Matters of the Heart

Matters of the Heart
On Saturday, July 16th, the Woman’s Ministry of Providence hosted an awe-inspiring presentation from Matters of the Heart at the Kinsman Road location. Matters of the Heart is a collaboration between four separate community partners that address those issues at the “heart” of women. They are, Dress for Success, Ubuntu Hair Love Project, Hands on Health and Pneuma Life Foundation.

The day started in the sanctuary with presentations from the four organizations.

Melony Butler is the CEO of Dress for Success-Cleveland that started in 1998. Dress for Success is a worldwide organization, existing in 24 countries that was established in 1997 with the purpose of empowering women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, the professional attire needed in the workplace and the tools to help them be successful at work and in life. Melony kicked-off the day and it was apparent from the start that she has a passion for women. She discussed how her organization serves all women and that they have a holistic program that not only provides clothing but provides the tools for achieving confidence, job and workforce readiness and to break the cycle of poverty. Post COVID, they have started going out into the community and currently are in need of purses, shoes, toiletries and blazers. If you are interested in donating, please call for a drop-off appointment at 216.881.6048. For more information about Dress for Success, please visit their website at www.cleveland.dressforsuccess.org.

Our next presenter definitely changed my idea of a beautician! Ladosha Wright is the manager of Reverence Design Team Hair Salon, located in Cleveland Heights that not only does hair but they empower people to understand their hair and how to take care of it. Free scalp and hair analysis is provided, children ARE welcomed (there are activities to keep them busy) and there are “sister salons” that address specific hair requests. Ladosha recognized a need for intervention and started the Ubuntu Hair Love Project that empowers those affected by hair shaming, hair discrimination, bullying and for those who are just confused about their hair. The word Ubuntu is from the Zulu language meaning, “I am because we are”. Ubuntu Hair Love Project is an African-centric organization, federally funded and has neighborhood connections that also provide support. Ladosha is very diverse and when talking with those who were struggling with their self-image, hair was most important. She is the author of, The Curly Hair Adventure and also the self-help book, What They Don’t Tell You at the Hair Salon”. She is also working on a documentary to be released November 11, 2022 entitled, “The Narrative – Let the Truth Be Told”. Ladosha Wright can be reached at the Reverence Design Team Salon located at 2062 S. Taylor Rd, at 216.321.1101 or visit www.rdthairsalon.com.

Next, we all were doing a double take. Our presenters from Hands on Health were identical twins, Drs. Jennifer and Jessica Macklin. They have their doctorate in pharmacology and are licensed pharmacists in four states. They let us know that every 37 seconds, someone passes away from a heart affected disease and we need to start taking better care of ourselves. Because of the loss of family members close to them, they decided to go into “heart-healthy careers and being African-American, it would be “us taking care of us”! They provided an overview of the symptoms of diabetes and high blood pressure and how to eat better. For them it was all about moderation and portion sizes when eating and small steps were better than no steps. Their energy levels were infectious and contagious and before their presentation was over, they had demonstrated how we can exercise while watching TV!
For more information about Hands on Health, visit their website at hello@handsonhealth.org.

The final presentation was from our own, Ruth Johnson-Williams representing the Pneuma Life Foundation. In support of the organization were other familiar faces, Catrice Sims, Susan Little, Latrice Johnson and Mary Ann Groves. Pneuma Life is a faith-based intervention program. Ruth has relationships with a number of local churches. Her goal is to destroy generational curses and help those involved in domestic violence and sexual abuse by enhancing their quality of life. Ruth put on a demonstration on how we “cloud” our lives with physical and mental abuses. We also had a brief “Johari” exercise that is a technique to help people better understand their relationship with themselves and others. If you would like to get in touch with Ruth or the Providence Family Ministry, contact the church office at 216.991.5315 for more information. Pneuma Life foundation contact information is www.pneumalifefoundation.org.

Then we went downstairs. What an awesome experience awaited us.

Hands on Health has a “Wealthy Heart Program” called, “Drs. Tymes 2 Teaches You” and provided blood pressure and glucose screenings. In return, we were provided a heart-healthy lunch that consisted of your choice of a veggie or turkey burger or grilled chicken sandwich. It was accompanied by baked chips, fruit cup and bottled water. And I heard no complaints!

Dress for Success had racks of clothing and other items for sale all at the bargain price of $2.00! Believe me when I tell you, wardrobes were updated!

Pneuma Life had a private room to provide more information and if any lady wanted to talk, they were made to feel comfortable and safe.

Finally, the Ubuntu Hair Love Project held the attention of a large group in Room C. Ladosha Wright is extremely knowledgeable about black hair care and shared information regarding myths about using certain “black” hair products and how to properly wash your hair. She also challenged us to think about what we have been made to believe about our hair and the money we spend on those “black” hair products that are owned by white companies. Ladosha has traveled to Africa to enhance her knowledge of black hair and gave away quite a few hair and body products. If you plan to visit the Reverence Design Team Hair Salon, bring all the products you are currently using on your hair and they will let you know, what to keep, what to throw away and why.

This was a well spent four hours!

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