From Staff Reports
NASHVILLE, TN — At its national #GoLiveBetter campaign event Saturday, Walmart partnered with a NASCAR driver in conjunction with a Health is Wealth Weekend and Black Enterprise magazine.
In conversation about mental health with Tony Waller, vice president for constituent relations and racial equity at Walmart, NASCAR driver William Darrell “Bubba” Wallace shared his story and experience, explaining elsewhere that racing is “a high-action sport,” so it’s “important to start with a clear mindset.”
Saturday was Walmart Community Day at 3458 Dickerson Pike. It was the first stop on the corporation’s #GoLiveBetter tour to bring health resources to communities close to tracks where Wallace races this year.
“I just had my blood pressure test,” Wallace said after taking advantage of one of the health services at Walmart that day. “I’m pretty low, so I’m a pretty even guy… I try to stay that way.”
During a panel discussion with Waller, Wallace encouraged people to: use mental health resources as a smart move in a challenging environment; and, stay positive.
“Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t,” Wallace said. “No one can tell you ‘No,’ except … yourself. Don’t hold anything back.”
Other panelists were leaders of faith, community and government.
Government and business leaders want to redevelop Nashville’s fairgrounds speedway, so Wallace was asked in a recorded interview: “What do you think about the project and bringing racing to an urban environment?”
“It’s great,” Wallace replied. He’s raced at the fairgrounds. “I’ve always loved the atmosphere there… My family’s from Nashville… It’s a pretty big project, but I think with the right people, they can … make it happen.”
In a public interview, Wallace spoke with Alfred Edmonds, senior vice president and the at-large executive editor of Black Enterprise, during the Health is Wealth Weekend at the Westin, 807 Clark Place.
In another interview on the same subject, Wallace said, “Black people have more trouble … with health concerns… [W]e don’t do enough to take care of ourselves.”
Noting that Walmart was providing free health checks, he said, “Walmart opened their doors to encourage people to come in and see what their numbers are, see where they stand in life and make sure they’re healthy. We just have to do better in taking care of ourselves.
“I’m not the best. I can go months on something that’s hurting me and not deal with it and let it blow over, but,” Wallace concluded, “I don’t think that’s the right way to go about it.”
In addition to those insights, the weekend included:
• Dr. Bernard Ashby’s discussion from his experience as a cardiologist, entrepreneur, and humanitarian;
• An art therapy mural and painting led by ArtzyBella;
• Displays of and discussions about “athleisure and shapewear for women of all sizes” as created by FBF Body founder Zakia Blain;
• A fitness presentation by Joyce Veronica; and,
• Speakers including Nashville Council Member Jennifer Gamble, O.N.E. the Duo, Rev. Omran Lee, and Ron Johnson.
Values Partnerships, the country’s largest Black-owned social impact agency, celebrates Walmart’s year-round commitment to include community partners so all Americans have equitable access to living a healthy and happy life. It includes support for the American Heart Association and the Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund and continues Walmart’s community health work with the Walmart and Walmart Foundation Center for Racial Equity and Walmart Health.