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Myprotein Ambassador Panel- Black History Month

Myprotein Ambassador Panel- Black History Month
Jamie Haleva
Community User1 year ago
View Jamie Haleva's profile

Here at Myprotein, we're celebrating Black History Month by asking questions and educating ourselves. We interviewed two of our ambassadors, Benjamin and Brittani, to get their take on what Black History Month means to them, Black representation within the fitness and health and wellness spaces, their role models, and more.

Benjamin Chidiebele is a licensed pharmacist, entrepreneur, and fitness enthusiast. With over 10+ years of experience, Benjamin developed a passion for helping others achieve their own health and wellness goals with the help of social media. Ben’s other interests include cars, watching sports, and fashion.Brittani McNeal is a Criminology professor, certified personal trainer, and content creator. As a former D1 Track and Field athlete, fitness has always been an important part of everything she does.

Before getting into the panel, check out Ben and Brittani pushing their mental and physical limits and testing their strength below:

What Does Black History Month Mean to You?

Brittani: Black History Month is a time when I can learn a little bit more about some of the things that have occurred in my history, and also the things we need to work on. It's a month where I get to just sit down and see what I don't know, and I learn so much and can relay it back to my students.

Ben: It's a great time to educate myself and it helps me realize that we're able to be in the positions we are now because of the adversity previous leaders and public figures had to go through. I'm grateful to be in the position I am now (as a pharmacist) because 60 or 70 years ago that wouldn't have been possible. The whole month is a great time to recognize and pay tribute to those who went through obstacles to allow us to be where we are today.

How Do You Feel About Black Representation in the Fitness World?

Brittani: Black representation is increasing in the fitness and health spaces. I love seeing so many Black fitness influencers on Instagram, and Black fitness doctors because it gives me hope that we'll be able to spread the word about how to be fit and healthy and how to help each other out.

Ben: I think that lately the amount of African American creators in the fitness space has skyrocketed and it's really nice to see. When I first started there weren't as many Black fitness influencers out there. For me, to know that I can contribute to that makes me grateful.

Are There Any Issues You Would Like to Hear More About from Black Influencers in the Health and Wellness and Fitness Spaces?

Brittani: Some communities don't have gyms or guides to tell them what their bodies may go through, and this is something that's needed because Black individuals go through different things than other races. I'm really happy to see a lot of not only African Americans but females in the fitness space talking about these things.

I would like to see fitness influencers talk more about how they balance everything and be more transparent about that. People have lives, and it's difficult to balance fitness and health with everything else going on. A lot of people don't know how to balance their different roles properly and that can take a hit on mental health. I do wish I could see that more within the influencer community, and especially African American influencers, to show people how to maintain a healthy balance of priorities.

Ben: It's important for voices to be out there to let people know how to eat healthy, especially on a budget. When I first started I was definitely on a budget. In a lot of low-income African American communities, there's fast food on every corner while the grocery stores are raising their prices for healthy items like vegetables.

I would really like to see more content that teaches people how to be healthy without breaking the bank because it's easy for people to get discouraged. It's important for people to realize that everyone has the resources available to them to live a healthy life, and I wish that was talked about more.

Are There Any African American Figures You Look Up To?

Ben: I really look up to Lebron James. I still remember the day in 2018 when he opened up the "I Promise School" in Ohio for kids who need those kinds of resources. He turned the criticism that he received that year from a Fox news anchor, who told him to just "shut up and dribble" into positive change by using his voice and platform to do good.

Jackie Robinson is another role model who broke the color barrier and must have endured incredible adversity, but he did and he excelled. Now we have a lot of African Americans that have become successful in sports. I also very much look up to my parents, who moved here from Africa and went through their own struggles but persevered and went on to accomplish great things.

Brittani: My role models when I was a kid were my math teachers. I had a tumultuous childhood and really only had school to look forward to every day. My math teachers would take care of me and take me out after school and take me to church. They made sure I had everything I needed. I credit them with the person I am today, as a professor and just a resilient person.

In the sports industry, a role model of mine is Allison Felix, the Olympic sprinter. She put down all of the nay-sayers and she fought through every single meet no matter what. Even with her pregnancy, and after Nike dropped her, she came back stronger than ever. I think that tells not just African American women, but women in general, that you can do it. She was really inspiring to me.

How Can People Become Better Allies to the Black Community Today?

Ben: Honestly, just educate yourself as much as you can. That can be as simple as doing Google searches or talking to your peers. Ask them what they've been through and open up that conversation. When you talk to people and educate yourself, you are able to start seeing things from their perspective. And hopefully, whoever gains this knowledge can use it to help contribute to making positive change in the world.

Brittani: Use your platform. We all have some type of platform whether that be social media or just walking around each and every day. I try to use my platform as much as I possibly can, not just social media but my platform as a professor. I think being able to disagree and still have conversations about difficult topics and have that open communication is really important. I think even doing something small like going to a rally or helping out in some way can open people's eyes and show them that they can make some kind of difference.

Take Home Message

We at Myprotein learned a great deal from what our ambassadors had to say about Black History Month. We hope you can go out and educate yourself, ask questions, and spread positive change not just this month but year-round.

If you would like to donate to non-profit organizations that support Black communities, check out Myproteins' donation program here and receive 5% off your Myprotein order.

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Jamie Haleva
Community User
View Jamie Haleva's profile

A Rutgers University Honors graduate, Jamie grew up on the Jersey shore and double majored in Comparative Literature and Anthropology in college. Jamie is an experienced writer in the health and wellness, biotech, and eCommerce fields. She loves writing with a purpose and has even written for the Department of Justice.

Jamie became drawn to exercise during her time in university and began to notice the physical and mental benefits of moving your body daily. Today, Jamie enjoys Pilates, light weight training, and going on long walks in nature daily.

Jamie is also passionate about eating right and prioritizing gut health and immunity. She is always trying the next innovation in health and wellness. When she’s not writing articles, Jamie enjoys reading, playing guitar, and finding dogs to play with.