Raising Awareness Of Minority Health Issues And The Rights Of Crime Victims

April is National Minority Health Month, which encompasses National Crime Victims' Rights Week. Unfortunately, one's health can be affected by crime. The Women's Council on African American Affairs, Inc. explains the link.
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April 20, 2012 - PRLog -- Little Rock, AR (April 16, 2012) — April is recognized as National Minority Health Month, which presents a great opportunity to focus on health disparities in minority communities. The Women’s Council on African American Affairs, Inc. (WCAAA) will address health inequities and chronic illnesses, such as cancer, sickle cell anemia and cardiovascular disease during several key events this month.  It will also address risk factors such as tobacco use, obesity and poor eating habits.

Unfortunately, one of the major risk factors for poor health is the level of crime activity one is exposed to. A 2007 study in the American Journal of Public Health showed that people with a strong fear of crime are almost twice as likely to show symptoms of depression, have decreased physical functioning and lower quality of life. A second study in the Journal of Pediatrics found 90 percent of children exposed to some form of violence had reactions characterized as traumatic stress (i.e. having nightmares, thumb-sucking, or bed-wetting), and 20 percent were at high risk for developing post-traumatic stress disorder. Nearly one-third of the children had allergies, asthma, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

For these reasons, the WCAAA will also recognize National Crime Victims’ Rights week, during the week of April 22-28.

“We work hard to assist individuals victimized by violent crimes and affected by chronic illness,” said Susie Marks, board chair of the WCAAA.

“It is critical that we provide education on crime prevention, tobacco, alcohol and other drug use prevention, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other chronic illness as these issues disproportionately affect minorities.”

Several activities are planned to educate minority residents about prevention, intervention and survivorship. All are free, open to the public and will feature a number of educational speakers, free health screenings and other resource information.  

•   The week-long celebration kicks off on Sunday April 22 with a “Plea from the Pulpit” from various local pastors encouraging members of their churches to be proactive by recognizing warning signs of crime and becoming mentors to youth.
•   On Monday, April 23 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. there will be a press conference and restoration ceremony on the grounds of the Center for Healing Hearts & Spirits at 2416 South Chester Street. It will include the following speakers: Little Rock Police Chief Stuart Thomas, Pulaski County Sheriff Doc Holladay, Idonia Trotter, Executive Director of the Arkansas Minority Health Commission, Senator Joyce Elliott and families of crime victims.
•   On Thursday, April 26 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. a “STOP Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Tobacco Use” forum will be held at the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce at 1200 West Capitol Avenue in Little Rock.
•   The week concludes with the “Pampered Ladies Luncheon and Wellness Expo” on Saturday, April 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Leodies and Goldie Warren Community Development Center at 1200 Lewis Street in Little Rock.  

“Women who are mothers, sisters, wives and daughters are so busy taking care of the world, we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves. That is what the luncheon and expo are about–getting those health screenings, eating nutritious meals, quitting tobacco products, getting massages, exercise–getting pampered,” said Joyce Raynor, Executive Director at the Center for Healing Hearts and Spirits.  

For more information, contact Stephanie Jackson at 501.492.4900 or at stephanie@designgroupmarketing.com.

About the Women’s Council on African American Affairs, Inc.  
The Women’s Council on African American Affairs, Inc. was created in 1999 as a 501(c) (3), educational nonprofit organization. Its mission is to promote and nurture individuals in areas of education, leadership development, and community and economic development—with a special emphasis on healthcare issues. Since its founding, the Council has expanded and continues to add key programs to its outreach. The WCAAA has maintained and expanded its ties to both business and civic organizations, while keeping strong ties within the grassroots and faith-based communities. For more than a decade the Council has been integrating community-based programs into diverse populations across an eight-county area—Pulaski, Lonoke, Saline, Faulkner, Prairie, Garland, Clark, and Jefferson Counties.
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