Healthy Living for All: New Jersey YMCA State Alliance Leads Charge for Health Equity, Presents Statewide Conference May 9-10 in Long Branch

Published April 18, 2024
Apr. 18, 2024 / PRZen / LONG BRANCH, N.J. -- As part of its continued efforts to build healthier, more resilient communities for all New Jerseyans, the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance (the Alliance) is pleased to present the 11th annual Culture of Health Conference May 9-10 at the Ocean Place Resort & Spa in Long Branch.

This year's conference, themed "Navigating Systems for Deepening Community Impact," promises to be the largest event of its kind in New Jersey, drawing policymakers, community leaders, social justice advocates and health professionals from all corners of the state who are dedicated to advancing health equity.

"Our shared aim for New Jersey is to create a vibrant place where all people and communities thrive, and where a person's zip code no longer predicts their ability to live a healthy life," said the Alliance's newly appointed Chief Executive Officer Julie Gallanty.

Gallanty noted that the Alliance leads a coalition of 30 independent YMCA associations throughout New Jersey, and serves as an advocate to advance public policy, statewide initiatives, strategic partnerships, and service delivery that help improve community health and advance equity for families.

The two-day interactive conference will spotlight critical topics for building thriving communities, including food access, healthcare, behavioral health, education, neighborhood and physical environment, safety and social connectedness, and economic stability.

"By addressing these systemic factors, we aim to mitigate the social determinants of health that are often beyond a person's control - where they are born, grow up, live, work, and age," Gallanty emphasized.

The event will feature two keynote speakers: Siomara Wedderburn, LSW, chief executive officer of Be Inc. Collective, renowned for her expertise in health equity and trauma advocacy, fostering healing-centered spaces through decades of social work experience, and Jean-Pierre Brutus, Esq., Ph.D., senior counsel for the Economic Justice Program at the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, a leading voice in reparations advocacy with a wealth of experience in housing rights and community dialogues.

Marissa Davis, the Alliance's vice president of Community and Equity Initiatives, describes this year's event as an "interactive experience" fostering intentional connections and relationship-building. Attendees will engage with speakers and peers through dynamic breakout sessions, empowering keynotes, and vibrant networking opportunities.

The statewide event will begin with registration and check-in from 1- 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 9, followed by an invitation-only beachside reception. Registration and check-in will resume Friday morning, May 10, and continue through 3 p.m. Tickets are $45 and include optional morning wellness activities, breakfast and lunch.

Conference sponsorship opportunities ranging from $2,500 to $50,000 are available to purchase online along with tickets at Advance registration is recommended.

For more information, email

About the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance

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Source: New Jersey YMCA State Alliance

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