Saturday November 18, 2017, the African Coalition presented a two hour community leaders’ meet and greet forum. The purpose of the African leaders meeting was to engage African community leaders in health promotion and prevention, and to redefine the U.S. lifestyle to benefit all. Kofi Peprah, a Ghanaian native and the board member of the African Coalition, facilitated the meeting. The meeting focused on community ownership and leadership development, emphasized on a new advocacy approach to find new solutions to reduce persistent health disparities, and improve health outcomes of the African descent immigrants. Dr. Brenda Ingram, the Coalition trainer, presented the prevalence of physical and mental chronic diseases among African immigrants after their arrival in the United States. Mr. Romalis Taylor, the African Caolition board member, discussed communities’ challenges and strengths emphasized on how for most African immigrant communities in the U.S., stigma and lack of knowledge about physical and mental health and access to resources have contributed to limited access and poor utilization of appropriate physical and mental health services. The African Coalition Executive Director Senait Admassu introduced the current provided mental health direct service program for African descent communities. She added that this new program is a promising practice, is culturally appropriate, and inclusive. The program includes the hands-on involvement of community leaders, and is an approach that has been successful in the African community in the Los Angeles County. The seventeen community representatives recognize the importance of immigrants’ health and agreed to meet on a regular basis to identify positive values and healthy traditions of African immigrants that help to keep their strengths.
Next forum will be held on January 27, 2018.