MADISON (WKOW) -- The first Black Women’s Health and Wellness Center in Dane County opened Saturday afternoon.
The Wisconsin based non-profit Foundation for Women's Wellness aims to empower black women and girls to build and sustain healthy lives.
The foundation was established in June 2012 and each year it has supported and impacted more than 2,000 women and girls in Dane County to reduce racial health disparities, according to a press release.
One of the biggest aspects of that disparity is the difference in infant mortality rates between black and white mothers.
Data from Public Health Madison Dane County shows black babies are 3 times more likely than white babies to die before their first birthday.
The foundation hopes to address the underlying causes and says the new space off Mineral Point Road allows the group to establish a culture of wellness through education, outreach, support circles, and powerful partnerships.
“When women come to the foundation they will find a host of opportunities like classes that help them get fit, how to eat better and how to manage their stress,” Lisa Peyton-Caire, president and founder of the Black Women’s Wellness Center said.
Peyton-Caire also added with the new space they can achieve some of their goals as a foundation by hosting yoga and meditation classes, unlike before where they used other spaces in the region.
By having this center, Peyton-Caire said, “We are filling an unmet need in our community and that our growth is really important to the full of our state.”
Mayor Satya-Rhodes Conway also attended the grand-opening and shared how essential this service is for the people of Dane County.
“When black women do well in our community, everybody does well in our community, so I’m really excited and grateful that this center is open today,” Rhodes-Conway said.
Peyton-Caire said, “this development is so key to the impact that we will continue to make in Black women’s health in Dane County and recognizing the wonderful development of our history.”
The foundation is also focused on fighting issues like infant mortality and babies with low birth weight.
Babies born to black mothers in Dane County are two times more likely than white babies to have low birth weights, which means a higher rate of infant mortality.