Detroit neighbors find a healthy path forward

Community News

Foundation, Detroit
On the left: Asia Rawls stands outside the Kemeny Recreation Center before the health fair. On the right: Frances Turner’s son Jimmie participated in a yoga and meditation session at the event.

Detroit neighbors find a healthy path forward

  • The Health and Fitness Fair sponsored by Marathon Petroleum's Detroit refinery brought together health advocates and the community in Southwest Detroit.
  • A dozen health resource organizations shared information about healthy eating, exercise and mental health.
  • Vendors and visitors each felt the health fair was an inspiring way to promote a healthier lifestyle.

“I couldn’t think of a better way to motivate and celebrate health and fitness for all ages, genders, and ethnicities.”

A vegan enthusiast who loves to run found herself inspired to find more ways to stay healthy. In June, health advocate and business owner Asia Rawls hosted a booth at the Health and Fitness Fair at the Kemeny Recreation Center in Detroit. She regularly attends health events in the city to learn and educate others and said this fair was one of the best she’s ever experienced.

“It felt great to immerse myself in Southwest Detroit and meet new faces. I couldn’t think of a better way to motivate and celebrate health and fitness for all ages, genders, and ethnicities,” said Rawls, owner of Brown Bambi, a health and fitness business that hosts health classes and pop-up exhibits. “It meets the mission and vision of a forward city by putting people first. By the end, we were all inspired to live healthier as a community.”

The Health and Fitness Fair sponsored by Marathon Petroleum’s Detroit refinery was part of its Fueling Detroit Event Series. Attendees had the opportunity to visit a dozen health resource organizations that ranged from physical to mental health.

Frances Turner grew up in Southwest Detroit and said after losing several relatives to health issues like heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and colon cancer, she realized that life cannot be taken for granted.

“I decided to attend the health fair, because I believe knowledge is very important,” said Turner. “It is the perfect place to gain resources and explore healthy alternatives. It is also nice to get out into the community and network with like-minded neighbors.”

Turner took her 16-year-old son with her, and they both participated in yoga and meditation classes.

“I learned yoga positions that I can do at home. The instructors were very thorough, and I intend to continue those exercises,” said Turner. “I encourage everyone to catch the next health event. You’ll have a good time and enrich your lifestyle.”

The Detroit refinery brought together people and organizations to teach healthy eating and cooking classes, two group fitness classes and a sound meditation session that had residents feeling mentally refreshed. All residents in attendance were offered free fresh produce boxes from Forgotten Harvest and a warm meal home from the 48217 food truck, Clean Street Food, and fresh squeezed juice from Southwest Detroit small business El ArteSano Juice and Café Bar. The refinery’s women’s employee network chapter partnered with Helping Women Period to pass out free feminine hygiene products.

"There is so much potential for this to grow bigger,” said Rawls. “I look forward to more events like this in the future.”

Save the Date

The Fueling Detroit Event Series is hosting a Back-to-School Bash on Sept. 10 at the Kemeny Recreation Center. Parents and students can pick up school supplies. The event will also feature educational resources and sign up for a coding bootcamp and sports activities.