COVID-19 and attention to the alarming rates of Black Women dying from childbirth have directed much-needed attention to the health care disparities in the black community. Fortunately, we have women like Ijeoma Kola, whose research broadly examines historical, social, and cultural understandings of health and disease in predominantly African and African American communities to shed light on health issues that are a crisis for our community. Her Ph.D. dissertation, “I Can’t Breathe: The Rise of Asthma in Black Urban America,” is an intellectual history of medical and cultural perceptions of race and asthma in the nineteenth and twentieth-century America.
She does not stop there, combining beauty and brains with style and substance. Ijeoma is a Public health historian, lifestyle blogger, millennial mom, and the host of the Safe Journey Retreat, a unique women’s empowerment retreat + group travel trip on the African continent.
Ijeoma’s name, in Igbo, means safe journey or literally to go well. She believes her name has manifested a life that even she didn’t think was possible.
She established her presence on Youtube but transitioned to a blogger in 2010 under the name Klassy Kinks, sharing her natural hair journey and random adventures during her college years as a grad student. In 2013, she resumed her Youtube as a vlogger or video blogger and gave her followers a visual look into her life. While doing all of this, Ijeoma obtained her Ph.D. in Sociomedical Sciences (the social science approach to studying medicine and public health) from Columbia University.
Ijeoma moved from her home of Nigeria to the States when she was only a child. But since then, she has traveled to various Asian, European, Caribbean, and African countries. Her love oftraveling is what inspired her to start the Safe Journey Retreat. This enriching getaway offers women the ability to learn, explore, and experience life while on the African continent through daily workshops, local excursions, and time for self-reflection. Stay tuned for 2021 dates.
To learn more about Safe Journey Retreat, visit www.ijeomakola.com and www.safejourneyretreat.com
“I believe that life itself is one long journey with various twists and turns, and the roads, flights, and detours we decide to take along the way are all opportunities to learn more about ourselves, our purpose on Earth, and the world around us.”– Ijeoma Kola