Biddy Mason (File photo)

The Biddy Mason Community Wellness Center will be a health and medical resource for South L.A. residents. A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the facility takes place on Friday, September 29, at 11 a.m., at 2249 S. Hobart Street in Los Angeles.

The new center, operated by the South Los Angeles Community Development and Empowerment Corporation (SLACDEC), will offer medical screenings, mental health group therapy, and nutrition and cooking classes.  Other sessions will provide instruction in African dance, tai chi, yoga, fitness, doll making, and quilting. In addition, the campus will host a community garden with 10 raised beds and three fruit trees.

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Pastor J. Edgar Boyd (File photo)

“We are excited to open a brand-new wellness center right in our own community,” said Pastor J. Edgar Boyd, pastor of First AME Church of Los Angeles and founder of the SLACDEC. Also, the center reflects Boyd’s ongoing efforts to address the social and economic issues affecting the Black and Brown communities.

Another important aspect of the center is that it’s named after Biddy Mason, a former slave who was a nurse, philanthropist and real estate entrepreneur. In 1872, Mason donated the land to establish First African Methodist Episcopal Church, the oldest church founded by Blacks in L.A.

After obtaining her freedom from slavery, Mason accumulated close to $300,000 that she shared with charities and the poor. She also opened a traveler’s center, operated an elementary school for Black children and was one of the first African Americans to purchase land in the city.

The public is invited to the ribbon-cutting ceremony, said the Rev. Judi Wortham, SLACDEC executive director, who added, “Join us for food, fun and fellowship as we let the healing begin.

To learn more, call (323) 419-3369 or email [email protected].