Links Day Childhood Obesity

By Special to the Daily World
Links Day at the Georgia Capitol 2012 took place on Wednesday, March 14, with members of The Links, Inc. from 15 Georgia chapters located in Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Fort Valley, LaGrange, Macon and Savannah attending this full day of activities.

Georgia legislators who are members of The Links – Sen. Freddie Powell Sims (District 12) and Rep. Carolyn Hugley (District  133) – also served as honorary chairs of the event and welcomed the group of over 125 women to the Georgia Capitol.  It was a lively panel dialogue devoted to the topic of “Understanding the Linkages Among Childhood Obesity, S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education and Closing the Achievement Gap” that kicked off the discussions for the day. Members of the Links continued to pursue these challenges when meeting their individual legislators from throughout the state.

Moderated by Judge Yvette Miller (Georgia Court of Appeals) and Patsy Jo Hilliard (former mayor of East Point), the panelists included Dr. Henri Treadwell, director and senior social scientist for Community Voices and professor at Morehouse School of Medicine; Dr. Bradley Scott, senior education associate with the Intercultural Development Research Association of Texas; Dr. Carmen Sidbury,  associate provost for research at Spelman College, and Tiffany Calloway Ferrell, director of regional operations, AGL Resources Inc., based in Atlanta. The panelists stressed the importance of eating healthy and the role that education plays in alerting parents and students on addressing childhood obesity.

The delegation of Links visited the Senate where Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle acknowledged The Links prior to Sen. Gloria Butler presenting a resolution recognizing The Links on the floor of the Senate. Former Southern Area Director Mary Currie addressed the Senate, reminding them that “childhood obesity has become an epidemic in Georgia and that one in every three children in our state is overweight or obese.” She also spoke about how obesity adversely impacts student performance and student achievement.

The Links also had a conversation with Dr. Bradley Scott on how volunteer work enhances the outreach efforts to tap resources that will reduce childhood obesity in the schools and community.

Legislators who met with members of The Links during their visit included Sens. Emanuel Jones  (chair of the Black Caucus), Donzella James, Ed Harbison, Vincent Fort, Lester Jackson, Miriam Paris, and Gail Davenport.

Members of the House of Representatives who visited with The Links included Calvin Smyre (“Dean” of the legislators), Roger Bruce, Billy Mitchell, Nikki Randall, Calvin Hill, Keith Heard, Winfred Dukes, Hardie Davis, Steve Henson, Wayne Howard, Quincy Murphy, Dar’shun Kendrick, Nikki Randall,

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