By Nathan James
A two-day marathon health awareness campaign, aimed at promoting better medical care for men of color, is set to arrive at a Harlem barbershop this summer. The fifth annual “Cutting For A Cure” event, featuring a dozen celebrity barbers who will cut hair throughout, will run from July 15 to 17 at Denny Moe’s Superstar Barbershop.
Owner Dennis “Denny Moe” Mitchell, diagnosed with type II diabetes six years ago, says he founded the program because so many people of color are reluctant to see their doctors.
“I’ve probably had [diabetes] a long time, but I didn’t realize it until I became familiar with the symptoms”. The overall health of Black people is affected by various “social determinants”, according to a statement released by Cutting For A Cure, including poverty, lack of education, unequal access to healthcare, stigma, and racism.
Mitchell says his organization is trying to remediate these factors, by providing vital healthcare information to underserved individuals, thereby minimizing their risk of contracting preventable diseases such as HIV, or longstanding ailments, such as hypertension or diabetes.
The marathon’s goal is to connect people with health education resources “in an environment where they already feel comfortable–the barbershop”. Working in partnership with Marsha Bonner of Helping Us Grow Spiritually (HUGS), Cutting For A Cure seeks to empower the local community.
“We need to continue to bring together our collective community, to promote physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual wellness,” Bonner observed, ” and I couldn’t be more honored to produce this Marathon and partner with Denny Moe, to continue to spread awareness about health and wellness in our community.”
To meet fundraising needs for the marathon, the group has started an “I HATE” campaign, which stands for Health, Awareness, Treatment, and education. This campaign will employ videos and photos to share stories about the way illnesses affect people’s lives.
Celebrities such as the stars of “Barbershop 3“, including Ice Cube, Common, Eve, and Cedric The Entertainer, and R&B singer Bobby Brown have also supported this campaign with their participation.
The event will feature wellness seminars, free medical screenings, and all kinds of special guests and round-the-clock entertainment, with a celebrity summer stage sponsored by COPETV, and hosted by Toni Belafonte.
2496 Frederick Douglass Blvd
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