June 13, 2021 is a designated Sunday to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and its impact on African American communities. Memory Sunday is an initiative of The National Brain Health Center for African-Americans, a program of The Balm In Gilead.

Supported by: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthy Brain Initiative.



The purpose of Memory Sunday is to bring national and local attention to the tremendous effect Alzheimer’s and other Dementias are having on the African American community; utilize the influence of the African-American pulpit to bring awareness through education and information sharing about Alzheimer’s disease, raise awareness about ways to reduce the risk of developing dementia; and to support persons living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.


  • Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, but the fifth leading cause of death of older African Americans.
  • African Americans are generally diagnosed at later stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • The risk of developing Alzheimer’s is 2-3 times higher for African Americans.
  • African Americans have higher rates of chronic disease like diabetes and heart diseases, which increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
  • Persons with a history of either high blood pressure or high cholesterol are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s.
  • Those with both risk factors are four times more likely to develop dementia.


  • Raise awareness of issues affecting cognitive health among African Americans via the development of African American congregations to become an integral partner in (1) educating African Americans about Alzheimer’s & dementia, (2) educating the community on behaviors that support risk reduction and healthy aging, (3) increase awareness about the need for early diagnosis, and (4) how to effectively support caregivers.
  • Provide training and information to healthcare and public health professionals regarding cognitive health issues affecting African Americans.
  • Develop culturally tailored, faith-based tools and resources to be utilized by health ministries to increase awareness of brain health and caregiver needs among African Americans within their congregations and communities.

Resources to be included on the website:

  • Book of Alzheimer’s
  • Memory Sunday Toolkit

Promotional materials:

  • Bookmarks
  • Save the Date
  • Fillable Event Flyer

Educational Materials:

  • What is Memory Sunday slide presentation and handouts
  • Brain Health Awareness SMHC
  • SCD Fact Sheet
  • Brain Health Puzzles