By Ricky Richardson, Contributing Writer

Los Angeles- Empowerment Congress West Area Neighborhood Development Council presented The Collective: Body & Soul ECWA Wellness Kickoff, Saturday, May 21, 2022.

        Organizers couldn’t have picked a better venue, the Sears Bowl to host the event. The Sears Bowl is a small, cozy area on the northwest side of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw. It also allowed for social distancing for the various resource tables, and a seamless crowd flow for attendees. This is just one of the many great, quality and outstanding events that Baldwin Hills Crenshaw shares with the community.

        The sun also made an appearance. This was a welcome respite from the May gray overcast, cloudy days experienced before this event.

        DJ Wally Ray, aka, Wallace Rayford was spinning an eclectic soundtrack of classic old and new school tunes on the ones and twos.

        Gina Fields, Chairperson, Empowerment Congress West Neighborhood Development Council served as Mistress of Ceremony to introduce special guests as well as the three engaging workout sections for the day’s program.

        ECWA is a vehicle for stakeholders to shape policies and decisions which affect their lives. The mission of Neighborhood Councils is to continuously improve the quality of life for stakeholders and ensure a safe, healthy and economically sustainable community. The areas ECWA represents include Arlington Heights, Baldwin Hills Estates, Baldwin Village, Baldwin Vista, Cameo Plaza, Crenshaw Manor, Leimert Park and Village Green. 

        This event was a great way to share with the public the role of neighborhood councils, meet and greet community representatives, invite interested parties to join or get involve in the neighborhood council or one that is in their respective community/neighborhoods.

Food Giveaway (Photo by Ricky Richardson)

        The Collective: Body & Soul ECWA Wellness Kickoff featured several fun interactive activities, Yoga with Misha the Unicorn, Self-defense workout with Johnny Ringo Revels, Sr., mask making, arts & crafts for kids, face painting, food giveaway, resource tables, as well as ninja blenders and iPad giveaways.

        Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, CD-8, was in attendance and presented the ECWA with an award in recognition for all of the good work that they do in the community for the community. Councilmember Herb Wesson, CD 10, was also present to offer words of support. ECWA Board members were introduced and addressed the crowd.

J & J Soulful Steps (Photo by Ricky Richardson)
J & J Soulful Line Dancers (Photo by Ricky Richardson)

        The dynamic duo of James and Jackie Rice of J & J Soulful Steps combines fun, good music, and soul line dancing to provide a healthy, alternative, vigorous form of exercises in a safe and spacious environment. Their motto ‘No Fault’ line dancing, means that beginners are welcome and able to learn at their own pace in an accepting and supported atmosphere. Summer will be here before you know it. Time to dust off those dancing shoes in preparation for the invites to social events. J & J Soulful Steps extend an invitation to you to join their classes, held on Mondays at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw, inside, on the Bridge, near Macy’s entrance, from 5:45-7:00pm.

        The Collective: Body & Soul ECWA Wellness Kickoff presented by Empowerment Congress West Area Neighborhood Development Council was sponsored by Baldwin Hills Crenshaw; LA Common; ECWA; Blue Shield California; Gorilla Rx; Councilmember Herb Wesson; CD-10, and Councilmember Marquecce Harris-Dawson; CD-8.

        Stay connected and follow Baldwin Hills Crenshaw, Councilmember Herb Wesson, District 10, and Councilmember Marquecce Harris-Dawson, District 8 on Social media so that you don’t miss out on upcoming events.