The annual Soul Stroll for Health is held in Sacramento. File photo.

In conjunction with The Sacramento Banana Festival, Correctional Workers Who Care will host its 8th Annual Soul Stroll for Health on Aug. 11.

The walk will promote community wellness, literacy and bringing attention to the issue of infant mortality in the African American community.

Almost 110 infants, or 5.6 per 1,000 births, died in 2012, according to the California Department of Public Health. That’s about 25 percent higher than the statewide average of 4.5 infant deaths per 1,000 births.

Infant deaths in Sacramento County disproportionately impact minority communities.

The infant death rate among blacks in the county was three times higher in 2016 than the rate for whites; the infant death rate among Hispanics, and Latino’s was almost twice as high as among whites.

According to the Sacramento Bee, Del Paso Heights and Oak Park are at the top with the most infants deaths in California.

“This brings this issue in our own backyards,” said Diane Shepherd, a CDCR employee and founder of Correctional Workers Who Care.

“This is an amazing walk to raise awareness to the high rate of infant mortality in our minority communities, literacy and the arts,” she said. “Our kids need you. Come out and stroll with us. Wear your funny banana hats or costumes.”

Pre-registrants can pick up t-shirts and check in for the walk on Saturday, Aug. 11, at 7 a.m. at William Land Park at the corner of Sutterville Road /Freeport Boulevard. Parking at Sac City is $2 all day. Registration includes entry into the Banana Festival.

On–site registration will be 7 a.m. Aug. 11. The walk starts at 8 a.m.

For more information or registration visit: and