The Measure of a Woman ” will properly give insight on how to stay physically, spiritually and mentally healthy. Visit our website at www.hwhnconference.com In addition, African-American women face a greater threat of death from certain chronic disease such as heart disease than women of other races. In 2002, their death rate from coronary heart disease was 169.7 compared to 131.2 for white women. These statistics show that heart-health education among African-American women is crucial.  Also, from 2000-2005 Baltimore has been on list of the top 25 cities for the highest rate of overweight and obesity (American Obesity Association). Workshops such as “Your Healthy Curves: Fitness Workshop ” and “Eating for Energy: Keys to Balanced Living ” will be able to address such issues. Moreover, this conference will be promoting preventative health behaviors such getting tested for HIV. During the conference HIV testing will be offered for those who wish to get tested. Baltimore Metropolitan Area has the fifth highest ranking of any major metropolitan area with 39.3 cases per 100,000 population in 2003. And it was ranked tenth in the US for the number of prevalent AIDS cases. There are 621 people newly diagnosed with AIDS as of June 2005 in Baltimore City alone. Of that 621, 220 of them are women and there are currently 4,224 women living with HIV/AIDS over the age 13. (Maryland AIDS Administration). Offering testing will allow women to know their HIV status and possibly prevent them from progressing to AIDS. In summary, the “Heal a Woman to Heal a Nation” Empowerment Conference will deal will many public health needs targeted to the women of the Baltimore Metropolitan area. In addressing these needs with proficient and profound workshops, this conference is sure to educate and enlighten every woman who will participate

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