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Stillman College Black History Month Activities Include Initiatives to Positively Impact the Future

2/16/2014

In addition to offering a wide variety of cultural activities during the month of February, Stillman College’s Black History Month calendar included several programs that are not traditionally highlighted at this time of the year.

 

Through activities such as a health disparities presentation, a financial literacy seminar, specialized computer training classes, and a “Community and College Get Healthy Day,” which included exercise, games and nutritious snacks, Stillman has sought to address some of the most pressing needs facing the African American community.

 

Dr. Christine Rembert, who recently visited Stillman to present her research on health disparities, stated, “Discussing health disparities is important during African American History Month because it gives us an opportunity to learn about chronic illnesses that affect the Black community.”

 

According to Dr. Rembert, who is affiliated with the Alabama Department of Mental Health and has a Doctorate in Nursing with a Specialty in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing, there is a direct correlation between historical inequality and health disparities.

 

“We have seen a decrease in African American Infant mortality rates and HIV/AIDS deaths because of community-based initiatives,” she stated.  However, she added that statistics on health disparities continue to be gloomy. African American children are three times more likely than Caucasian American children to die from asthma, for example.  And the life expectancy of an African American male is six years less than the life expectancy of a white American man.  The statistics for women are equally dismal. The average Black American woman has a life expectancy of 74.9 years, while the average Caucasian American woman is expected to live 80 years.

 

According to Dr. Rembert, health disparities are related to “preventable differences” in the burden of disease on socially disadvantaged populations. Poor dietary choices, lack of exercise, and unequal health care are among the numerous factors related to health disparities.  

 

Many African Americans face economic challenges and lack access to information that could facilitate making informed health care decisions.  By offering a wide variety of Black History Month activities, including those that highlight outstanding Black achievements and those that address practical concerns, Stillman honors the past while also helping to build a better future.

 

Additional Upcoming Black History Month Activities:

 

On February 17, a viewing of the film The Butler will be held at 5 p.m. in Stinson Auditorium.  On February 24, “Music of Black Composers” will be held in the Wynn Fine Arts Center Warner Presentation Room at 6 p.m.  On February 25, “Alabama and the Struggle for Civil Rights” by Ahmad Ward, Head of Education and Exhibitions for the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, will be held at 3 p.m. in the Buckthal Lecture Hall in the Education Building. Also on February 25, there will be a spoken word program dedicated to Zora Neale Hurston at 7:20 p.m. (location on campus TBA).  On February 27, “African Dualistic Spirituality and King’s Beloved Community” will be presented at 3 p.m. in Stinson Auditorium.

 

In addition to these activities, West Tuscaloosa elementary schools are invited to participate in Stillman’s I Have a Dream Essay Contest. 

 

For more information, contact Dr. Marcia Millet at mmillet@stillman.edu.

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