M.E.A.N. Girls Empowerment to shine light on health disparities at Girls Health Matters Summit

ByRamona Meadors WLS logo
Sunday, March 24, 2024
M.E.A.N. Girls Empowerment to highlight health disparities at summit
M.E.A.N. Girls Empowerment is set to shine a light on health disparities at the Girls Health Matters Summit at Morgan Park Academy.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center award-winning organization, Manage Emotions Avoid Negativity Girls Inc., announced the highly-anticipated Girls Health Matters Summit.

The event is poised to inspire positive change in the lives of young girls across Chicago.

Chicago faces significant health disparities among minority populations, with alarming statistics highlighting the urgent need for intervention.

African Americans are 20% more likely to experience severe psychological distress than their white counterparts. Shockingly, in 2019, Black female high school students were 60% more likely to attempt suicide than non-Hispanic white females of the same age, according to the Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network.

The Girls Health Matters Summit seeks to address these distressing trends by providing young girls with the knowledge, tools, and resources to navigate mental health challenges and make informed decisions about their overall wellbeing. By addressing these disparities head-on, the organization aims to foster resilience and empower girls to build a healthier future for themselves and their communities.

The Girls Health Matters Summit will take place on Saturday, April 6, offering a secure and inviting space for 200 girls aged 10-18 from underserved areas in Chicago at Morgan Park Academy, located at 2153 W. 111th Street.

This year's summit theme is "A Balancing Act: Your Roadmap to Physical, Mental, and Social Well-being." The free event will feature insightful discussions, expert speakers and interactive workshops covering crucial health-related subjects.

There will be a special appearance by brand ambassador, actress, and anti-bullying advocate Genesis Denise Hale. Best known for her role as "Maisha" on the Showtime hit series "The Chi," Genesis brings her passion for empowerment and anti-bullying advocacy to the cause.

"Genesis's presence adds an extra layer of inspiration and celebrity endorsement to an already spectacular event," said Keneatha Johnson, M.E.A.N. Girls Empowerment board member and chair of Girls Health Matters.

In addition to the summit, M.E.A.N. Girls Empowerment is thrilled to announce the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Girls Health Matters Resource Van, which was funded through the Girls Opportunity Alliance, a program of the Obama Foundation.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama's vision inspired the Girls Opportunity Alliance's work in Chicago, specifically reaching out to girls in the South and West sides of the city, said Shatina Edwards, founder and executive director of M.E.A.N. Girls Empowerment.

"With this support, we can amplify the Girls Health Matters initiative, taking it to communities where access to vital health resources is limited," Edwards said.

The mobile resource van will focus on high-disparity locations throughout Chicagoland, partnering with schools, churches, and community centers. The van will provide health boxes and essential information for the community, furthering their commitment to holistic well-being in girls throughout Chicagoland.