FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Members of the Northwest Arkansas community participated in a 5K run to raise awareness about the health disparities towards black, indigenous, and people of color.

Saturday morning, the Northwest Arkansas NAACP held a 5K race to get people active, healthy, and to fight for equality in healthcare.

People of all ages and different backgrounds came to Veterans Park in Fayetteville on Saturday morning to run in the name of healthcare.

“Health is a big issue for people of color but it’s not something that cannot be overcome,” said Coby Davis, president of the NWA NAACP. “We know that there are some people who have some real challenges and I think just about us joining in this fight together, hopefully we can get resources in the hands of people who need them.”

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, people across the country in some racial and ethnic minority groups experience higher rates of poor health and Davis wants to change that statistic.

“We hope that this conversation has open doors and we’re very excited about welcome health being here,” said Davis.

Monika Fischer-Massie is the executive director at Welcome Health Clinic in Fayetteville.
She says it’s a clinic to provide free services for those who are in need.

“We provide free health and dental care to low-income individuals there are many people still don’t have insurance or they have insurance they cannot afford the deductibles and co-pays,” said Fischer-Massie.

According to the CDC, some of these health disparities in minorities can stem from their socioeconomic factors such as age or income.

“It’s always difficult to find access to care, but we’re here for them. Welcome health has opened doors and is welcoming anybody who needs our help,” said Fischer-Massie.

Overall, Davis says it’s important to stay healthy and for everyone to have access to proper healthcare.

“Taking care of yourself is not a faux pas. It’s definitely something that we want everybody doing and we want people to take care of themselves,” said Davis.

Davis says the money raised Saturday from the race will go towards the NAACP Scholarship program that supports young people trying to further their education.