By: Nnamdi Chiekwe, Dalhousie Therapeutic Recreation Student
Organized by the Nova Scotia Brotherhood Initiative and the Men’s Health League, we welcomed over 120 Black Men from the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) and beyond to the 2nd annual Black Men’s Health Conference. A conference for Black men organized by Black men to give them the opportunity to engage in conversations about health across all aspects of life.
The theme of this conference was Empowerment, focusing on Black men and creating a greater supportive community, becoming advocates for health and leading healthy lives. Building off the success of the first annual conference, the focus was to provide a safe and supportive environment that allowed for free discussion of experiences. Men attended a variety of Breakout sessions that focused on various Social Determinants of Health, that were all led by Black professionals from the community.
Breakout sessions included topics on: Health and Mental Health, Education, Financial Health, Spirituality, Crime and Violence, Corrections and Community Reintegration, Racism, and Youth Engagement, all of which tied into an overarching theme of the male Black experience. Men engaged in deep discussions and reflection, and throughout the conference, it became a place of healing.
The day was finished off with a keynote address from the decorated David Divine. David spoke about the impacts on health and the importance of acknowledging our context. David gave an insightful recount of how diverse history, view from society, and the importance of owning ourselves and vision are key aspects to our existence and health outcomes.
This was a very well enjoyed and strongly received conference by the men, community, and organizing committees, and is an important step in creating health awareness and supports for men of African descent!
Follow the link below to check out a short video from the conference: https://www.facebook.com/NovaScotiaHealthAuthority/videos/483225855628625/?t=135