“We want to start the year off strong and on a high note,” says Lisa Peyton-Caire, founder of The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness. “We want to get women out and walking and prioritizing their health and wellness while always elevating black women’s health as a critical issue in our community and our state to be focused on.”
That’s how Peyton Caire describes the impetus behind the Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness “Walk the Capitol for Black Women’s Health” this afternoon at 12:30 p.m. at the Wisconsin State Capitol. Today’s walk will be the kickoff event.
“The Capitol walks are also an extension of our walking programming which we’ve been doing for several years. Walking is a simple, inexpensive way to improve one’s overall health, relieve stress, maintain a healthy weight, and to prevent heart disease which we know is the number one killer of women and black women,” Peyton Caire tells Madison365. “So we walk the Capitol to improve our health, to create community, and to keep visible the issue of Black women’s health as a community and statewide priority as we work to eliminate health disparities.
The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness, a Madison-based non-profit committed to improving black women’s health, is hosting its kick-off Capitol Walk just one day after the gubernatorial inauguration with hopes that people will jumpstart the year with a brisk walk at the Wisconsin State Capitol. LaShunda Prescott, a Wellness Ambassador for Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness, will be leading tomorrow’s kick off Capitol Walk. Prescott is a UC-Berkeley-trained engineer and technical writer and a mother who’s been a member of the Black Women’s Wellness Day planning team for several years.
“She’s passionate about black women’s health and has seen her own life and wellness and that of many other women improved and transformed by being a part of the Foundation’s work,” Peyton Caire says. “Our Wellness Ambassadors are really the force that drives the work of the Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness.
“LaShunda happens to work downtown and she was walking the Capitol anyway and we said, ‘Let’s do this!’” Peyton Caire adds. “When she walks around the Capitol, she’s been bumping into legislators and policymakers – people that we’ve already had some contact and relationship with. We feel like we can take that relationship deeper so it’s also a way to make our presence known in issues that we care about in black women’s health and be more visible in the seat of our state government. It’s a chance to more deliberately build those relationships.”
Friends and allies are welcomed to join the Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness “Walk the Capitol for Black Women’s Health.” The only real requirement is that walkers come and support black women’s health.
“Anybody can come. This for black women and allies of black women who believe in black women’s health – that’s the only requirement,” Peyton-Caire says. “Anybody can walk if they are committed to supporting black women’s health.”
This is the kick-off event. The group will be meeting every Tuesday moving forward at 12:30 in the Rotunda of the state Capitol building. Peyton-Caire says to look for the Well Black Woman t-shirts and to wear comfortable shoes and bring water if you need it.
“It’s going to be fun and fitness and intentional relationship-building to really drive an agenda to get everyone in our community and our state engaged in working towards a healthier Wisconsin for black women,” Peyton Caire says. “It’s about making a bold statement about black women’s health while getting healthy at the same time.”
The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness “Walk the Capitol for Black Women’s Health” will take place this afternoon at 12:30 p.m. at the Wisconsin State Capitol, 2 E. Main St. Registration is free. Donations accepted.