By Jordyn Taylor
The Truth Reporter
The sounds of Black joy have returned to the streets of Toledo. On June 18, The Community Solidarity Response Network (CSRN) partnered with the brothers of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. Xi Tau Chapter and Pathway Toledo to host the Community Health and Wellness Fair at Mott Branch Library, celebrating Juneteenth, Father’s Day, and the importance of acknowledging mental health within the black community.
The turnout for the event exceeded expectations as attendees indulged in the free food, bounce houses, and giveaways. Throughout the event, the team of organizations raffled off several Air Fryers and dozens of bikes to local families. The only requirement? To explore the mental health and community resources stationed around the park.
The ring of tables and tents hosted representatives from the Street Outreach Program, Lucas County Early Headstart, Read for Literacy, Mental Health & Recovery Services Board of Lucas County, Toledo Fire & Rescue Department, Brothers United, and many others who made appearances throughout the afternoon.
Organizers of the event urged attendees to take advantage of the free health services that were also available like CPR training, oral cancer screenings, prostate exams, and quick blood pressure and glucose checks provided by Promedica.
Khary McClellan III, a junior pre-med student at Eastern Michigan University, exclaimed how refreshing it was to see so many resources geared towards black men specifically.
“You don’t really see that often in Toledo. I think that this event made it clear that Black men were to be celebrated, valued, and cared about with respect to their health. Between it being Juneteenth and Father’s Day weekend. The love was in the air”, McClellan said.
Entertainment was provided by the winners of the Black Brilliance Competition, soprano Amber Cierra Merritt and mezzo-soprano Ikpemesi Oluwafifunmi Ogundar, who filled the air with beautiful songs and melodies; additionally, the Squad Goals Competition Dance Team (Squad Goals United By Dance) took the stage and performed their winning dance routine.
Many families left feeling more informed and connected to the supportive services around the city, fulfilling the hopes of the event. Citing such success, the team of organizations hopes to hold this event annually in the future.