Tonight the legendary Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia will play host to the third annual Lets Move It Philly! benefit concert emceed by Black Thought of The Roots Crew and featuring performances by Marsha Ambroisus, Chill Moody, Malene Younglao, and Money Making Jam Boys’ Dice Raw, Truck North, and STS. The event’s goal is to raise funds and awareness for the GrassROOTS Community Foundation and its programs.
GrassROOTS was formed by sociologist Dr. Janice Johnson Dias back in 2010 with long time friend, Black Thought from The Roots to bring health awareness to African American and low-income communities. Based on some alarming statistics, Dr. Johnson Dias and her colleagues at GrassROOTS decided to that the best way to make a difference was to work directly within the community.
“We decided to focus on women and girls because the overwhelming majority of health risks and problems are among this community of individuals,” explained Dr. Johnson Dias. “Women and girls give back the significant majority of their earnings to family. In black, brown and poor communities, women and girls govern and guide their communities, particularly as our men are being heavily incarcerated.”
The concert is just one step in a 10 city initiative by GrassROOTS to spread awareness to childhood obesity and health inequality in low income neighborhoods; other cities involved are Augusta, Ga.; Memphis, Los Angeles and New Orleans.
In addition to raising funds and awareness for GrassROOTS, the concert will directly benefit C.H.I.C.K.S. (Creating Healthy Informed Confident Knowledgeable Selves), an after-school health program for girls at Harding Middle School located in the Frankford area of Philadelphia. The program is ran by Carson Valley Children’s Aid Society (CVCA) under the leadership of Joan Todd and provides workshops on nutrition, fitness, sexual health and health literacy.
“I benefited from programs like the ones we fund,” said Black Thought. “I went to after school arts programs all during my youth. These programs saved my life and kept me from the streets.”
“This is going to sound super cliche, but the children are our future. It’s real,” added West Philadelphia native and fellow performer, Chill Moody. “Whether it be for health issues, behavioral issues, whatever, it all needs to be addressed and programs like GrassROOTS and C.H.I.C.K.S show that they understand the importance of our youth with focus on our next generation of mothers and care takers of Philadelphia.”
In addition to the C.H.I.C.K.S program, GrassROOTS has three programs in Newark, N.J. , a summer day camp, an after school wellness program for homeless and residentially insecure families and an after school program for girls.
“We mostly fund after school programs because we know we can reach kids, their parents and the community,” added Black Thought.
For more information on the GrassROOTS Community Foundation and to purchase tickets for tonight’s event visit www.letsmoveitphilly.eventbrite.com.
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