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Sep 25, 2009

The National Coalition Launched “Healthy, Wealthy & Wise National Policy Forum Series” Amid Packed Room at CBCF Legislative Conference

Washington, DC – The lecture hall at the Washington Convention Center was packed beyond capacity as several congresswomen, Black leaders, community organizers, and health experts assembled for the launch of The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation’s Black Women’s Roundtable "Healthy, Wealthy & Wise National Policy Forum Series,” during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s (CBCF) 39th Legislative Conference last week.

BWR Health Forum

Hosted by Black Women’s Roundtable and the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), the inaugural event, “A Health & Wellness Dialogue: Fixing Our Healthcare System from Black Women's Perspective,” was the first of several policy discussions to be held in DC and around the country. The session allowed leading experts and the public to discuss health care reform, health information technology, H1N1 emergency preparedness, and other health related issues that impact the wellness of women and girls.

“The CBCF Legislative Conference always has several informative panels going on at the same time we did not expect to have to turn people away from the session,” says Melanie L. Campbell, ceo & executive director of the National Coalition and convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable. “This kind of turnout for a roundtable discussion on health demonstrates the concern women have for the health and wellness of their community.”

Speakers included: Congresswoman Donna Christiansen; Congresswoman Donna Edwards; Dr. Julianne Malvaux, Bennett College for Women; Clayola Brown, A. Philip Randolph Institute; Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook, Women in Ministry International; Dr. Gail Christopher, W. K. Kellogg Foundation; Eleanor Hinton Hoyt, Black Women's Health Imperative; Dr. Niva Lubin Johnson, National Medical Association; Makani Themba-Nixon, The Praxis Project; Barbara Perkins, International Black Women's Public Policy Institute; Roslyn Brock, vice chair, NAACP; and Gina Wood, Health Policy Institute, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies; and Dr. Beverly Wright, Deep South Center for Environmental Justice and 2009 Heinz Foundation Recipient.

“Over the next year the Black Women’s Roundtable policy forums will allow us to tap into the needs of the community,” adds Melanie L. Campbell, executive director and CEO of The National Coalition and Convener of Black Women’s Roundtable. “The CBCF Legislative Conference is the most appropriate place to launch a policy series. Clearly, a discussion on health and wellness was much needed. Our upcoming forums include an economic security discussion in November, and our education and energy reform will take place in December.”

The Black Women's Roundtable is an intergenerational civic engagement network of the National Coalition, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to increasing African American participation in civil society. The Black Women’s Roundtable Healthy, Wealthy & Wise National Policy Forum Series is a national roundtable tour designed to provide women with strategies and tools proven effective in addressing critical issues confronting Black women and girls. In order to reach the widest audience possible, each forum will be webcast through BWR networks across the country.

The webcast was sponsored by Verizon Communications, the founding national partner for the Black Women’s Roundtable Policy Forum Series and can be viewed at Signature sponsors included The Praxis Project and CBCF. For more information on the Black Women’s Roundtable Healthy, Wealthy & Wise National Policy Forum Series visit

Verizon Communications

Verizon Communications is the founding national partner for the Black Women’s Roundtable Policy Forum Series

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