AUSTIN (KXAN) — Volunteers from an Austin nonprofit hosted an event Saturday at the Montopolis Recreation Center to help raise awareness of the health disparities affecting African Americans in their community.
Black Americans are far more likely than any other race to have kidney failure. For every three people living with kidney failure in the United States, one is African American, according to the American Kidney Fund.
Additionally, blacks have higher rates of illness and death than whites. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, people of color are more likely to report being in poor health, die of cancer, and experience barriers when accessing health care.
“Our goal was to have a Black family exhibit to expose some of the health disparities and the things we can do about them to make a difference,” said Dr. Dominique Isaac Williams, who worked there with Links Incorporated, a large national black women’s organization.
On Saturday, volunteers from local chapters of Links Incorporated offered blood pressure screenings, free mammograms, fitness classes, healthy snacks and information about health disparities affecting their community, especially kidney disease.
“By bringing awareness to how these chronic diseases like kidney disease, we hope to intervene so people don’t progress to dialysis and kidney failure,” Williams said.
Today was the first gathering of its kind, but Shana Nichols, president of The Lone Star Chapter of Links Incorporated, hopes to host more in the future.
“Taking care of yourself is always important. So we want to make sure our community knows that we are here to provide services today and in the future. And knowing that your body is your only one and that you want to take care of it while you’re here,” Nichols said.