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Juneteenth conference to address health in Black community

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The city of Indianapolis is gearing up for Juneteenth celebrations, and one local nonprofit will celebrate it by focusing on health.

Juneteenth celebrations will continue Monday morning at the Biltwell Event Center for the Health is Wealth conference. Organized by the nonprofit G.L.A.M., It will focus on wound care for women, but also provide people with tools to take control of their own health.

Juneteeth is a celebration of freedom. A date two years after emancipation, when enslaved people found out they were free. After nearly 160 years later, some argue, the trauma still holds weight.

“The purpose of us celebrating this on Juneteenth is for all that we’ve endured as a Black community and as a culture. We have to heal,” said Shanel Poole, founder of GLAM (Guidance, Life skills, and Mentoring).

The organization is holding a Health is Wealth conference June 19, featuring global whole wellness advocate Queen Afua. It’ll primarily focus on womb health.

“Womb trauma starts a lot from emotional trauma that leads to spiritual trauma and shows up physically. We should not have Black women at a 97 percent rate of being diagnosed with fibroids by the time they are 50 years old,” Poole said.

Food as medicine, featuring a panel of Black physicians, addresses how food, in conjunction with modern medicine, can help heal the body.

“How do we heal from the generational traumas we’ve experienced through our families? The generational curses that we have suffered? It’s really important to just have the dialogue, the education, the information, and then teaching people how to have access.”

Although many Black communities are dealing with food deserts and food insecurity, Poole says this conference will educate attendees on how the basic fruit and vegetables that are accessible can improve health outcomes.

“We just want to celebrate what we have accomplished as a Black people and as a culture on Juneteenth.”

The health conference is free, but participants are asked to register first. Tickets are on sale for the R&B concert featuring Raheem DeVaughn.