It’s National Minority Health Month: Local events promote wellness, increase awareness

The numbers paint a bleak picture.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, the death rate for African-Americans is generally higher than white people for heart disease, stroke, cancer, asthma, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia.

African-American men are 70 percent more likely to die from a stroke than non-Hispanic white men and African-American women are nearly 50 percent more likely to have high blood pressure than non-Hispanic white women. In 2019, non-Hispanic African-Americans were twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to die from diabetes. The disparity is not limited to adults as non-Hispanic African-Americans have 2.4 times the infant mortality rate as non-Hispanic whites.

To raise awareness of and help reduce health inequities, April is recognized as National Minority Health Month. This annual observance focuses on the health disparities that persist among racial and ethnic minority and American-Indian/Alaska-Native populations and encourages action to end these inequities.

The Ohio Commission on Minority Health — which established Minority Health Month in 1989 — along with partners statewide including Dayton & Montgomery County’s Local Office on Minority Health, are hosting a full slate of events through the end of the month to promote wellness and increase awareness. The 2024 Greater Dayton Minority Health Month EXPO is a free event designed to do just that on April 27, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., at the Dayton Metro Library, 215 E. Third St.

Credit: Young, Jasmine

Credit: Young, Jasmine

“We want to share the work we do and the importance of being healthy and taking care of yourself,” said Jasmine Young, Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County Local Office on Minority Health project manager. “There will be a multitude of ways to share that message. I want people to enjoy themselves and become familiar with the agencies and services that are available to them.”

This year’s EXPO is designed to be engaging and interactive with a variety of organizations on hand to share information about their resources.

“Participants will get a bingo card that they can take to each table,” Young said.

There will also be free physical fitness workshops — a hoop fitness class and a Qigong class. Hoop fitness classes offer a fun cardio workout that challenges the abs, core, hips and torso. Qigong has psychological as well as physical components and involves the regulation of the mind, breath, movement and posture.

“Both classes will be beginner friendly and open to all ages and abilities,” Young said.

According to the current Department of Health & Human Service Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, adults need 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and two days of strength training a week. For additional information on other local Minority Health Month events or to register for an EXPO class, visit

Minority Health Month Goals – Ohio Commission on Minority Health

  • Provide crucial information to allow individuals to practice disease prevention.
  • Promote healthy lifestyles.
  • Showcase the providers of grassroots healthcare resources and information.
  • Highlight the disparate health conditions between Ohio’s minority and non-minority populations.
  • Gain additional support for on-going efforts to improve minority health year-round.

For a full calendar of events statewide, visit

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