Cynthia James, The Extraordinary Living Project

Struck by the alarming number of African American women who come from a cycle of abuse, obesity, poor health and low self-esteem, Cynthia James, and Beth Oden set out to change the poor outcomes so many African American women experience. The Extraordinary Living Project aims to end the obesity epidemic among African American women through education and support on healthier living and spiritual empowerment.

The Extraordinary Living Project, launched in Denver, Colorado, invites selected women to participate in a 10-week intensive course that includes instruction in fitness, nutrition, cooking and emotional healing followed by personal coaching to help the women continue to progress. The Project is centered on “Freedom Circles” – groups of up to 12 African American women who learn from a nationally-recognized fitness expert and from a certified nutritionist, and also work on their personal emotional barriers with Cynthia and their Freedom Coach.

Based on empirical research concerning fitness, nutrition, and emotional health, the Extraordinary Living Project was created as a wrap-around project meant to empower African American women to help themselves, their families and their communities achieve a brighter future.

“We aim to put Extraordinary Living Projects in every major city in America and help African American women free their untapped potential and live healthier, longer, more enriched lives,” Cynthia said.

Funds from the Pollination Project will be used towards start-up expenses like training, marketing, and supplies.

To learn more about The Extraordinary Living Project, visit their website.

GRANT AWARD DATE: August 22, 2014