Black + Well had the opportunity to attend 'The Lives of Men' Wellness Conference in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday, March 24th. Panelist and vendors alike all passionate about the state of health in minority communities, came together to share. Having real conversations, about real issues that plague our communities, and target our men. Founder Jason Rosario acknowledges the long overdue need for men of color to feel comfortable in safe spaces, surrounded by other men whom they can relate to.
"Our work begins with the understanding that in order to become better men, we need to examine ourselves and how we show up in various spaces - family community, professional and social settings." - TLoM
"The Lives of Men (TLoM) is an integrated media and lifestyle company that chronicles unique stories from the perspective of men of color. We inspire, activate and nurture the development of well-rounded men while serving as a compass to help them navigate their life’s journey. The Lives of Men is creating an inclusive, interactive community that serves the needs of men of color while helping to redefine masculinity within the context of mainstream expectations." - TLoM
We chatted with keynote speaker of the day Malik Yoba, about where he feels wellness begins. Here's what he had to say:
"Wellness begins in the womb" says Yoba; actor and activist. Coming from a home that "made homemade bread and prepared our own chickens", having bright plates with fresh fruits and vegetables, Yoba knew wellness had to start with the consciousness of the mind and the execution at home. "We need to educate ourselves, as black men, women, parents, and friends on the benefits of eating well for our bodies," Yoba says. Understanding the intricacy of our interiors and how eating what grows from the earth is beneficial for balance, having clear thoughts and having clean energy is also paramount. Wellness does not stop at going to the gym, it's making those lifestyle changes to live more holistically and being more in tune with your body and the way it should function.
'The Lives of Men' represents forward thinking and proactive demonstrations, of how men and women of color must come together collectively for the preservation of our people, and the communities we call home. “The topic of mental health is rarely if ever, discussed in communities of color,” says Jason Rosario. The TLoM is a much-needed outlet within the wellness space, which can be a major force towards helping men achieve mind, body, and spiritual wholeness.
To support and learn more about The Lives of Men, visit their website at www.thelivesofmen.com. Also, follow them on social media @thelivesofmen via (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)
Chelsei O’joe: Creative, NYC Community Event Coordinator.