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AAHI Celebrates Seven Years Of Progress

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The African American Health Institute of San Bernardino County (AAHI-SBC) will celebrate its last seven years of progress in efforts to reduce health and healthcare disparities in Black communities of the Inland Empire.

The celebration of “Our Past, Present & Future,” takes place in the Henderson Auditorium of San Bernardino Community Hospital, 1800 Western Ave. , from 5:30 to 7:30pm. , Thursday, October 22. For details call (909) 880-2600 or visit www.AAHI-SBC.org . All are welcomed to attend.

Black churches have had outreach health ministries in the Inland Empire for more than 50 years. Dr. Temetry Lindsey founded the Inland Behavioral Health more than 30 years ago, Dr. V.Diane Woods pointed out. And Gwen Knotts founded Knotts Family Agency shortly after that.

The local branch of the California Black Health Network, in conjunction with the Black newspapers, radio talk shows, and civic organizations, as well as the Inland Empire Black Nurses Association and ethnic physicians of the J W Vines Medical Society have always worked on health issues in the Inland Empire.

More African Americans die from the leading causes of death such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, HIV/AIDS and other preventable conditions than any other group. Even African American babies die two to three times more often than other babies.

“Simply put African American males die at an average age of 56, and African American females die at an average age of 62,” said Dr. Woods.

Community leaders who were concerned about this disparity organized the African American Health Initiative in 1998, working with the San Bernardino County Medical Society. In 2003, the Medical Society hired Dr.

Woods to head a major countywide planning project for the African American Health Initiative (AAHI).

In 2004, the organization held public forums, conducted surveys, town hall meetings, and one-on-one interviews throughout San Bernardino County; gathering data from more than 1,000 local Black residents investigating why people of African ancestry continue to die much earlier than other ethnic groups; and, to identify what will work to reverse this trend.

“Much has been accomplished since we started the health planning project in 2003,” said Dr. Woods, founding president and CEO of AAHI-SBC. “We are celebrating successful positive milestones in Black community collaboration.”

As a result of the AAHI Planning Project, a comprehensive report was developed in 2004 called Voices of the People: An Afrocentric Plan for Better Health. Nine major recommendations were proposed.

Recommendation #3 was to create a credible collaborative to focus on African American health issues. Afterwards, the African American Health Institute of San Bernardino County (AAHI-SBC) was created and incorporated as a collaborative of concerned stakeholders in January 2006 to combat these issues.

Since then, AAHI-SBC has strongly promoted change in the healthcare system through advocacy, public education, community capacity building, and research.

RCC Culinary Student Takes Top Award in State

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Riverside City College Culinary Academy student Kanisha Neal took home the gold medal in the State Skills USA Baking competition and placed among the top 10 student bakers in the nation this year.

Neal maintains a 3.9 GPA in her regular college work, while working 20 hours a week as an office assistant at the RCCD Moreno Valley Campus. She recently graduated from the Culinary Academy and plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Nutrition after transferring to either Cal State San Bernardino or Cal Poly Pomona.

The 2008-09 recipient of an Athena scholarship likens herself to her award-winning Artesian Sourdough Bread recipe.

“Artesian Sour Dough Bread is very hard to make,” she said. “There are a lot of ingredients and careful preparation is needed to achieve the perfect loaf.” Neal approaches her academic goals in the same way: gather your resources, prepare a plan, and then commit and work hard to achieve your desired result.

Neal is one of more than 12,800 students who take classes each semester in one of the 130 career tech programs offered on RCCD campuses. A number of these students complete their certificates or associate degrees and, like Neal, choose to continue on to earn an advance degree.

Classically Black -€“ A Night At The Symphony

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By Chris Levister –

On a hot night in Milan, Italy, in 2006 Eldred Marshall captivated the sold out house as he always does. All eyes were on the then 25-year-old musical prodigy performing some of the most difficult works in the piano literature, including Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier Sonata” and Debussy’s “Images Book 1.”

Eldred is more than a mere virtuoso with elastic hands and dazzling dexterity. He is also a spellbinding performer with a flair for drama – strutting, swooning and wrapping his audience around his 10 nimble fingers.

The critically acclaimed artist has performed internationally: Spain, Italy and the Republic of San Marino. A landmark in his career was to become the first Black pianist to perform the entire cycle of 32 piano sonatas of Beethoven in public, from memory, as a concentrated series. In the fall and winter of 2007, he performed the feat in Portland, Oregon. In the winter and spring of 2008, he repeated the series in San Francisco.

Eldred began studying the piano at age 6, and the precocious young artist performed his first public concert at age 7. His prodigious and inquisitive mind allowed him to master large swaths of the piano repertoire quickly all the while consistently winning top prizes at the competitions he entered as a child. By 16, he debuted with an orchestra, playing Brahms’s Second Piano Concerto.

At age 10, he remembers being inspired to become a concert pianist after seeing the renowned Andre Watts perform in Pasadena.

“It was love at first sight. I knew I wanted to do that,” said Eldred, who also studied at the University of Salamanca in Spain.

“I love the intimacy, the tension and excitement of taking an audience on a journey through the internal emotions and spiritual experiences of a masterful work. You become the interpreter – It’s cathartic.”

Eldred, whose roots spring from a musical family, may have been a prodigy in his home town of Rialto, but said his parents Eldred and Deidre if you want to play on the world stage you’ve got to get out of town first. Following his high school graduation the young Eldred IV set off to Yale majoring in political science, music and Spanish. While at Yale he directed the award winning Yale Gospel Choir for two years.

By the time he graduated with honors, he had already mesmerized audiences all over the United States.

The 1999 Eisenhower High School salutatorian is more than just a supremely talented musician he is also a change agent who wants to broaden classical music’s appeal while acknowledging the gains minorities have made in the genre.

As a young Black pianist growing up in Rialto, it did not escape Eldred that no performers and very few audience members at classical music concerts looked like him.

Eldred envisions his brainchild ‘Classically Black – A Night at the Symphony’ will open the door to a world in which classical music reflects cultural diversity. “My dream is to become a catalyst to help overcome the cultural stereotype of classical music.”

Sunday October 18 the gala concert and fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of San Bernardino will showcase professional and novice African-American classical musicians.

I want to challenge everyone who ever said, ‘You don’t see more Blacks and Hispanics in orchestras because the musicians are just not out there’. “I want to prove that they are out there; they just need to be identified, encouraged and rewarded.”

“In these challenging times, arts programs in the schools and traditional music institutions are facing drastic cuts or elimination,” said Boys & Girls Club of San Bernardino Board Chairman Rikke Van Johnson. The fundraiser and Marshall collaboration aims to fill the education gap by administering youth development initiatives in minority communities through music education, increasing the participation of Blacks and Latinos in music schools, as professional musicians and composers and cultivate classical music audiences.

For example, most are not likely to know of the approximately 500 Black classical music composers spanning several centuries and continents.

In addition, there have been ground breaking Black professional musicians such as acclaimed violinist Aaron Dworkin in major professional orchestras since the 1960s, said Marshall.

“Though it has been extremely limited, Black composers and musicians have been heard in our symphony halls since the early 1900s.

This overall lack of awareness encompasses our entire society.”

In America, early Black classical performers were discriminated against and had to leave the country to perform in Europe, explains Marshall.

Singers like Elizabeth Taylor-Garfield, the ‘Black Swan’ performed in London between1850-1860. In the 1950 & 1960, with the color bar well in place, the only way for singers like Marian Anderson to make her debut was to do recital work. It was viewed at that time as the quickest way to succeed. Hence Anderson, who was the first Black person to perform at the New York Met, skillfully incorporated a fusion of Negro spiritual and classical music into her repertoire.

It is now well over forty years since the historical occasion in 1963, when Anderson performed to over 75,000 people on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.

“I envision young people bringing to the study of classical music their own history and cultural background, which then informs the music itself in new and vital ways thus having a lasting effect on the classical music of tomorrow,” said Eldred.

Classically Black – A Night at the Symphony is sponsored by the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra, Assembly Member Wilmer Carter, San Bernardino City Economic Development Agency, National Council of Negro Women and the Boys & Girls Club of San Bernardino.

Historic Healthcare Plan Clears Key Senate Hurdle

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By BVN Staff –

Historic legislation to expand U.S. health care and control costs won its first Republican supporter Tuesday and cleared a key Senate hurdle, a double-barreled triumph that propelled President Barack Obama’s signature issue toward votes this fall in both houses of Congress.

“When history calls, history calls,” said Maine Republican Olympia Snowe whose declaration of support ended weeks of suspense and provided the only drama of a 14-9 vote in the Senate Finance Committee.

With her decision, the 62-year-old lawmaker bucked her own leadership on the most high-profile issue of the year in Congress, and gave the drive to remake health care at least a hint of the bipartisanship that Obama seeks.

At the White House, Obama called the events “a critical milestone” toward remaking the nation’s health care system. He praised Snowe as well as Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the committee, and declared, “We are going to get this done.”

There were fresh challenges. Within minutes of the vote, labor unions and large business organizations both demanded changes in the bill, which was an attempt at a middle-of-the-road measure fashioned by the committee under Baucus’ leadership.

Still, nearly nine months after the president pledged in his Inaugural Address to tackle health care, legislation to expand coverage to millions who lack it has now advanced further than President Bill Clinton’s ill-fated effort more than a decade ago - or any other attempt in more than a generation.

The next move in the Senate is up to Majority Leader Harry Reid, whose office said the full Senate would begin debate on the issue the week of Oct. 26.

So Cal Fair –Traditions New and Old

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New fangled gizmos and widgets. Old fashioned quilts and fluffy cotton candy.

Different images come to mind when you hear the word “fair”. Regardless of what images come to your mind, the Southern California has it all. From traditions like jams, jellies, corn dogs and tractors to more modern things like scrapbook pages, websites, Euro Bungees and the newest deep fried concoction the fair is a place the whole family will enjoy.

Maybe your family comes to the fair every year to enjoy the entertainment and fabulous shopping. Or maybe you came out as a kid with your parents or grandparents and watched the demolition derby or livestock shows. With the amazingly low cost and incredible value, the fair is a tradition your family should continue to enjoy or start enjoying now!

You won’t find a better way to stretch your entertainment dollar then the Southern California Fair. For the low price of admission – you get all the arena shows, all the family acts, all the exhibits, all the displays, all the livestock shows, all the music, all the opportunities to shop for the truly unique, all the contests and so much more. It’s a fantastic way to spend time with your family without breaking the bank.

So whether the fair is a long time family tradition or you’re new to the experience, make plans now to attend the Inland Empire’s best entertainment bargain The Southern California Fair runs October 10th through 18th.

For more information about the fair please visit the website at socalfair.com or call the fair office at 951-657-4221.

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BVN National News Wire