Conference to address issues facing Mississippi men


By Bennie Foster, M.Ed.

Our health must be our priority.  For years, people have uttered the phrase, your health is your wealth.  Sadly, for a great majority of African American men, the balance in their health and wellness account is very low or completely in overdraft.  Data from various research studies illustrate that Black men have the highest rates of comorbidities (heart disease, diabetes, and kidney disease). Being uninsured or underinsured increases the lack of access to quality health care.  When combined, these factors equal premature death and lower quality of life as we age.

These daunting issues and more were the impetus for the Black Men’s Health Equity Council’s upcoming Men’s Conference.  The conference will be held 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday, August 5, 2023, at the Bennie G. Thompson Academic and Civil Rights Research Center at Tougaloo College.  The theme is Mississippi Men Under Construction Conference – Building Bridges of Respect, Relationships, and Legacy. 

The Institute for the Advancement of Minority Health (IAMH) created the Black Men’s Health Equity Council to address the multifaceted health crises confronting African American men within our state.  Powered by research data collected by IAMH, the Men’s Conference will identify strategies to reduce disparities in health, economics, and social justice.  This gathering of men is unique in that it takes on a multigenerational approach to address problems and develop solutions.   The Men’s Conference will build bridges between generations of men to educate, elevate and improve our community.  These courageous conversations will strengthen the physical, fiscal, and emotional health of those in attendance.

Outstanding speakers, inspiring presenters, free health screenings and a plethora of valuable resources will be available.  As chairman of this one-of-a-kind conference, I personally invite the men of Mississippi to converge on the historic campus of Tougaloo College on August 5.  The conference is free.   So, there is no excuse not to join us as we take a community-based approach to improving every aspect of men’s health.  Black Men let’s do this! You owe it to yourself and to those who love you. See you August 5.   

For more information regarding registration or sponsorship, call 601-826-1200.  Register at


The Institute for the Advancement of Minority Health was established in 2019 to reduce health disparities among disadvantaged and underserved minority populations in Mississippi through the development of collaborative partnerships with community stakeholders and the implementation of evidence-based public health interventions with a particular focus on health equity. 


Bennie Foster, M.Ed.

Bennie Foster, M.Ed., is a native of Jackson, MS.  Foster holds a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from Jackson State University and a master’s in education administration, Teacher Leadership from Strayer University. He currently resides in Jackson, MS and Fort Lauderdale, FL.  He navigates to various cities and states providing much-needed mentorship, models, trainings, and programs that are designed to impact, influence, and support our youth and young adults worldwide.  Foster is the chairman of the Black Men’s Health Equity Council’s Men’s Conference.


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