The First Lady's 10,000 Health Ambassador Challenge

On February 11, 2012 First Lady Michelle Obama spoke at Northland Church in Longwood, Florida as part of a 3-day tour celebrating the second year of the "Let's Move" campaign to end childhood obesity.  During this speech the First Lady mentioned "No Fry Zones" and "Taste Test Sunday"- both are healthy eating initiatives born in National Baptist Churches.  She also challenged us to reach our goal of 10,000 Health Ambassadors by September 2012.  Health Ambassadors - individuals trained to lead healthy living programs at their local churches - are a product of the H.O.P.E. initiative of the Congress of Christian Education and receive education and support to impact positively the health of their local congregations. 

As we are all aware, African Americans are disproportionately affected by many preventabledisease processes.  Much of this has to do with our history, culture, social and economic factors that make change quite an uphill battle.  H.O.P.E aims to bring HOPE to our communities as we learn to take actions - one small step at a time - that will dramatically improve our health and positively impact our total well-being. 

Some of the most significant social and political changes in our country concerning African Americans got their start through education and organizing work mediated from the pulpit. 

  1. Can we reverse the trends we see in our congregational health in the same manner? 
  2. Are we up for the challenge of becoming the most healthy denomination within the next 10 years?
  3. Will Health Ambassadors make a difference? 

What do you think about that? Your comments and recommendations are welcome!




Posted by Barbara Ammons on April 22, 2012
I agree that it will make a difference, sometimes, we just need someone to not only show us the way but to lead the way!
Posted by Bridgette L. Collins on April 12, 2012
Earlier this year, me & two other fitness professionals created and implemented a fitness program at my church in Dallas, Texas (Golden Gate Missionary Baptist Church) to (1) create accountability and (2) become a direct resource for our church members to access as related to receiving strategies and guidance on how to implement and sustain long-term healthier lifestyle habits. The program is called "My 2012 Healthy Start".The program is a biblically-based program where participants receive emails/text messages focused on living healthier throughout the week and meet every Wednesday. The Wednesday session consists of an educational component focused on healthier eating and a fitness component focused on fitness activities that promote a physically fit body. As a result of the program, our program participants are making healthier choices daily and engaging in fitness activities and better managing their health concerns. As a fitness/lifestyle coach, I know it's going to take a front door approach throughout this country to educate, empower, and engage our church congregations to become healthier individuals.
Posted by John Gordon on March 27, 2012
I think every church should have at least three health ambassadors. We can use all of the encouragement and information we can get to help improve the health status in our churches.
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