This Week on American Black Journal:

National Minority Health Month puts spotlight on health disparities faced by people of color

April is National Minority Health Month, an annual observance aimed at shedding light on the persistent health disparities faced by racial and ethnic minority communities. This year’s theme, “Be the Source for Better Health: Improving Health Outcomes Through Our Cultures, Communities, and Connections,” emphasizes understanding how social determinants of health impact minority health outcomes. 

Originating from National Negro Health Week established in 1915 by Booker T. Washington, National Minority Health Month gained formal recognition from Congress in 2002. It serves as a platform to educate and raise awareness about health issues affecting minority populations, urging action to promote healthfulness and reduce disparities. 

For National Minority Health Month, Dr. Hayley Thompson, director of Wayne State University’s Center for Health Equity and Community Knowledge in Urban Populations (CHECK-UP), talks with “American Black Journal” host Stephen Henderson about the efforts to tackle health inequities in Detroit and Michigan. 

They talk about CHECK-UP’s collaboration with researchers, community partners, and corporations and the importance of building trust between minority communities and medical institutions. Plus, Thompson also discusses the leading causes of death for African Americans and the importance of assessing social needs during medical encounters. 

2024 NFL Draft puts spotlight on Detroit, attracts regional tourism

About 300,000 people are expected to visit Detroit for the 2024 NFL Draft. The three-day event will be held April 25-27 in various locations downtown, including Campus Martius, Hart Plaza, Cadillac Square and Monroe Street Midway. In addition to the main NFL Draft Experience areas, there will be satellite locations for residents and visitors to experience the draft day excitement in Grand Circus Park, Harmony Park, Capitol Park, and Beacon Park. 

Beyond the draft, the city will be encouraging visitors to experience what it has to offer, including restaurants, world-class museums and award-winning parks. The 2024 NFL Draft lands in Detroit during a time when the city has also been recognized by USA Today for having the nation’s best riverwalk in the Detroit Riverwalk and the best art museum in the Detroit Institute of Arts. 

One Detroit contributor Stephen Henderson, host of “American Black Journal,” sat down with Visit Detroit President and CEO Claude Molinari and Faye Nelson from the Detroit Sports Organizing Corp. at the historic Ford Piquette Avenue Plant Museum to talk about the preparations being made to get the city ready for this major sporting event. 

They talk about the transformation of downtown, including the development of the riverfront over the last two decades. Molinari and Nelson have both played vital roles in attracting tourism to Detroit, developing the riverfront and securing major sporting events like the NFL Draft. They also discussed the Living Legacy Initiative, a program that was launched in coordination with the draft that is focused on literacy for students and encouraging active play.

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Watch American Black Journal on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 9:30 a.m. on Detroit Public TV, WTVS-Channel 56.