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Ely White | Democrat

CAROLYN MASSEY WILL be facilitator of the upcoming Black History Program & African American Health Symposium at Sullivan County Community College Feb. 9.

A hip-hop 'Health Happening' on Sat.

By Ely White
LOCH SHELDRAKE — February 5, 2008 — Life-altering workshops, health screenings and “get down and boogie” entertainment will be the order of the day at the Black History Program & African American Health Symposium this Feb. 9 at Sullivan County Community College (SCCC). The whole day will be dedicated to African Americans and “bridging the gap between health, culture and community,” according to event chairperson Carolyn Massey.
It will be a family event, with free health screenings in the morning.
Informed vendors will set up tables with updates on health issues that concern African Americans. “People will be able to educate themselves about some of the factors that contribute to ill health,” said Massey, “and find out how to stem the diseases that have become prevalent in African American communities.”
Participants will be able to choose from 12 workshops that have been prepared to cover current topics aimed at improving African Americans’ physical, mental, and spiritual health and wellness. Among them are children’s wellness, breastfeeding, youth culture, tobacco usage, calming the mind and managing its thoughts, staying free of HIV, caring for your heart, the Art Miles project, mental illness in the family, Reiki and how to become a homeowner.
“It’s critical that we have events like this to take the stigma out of the lack of health care for many African Americans,” said legislator Leni Binder about the symposium. Binder, along with fellow legislator Ron Hiatt, SCCC President Dr. Mamie Howard Golladay, representatives for Assemblywoman Gunther and State Senator Bonacic, Judge Josephine Finn and members of the Sullivan County Healthy Living Partnership expressed their confidence at a recent press advisory that this public forum will address the needs of African Americans in the county.
Judge Finn broke from convention when she broadened the definition of health to include social health.
“A lot of young people don’t have social skills. So they don’t get along with peers, can’t get a job and can’t resolve conflicts,” she said.
She is currently facilitating the Dynamic Realization through Enrichment, Actualization and Motivation or D.R.E.A.M Tank (previously “project”). The tank teaches young people social skills through the medium of their own interests and connects them up with their self-respect, courage, creativity and dreams.
Finn will emcee the event’s afternoon program – the live entertainment part – which will include African drumming, dance, R&B, gospel, oration, a Hip-Hop “Scratchin’” demonstration and a performance by the D.R.E.A.M. graduates.
The schedule for the Black History Program & African American Health Symposium this Feb. 9 at Sullivan County Community College is as follows:
• 9-10 a.m.: Workshop registration with coffee and bagels
• 10-10:45 a.m.: First session of workshops
• 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.: Second session of workshops
• 12:30-1:15 p.m.: Refreshments
• 1:15-3:15 p.m.: Live entertainment program in Seelig Theatre.
The event is presented by CARECORPS (Communities that Care), Sullivan County Public Health Services, and Sullivan County Healthy Living, a partnership of over eighteen health agencies that serve Sullivan County.
For more information, call Carolyn Massey at 794-8080, ext 123, or Caryn Mathews at 292-0761, ext. 2787.

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