Women Standing Up for Highland Park (and Their Health)

September 21, 2022

HIGHLAND PARK, MI. — The group was midway through introductions for September’s inaugural Wellness Wednesdays at the Ernest T. Ford Recreation Center when a participant — her name was Miriam — offered her view of what the future of the program should look like.

“Women, we’re stepping up because we don’t want Highland Park to step down,’’ she said.

A few seats away, another participant, 96-year-old Clara, said: “The young people, they might move faster, but the old folks, we know the road.’’

Another offered: “Everybody says the ‘city of trees,’ I say, ‘The city of love.’’’

And so it went, two dozen women from the city of Highland Park professing love and support for the community, and each other, in get-to-know-you session facilitated by Alexis Harvey, Community Heath Worker at the SAY Detroit Family Health Clinic and the program’s community outreach coordinator (pictured above, right.)

She challenged participants to come up with topics for future Wellness Wednesdays sessions, the monthly women’s support group under the nonprofit SAY Detroit to help women connect and grow.

“What matters to you?’’ Harvey asked. “What’s on you mind?’’

The event featured representatives from Highland Park’s school board, the McLean Block Club, as well as the City of Highland Park’s Sharmaine Robinson, who serves as Senior Citizen Coordinator (pictured above, left.) In keeping it local, SAY Detroit catered turkey and corned beef sandwiches from Cakes & Shakes on Woodward Ave., which were delivered by the store’s owner, Taessia Bursey.

“It’s great to have a space in which we we can learn what’s on the mind of women in the community, and really get to know them,’’ Harvey said. “We want to let them know they have a voice, and we have a presence.’’

SAY Detroit would like to thank volunteers Chris J. and Ruma for their operations help, Chuck of SAY Play’s transportation team for shuttling the participants to and from the center, and, of course, Sue, David and their team at the Ford Recreation Center for hosting the event. 

Wellness Wednesdays’ next session is Oct. 19 at the Ford Recreation Center. The topic will be breast health awareness. Registration is required; call 313-524-2277 to reserve your spot.