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Local organization launches initiative to promote healthy lifestyles in Black community

The Zeta Kappa Lambda chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity is encouraging community members to walk outside for at least 30 minutes a day.

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Zeta Kappa Lambda Chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity launched a new initiative to encourage Black community members in the Des Moines metro to practice healthy habits. 

Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity is a member of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, a group of historically Black sororities and fraternities. The Zeta Kappa Lambda Chapter is just one of many chapters spread across the country. 

Zeta Kappa Lambda member Del Marion said the initiative was created in honor of fraternity member Broderick Daye, who passed away in 2021. 

As the first part of the initiative, the chapter hosted the B.O.O. (Building On Ourselves) Walk at Gray's Lake on June 18 as a testament to Daye's love of walking.

The walk was meant to inspire more Black men and women to stay active and get outside to better their physical and mental health. 

"We want to instill in people to be aware of their health," Marion said. "We don't want to lose people prematurely."

Another part of the initiative is to encourage Black people in the metro to walk 30 minutes daily.

Chapter president Julian Neely said this initiative is a way to help the community as a whole. 

"Some of the disparities we have in the Black neighborhood are high cholesterol, high blood pressure. Sometimes we really don't focus on mental health. By walking just 30 minutes a day, it can help us mentally and then also physically," Neely said.

The group members said its important for Black men in the metro to participate, as 38% of all Black men over 20-years-old are considered overweight, according to the CDC. 

The Zeta Kappa Lambda chapter plans to host another B.O.O walk next year. 

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