The American Red Cross teamed up with talk show host Tavis Smiley to share the benefits of health and wellness for minority communities at the first ever Road to Health Fair, Aug. 4 and 5 at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta.
Trey Deadwyler (left) and Erica Pines (center) of the Metro Atlanta Red Cross chapter present Tavis Smiley (right) with a Target/Red Cross Emergency Preparedness Kit during the Road to Health Wellness Fair in Atlanta. (Photo Credit: Troy Russell/American Red Cross Southern Region)
Smiley created the two-day event to give families the tools to tackle health issues including childhood obesity, stress and high blood pressure. As a national partner for the event, the Red Cross has a unique opportunity to ensure that minority communities also have access to information on disaster preparedness and the importance of blood donations.
“This tour was created for communities of color to address health from a cultural perspective and to show that simple changes can lead to a healthier life,” said Smiley.
“People often think an intervention has to be a new drug or something really high-tech and expensive in order to be powerful. They often have a hard time believing that the simple choices that we make in our lives every day can make such a powerful difference in our health, our well being and even our survival—but they often do.”
In addition to a successful blood drive during the event hosted by the Southern Blood Region, staff and volunteers from the Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter of the Red Cross led classes on disaster preparedness and held a raffle for CPR classes. Hundreds of visitors received Red Cross information on building their own emergency supplies kits.
The next Tour event will reach Baltimore on Sept. 22 and 23, with the remaining stops in Oakland and Los Angeles in spring 2007.
Smiley kicked off each day of the event with a motivational talk to the crowd, encouraging everyone to start the day with exercise and healthy meals to stay energized through the day. R&B singers Bobby Valentino and Lyfe Jennings also appeared to talk about the importance of health in their success, and fitness star Donna Richardson and Dr. Rovenia Brock, the noted nutritionist and health journalist also known as “Dr. Ro,” led the audience in basic exercise routines people can do everyday.
“Having the opportunity to work with Tavis Smiley on this project is a perfect opportunity to reach whole communities with information that really can help save lives,” said Kim Moton, Director of Biomedical Diversity for the Red Cross. “We’re really looking forward to even greater success in the next three cities.”
To learn more about the partnership or to find out about a Road to Health event, visit www.roadtohealthtour.com.