The first-ever Women’s Wellness Forum to be held at the Reynolds Homestead in Critz is set for Sunday, Feb. 19. Sponsored by Total Fitness, the event – HER Story: A celebration of stories from inspirational Black women – will be held from 2-4 p.m.
Assistant Manager for Community Engagement and Educational Programs Melanie Gilbert said three female speakers will be featured. Each will discuss multiple aspects of women’s physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
Ingram Land-Deans, a speech-language pathologist, North Carolina A&T State University professor, and motivational TEDx speaker is the first scheduled speaker. She is expected to kick off the program with foundational, spiritual-based words of wisdom to “inspire, deliver hope, and motivate mind-shift to experience joy amidst the trials and challenges of life.”
Other speakers include Martinsville business owners Jenise Bryson Wooten, of Body by Jenise, and Natalie Hodge, of Rudy’s Girl Media.
Wooten will challenge participants to transition to a mindset that allows them to wake up each day with the thought that they will try to do a little bit more than the day prior. Her remarks will encourage attendees to take small steps towards a more health-focused lifestyle.
Hodge will lead a “Guts over Buts” session, exploring how negative self-talk, doubt, past trauma, and negativity can be an unfortunate barrier to success. In this session, she will share simple yet powerful tools to move past excuses and into a space of optimal results in all areas of personal and professional life.
Gilbert said the forum “was created in the hopes of not only honoring and celebrating Black history month but also in the hopes of building lifelong relationships with all the diverse and amazing women in and around the Reynolds Homestead community.”
In addition to celebrating, Gilbert said the forum’s mission is to empower women to take the time to pause for a wellness check and those who attend to leave with practical tools for making wellbeing a priority.
“Our hope is all women leave feeling affirmed in the value they bring to their families and communities,” she said.
Gilbert said the idea for the forum came about when she was talking to Kristin Hylton, communication and program support assistant at the Homestead.
“We were sitting in a meeting, and she said, ‘wouldn’t it be great to have a TED talk speaker come to the Homestead and do a talk.’ Gilbert said she replied, “I know one.”
When speaking to Land-Deans, Gilbert said she shared the history of the Reynolds Homestead as a historical plantation.
Gilbert said Land-Deans responded “‘Oh my gosh yes. How powerful is it going to be to have African American women empowering other women at this place.’
Then, Gilbert said she thought about turning the event into a forum and having two other female speakers that would embody the well-being of the spirit, mind, and body.
Wooten “is our second speaker,” Gilbert said and added that Wooten is from Martinsville and has her own company called Body by Jenise. “She’s a personal trainer and she is so into caring about people and the health of women and sharing her story of what she went through.”
Hodge is the scheduled third speaker, Gilbert said, adding that each of the three women brings something different to the table in terms of content and experience.
The Martinsville & Henry County Jazz Quartet will kick off the event.
Tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased at the door or online at www.reynoldshomestead.vt.edu.
For additional information, call Gilbert at (276) 694-7181 ext. 22, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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