The very first Hip-Hop Health Fair comes to Fox Valley on Saturday.
Sponsored by People of Progression, the event will feature music by DJ Swoop and free food prepared by Jerk Joint owner Tasha Banks. Free food box and teddy bear will be provided. Free COVID vaccines and boosters will be available, along with free exercise, blood pressure screening and more. There will also be current and former college athletic players and coaches, as well as former USA Men’s National Team and Marquette University soccer star Hayden Knight.
The event will run from 10 am to 3 pm at the Wisconsin Academy of Sports, 3375 West College Avenue, in Grand Chute.
“Those who enjoy hip hop culture, sports culture, and want access to free resources” will enjoy the Hip-Hop Health Fair, said People of Progression Project Coordinator & Director Kristen Gondek. The event will offer “barrier-free vaccines and boosters, as well as unrestricted access to sports professionals who are experts in their field, college coaches who can ask any questions for kids who want to get into professional sports, ”he said.
Gondek said the organization hopes to connect people to health resources in an environment that is quick and fun – not always how people feel in the doctor’s office.
“The Hip-Hop Health Fair fundamentally addresses the need for the Black community to feel connected to mental health and public health,” he said. “We’re trying to look at the causes of systematic violence in the field of health. And the way we’ve seen it is that we need to reach young populations, so, as they grow into adulthood, it’s still used. they and are immersed in those resources.That really helps to make it a welcoming place for our community to make it fun, and reach them in ways they haven’t reached before.
He added that often, people’s first experience of mental health care mostly comes in a negative context.
“Many times access to mental health is something that is court-ordered in different populations,” he said. “That’s really a destructive way to introduce mental health. We’re trying to introduce mental health in a fun and entertaining environment in a way that doesn’t harm our Black community.
The People for Progress was founded in 2020 to “call for the collective liberation of African Americans by empowering families with the tools, training, and support resources needed to organize and ensure that their issues, concerns and values are represented in their communities, “according to its mission statement. The organization already hosts several vaccination clinics and other activities, and intends to host at least one Hip-Hop Health Fairs this year, as well as a back to school block party in August.