August 23, 2008
The 5th Annual Universal Sisters was held Saturday, August 23, 2008 and was a complete sell out. Hosted by Cleveland Clinic and South Pointe Hospital and held at the Intercontinental Hotel, it is a day devoted to health issues, concerns and lessons for African American Women.
Many of the women have been coming to this event since the first one, and claim it to improve each year. Armed with Goody Bags filled with literature, health and healthy products to take home and sample, the ladies started their day at a 7:30 breakfast.
Universal Sisters regulars Gloria Muhammad
and Juantia Brown
The morning key-note speaker was Joyce Morley Ball EdD whose topic was "Discover Your Everyday Superheroes". She sums it up as, "I can I will. I am." She is a talk show host and author and a poet. Her books include Weary But Not Worn, and Seeds for the Harvest of a Lifetime.
Keynote speaker Dr. Joyce Morley-Bell Ed.D
Throughout the day there were speakers and breakout sessions all geared to teach these eager women about things such as High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, taking time out for yourself, proper food and nutrition, even hair care and make up tips.
Breakout sessions included topics ranging from "The Devil Wears Prada", presented through the eyes of a podiatrist, healthy cooking demonstrations and "Making the most of your doctor's appointments."
Brenda Brown and Geraldine McKinley getting rejuvenated at the Oxygen Bar
There was even an Oxygen Bar set up where ladies could experience first hands the proclaimed benefits of breathing in pure oxygen. The oxygen is infused with scents such as "Chillin", "Tranquility" and even "Fuzzy Navel". One woman who had been testing the oxygen for less than 3 minutes could tell it was clearing up a headache.
A'ishah Braxton with re-usable Go Green grocery bags
The message of "Go Green" was present, and re-useable grocery bags were passed out to the attendees. There was plenty of literature, information and opportunities for women to learn and share their experiences.
Eleanor Hayes of the Cleveland Clinic Office of Diversity moderated a panel of doctors addressing "Everything you wanted to Know But were afraid to ask your gynecologist.
A beautifully adorned dining room provided the thousand women with lunch and then it was back to break out sessions and the final key-note speaker, Harriett Cole. Ms Cole is the author of such books as Jumping the Broom, How To Be, Choosing the Truth: Living an Authentic Life and Coming Together and spoke to the topic "It's Your Choice."
Mary Hopper and Dorothy Oluonye
This is an annual event and women of color would be wise to mark their calendars now and get their reservations in early. It is not a "fluff" event, but rather a day of substance and solid information. Sadly, some people had to be put on a waiting list that was never used. Don't let this happen to you next year.
Linda Jones, Nancy Nolan-Jones, Jean Mason,
Roseanna Moore, Keisha Roberson (in back)
Dr. Julia Brogdon
Karen Williams - Associate Director of Universal Sisters National Foundation
Kelly Gaines-El Hunter Certified midwife
and speaker at event
Doris St. Clair and Carolyn Mack
Cleveland Clinic - Danielle Kramer,
Peter Miller, Susan Anton
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