Hamil R. HarrisHealth

Virtual Symposium to Address Men’s Physical, Mental Health Issues

As the potentially deadly coronavirus continues to spread — with men of color among the most vulnerable — an all-male panel will talk frankly about related issues during an online conference on June 25 as Men’s Health Month winds down.

The event, titled “Where Is Your Head At,” will run from noon to 2 p.m. and is being sponsored by Prestige Community Resources and Amerigroup DC, which are co-hosting the symposium to coincide with other local events planned for the month.

“Amerigroup DC is committed to supporting events and initiatives that help improve the health and well-being of our members and the communities that we serve,” said Linda Elam, CEO and president of Amerigroup DC. “Through our support of this symposium, we will raise awareness about men’s health with a focus on encouraging boys, men, and their families to make health-affirming choices.”

Wards 5, 7 and 8 are hardest hit by a range of health and social justice issues in the District.

“We are living in an unprecedented time where we have multiple crisis situations happening around us and to us,” said Willie Jolley, one of the symposium’s scheduled speakers. “If we don’t address issues regarding our physical and mental health, we are going to lose. We are dealing with a pandemic, a downturn in economy, massive job loss, racial strife and social upheaval. How do you win in all of this?”

Jolley said that no matter one’s plight, change doesn’t occur without a game plan.

“You have to have a plan and a strategy,” Jolley said. “It starts with a mindset. If you want to win in this life, then you want to join us.”

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Hamil R. Harris

Hamil Harris is an award-winning journalist who worked at the Washington Post from 1992 to 2016. During his tenure he wrote hundreds of stories about the people, government and faith communities in the Greater Washington Area. Hamil has chronicled the Million Man March, the Clinton White House, the September 11 attack, the sniper attacks, Hurricane Katrina, the campaign of President Barack Obama and many other people and events. Hamil is currently a multi-platform reporter on the Local Desk of the Washington Post where he writes a range of stories, shoots photos and produces videos for the print and online editions of the Post. In addition, he is often called upon to report on crime, natural disasters and other breaking issues. In 2006 Harris was part of a team of reporters that published the series “Being a Black Man.” He was also the reporter on the video project that accompanied the series that won two Emmy Awards, the Casey Medal and the Peabody Award. Hamil has lectured at Georgetown University, George Washington University, Howard University, the American University, the University of Maryland and the University of the District of Columbia. He also lectures several times a year to interns during their semester in the District as part of their matriculation at the Consortium of Christian Colleges and Universities.

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