Several women from Natchitoches joined women from Shreveport to attend the Women’s Health Day and Retreat in Baton Rouge at the State Capitol May 16. The theme was “Women’s Health: The Movement Soars.” The day was proclaimed by Gov. John Bel Edwards. The women who attended from Natchitoches were Elizabeth Smart, District 3 Councilwoman Sylvia Morrow, Annie Green, Vi Jones, Betty Shields, Viola Porter, Delores Cornwell and Sheila Carpenter. Feamula Bradley of Shreveport and Morrow organized the Natchitoches delegation.
Women from across the state were welcomed to celebrate women, wellness and culture. They visited vendors in the Rotunda, met legislators, attended programs and attended the luncheon symposium to learn more about women’s health issues. The first program was in the Rotunda. Delegates registered and visited exhibits/resource tables. Then they met for a warm up, music and meditation. Then they moved to the press room to hear legislators discuss the bills on equal pay for women. Speakers talked about equal pay and let legislators know they supported the same for women.
There were many organizations there to support the equal pay bills. Luncheon was at 11 a.m. and the moderator was Michelle McCalope, author of “That Good Job—-Strategies for Pursuing Your Passions and Following Your Dreams.” The invocation was given by the Rev. Alexis Anderson, executive director of PREACH.
The greeting was given by Diane Hargrove-Jupiter, chair of the Louisiana Center for Health Equity board of directors. The presentation of the Governor’s proclamation was given by Sen. Regina A. Barrow, chair of the Select Committee on Women and Children. Amanda Brunson, executive director of the Governor’s Office on Women’s Policy, spoke on the reality and policy implications of family economic security. “Sounding the Alarm on Human Trafficking” was given by Dr. Dana R. Hunter, executive director of the Children’s Cabinet, and Allieca Cole, director of the Anti-Trafficking Initiative.
Lyn Zakiyah Hakeem, LMSW, executive director of the Berean Wellness and Community Support Center, spoke on “Empower 225, Self-Care, My Emotional Emergency Kit.” Recording artist Jolisa Singletary sang “Hero” and “I’ll Rise Up.” A call-to-action was given by the president and founder, Alma C. Stewart of Baton Rouge. Delegates completed an evaluation form before the closing remarks. Acknowledgements were given to the Scotlandville Magnet School teachers and female students who attended. The sponsors were Humana, United Health Care, All of Us Research Program, Delta Research and Educational Foundation and Louisiana Healthcare Connections.