Sister Spokesman: “Heart Awareness for the Mind, Body and Soul”

Panelist, Anika Robbins, Executive Director of  ANIKA Foundation addresses crowd.
Anika Robbins, Executive Director of ANIKA Foundation, answers questions, while Angela Winston-Herbert and Dr. Susan Everson-Rose, PhD look on.

Another spirited Sister Spokesman got underway on Saturday, Feb. 7 at Summit Academy OIC in Minneapolis. The theme of the event was “Heart Awareness for the Mind, Body and Soul,” in celebration of Heart Awareness Month.

Attendees packed the house to listen to panelists share their expertise on everything from stress management to the importance of healthy eating and exercise. “Sister Spokesman is wonderful for addressing the needs of the whole woman — physical, spiritual and mental,” said attendee, Marcia Barnes.

Julie Gartrell, owner of Fierce Hair & Makeup Lounge Mobile Beauty
Julie Gartrell, owner of Fierce Hair & Makeup Lounge Mobile Beauty

Julie Gartrell, a beauty consultant and Sister Spokesman regular, said she enjoys the networking opportunities and was glad to see the issue of heart health addressed. “Learning preventive measures against heart disease is so important. It’s a dangerous ailment …a top killer for African American women,” said Gartrell.

Indeed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that nearly 48 percent of African American women have some form of cardiovascular disease, the risks of which can be reduced with lifestyle choices in consultation with a health care provider.

Attendees enjoyed a Zumba demonstration lead by Val Turner
Attendees enjoyed a Zumba demonstration led by Val Turner

The expert health and fitness panel at Sister Spokesman weighed in on the high rate of heart disease impacting African American women, and discussed everyday actions to help maintain a healthy heart lifestyle. After the discussion, Val “I am Zumba” Turner got the hearts pumping by leading participants in a robust Zumba routine. The afternoon closed with an opportunity for attendees to mingle and support local vendors selling food, jewelry, oils, makeup, art and more.

Sister Spokesman is a monthly gathering created in 2007 with the goal of providing an uplifting environment for women to come together to celebrate and network with one another. Next month’s Sister Spokesman, “Networking with Purpose,” will be held at Sabathani Community Center in Minneapolis.

Did you attend this month’s Sister Spokesman? Have an idea for a future Sister Spokesman? Sound off below, and follow Sister Spokesman on Facebook and Twitter for updates and vendor opportunities.

Updated 2/9/2015 9:30 p.m.