The National African American Male Wellness Walk Initiative (NAAWWI) was established in 2004 to begin the process of making men understand, through prevention, one can live longer. The awareness campaign is the largest wellness initiative of its kind in Central Ohio and has expanded to Mahoning Valley, Toledo, Cincinnati, and Cleveland Ohio. The wellness initiative has provided thousands of free health screening across the state of Ohio, resulting in recognition from President Obama and also by having August declared as African American Male Wellness Month by Governor John Kasich.
The overall health and wellness of the black community is dependent on the health of black men in the community. African American men are dying from preventable diseases at 10 times the rate of other men which drives the mission of the NAAWWI Initiative. Parallel to Caresource, we believe making a lasting difference in lives improves the health and well-being for all.
Over the past 14 years the annual awareness campaign has begun with a 5K run, walk, and children’s pavilion. Contrary to most other major walks/runs, the NAAWWI does not charge a registration fee to participate. Individuals and families participate entirely for free, including their walk registration, health screenings and post-race festival. Our sponsors are an invaluable part of this endeavor and without their support, we could not do this life-saving work.
In efforts to address the entire family, we take a holistic approach by providing quarterly awareness education and life services workshops that cover topics such as mental wellness, fatherhood, infant mortality and financial topics just to name a few. The NAAWWI is successful each year with the support of our financial sponsors who benefit by having exposure to a diverse audience of individuals, primarily African Americans who can access their products and services. NAAWWI uses an out of the box grassroots, in-your-face approach to market and get individuals and the community involved through extensive door-to-door outreach, boots on the ground, TV ads, radio, billboards, social media, direct mail and collaboration with community agencies.
The NAAWWI is dedicated to changing the health disparities among African American men and continues to be a leader in awareness for black men’s health by promoting men to: