7 Health and Wellness Programs at HBCUs

by Aisha Bowen

Following the infamous “What the Health” Documentary, healthy eating has become a popular movement across the United States. Individuals from all backgrounds are becoming more conscious about their diet and its affects on their overall health. This movement is especially important for African Americans, as they have some of the highest rates of heart disease, obesity, high cholesterol, and diabetes in the country (diabetes.org). Today’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up highlights 7 Historically Black Colleges and Universities with health and wellness programs to help combat health issues in African American communities.

1) Spelman College (HBCU)—Atlanta, GA


Spelman College was recently featured in the New York Times for their groundbreaking Wellness Center opening. The Wellness Center is an initiative started by President Tatum and her leadership team to “improve and enhance personal and community health by embracing wellness through mind body and spirit” (spelman.edu). The Wellness Center offers  aquatics, exercise classes, meditation courses, sound therapy, yoga, and a plethora of other services. To learn more about Spelman College’s innovative approach to improving health and wellness on their campus, click here.

2) Morgan State University (HBCU)—Baltimore, MD

morgan state

Morgan State University’s wellness program entitled Morgan Mile was created to engage Baltimore communities within one mile of Morgan State. One of the program’s main goals is to improve the health of community members.

3) Fayetteville State University (HBCU)—Fayetteville, NC

fayettevillestateuFayetteville State University’s Bronco Wellness, or B-Well, program was created to promote healthy lifestyle practices and improve personal health and wellness amongst the FSU community. B-Well’s initiatives focuses on 8 tiers of “wellness” including: physical, emotional, financial, occupational, spiritual, intellectual, environmental, and and social wellness. To learn more about specific B-Well programming, click here.

4) Tennessee State University (HBCU)—Nashville, TN


Tennessee State University created a health empowerment summer camp for young people in the  greater Nashville community. Youth Active and Media Savy (YAMS) is a 2-week long summer program with the purpose of developing young people’s skills in the following areas: “critical thinking, healthful decision making, healthy meal and snack preparation, and physical activities” (tnstate.edu). YAM’s goal is to “equip African American youth with the knowledge and awareness to make better health and wellness choices” (tnstate.edu).

5) Fort Valley State University (HBCU)—Fort Valley, GA


Fort_Valley_State_UniversityFort Valley State University’s College of Agriculture, Family Science, and Technology promotes health and wellness through their “Life on the Farm” mobile exhibition. This mobile exhibit travels around Georgia educating youth throughout the state about where food originates, best farming practices, and agricultural related careers. Students not only learn about healthy ways to grow and purchase food, but also learn humane treatment of animals. To learn about the great work of “Life on the Farm” and to support their efforts, click here.

6) Tuskegee University (HBCU)—Tuskegee, AL



Tuskegee University offers a superb community program entitled “The Expanded Foods and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)” tuskegee.edu with support for both youth and adults. The adult program in particular teaches adults skills in “food production, preparation, storage, safety, and sanitation, as well as how to manage food budgets and related resources from local food assistance agencies and organizations better” (tuskegee.edu).

7)  University of the District of Columbia (HBCU)—Washington, D.C. 



The University of the District of Columbia’s created a dynamic university wide health and wellness initiative called Get Up and Move! The program is a collaborative partnership between multiple campus offices including UDC Athletics,  UDC Counseling Centers, Center for Nutrition Diet and Health, UDC’s Wellness Center, and many more.  Get Up and Move’s activities include (but are not limited to) “physical activity, disease prevention workshops, health promotion programs and learning about healthy lifestyles in a fun, interactive way” (udc.edu). Click here to learn more about Get Up and Move’s resources for the university community.

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