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Group endeavors to bring ‘brothers to breakfast table’


Black Women for Wellness honors men from community

“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane.” - Martin Luther King Jr.

Black Women for Wellness (BWW) is a reproductive justice, community-based organization committed to the health and well-being of Black women and girls. It works to achieve its mission through health education, advocacy, and empowerment.

But sometimes it’s not all about women. Sometimes the men help out. That’s the concept behind BWW’s “Bring A Brotha To Breakfast” event.

“It’s the time we honor the men who support Black women and girls,” said Anthnette Drone, program coordinator for membership; volunteers; and Sisters@Eight, the monthly, hot topic meetings of the BWW.

“On one occasion, we were at Dulan’s and this Black motorcycle club was there,” Drone said, noting that the motorcyclists saw women taking packages into the restaurant and volunteered to help. “And they stayed for the conversation. They said ‘What about the men? Have something for us.’ So Janette Robinson-Flint, our executive director, decided we needed to recognize them. It’s been going on for about 15 years.”

This year’s honorees included Dwayne A. Wyatt, a recently retired city planner, who is serving as a board member of Downtown Crenshaw Rising; James V. Burks, who after retiring from LA’s Department of Cultural Affairs, now volunteers to bring attention to the need to rehabilitate theaters in South LA as a board member of Leimert Park Village, Inc.; and Steven Richard, who in his role as chief of operations at Ultimate Restoration Unlimited leads participants in the Vermont Square Community Garden.

The event also included a men’s conversation panel and men’s health check-in, while the program’s booklet listed mental health resources, hotlines for substance abuse and depression; and wellness tips.

The suggested seven tips were: Meditation; listing things to be grateful for; exercising; making room for joy; saying no; dedicating one day of the week as a personal day; and incorporating healthy habits.

The day’s program also listed local bookstores and suggested readings, including “Women, Class and Race” by Angela Davis.

“We are checking in with the brothers,” Drone said. “Last year, we talked about the concept of wellness: Financial wellness, physical wellness, emotional wellness.”

Drone began her association with BWW nearly eight years ago. First as a participant and volunteer. She was hired as an employee of the organization seven years ago.

She coordinates the meetings of Sisters@Eight, which take place on the second Friday of each month at 9:30 a.m. The next meeting will be held at the Department of Water and Power building, 4030 Crenshaw Blvd. For more information on the July 14 gathering, visit

“We’re going to be focusing on listening to our elders,” Drone said. “We’ll be teaching people how to conduct oral interviews for oral histories.”

UCLA will be recording the histories of two elders in the community and maintain copies, Drone explained.

“This is part of our culture, our Black culture that we need to preserve,” she said. “My idea is to interview an older woman in LA politics or an older man in entertainment.”

Persons interested in being the subject of this project, can contact Drone at (310) 431-5690.

During election time, the Sisters@Eight event focuses on voter education. BWW actually publishes a proposition guide book with other organizations and makes sure to include information on the candidates running for the judge seats.

“Those decisions will affect our lives and impact us,” Drone said. “Voter education is part of our empowerment.”

Earlier this year, a 31-year-old Black woman died shortly after childbirth at Centinela Hospital Medical Center. Robinson-Flint issued the following statement:

“We can not continue to wake up to the news of another senseless death of a Black woman; April Valentine’s death is a tragedy, her new born child, family and our community will experience. It is one experienced too often  by far too many Black women and families, one more often preventable with our medical technology if only they would listen to Black women.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined that 4 out of 5 pregnancy related deaths are preventable –– that is 80% of all pregnancy related deaths. Unfortunately, steep disparities persist between Black women and their counterparts. Los Angeles county data reveals that giving birth while Black results in an approximately 3-fold increase in the risk of maternal death, a trend that proves consistent with statewide and national trends.

“Black Women for Wellness (BWW) and Black Women for Wellness Action Project (BWWAP) have spent years advocating to address and eliminate the Black maternal health inequities gap,” Flint said. “Recognizing that racism and implicit bias, which looks like denial and dismissal of Black women’s pain and concerns during childbirth or poor quality care, are root causes of the the disparities that we see, BWW sponsored the Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Act, which mandates interventions to address implicit bias among perinatal providers in California.

“The senseless, preventable deaths of Black women and birthing people due to pregnancy are devastating to our communities and must end. With innovative laws on the books in California that re-imagine how maternal healthcare is delivered, all of the avenues and interventions at our disposal must be seriously engaged to ensure that Black women and birthing people can have joyous births that result in thriving families.”