By Helen A.

National Minority Health Month (NMHM), celebrated every April, raises awareness about health disparities that affect people from racial and ethnic minority groups. Positive action is encouraged through providing health education, including early detection, and management of disease complications.



According to the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities: “The origin of National Minority Health Month is in the 1915 establishment of National Negro Health Week by Booker T. Washington. In 2002, National Minority Health Month received support from the U.S. Congress with a concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 388) that “a National Minority Health and Health Disparities Month should be established to promote educational efforts on the health problems currently facing minorities and other health disparity populations.” The resolution encouraged “all health organizations and Americans to conduct appropriate programs and activities to promote healthfulness in minority and other health disparity communities.”

In the State of Indiana, April is also the month of the Indiana Black Barbershop Health Initiative. The IBBHI is an event of the Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males. Free blood pressure, blood glucose, and body mass screenings are provided on a drop-in basis at Black barbershops across the state on Saturdays in April. Although COVID postponed the annual event in 2020 and 2021, it is back this year.

Evansville’s designated Saturday is April 16, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Nine barbershops are participating this year. They include:

Participating Barbershops

Fila’s Designs1010 S. Kentucky Avenue Evansville, IN 47714
Jerald’s Barbershop1337 E. Walnut St.Evansville, IN 47714
Shark’s Den Barbershop765 Lincoln AvenueEvansville, IN 47713
Lynch’s House of Coiffure555 S. Kentucky AvenueEvansville, IN 47713
Going Forward Barber & Beauty Shop1015 E. Riverside DriveEvansville, IN 47714
Verna’s Hair Emporium1041 S. Weinbach AvenueEvansville, IN 47714
Super Fresh1101 Lincoln AvenueEvansville, IN 47714
Chinno’s2417 Washington AvenueEvansville, IN 47714
N-Handz Barber & Beauty Shop1523 S. Green River Rd.Evansville, IN 47715

The Evansville Commission on the Social Status of African American Males (ECSSAAM) has been the local sponsor for the event since 2011. The Evansville-Vanderburgh County Human Relations Commission provides administrative support to the ECSSAAM. Due to the diligent efforts of numerous volunteers, the event has been successful every year in raising awareness of the importance of knowing one’s blood pressure and blood sugar numbers, as well as body mass index. By providing screenings in a comfortable, no-pressure setting, individuals learn how to seek help if their numbers need attention. This year, there will also be information on prostate health as well.

Registered Nurse Christa Minor, Mayor Lloyd Winnecke, and EVPL Community Health Librarian Helen Azarian at Lynch’s House of Coiffure at the IBBHI event in 2018.


As part of EVPL’s community health outreach work, working alongside its community partners in initiatives such as the IBBHI improves the overall health of the entire community. By addressing gaps in social determinants of health such as access to healthcare, child and adult literacy, and more, the library proves its relevance as a vital, contributing member that enhances the community it serves.

Helen A.
Community Health Librarian

Helen A.

Give her a crossword puzzle to work, and Helen is one happy camper. She also enjoys making recipes healthier, developing her green thumb, and tracking her daily steps on walks with her husband.

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