Health Freedom Celebration Walk Recap
On a gloriously bright Saturday in April, people of diverse ages and backgrounds gathered for the Freedom Health Celebration Walk. Hosted in collaboration with Health Freedom, Inc., a non-profit organization focused on supporting all Americans in building good health habits, the Freedom Health Celebration Walk promotes increased physical activity while making creative use of Maryland’s integral role in the Underground Railroad. As participants gathered for event registration and awaited the start of the walk, performers playing Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglas strolled about, posed for pictures, and delivered monologues. The Circle of Friends Walking Groups donned their brown shirts, with Conductors with bedazzled shirts indicating their roles in leading their group to the freedom of good health.
The event officially began with the Opening Ceremonies, given by CEO of McFarland Associates, George McFarland, who thanked and encouraged everyone to begin walking and maintaining a healthy lifestyle from that day forward. After a prayer by Dr. Adrien, the morning proceeded with special presentations, including the presentation of an award to the founder of Health Freedom Celebration Walk, Jeanne Charleston, B.S.N. ,R.N., who delivered a moving acceptance speech. During a special presentation of the Opening Ceremonies, AAHP staff announced their places of birth, showcasing the diversity of people of African decent that make up AAHP. Clinical Director Dr. Nkossi Dambita began by representing the Congo with a song introduction, followed by Cheryl Gaines, Arlee Wallace, and George McFarland citing Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi respectively.
Around 9 am, participants began the 2.75 mile trek. First, through a wide field, and then a dirt trail through the woods, up and down hills and over bridges. After walking through a narrow path through high grass, we came upon Spring Creek, a hollow tree which was used to transport messages through the Underground Railroad.