The 14th annual Black Women’s Wellness Summit, which will be held virtually on Friday-Saturday, Sept. 23-24, will also be celebrating the 10th anniversary of The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness, a Madison-based organization that has really scaled up its team and the organization’s reach in the last few years as it works to radically transform Black women’s health.
“So it’s a really special year to reflect on our work and to help people understand the emphasis of our work while continuing to deliver the same power-packed information, inspiration and empowerment that is part of what Black Women’s Wellness Day consistently has delivered over these last 14 years,” Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness President Lisa Peyton-Caire tells Madison365.
Dozens and dozens of expert panelists from across the nation will make keynote speeches and presentations and take part in panels at this year’s Black Women’s Wellness Day, a virtual event this year, with the theme of “Leading Our Way Forward.”
“We felt that was such a fitting theme because we have spent our time this last decade growing our leadership, growing the capacity of our organization to do more in support of Black women’s health. We have grown the footprint of our organization to position ourselves as a leading Black women’s health advocacy and empowerment organization not only in Dane County, but now in the state, and with growing national relationships,” Peyton-Caire says.
Black Women’s Wellness Day has grown significantly from its first year when it was held in a small public library space with about 40-50 women where it was first observed in Bowie, Maryland on Friday, May 22, 2009, in honor of Peyton-Caire’s late mother. It has been celebrated in Madison every year since.
“Black Women’s Wellness Day has always been and this year again will be a beautiful display of leadership of Black women as we continue to face incredible barriers. It is also an opportunity to really shift the narrative to demand accountability and to create new solutions that really elevate Black women’s health, Black family health, and Black well-being as we see a continuing environment of hostility and challenge right now,” Peyton-Caire says. “Those challenges include the overturn of Roe v. Wade and the threats to reproductive justice, for example. We know statistically that prior to COVID, Black women’s health and Black community health were impacted by racism. We know that many of those gaps continue and have even been exacerbated post-pandemic.
“We’ll be really diving into two days of learning, listening and calls to action to do what we do best which is energize, mobilize and support Black women to live and lead their healthiest lives,” Peyton-Caire adds. “We want to create a space at Black Women’s Wellness Day this year where Black women are informed on the issues, where they are inspired to take action and they’re empowered to leave this space to go out into their personal lives and their communities to do transformational things to protect their own health and well-being and to be leaders and change agents to propel all of us forward.”
Black Women’s Wellness Day 2022 keynote speakers on the opening Friday will include Linda Goler Blount, president and CEO of Black Women’s Health Imperative; Ellie Diop, CEO of Ellie Talks Money and Ellievated Academy; Maggie Anderson, CEO, activist and author of “Our Black Year”; and K Love the Poet (aka Kendria Harris), a spoken word artist, author, motivational speaker and mentor.
The special honored guests for the event will be Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, who is currently running for Wisconsin’s United States senate seat, and State Rep. Shelia Stubbs.
The event will feature dozens of featured speakers and special guests. For the full line-up, click here.
“We will have live fitness activities, deejays, and throughout the day we will be weaving in pieces of our story of the work we’ve been doing for the last 10 years to help our community better understand the broad base of work The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness has done this decade and what we will be doing in the future to drive change in Black women’s health,” Peyton Caire says.
Friday’s busy day will feature virtual networking opportunities and a Wellness Marketplace. There will be a Live DJ Stage with Vanessa McDowell (a.k.a. DJ Ace.) Friday morning’s sessions will also feature a panel titled “Black Men Supporting Black Women’s Health: The Key to Our Collective Wellbeing.”
“I’m very excited to get a male perspective from gentlemen that are leading a space of health and birth equity every day as they work to create strong Black families,” Peyton-Caire says.
Black Women’s Wellness Day 2022 national panelists on Friday will include Janette Robinson Flint, executive director and co-founder of Black Women for Wellness; Kathryn Hall-Trujillo, founding director of The Birthing Project USA; and Milan A. Spencer, associate director of workforce development and partnerships for Black Mamas Matter Alliance.
There will also be a “Virtual Luncheon Fireside Chat: Leading and Shaping A New Future for Black Women’s Health” presented by Linda Goler Blount, the national president of the Black Women’s Health Imperative, a Live Fitness Stage with Sharon Hardiman, and much more.
Saturday’s line-up will start with a morning keynote address from Maggie Anderson, CEO, activist and best-selling author of Our Black Year: Black Women & Families Leading Our Wat Forward to Generational Wealth & Power. Ellie Diop, founder of Ellie Talks Money, will deliver the luncheon keynote titled “Black Women Building Business & Generational Wealth.”
Towards the end of the day on Saturday, FBWW will make the presentation of its 2022 Well Black Woman Market Grantees.
The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness and Black Women’s Wellness Day grew out of a painful personal experience — the loss of her mother, Roberta Peyton, to heart disease at just 64 years old. Peyton-Caire’s mother died at a time when she should have been able to retire and enjoy the life she had built from a lifetime of hard work.
“My mom and I talked about my vision of potentially one day creating my own organization where I could specifically focus on Black women’s health and well-being and she said, ‘That would be beautiful. And you could do this and you could do that.’ She was really excited about it. And then she passed away a couple of years later and everything else that has come to be Black Women’s Wellness Day and the Foundation for Black Women’s Health was inspired by her life and death,” Peyton-Caire says. “She is the reason that this work came forward from my spirit and has now become the work of a whole team of people at the Foundation who feel like they intimately know Roberta Peyton and who understand this work in a way that has meaning to them and has created this certain energy in telling the world of our work and making an impact on Black women’s health.”
While the event has traditionally been an inspiring in-person event with hundreds of women from all walks of life in close capacity, this year’s event will be virtual as it has been throughout the pandemic. That does have the advantage of being able to reach a national and global audience.
“Another great part of the event being virtual is that you can register for the event and if you miss any parts of it because of work or family or obligations, you can go back and watch at your own pace when it’s comfortable and when you are free,” Peyton-Caire says.
“We wanted to make this event very accessible and affordable and we are encouraging people to register quickly because we will close registration on Sept. 20,” she continues. “People are going to leave this event not only inspired but with the tools and inspiration and confidence to take action to lead the type of healthy lives they want to lead. When you leave Black Women’s Wellness Day, you leave with new relationships, new networks and knowledge and new aspirations to live a healthier life.”
American Family Institute for Corporate & Social Responsibility is the Presenting Sponsor for the 3rd consecutive year.
“At this event, you will see that we are part of a movement where we have women of many different ages and of different stages of life and in wildly different circumstances coming together to be inspired and to talk about issues that concern us, our community, and our lives,” Peyton Caire says. “It’s a place where women come together to make sense of this world and to help each other navigate. Once you are in this space, it becomes clear that you have everything that you need and everything you didn’t even know that you needed in the safe company of friends. It’s a new look on life with a boost of energy.”