Our StoryBlack Women's Wellness Day
Welcome to Black Women’s Wellness Day, the signature annual event of The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness!
We are excited to host this year’s 12th Annual BWWDAY, and especially as we face unprecedented challenges and monumental social change both locally and globally. What we know for sure is that Black women and our families and communities are absorbing the impact of the triple pandemics of COVID-19, racism, and social injustice and this is essentially why this year’s #BWWDAY event is so important.
Despite the challenges to our community and to our organization during this unsettling time, we are adapting quickly and making necessary adjustments! Though COVID-19 has made it impossible for us to gather in-person for this year’s BWWDAY, we are striking new territory in hosting our very first 2-Day Virtual summit, and crafting a lively event that offers the same energizing, mobilizing experience we are known for! This year’s event will deliver the information, inspiration, and empowerment we all need right now to move in a spirit of power and resilience, and to build a new vision for our lives and our communities as we work for personal and collective well-being. And as always, this year’s BWWDAY will support women to elevate their mind-body-spirit health, access tools to rebound and reset, grow their voice as advocates for social change, and will place them solidly on the road to new possibilities.
I remember the moment that I conceived the idea for Black Women’s Wellness Day thirteen years ago while sitting at my computer a year after my Mother’s untimely death. The shock of that experience and the realization that dozens more women in my family and community had succumbed to health complications early in their lives propelled me into action. A deeper look across the national landscape reinforced my resolve as I witnessed the state of duress that characterized Black women’s health. I believed then and believe now that we have the power to change this. And we are!
My quest then was to find a way to bring Black women together to chart a new course for our health and our lives on every level, and to encourage and support one another in prioritizing our mind-body-spirit wellness.
Since that time, Black Women’s Wellness Day has grown to impact the lives of thousands of women and girls–hosting an audience of over 700 last year–and to unify community, wellness advocates, health partners, sponsors, and community organizations in one space to learn, connect, share, and create solutions together. Further, BWWDAY has fueled the growth of the Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness as we continuously grow our commitment and our capacity to EMPOWER A GENERATION OF WELL BLACK WOMEN through year-round education, advocacy, support, and systems-change work that places Black women’s well-being front and center.
Black Women’s Wellness Day is first and foremost a celebration of life and a demonstration of how Black women and girls can live more fully within the glow of optimal health. I hope you will attend this year’s virtual event and learn for yourself what other women have found out over the past decade and counting–that after this experience, you will never be the same! You will leave informed, inspired, and more empowered than ever to make the necessary changes and shifts in your life that lead to your best, healthiest self!
For those of you who support this movement as sponsors and partners, please know that in doing so, you are ensuring that women of all ages are reached and engaged in this life-enhancing opportunity to emerge more determined than ever to create and sustain healthy, thriving lives. Thank you so much for believing in our work and our mission!
Black Women’s Wellness Day is an annual health summit that informs, inspires, and empowers Black women and girls to build and sustain healthy, wellness-centered lives. We have grown to become one of the Midwest’s largest annual wellness events by Black women, for Black women, now celebrating our 12th year! In 2019, we welcomed 700 guests to #BWWDAY, and this year’s first ever virtual event promises to reach even more far and beyond Wisconsin where are headquarters are now based.
Founded by Lisa Peyton-Caire in 2008, Black Women’s Wellness Day was first observed in a small public library in Bowie, Maryland with a crowd of 40 women and family members on Friday, May 22, 2009 in honor of Ms. Peyton-Caire’s mother Roberta W. Peyton who succumbed to heart disease at the age of 64 on May 22, 2006.
Since that time, the event has grown to bring thousands of women of all ages into the movement to improve their health and wellness through a fun, entertaining, and information-packed experience where women, girls, health advocates, wellness practitioners, medical professionals, community partners, and survivors come together to share life-saving, life-enhancing information, testimonies, and transformation stories.
Why a Wellness Day for Black Women?
Today, African American women account for roughly 7% of the U.S. population and 14% percent of the total population of women, yet are over-represented in all major categories of disease and illness, including hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke, obesity and reproductive disorders.
Black women are more likely than their white peers to die from heart disease, cancer, and stroke; to experience life-threatening complications in pregnancy and childbirth, to be obese or overweight, and to be diagnosed with HIV. We are more likely to have less access to quality healthcare or mental health services that support our optimal well-being, and to face racism, bias, and barriers in accessing social and economic opportunities that contribute to better health. We need not look far within our families or to read local, state, and national reports to conclude that the health and well-being of Black women and our communities is in a state of duress.
We are committed to being the change we need. Black Women’s Wellness Day is our contribution to shaping the world we require to live our best lives, to walk in our greatest power as #WELLBLACKWOMEN!