By Angela M. Coggs
On Saturday, September 10th Young Women Empowerment Foundation (YWE) hosted their fourth Annual Women’s Wellness Conference at San Bernardino Community Hospital Henderson Auditorium, 1800 Western Avenue San Bernardino, CA 92411, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. YWE welcomed family, friends, students and community supporters to the augural event that focused on emotional and physical health and wellness. It was a free event for women of all ages in the Inland Empire. The event was hosted by Carletta Loflin, who was also speaker at last year’s Wellness Conference.
This year’s theme was Double D’s. Double D’s refers to diabetes and depression. The theme was based on the idea of a dual diagnosis. Both of these diseases plague all people but especially minority women. The conference focused on the prevention of diabetes and depression as well as learning to live with and maintain it if diagnosed with either. The women in attendance participated in several interactive demonstrations/exercises which included routines by the energetic Harriette Coggs Stuckey from Heart and Soul Dance. Coggs- Stuckey blessed participants for the past two years. “I attended last year and the line dancing was one of my favorite parts. I’m glad that she returned this year,” said one enthusiastic participant. “She’s awesome. I feel renewed and ready to go.”
There were life changing testimonials from women on diabetes and depression. The speakers for the wellness conference will focused on issues that are important and relevant to women, diabetes and depression. The keynote and guest testimonial speakers’ included:
Dee De La Cruz (Diabetes Keynote) of Lue Productions 1st Big Beautiful Woman Modeling Queen Winner 2016, Pasha Fruman, PA-C (Depression Keynote) – Health Educator and Community Health Activist, Deborah Smith (Depression Testimony) Community/Business Relationship Specialist- Personal Banker WFAW, Gloria Dowdy (Diabetes Testimony)-Retired IT Specialist (Programmer)-Department of Veterans Affairs, and Lea Michelle Cash (Depression Informational) President/CEO- The Brightest Star, Inc
LaToya Flowers-Jones and Rochelle Wright (Mary Kay vendor) attended the event for the first time and had a really good time. Both enjoyed themselves and indicated that they intend on returning next year.
In addition to providing useful health and wellness information at the conference, the attendees had their funny bone exercised as comedian Amber Thorney-Croft explored the humorous side of life in general. It was the perfect ending to a successful event. Many reported leaving the event feeling hopeful, informed, inspired and refreshed.
Several vendor booths were available for attendees to visit and gain information and resources. Vendors included: San Bernardino County Nutrition Program, Mary Kay, African American Mental Health, Coalition, Sonnier Beauty, Restaurando Vidas (Restoring Lives), Riverside/San Bernardino County Indian Health Inc., Inland Behavioral and Health Services, Inc. and Inland Empire Black Nurses Association.
“I want to thank you (YWE) for having me as a vendor. I appreciate the fact that I was able to provide the services that my company has to offer and I was also able to be part of this awesome conference that you guys organized,” stated Diana Silva, Outreach Specialist for Inland Behavioral Health Services, Inc. “It was inspirational, educational and empowering.”
One of the most talked about item of the day was the Double D’s t-shirts worn by the Young Women’s Empowerment Foundation board members. Although some attendees were able to win a few shirts during the opportunity drawing, many more people wanted to purchase one. In response to the inquiries about how to purchase the Double Ds Diabetes and Depression event t-shirt anyone can visit the Young Women’s Empowerment Foundation website donation link at youngwomenempowerment.org to obtain one.
“This event was so informative and impactful for the women in the community,” Rochelle Wright said. “Every woman that presented at the Young Women’s Empowered Conference, blessed my life with their transparent, transformational and inspiration testimonies. The organization has a bright future ahead of them because they are planting great seeds of wisdom in preparing our youth to be successful and healthy global citizens.”
Attendees registered on Eventbrite under “Free Young Women’s Empowerment Foundation (YWE) 4th Annual Women’s Wellness Conference. They were encouraged and invite family and friends to also register and attend the noteworthy opportunity focused on empowering women to live mentally and physically healthy lives. Over 100 women attended the event.
Kaiser Permanente was a Gold Sponsor for the event. San Bernardino Community Hospital, European Wax Center, and San Bernardino Symphony also provided for the event. Volunteers from the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority were also on hand to ensure the conference ran smoothly.
YWE serves to strengthen the character of young women of high school age in the San Bernardino City region of the Inland Empire in Southern California. Young Women’s Empowerment was founded by Gwendolyn Dowdy- Rodgers. The mission of our program is to empower these young women to achieve at their highest potential, particularly in education, and to instill in them a commitment San Bernardino city council member Bessine Littlefield – Richard San Bernardino Community College Trustee Joseph Williams San Bernardino County Superintendent of School Trustee Hardy Brown II Senator Connie Leyva’s Field Representative Micheal Townsend San Bernardino City Unified School Board Superintendent Dale Marsden County Board of Supervisor Josie Gonzales Field Representative Erika Willhite to return to their community as leaders and mentors.
Dignitaries who attended included:
- San Bernardino City Council member Bessine Littlefield – Richard,
- San Bernardino Community College Trustee Joseph Williams,
- San Bernardino County Superintendent of School Trustee Hardy Brown II,
- Senator Connie Leyva’s Field Representative Michael Townsend,
- San Bernardino City Unified School Board Superintendent Dale Marsden,
- County Board of Supervisor Josie Gonzales, and Field Representative Erika Willhite
The Young Women’s Empowerment Foundation (YWE) is dedicated to strengthening the self-esteem, character, integrity and capacity of young women ages 12-21 so that they may achieve their highest potential. YWE accomplishes its purpose through strategic partnerships with other organizations. YWE is guided by ethics and principles which exhibit respect for cultural diversity.
Young Women’s Empowerment Foundation next event: Girl Talk V (March 2017)