HOUSTON - Diane L. Tribitt, CEO and Founder of D’Lyric Inspired hosted the inaugural Houston Vitiligo Awareness Movement “Embrace Who You Are” in conjunction with the Vitiligo Bond Inc., group to kick-start a 30-City “Be The True You” Tour on Saturday.
The event was held at The Preston Theater, formerly known as "The Barn," located in Downtown Houston. Both the Atlanta and Houston support group aimed to educate the public about Vitiligo; a condition in which a loss of cells that give color to the skin (melanocytes) results in smooth, white patches in the midst of normally pigmented skin. Vitiligo began getting attention when celebrity Michael Jackson was said to have it and more recently because of Winnie Harlow, who competed on the top-rated show, America’s Next Top Model.
Vitiligo Bond Inc., (VBI), which was founded in November 2010 by Natasha Pierre-McCarthy, who is also a Vitiligan (a person with Vitiligo). VBI is a registered nonprofit 501c(3) organization based out of Atlanta, GA. that aims to provide support for those living with Vitiligo. Currently, Vitiligo Bond Inc. is in collaboration with Congress to make Vitiligo an official observance day in the United States. VBI has grown into a worldwide support group, through its Facebook and social media presence. Together, both support groups plan to increase awareness about Vitiligo using an approach that they hope will generate a positive outreach of interest. Perry Whaley, also a Vitiligan and spokesperson for VBI, kicked off the 30-City “Be The True You” tour here in Houston. Perry acted as one of the guest speakers on the panel. Other speakers also included Ellis Grimes, Board Certified Dermatologist and Pharmacist, and the developer of Moore Unique Skin Care, Dr. Alanna F. Bree, Board Certified Pediatric Dermatologist and Founder of A Children’s House for the Soul, Brandie Nickerson, Parent Advocate of Children with Vitiligo, and Yolanda Roberts, Founder of Healing Hearts Network an organization whose motto is ‘You are not alone’ and who provides resources to the Houston community. The event was hosted by radio personality, Amber Shaw of KYND Radio 1520 AM “Unplugged Praise”. Entertainment included dance performances, spoken word poetry, a fashion show and catered by Candie’s Fine Catering services.
Cities in the 2017 tour at the moment includes New York, Virginia, California, Kentucky, North Carolina and South Carolina.