Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Links, Incorporated, a national organization of professional women of color, is hosting a town hall meeting on "Addressing Childhood Obesity in the African-American Community." The event takes place this Saturday, April 2, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at The Mint Museum Uptown (500 S. Tryon St.).

The Charlotte Chapter and the Crown Jewels Chapter of The Links are holding this town hall meeting as part of the national initiative their organization created to address obesity in children and families. The town hall meeting is meant to not only educate those in attendance, but to also offer opportunities for the community to get involved in tackling this serious health issue. A panel of local leading health professionals in the areas of education, health, food and nutrition, physical fitness, mental health, and social services will each discuss obesity issues prevalent in African-American youth.

A continental breakfast/lunch will be served and door prizes will be given away. There will also be a "Biggest Loser Contest." Confirmed speakers include: Mayor Anthony Foxx; Barbara Pellin, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools; Cheryl Emmanuel, Mecklenburg County Health Department; Gardner Hawkins, Melange Health Solution; Rodney Adams, Department of Social Services; Eric Watson, Food Lion; Reggie McAfee, Cross-Country for Youth; and Dr. A.Q. Queen, UNC Charlotte.

The Links, Incorporated has formed a National Commission on Childhood Obesity Prevention and unveiled a policy brief, "Childhood Obesity in the African-American Community: Issues and Policy Recommendations from an African American Perspective," by Dr. Jada Moore Ruffin; a children's activity book; and The Kid's Editon, a curriculum designed to help chapters plan the program content of childhood obesity programs. The organization has received corporate support for these efforts, including a $35,000 grant from Wells Fargo to support community outreach related to childhood obesity, and the W. K. Kellogg Foundation contributed a grant of $300,000 to assist with documenting the prevalence of obesity amongst African-American children. Find out more about this initiative at

If you have any questions about Saturday's event, contact Tiffany L. Jones, publicity chair, at 201-304-2933 or


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