Sunday, May 20, 2007

Presentation at the 2007 NC AHEC Future Leaders in Health Care Conference

It was a delight and pleasure to present as a plenary speaker at NC AHEC Future Leaders Health Conference on May 19th in Durham, North Carolina. The audience consisted of 9th, 10th, 11th & 12th graders who excelled in academics throughout the state of North Carolina and those who have an interest in the health care field. There were over 200 students in the gymnasim of North Carolina Central University this day.

My session was entitled, "Health Promotion and Disease Prevention," so I presented the major themes from my book -- "Food Choice and Obesity in Black America: Creating a New Cultural Diet." The young audience was very receptive to the major themes of my presentation and even the adults assisting the students during this day asked questions and gave their own personal stories about health, fitness, dieting, food preferences and body images. In fact, several adults said that we as African Americans can obviously do more for ourselves when we decide to do for ourselves. I wholeheartedly agreed.

Overall, the event was very positive, the energy was upbeat and I appreciated being apart of this conference at North Carolina Central University. I want to thank the organizers for inviting me early in January to be one of the plenary speakers of this event.

Check out my picture immediately after giving the talk in the gymnasium.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

On May 4th, I was invited to be the Keynote Speaker at East Carolina University's Master of Public Health Graduate Recognition Ceremony. The invitation came from the Masters Degree students and I was completely honored and surprised of their invitation. In fact, I was over-joyed yet uncertain as to whether I could deliver the type of speech that they deserved.

Although I initially did not know what "themes" that I wanted to leave the graduates with, it all came clear after a few days of contemplating my speech. My major themes of this Keynote Address were:

  • Leadership
  • A New Public Health
  • Follow Your Dream

Of course, before I highlighted these themes in my Keynote Address, I had to do something out-of the ordinary in a Keynote Address. What did I do? -- well, I brought in a couple of characters that I use in very special situations to express how they feel about a topic. Those characters are actually me -- playing the role of a couple very expressive individuals who have totally different personalities, language, and lifestyles. Fortunately, the students and audience enjoyed the characters and I felt relived!

Congratulations again to the 2007 MPH East Carolina University Masters of Public Health Graduates!