From November 2011

Researchers Find Men Less Willing to Be Screened For Cancer

Newswise — Although men have higher cancer mortality rates than women, they are less willing to be screened for cancer, according to a study conducted by researchers.
The study, which was funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research/National Institutes of Health, was conducted in New York City, Baltimore, Maryland and San Juan, Puerto Rico, through a random-dial telephone survey of 1,148 adult African Americans, whites, and Puerto Rican Hispanics who answered questions from the Cancer Screening Questionnaire.
The majority of those surveyed were 30 to 59 years of age. The study has been released online and will be published in an upcoming issue of the American Journal of Men’s Health.
“This study examined beliefs and attitudes held by men and women about cancer screening,” said study corresponding author Jenna L. Davis, M.P.H., of Moffitt’s Department of Health Outcomes and Behavior. “Our aim was to gain insight for improving existing cancer health promotion practices. Our findings indicate that there is a need for better health and cancer screening promotion among men.”
The researchers suggested that the screening participation gap between men (who accounted for 35 percent of those surveyed) and women may be related to several factors. For example, more cancer awareness promotions in the media are aimed at women’s breast cancer; there is a lack of government-sponsored men’s cancer awareness campaigns; and studies indicate that women visit their primary care doctors more often than do men. Read more

Drug Co-Pays Mean Less Benefits for Chronically Ill

Anne Beeson Royalty

Newswise — Benefits paid out under employer-sponsored health care plans are less generous to families covering a member with a chronic illness than to families without a chronically ill member, according to a trio of university researchers. The difference is due primarily to higher out-of-pocket expenses for prescription drugs.
For a given level of total health care spending, households covering chronic conditions spend 1½ to two times more on prescription drugs, the researchers found.
“Even when you are looking at the same level of total spending, families covering chronic conditions spent more out of pocket than those without chronic illnesses, and it doesn’t appear to be because the families are in different types of plans,” said researcher and IUPUI Professor Anne Beeson Royalty.
“It looks as though the difference is because certain types of services — such as prescription drugs — are covered less generously,” Royalty said.
For example, for households spending a total of $7,000 on health care, on average those with chronic conditions spend $2,215 of that $7,000 on prescription drugs, while other households average only $1,065 on drug expenses, according to the study. Read more

Black Elderly More Likely to Die After Intestinal Surgery

Black senior citizens who need surgery for the intestinal disorder diverticulitis are significantly more likely to die in the hospital than their equally ill white counterparts, even when each racial group carries the same health insurance, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.
While all of the patients in the study required surgery, Black patients were 26 percent more likely than white patients to undergo riskier and more expensive emergency diverticulitis surgery rather than “elective” scheduled surgery for their condition, the Hopkins researchers found. The results emerged in a study of data from Medicare, the government health insurance for senior citizens.
Black seniors also spent more time in the hospital recovering from their operations and the costs of their stays averaged nearly $30,000 more than those of comparable white patients.
Publishing in the November issue of the medical journal Archives of Surgery, the researchers say that while lack of insurance is often a major driver of racial disparities in health care, their analysis shows that even with equal access to a doctor, race-based differences in outcomes persist. Read more

Black Economic Council Presents “Bridge Builder & Game Changer” Awards

Robert Gnaizda

Randall Stephenson

Joan Kerr

Mike Peevey

The Black Economic Council (BEC), a national organization focused on the advancement, advocacy, and development of economic capacity in minority communities, will host a “Bridge Builder and Game Changers” award ceremony luncheon Dec. 8, to pay tribute and to groups and people who that have championed the causes of people of color through their advocacy and leadership.
The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Oakland Marriott City Center hotel located at 1001 Broadway in Oakland.
The president of the California Public Utilities Commission, Mike Peevey, will receive the Dolores Huerta Economic Freedom Award, named after the leader who co-founded the United Farm Workers Union in California while raising 11 children. The BEC chose Peevey, also formerly research director for the California Labor Federation, to receive this award because of his demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Joan Kerr, Director of Supplier Diversity for PG&E, will receive the Eleanor Roosevelt Economic Development Award, named after the former First Lady for her leadership and advocacy for people of color, the poor and women.
Robert Gnaizda will receive the Maverick Award for his out-of-the-box strategies and tactics promoting a more level playing field for communities of color on key issues of economic stability and growth.
Gnaizda helped co-found three major public interest institutions: California Rural Legal Assistance (1966), then the nation’s largest legal service program; Public Advocates (1971), the first public interest law firm in the West; and the Greenlining Institute (1993), the largest multiethnic public policy and advocacy center in the West. He is the current general counsel of the organization. Read more

Black Economic Council Presents “Bridge Builder & Game Changer” Awards

Robert Gnaizda

Randall Stephenson

Joan Kerr

Mike Peevey

The Black Economic Council (BEC), a national organization focused on the advancement, advocacy, and development of economic capacity in minority communities, will host a “Bridge Builder and Game Changers” award ceremony luncheon Dec. 8, to pay tribute and to groups and people who that have championed the causes of people of color through their advocacy and leadership.
The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Oakland Marriott City Center hotel located at 1001 Broadway in Oakland.
The president of the California Public Utilities Commission, Mike Peevey, will receive the Dolores Huerta Economic Freedom Award, named after the leader who co-founded the United Farm Workers Union in California while raising 11 children. The BEC chose Peevey, also formerly research director for the California Labor Federation, to receive this award because of his demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Joan Kerr, Director of Supplier Diversity for PG&E, will receive the Eleanor Roosevelt Economic Development Award, named after the former First Lady for her leadership and advocacy for people of color, the poor and women.
Robert Gnaizda will receive the Maverick Award for his out-of-the-box strategies and tactics promoting a more level playing field for communities of color on key issues of economic stability and growth.
Gnaizda helped co-found three major public interest institutions: California Rural Legal Assistance (1966), then the nation’s largest legal service program; Public Advocates (1971), the first public interest law firm in the West; and the Greenlining Institute (1993), the largest multiethnic public policy and advocacy center in the West. He is the current general counsel of the organization. Read more

Kamala Harris Announces Cocaine Seizure from Mexican Cartel

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced the seizure this week of 18.5 kilos of cocaine worth an estimated $1.85 million as part of a Department of Justice-led operation that targeted a cartel based in Baja California that distributes cocaine throughout Southern California.
“This operation is an example of the complex and multi-jurisdictional work that Department of Justice agents do every day to keep California safe,” Attorney General Harris said. “I commend these agents for their bravery and professional excellence.”
Department of Justice special agents from the Inland Crackdown Allied Task Force (INCA) conducted an undercover sting operation into the cartel’s drug trafficking activities. Working with a confidential informant, an undercover agent arranged to purchase cocaine from an individual associated with a cartel based in Baja California. Yesterday, at a prearranged meeting in a hotel parking lot in Colton, agents arrested two men and seized 18.5 kilos of cocaine.
Juan Mora Flores, 40, of Tecate, Mexico and Jose Vega Diaz, 47, of Whittier, CA, were arrested and booked at the Riverside County Jail. Both men are being held on $1 million bail. Read more

Obama Signs Law to Create Job Opportunities for Vets

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama this week signed a bill into law that would encourage businesses to hire veterans.
During the signing ceremony at the White House, Obama said the legislation is an important step to help veterans transition into workforce. While the national jobless rate has slipped somewhat over the past month, the unemployment rate for veterans back from Iraq and Afghanistan is still on the rise, he said.
“Just as they fight for us on the battlefield, it’s up to us to fight for our troops and their families when they come home,” the president said. “I urge every business owner out there who’s hiring to hire a vet right away.”
Many of the provisions will take months to implement, including an extra year’s worth of GI Bill benefits for 100,000 unemployed veterans, new unemployment benefits for disabled veterans, a revamp of the military’s transition assistance program.
But the tax credits go into effect immediately, giving employers a financial incentive to hire applicants with military experience. Here’s how those tax credits break down:
• Veterans out of work at least one month: up to $2,400
• Veterans out of work at least six months: up to $5,600
• Disabled vets looking for work: up to $4,800
• Disabled vets out of work at least six months: up to $9,600
In August, White House officials estimated that the tax credits alone could help create more than 25,000 jobs for veterans in the next few years.

The cast of “Fela” which is playing at the Curran Theatre from Nov. 15 through Dec. 11.

Curran Theatre Hosts Tony Award Winner “Fela!”

By Ashley
Chambers

The cast of “Fela” which is playing at the Curran Theatre from Nov. 15 through Dec. 11.

The passion, talent, and inspiration of the Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, opened last week at San Francisco’s Curran Theatre in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, “Fela!,” directed and choreographed by Tony Award-winner Bill T. Jones.
The show tells the story of Kuti, who was born in Abeokuta, Nigeria, north of Lagos in 1938. A musician and instrumentalist, he used his music as a political vehicle to condemn the corrupt military regime in Nigeria.
The show comes to the San Francisco Bay Area after a successful tour around the world, including Broadway’s Eugene O’Neill Theatre in 2009, London’s National Theatre, and a production in Lagos, Nigeria, the home of the musical pioneer.
The elements of dance, music, and theatre set the stage as Kuti, played by actor Sahr Ngaujah (seen in films “Stomp the Yard” and “A Lesson Before Dying”), welcomes the audience to his club, Afrika Shrine, with the opening “Everything Scatter.” Featuring original music and lyrics by Kuti, the show tells the story of Fela with songs like “Lover,” “Water No Get Enemy” and the popular “Zombie”. Read more

Asante Children’s Choir in Marin City

By Godfrey Lee

The Asante Children’s Choir performing at the Cornerstone Community COGIC in Marin City. Photos by Godfrey Lee.

The Asante Children’s Choir – on tour from Rwanda in Africa – performed Nov. 17 at Marin City’s Cornerstone Community COGIC in a concert of gospel music, sung and danced in African rhythms.
 The choir’s mission is to spread love, hope and joy while raising awareness of the desperate plight of orphans and other vulnerable children. Their colorful clothing, beating drums and sweet voices demonstrate their hopes and dreams for a brighter future. Their stories of resilience in the face of adversity have inspired all those who have seen them perform.
Thousands and thousands of children in East Africa have been left orphans, suffering from years of civil war, genocide and the AIDS epidemic. The choir is composed of these children and expresses the changes in their lives and their gratitude through music and dance.
“Asante” means “Thank You” in Swahili. And the choir wishes to thank all those who have supported the choir and the children of East Africa. The choir continues its West Coast tour through Jan. 15, ending at the Open Bible Church in Portland, OR. For more information, go to www.asantechoir.org

City Launches Season of Giving Campaign

Mayor Ed Lee

Mayor Edwin Lee has launched the Season of Giving campaign to support organizations that help San Franciscans throughout the year and especially during the holiday season.
During the season of giving, which will last until the Jan. 8  Mayoral Inauguration, residents and businesses are encouraged to give back to their own communities by supporting organizations that are providing warm meals, a place to stay and other essential services to the people of San Francisco. These non-profits are already providing to the neediest communities, and it is more important now than ever for the public to support these collective efforts to provide for those most in need, Lee said.
“This holiday season and leading up to my inauguration, I would like to spend my time shining a light on the wealth of organizations we have who are serving our neighbors and those in need throughout our city,” he said. Read more

Coalition Discusses Decline of City’s Black Population

By Lee Hubbard

Dr. Corey Cook

The dramatic decline of the Black population in San Francisco was the topic of a recent panel discussion hosted by the grassroots Osiris Coalition.
The discussion, titled “The State of Black San Francisco,” was held at the University of San Francisco and featured public policy and political science experts.
 “I put this panel together because a student asked a question about gentrification and the Black outmigration from San Francisco to the various mayoral candidates at a candidate debate – not one of the candidates answered the question, and that bothered me,” said Dr. Corey Cook, a political science professor at USF’s Department of Politics.  
Speakers included Professor James Taylor, USF Department of Politics; Professor Rhonda Magee with the USF School of Law; Supervisor Malia Cohen; N’Tanya Lee, the former Executive Director of Coleman Advocates; Malik Looper, Looper Consulting; and Reverend Malcolm Byrd, pastor of First  A.M.E. Zion Church.
At its height, the San Francisco Black population in 1970 numbered close to 100,000, decreasing to 85,000 or 12.5 percent in 1980, according to the S.F. Department of City Planning.  By 1990, Blacks were 76, 000 or 10.5 percent of the city and today are only about 6 percent. Read more

Volunteers Sought for Pest Management Advisory Committee

Contra Costa County is seeking interested residents to serve on the Integrated Pest Management Advisory Board (IPM), which advises the Board of Supervisors on pest management and pesticide use on county-owned or county-maintained properties.
The committee plays a key advisory role in Contra Costa’s efforts to reduce the use of toxic chemicals on county property.
The 12-member board has three open seats for members of the public. Applicants must live or work in Contra Costa County and have some knowledge of integrated pest management and interest in improving this practice. The board meets six times a year in Concord.
Applications are due by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 5. Mail an application to Office of the Clerk of the Board, 651 Pine Street, Martinez 94553; fax it to the Clerk of the Board at 925-335-1913 (fax), or email it to Tanya Drlik, IPM Coordinator, at tdrlik@hsd.cccounty.us.
 For an application contact the Clerk of the Board at 925-335-1900, 651 Pine Street, first floor, Martinez,  CA 94553.

State Dems Back Obama

By Mister
Phillips, Esq.

Renea Wickman, Candidate Congressional District 31

The California Democratic Party unanimously passed a resolution at its Nov. 20 general session supporting President Barack Obama and commending his “valiant attempts to rescue the United States from these catastrophic economic times.”
 The resolution, sponsored by the African American Caucus and two of its leaders, Congressional Candidate Renea Wickman of Redlands and Caucus Chairman Darren Parker of Antelope Valley, praises the president for his accomplishments, including bringing the US economy back from the brink, saving millions of jobs in the auto industry, and passing historic healthcare legislation.  
 The resolution also points out that Congressional Republicans have been blocking Obama’s recovery plan in an attempt to obtain a political advantage in the 2012 election. Read more

Mayor Gayle McLaughlin speaking to students at Career Day for girls participating in its College Bound Girls (CBG) program.

Girls Inc Hosts Career Day 2011

By Kia Croom

Mayor Gayle McLaughlin speaking to students at Career Day for girls participating in its College Bound Girls (CBG) program.

Girls Incorporated of West Contra Costa County hosted a Career Day on Nov. 19 for young woman participating in its College Bound Girls (CBG) program.  
Fifteen girls between the ages of 12-16 attended the event, which presented opportunities to learn about career options and meet local businesswomen from Richmond and neighboring communities.
“The purpose of the career day (was) to introduce our College Bound Girls to career options they may not have thought about,” said Mieasha Harris, Executive Director of Girls Incorporated West Contra Costa County.
Avona Nasario facilitated a workshop entitled “Building Your Person Brand,” discussing resumes, their function, structure and the type of information they should include.
Mieasha Harris led a presentation on informational interviews, highlighting interview etiquette and preparation tips.  
Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin shared her experience in office and described the career path that ultimately led to her becoming mayor.
Other speakers included: Detective Joanna Grivetti of the  Richmond Police Department; Nicole Jones, Community Development Director of Girl Scouts of Northern California; Shantana Robertson, Customer Service Department of Wells Fargo; Kamaria Rutland, Sales Executive for Marriott International; and Jocelyn Dennis-Cornelius, registered nurse, Kaiser Permanente in Richmond. Read more

Front Row, from left to right: Ruben Cantu, Rubicon Programs; Cindy Haden, RMSI Board Chair; Amanda Elliott, RMSI Executive Director; Andromeda Brooks, Neighborhood Ambassador; Back Row: Rob Hope, Rubicon Programs; Arnie Kasendorf, RMSI Board; Deonte’ Anderson, Neighborhood Ambassador; Alicia Gallo, Outreach Coordinator; James Johnson, Neighborhood Ambassador. Photo by Joe L. Fisher, BAPAC.

Neighborhood Ambassadors Beautify Macdonald Corridor and Create Jobs

By Kia
Croom

Front Row, from left to right: Ruben Cantu, Rubicon Programs; Cindy Haden, RMSI Board Chair; Amanda Elliott, RMSI Executive Director; Andromeda Brooks, Neighborhood Ambassador; Back Row: Rob Hope, Rubicon Programs; Arnie Kasendorf, RMSI Board; Deonte’ Anderson, Neighborhood Ambassador; Alicia Gallo, Outreach Coordinator; James Johnson, Neighborhood Ambassador. Photo by Joe L. Fisher, BAPAC.

On any given day between the hours of 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., volunteers dressed in bright-orange safety vests walk the Macdonald Avenue Business Corridor checking for graffiti, clearing litter and helping visitors navigate the neighborhood.
What they are unable to clean with their equipment, they log and report to the city of Richmond. These volunteers are participants of the Richmond Main Street Initiative’s (RMSI) Neighborhood Ambassador Program.
In keeping with the initiative’s mission of fostering a “clean and safe downtown,” the Neighborhood Ambassador Program is a pilot project designed to beautify downtown Richmond, attract more businesses to the corridor and ultimately create jobs for community residents.
“Businesses, residents, pedestrians and the city appreciate the Neighborhood Ambassadors for keeping the commercial corridor free of litter, blight and graffiti. They create a positive presence along the corridor,” said Alicia Gallo, RMSI Neighborhood Outreach Coordinator.
RMSI mobilized the Neighborhood Ambassador Program in December 2010 with donated supplies and a dedicated core of volunteers, despite having limited financial resources committed to the project. In May 2011, the group partnered with Rubicon Programs to provide a worksite for participants in Rubicon’s Economic Empowerment programming, which provides job readiness and job placement services. Read more

Basketball Star Walt Hazzard, 69

Walt Hazzard

Walt Hazzard, the former UCLA and NBA star who played on the Bruins’ first NCAA championship basketball team in 1964 and later coached the team for four seasons in the 1980s, died Friday in Los Angeles. He was 69.
According to Hazzard’s family, he had been recuperating for a long time from complications following heart surgery.

Agents Sue to Block Layoffs in Attorney General’s Office

Special agents in the State Department of Justice are suing Gov. Jerry Brown in an attempt to block layoffs.
Attorney General Kamala Harris says $71 million in budget cuts in the past two years are forcing her to lay off 170 agents in December. Those cut would eliminate the  bureaus coordinating marijuana eradication programs and drug and gang task forces.
The Association of Special Agents says the cuts infringe on the attorney general’s constitutional authority. The lawsuit filed Wednesday in Sacramento County Superior Court also argues that it is illegal to eliminate agents’ duties without passing a law.
The union says Brown is retaliating because it endorsed his opponent, Republican Meg Whitman, last year.

Chauncey Bailey

Amaranth Modacure Remembers Bailey

Chauncey Bailey

Amaranth Modacure, writer, photographer and artist responded to the Post request for photos, memories, stories and reflections of  late Post Editor Chauncey Bailey.
Amaranth said she was inspired and encouraged by Bailey to write stories for the Berkeley Post. She submitted this photo of Bailey, taken in 2007, and plans to submit a series of tributes and articles about Bailey. She said she wanted readers to remember Bailey for his multimedia contributions.
“I am thankful that I was tutored by him. He was a leader for us in the arts and in the media,”  she said. Bailey was gunned down Aug. 2, 2007, in downtown Oakland while walking to work.

School District May Receive $3 Million Federal Grant

The U.S. Department of Education has rated the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) one of the 23 highest-rated Investing in Innovations grant applicants in the nation, setting the district up to receive vital federal funding to improve student performance.
OUSD was among 600 applicants for the 2011 Investing in Innovations funding.  As a highest-rated applicant, OUSD stands to receive $3 million in funding, provided that it is able to secure the equivalent of 15 percent of the award in matching funds by Dec. 9.
Under the grant’s guidelines, the Department of Education will award funding to districts that work to improve the participation and success of underserved students in advanced academic programs, develop new interim assessment strategies for students, and use the results of assessments to implement innovative educational programs.
“It is a tribute to the leadership of OUSD that the district is among 23 finalists in the nation selected for this important grant program,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “As we all know, investing in innovative educational programs helps to dramatically improve student achievement and increases their chances of securing a college education.”

Anne Campbell Washington

Anne Campbell Washington New Chief of Staff

By Post Staff

Anne Campbell Washington

A former aide to Mayor Jerry Brown will become Jean Quan’s new chief of staff as part of what Quan is calling an “ongoing effort to restructure my administration and reinvent the Office of the Mayor.”
Anne Campbell Washington comes aboard in the wake of the resignation of Deputy Mayor Sharon Cornu and has a long record of service to the city. A former chief of staff to Mayor Jerry Brown in 2003-2004, she also worked in senior leadership positions for many years in the City Administrator’s Office, the Budget Office and the Oakland Fire Department.  
“Her integrity and strategic vision will be tremendous assets as we concentrate on our goals to move Oakland forward,” said Quan.
 “The Quan Administration is focused on Oakland’s toughest challenges: public safety, job creation and education,” said Campbell Washington.  “I look forward to tackling these challenges.”
Her responsibilities include overseeing the activities of the Mayor’s Office.  She also will serve as a senior policy advisor to the Mayor and will work closely with the City Administrator, Agency Directors, City Council Members and City staff on the development and implementation of city policy. Read more

Cardinals no match for 49ers

San Francisco, CA – I think the best question is, who can stop them?  It’s becoming quite clear the San Francisco 49ers are ready to earn the respect of the Super Bowl winning team of the past.

The era of Joe Montana and Steve Young was incredible.  Now, its a new generation, the pieces of the puzzle were put together by former coach Mike Singletary.  Now all Jim Harbaugh has to do is make it work. Read more

The Muppets are back!

Sandra Varner’s Celebrity Profiles

 Spoken like the sex symbol she purports to be, Miss Piggy, the maven of movie melodrama is once again breaking hearts saying of her affect on men, “People just instantly fall in love with me when they see me.  I just want to apologize to all of the women who have lost their husbands and boyfriends because they’ve fallen in love with me.”

      Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog bringing their high jinks and hilarity– along with new friends and a new storyline, just in time for holidays– are back on the big screen to lead the Muppets gang.  

Synopsis:

      On vacation in Los Angeles, Walter, the world’s biggest Muppet fan, his brother Gary (Jason Segel) and Gary’s girlfriend, Mary (Amy Adams), from Smalltown, USA, discover the evil plan of oilman Tex Richman (Oscar winner Chris Cooper) to raze Muppet Studios and drill for the oil recently discovered beneath the Muppets’ former stomping grounds.  They decide to stage a telethon and raise the $10 million needed to save the studio.  Walter, Mary and Gary help Kermit reunite the Muppets, who have all gone their separate ways: Frozzie now performs with a Reno casino tribute band called the Moopets, Miss Piggy is a plus-size fashion editor at Vogue Paris, Animal is in a Santa Barbara clinic for anger management, and Gonzo is a high-powered plumbing magnate.  Read more

Rapper ‘Heavy D’, 44

In this Oct. 1, 2011 photo, rapper Heavy D, also known as Dwight Arrington Myers, performs during the BET Hip Hop Awards in Atlanta.

Heavy D, the self-proclaimed “overweight lover” of hip-hop who became one of rap’s top hit-makers with wit, humor and a positive vibe, has died. He was 44.
Lt. Mark Rosen of the Beverly Hills police said Heavy D died in a Los Angeles hospital Tuesday after collapsing at his condominium building.
Rosen said Beverly Hills police officers were dispatched to Heavy D’s home Tuesday morning after receiving a report of an unconscious person laying on the walkway of a building. They found Heavy D was conscious and communicative but had difficulty breathing. He was transported to Cedars Sinai Medical Center, where he later died.
Rosen said Beverly Hills detectives found no signs of foul play and believe his death is medically related. He said Heavy D “was returning home from shopping. He experienced difficulty breathing while walking into his condominium building. He was being assisted up to his apartment by building personnel when he collapsed in an exterior hallway.”
The last tweet from Heavy D posted Tuesday morning read, “BE INSPIRED!”

Three Receive Woman Entrepreneurof the Year Awards

Three of Contra Costa County’s top Women Entrepreneurs who are making a real difference in their communities by mentoring others, leading by example, innovating within their industries and stimulating the local economy will receive awards on Monday, Nov. 14.
Women’s Initiative is the nation’s largest microenterprise training and funding organization.
For more than 20 years, the group has provided training, funding and ongoing support to low-income women so they can start their own businesses and become economically self-sufficient.
For more information go to: www.womensinitiative.org.

RFI Reaches Out to Women of North Richmond

Dr. Perez-Santiago. Photo by Joe L. Fisher, BAPAC.

By Kia Croom

Located in North Richmond, Reach Fellowship International (RFI) is a nonprofit organization committed to “transforming the lives of residents in distressed communities.”  And for the last one and a half years since opening RFI’s doors, its founder and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Perez-Santiago has been implementing high-quality programs designed to address critical community needs.  
Dr. Perez-Santiago says health disparities in Richmond, particularly the growing incidence and prevalence of new HIV/AIDS infections among African-American women, prompted her to bring Reach Fellowship International to North Richmond.
“I became familiar with the Shields Reid neighborhood,” she said. “I walked the streets at night and started talking to women [sex workers] in the community to learn they had HIV and even Hepatitis C. I wanted to know why they had fallen out of medical care, and what kind of services they believed could help them. The women told me they wanted a place of their own where they could go and get services.” Read more