August 22, 2012

The Department of Community Justice (DCJ) North Office partnered with the County Health Department to pilot a health fair targeted to the needs of African Americans living in North/Northeast Portland neighborhoods. Probation/Parole Officer Javelin Hardy helped organize the event on July 20th and helped convert the parole/probation office into a friendly forum where local residents could access information and services. The theme was “Mind, Body and Soul healing the WHOLE you.” Hardy said the motivation behind the event was to create a comfortable and culturally-responsive forum where African Americans could obtain good information about matters affecting their health.

This is the first time an event of this type had been attempted and organizers were very pleased by the community response with over 32 participants. Marcus Sharp was the keynote speaker who addressed the group about the impact of trauma and PTSD on the Black Community. Participants were also able to access information about STD/STI protection and prevention through the African American Sexual Health Equity Program. Free and confidential HIV testing was offered. Most of all, each person who participated was given an open forum to ask questions with 6 nurses in attendance and 2 community speakers from Avel Gordly Center and Cascadia-Garlington.

In addition to all of the community participants, the event greatly benefitted by donations from: Safeway (on MLK), New Seasons (on 33rd), and Whole Foods (on 15th).  

View slideshow of event