The primary goal of the inaugural African American Male Wellness 5-Mile Walk/Run Warren/Youngstown is to raise awareness among black men that a visit to the doctor is the key to better health.
The walk/run is Aug. 31 beginning at Holy Trinity Missionary Baptist Church, 505 Parkcliffe Ave., on Youngstown’s South Side.
Health screenings start at 7:30 a.m. and the walk/run throughout the South Side neighborhood begins at 9:30 a.m. There also will be a children’s walk. More details will be given closer to the event.
Health statistics show a greater percentage of black males die from leading killers such as prostate cancer, diabetes and hypertension than do white males.
The answer to reducing the disparity is early diagnosis. Many black males don’t go to the doctor until it is too late, said the Rev. Dr. Lewis W. Macklin, chairman of the event, at a press conference Thursday at the Newport branch library on Market Street.
The walk/run this year will honor the memory of a friend and community leader, Myke Clarett, the Rev. Mr. Macklin said.
Honorary co-chairmen are media representatives Ernie Brown Jr., a regional editor at The Vindicator; Damon Maloney, TV personality from WKBN/WYTV; and M. Mike McNair of The Buckeye Review. The project is also supported by Douglas Franklin, Warren’s first black mayor.
The local wellness walk initiative is patterned after a similar event in Columbus founded by John H. Gregory, a Youngstown native who grew up in the Kimmel Brook housing project.
The first Columbus event drew 700 men; 8,000 men, women and children participated in last year’s walk, including Youngstown’s Harambee Youth Group, which performed, and 700 health screenings were performed, Gregory said.
Some men were sent straight to a doctor or the hospital after their screenings, he said.
Humility of Mary Health Partners will provide the health screenings at the Youngstown event.
“You can’t have a health summit or workshop. Black men won’t come. You need competition to get them out,” Gregory said.