African-American women are disproportionately affected by multiple sexual and reproductive health conditions compared with women of other races/ethnicities. Research suggests that social determinants of health, including poverty, unemployment, racism and limited education, contribute to health disparities.
As an effort to bridge this gap in the DC-metropolitan area, Flourish Heights, a women’s health and wellness organization organized it’s annual conference, BLOOM to raise sexual and reproductive health awareness in young adult women, ages 21-40. This wellness experience was held March 8th, on International Women’s Day with over 100 women in attendance.
Women’s Health Dietitian and Founder of Flourish Heights, Valerie Agyeman said, “As women, we’re the experts on our own bodies. Most times, we know what does and doesn’t feel normal, but we don’t always feel empowered to speak up to get the care we need”. At BLOOM 2020, sub-topics highlighted included periods, vaginal care, sex, infertility, mental wellness, diet, body positivity and more. “The health of a woman’s reproductive system also affects the rest of her body – it was very important to me to create a wellness safe space for women to be inspired, to learn and most importantly to be empowered in their overall wellness. I want women to know that no matter what their health status is, they will still flourish in every area of their life. It’s a rewarding feeling and so worth it in the end, I am beyond grateful to God,” says Agyeman.
The afternoon included great dialogues and workshops by health professionals, Kendra Tolbert, MS, RD, Dietitian and Yoga Teacher, Shawn Davis-Wilensky, MD, MPH, FACOG, Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Erica St. Bernard, LCMFT, Therapist and Founder, Your Life’s Well, Mabel Obinim Bashorun, CD (DONA), Within Her Birth Services and moderators Moe Digga and Valerie Agyeman, RD. Special guest performance was by Singer and Songwriter Abigail Furr.
This years vendors were curated by the host and featured DC-metro women owned businesses and organizations, Sabreen Cosmetics, Sprinkle Me Cake, Jasmine’s Nail Obsession, Akiba Fragrance & Wellness Studio, Crowned Magnolia Birth Services, Sister Circle, Charismatic Creations, Embrace Makeup Artistry, Machee Creates, Pokes by Marcy.
Learn more about Flourish Heights and stay tuned with upcoming wellness events in the DC-metro area. For more information on partnerships and sponsorships, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
View photos from BLOOM 2020 here.