BLACK WOMEN FOCUS ON AGING MASTERY

The Black Women’s Agenda, Inc. recently hosted a summit themed, “I Am the Change: Living Your Best Life at Every Age,” at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD. Sponsored by AARP and featuring leading experts in the fields of health, education, and economic security, the event focused on the importance of health and wellness in the aging process. 

“Too often black women are focused on everyone and everything except themselves,” said panel moderator Dr. Rockeymoore Cummings. “Our concern for and work on behalf of our families and communities competes with our ability to implement self-care strategies that support our physical, emotional, spiritual, and socioeconomic wellbeing.”  

Nowhere is this more true than in the area of financial health and wellbeing. A 2017 study released by the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development found that the median wealth level of a single black women aged 60 and older with a college degree is $11,000 compared to $384,400 for a similarly situated white woman. 

Deborah Owens, CEO and Founder of Wealthy University highlighted the income and wealth disparities facing black women and recommended black women embrace strategies that encompass financial planning at earlier ages, an aggressive attitude toward savings and investment, and entrepreneurial activities to boost earnings over time.  

“I want to really urge African-American women to get started investing earlier. There will always be demands on our economic resources; mortgages, student loans and basic living expenses. However, time is the greatest predictor of financial success. It’s not how much you invest, it’s how long your money has the opportunity to compound and grow.”

Although earnings and wealth are traditionally tied to education levels, research and statistics show that many African Americans don’t get the same economic return on investments in their education. Nevertheless, Dr. Tiffany B. Mfume, Assistant Vice President for Student Success and Retention at Morgan State University, emphasized that educational attainment is still the best option for African American women seeking to maximize their earnings and quality of life. 

“Despite the Great Recession and equity gaps, college education remains the most proven, invaluable lifetime investment and serves as the most reliable path to upward mobility and socioeconomic class reassignment,” said Dr. Mfume. “For students of color, graduating from HBCUs relative to non-HBCUs has demonstrated superior long-term returns with respect to nurturing self-image, self-esteem, and identity, all of which advance labor market outcomes.”

Although many black women strive to lead healthy lives, they are more prone to develop chronic diseases such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension, which undermines their productivity and quality of life.  Dr. Terri L. Hill, a prominent plastic surgeon who also serves as a delegate in the Maryland state legislature, argued that these disparities underscore why health and wellness should be prioritized alongside socioeconomic well being.

“The Black Women’s Agenda seeks to help black women reduce the stress they experience as leaders in their jobs, families, and communities,” said the organization’s president Gwainevere Hess. “We want black women to lead happier, healthier, and longer lives by taking a more deliberate approach to self care that includes attention to financial, educational, physical, emotional, and spiritual well being.”

 

OTHER NEWS

Spirit of Change Town Hall

Join The Black Women’s Agenda, Inc. (BWA) on Saturday, May 18, 2019 at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. for The Spirit of Change Town Hall.

Moderated by ABC News Anchor and Correspondent T.J. Holmes, The Spirit of Change Town Hall is bringing together a multi-cultural audience with some of our nation’s greatest spiritual leaders, public figures and subject matter experts in an effort to find common ground regarding some of the most prevalent political and social issues of our time. In a nation that is deeply divided, the distinguished panelists will give their perspective and expertise on healthcare, education, immigration, justice reform, gun laws, and so much more, and the impact these issues are having on all American families.

Washington National Cathedral
3101 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016

Doors open: 3:00 p.m.
Discussion begins: 4:00 p.m.
For more information, please contact us at: bwa@bwa-inc.org

April Is National Minority Health Month

This April, join The Black Women’s Agenda, Inc. in celebrating National Minority Health Month. This year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health (OMH) will join partners in raising awareness about the important role an active lifestyle plays in keeping us healthy. Their theme for the 2019 observance is Active & Healthy, which will “allow OMH and minority health advocates throughout the nation to emphasize the health benefits of incorporating even small amounts of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity into our schedules.

SPOTLIGHT FEATURE ON JACK AND JILL OF AMERICA, INC.

To be valued and loved. To know who you are and that you have the power to make a
difference. These are the aspirations that most mothers have their children. In 1938, in the midst
of the Great Depression, twenty African-American mothers in Philadelphia came together not to
hope or to dream, but to provide the opportunities, experiences, and life lessons that would
enable their children and others to live these truths. Their group became Jack and Jill of
America, Inc. – an organization that’s mission is as relevant today as it was some 80 years ago.

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