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The Black Voice News Celebrates 40th Anniversary - 40 Community builders will be acknowledged

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RIVERSIDE, CA – August 2012 –The Black Voice News will be celebrating their 40th Anniversary on August 18, 2012 from 10 am to 12 pm at the Grier Pavilion located at City Hall on 3900 Main Street, Riverside, CA. There is no charge for admission and brunch will be served.

The Black Voice News was founded on the campus of the University of California, Riverside in 1972 by Ardess E. Lilly, Jr. then president of UC Riverside's Black Student Union. The Riverside-based newspaper is one of the oldest remaining family-owned newspapers in the U.S. In 1980, The Black Voice News was purchased by long time inland activists and community leaders Hardy and Cheryl Brown from publisher Sam Martin. This kicked off a new era of activism and reporting which would propel The Black Voice News from a small community publication to a powerful voice for the voiceless.

Since its inception, the Black Press has been a tool for the African American community in combating racism, promoting personal growth, community engagement and self-empowerment. The award winning publication has since broadened its editorial perspective to include social media. Globally, this expanded reach has produced considerable interest and readership from all sectors of the local, national and international communities. The Black Voice News would like to invite the community to join them in celebrating the success of their 40 years of publishing and community outreach. Forty Community Builders will be acknowledged at this event because of their outstanding contributions to community outreach in the Inland Empire. The title sponsor for the anniversary and Community Builder reception is General Motors along with sponsors: Macy’s, UCR, and Wells Fargo.

Guests are encouraged to also attend The Green Economy and Sustainability Symposium and Mini Job Fair which will take place from 8:00 am to 10:00 am. There will be a Q&A session on the current job trends, green economic development, and job opportunities. Workforce Development, EDD, Robert Half & Associates and AppleOne will be available to speak with potential applicants. Sponsors of this event are Riverside Public Utilities and The Southern California Gas Company.

For more information, please contact Anna Wenger at (951) 682-6070 or RSVP by sending an e-mail to rsvp@blackvoicenews.com with the number of attendees. Seating is limited.

The Healthy Heritage Movement

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The Healthy Heritage Movement, which strives to educate and empower the African American community to make healthy lifestyle changes, has partnered with Kaiser Permanente to offer Free Community Health Screenings in Riverside County. Healthy Heritage offers free screening to bring access to care to the underserved and uninsured population by bringing the Kaiser Mobile health unit to the area. The mobile health unit is literally a medical office on wheels, completely staff with a medical health team. It gives the community an opportunity to get an update on their vital health numbers.

Over 120 people were served at two recent Riverside outreaches. Rubidoux Missionary Baptist Church, under the leadership of Senior Pastor Terry Starks and the direction of Health Ministry leader Linda William, 55 of their members were screened and received health education counseling. La Joyce’s Coiffures Hair Therapy Center hosted the community screening at the Kmart Center where over 65 community members were screened. The preventative screening is vital in determining your overall health status. The screening included blood pressure checks, body mass index count, diabetes and cholesterol screening and nutrition and emotional wellness counseling.

Phyllis Clark, CEO of Health Heritage said in this slow economy many people are finding it difficult to address their health issues, “I think it is important for everyone to pull their resources together and provide services to those that find themselves without. More and more people need help these days. Healthy Heritage is here to bring resources to the community,” states Clark.

Charles Bibbs Named Official Artist for Leimert Park Book Fair

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The Leimert Park Village Book Fair Planning Committee has named world renown artist Charles Bibbs as the official artist for the 2011 Leimert Park Village Book Fair (LPVBF).

Bibbs unveiled his work, "The Reader II," in celebration of the book fair's fifth anniversary on Saturday, June 25, from 10:00 am - 6:00 pm. “The Reader II” will appear on all LPVBF marketing and event materials.

“Charles Bibbs is a national treasure and we are thrilled to have an artist of his caliber create our signature artwork,” commented LPVBF Executive Director Cynthia Exum. The Leimert Park Village Book Fair will take place in the lot adjacent to the Vision Theatre, 3341 43rd Place in Los Angeles, California 90008.

The LPVBF 2011 line-up includes over 100 authors, exhibitors and vendors, including many of the top African American authors and celebrity speakers.

“Every year we’ve grown bigger and better,” says Exum. “This year, we’re very excited to have many amazing authors and celebrities guests and expect over 5,000 festival attendees. We’ve also organized some very relevant panel discussions that touch on a variety of current issues in our community. There’s definitely going to be something for everyone at this year’s book fair.”

Applications for the author’s tent and vendors are still available online at www.leimertparkbookfair.com or by calling (323) 730-0628.

Bibbs' works displays a unique, strong and stylized quality done in a combination of abstract and realistic interpretations of a contemporary subject. Using his ethnic heritage as inspiration, along with a mixture of realism and fantasy, he has developed a distinctive style. A native of Southern California, Bibbs' exposure to African and Native American art, which both have a distinct spiritual motivation, is strongly reflected in his works. “My most important goal is to make profound aesthetic statements that are ethnically rooted, and at the same time, arouse spiritual emotions within us," says Bibbs.

Mr. Bibbs is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Entrepreneur of the Year Award, presented by the African American Chamber of Commerce; a Community Recognition Award from the National Council of Negro Women; a NAACP Freedom Community Award; an Appreciation Service Award by the California State Assembly.

His work has been exhibited at museums around the country and overseas. A partial list of Bibb’s art collectors are Frankie Beverly, Najee, Steve Harvey, Dr. Bernard and Mrs. Shirley Kinsey, Marc Brown, Earl Graves, Queen Latifah, Drs. Frank and Marsha Glover, Dr. And Mrs. Charles Mitchell, the University of Arizona and Fox Searchlight Pictures. Charles Bibbs will also be on hand at the Book Fair to meet and greet festival attendees. For more information on the event, visit www.leimertparkbookfair.com or call (323) 730-0628.

The book fair is produced by Cynthia E. Exum and Associates in partnership with Los Angeles City Councilmember Bernard C. Parks, 8th District, and in association with the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and City of Los Angeles.

First Bank Helps Jurupa Valley Celebrate Sweet First Birthday

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In celebration of Jurupa Valley’s first anniversary as a city, First Bank’s Riverside branch provided free birthday cakes to the community during the keynote event on June 30 at the Cove Water Park. In addition to members of the community, local business people and dignitaries were on hand for the celebration. Part of a weeklong party, the Jurupa Valley community also celebrated with a 5K walk/run, fireworks, and a parade. First Bank is one of the largest privately owned banks in the country with over $6.92 billion in assets and 149 locations in California, Florida, Illinois, and Missouri.

Community Builders Shine At Black Voice 40th Event

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By Chris Levister

What could possibly get dozens of Community Builders out early on a Saturday morning in the sweltering summer heat?

The answer lies in Luke 12:48: “to whom much is given, much will be required.” The Black Voice News 40th anniversary celebration held at Riverside Grier Pavilion Saturday recognized “40 Community Builders” for their outstanding contributions to community outreach in the Inland Empire.

“To the 40 household names and everyday people who have had the courage to make community inclusivity their mission, we salute you,” Black Voice News co-publisher Cheryl Brown said in welcoming the 2012 honorees and event guests.

Retired Health Educator Dr. Lula Mae Clemons, activist Thelma Winkler-Beach, Vine Life Christian Fellowship Church pastor Dr. Robert L. Wilks Jr., author Laura Klure, Lake Elsinore Mayor Brian Tisdale, community volunteer Sara Garcia, Fontana City Councilman Matthew Slowik, Keynasis Buffong, Rialto High School counselor and co founder of Project Action, Inc., and Mark and Robin McKay co-founders of McKay’s Family Mortuary were just a few of the honorees recognized. “None of us could have gotten to where we are if not for the support, mentorship and achievements of those who came before us,” Black Voice News co-publisher Hardy Brown told the crowd seated in the open air space dedicated to the legacy of Riverside community builders Barnett and Eleanor Jean Grier.

Brown paid tribute to 2012 Community Builders recalling how in the late 1970’s, in an era of rampant racial and employment discrimination, he stood on the “shoulders of giants” at his former employer Kaiser Permanente as he struggled to realize his dream of buying the Black Voice Newspaper. “Honoree Rev. Arthur Forbes the first management executive at Kaiser Steel and Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program hired a staff of Blacks and Latinos to deliver healthcare services to a diverse population while fighting racial discrimination within the organization,” Brown said. He recalled Forbes’ staff including his secretary a Latino, was moved from the 8th to the 6th floor while he was in Washington on company business, without his knowledge. He pushed for equality at Kaiser. He fought for and got a diverse board of directors at the United Way in San Bernardino. He founded the Inland Empire Community Health Care Program 20 years ago. That program exists today,” said Brown.

He credited Forbes with hiring honoree Rev. John Woods, Kaiser’s first Regional Equal Employment Opportunity Program Administrator. Woods became the first African American to serve on the San Bernardino Board of Education. “John took a lot of guff when he tried to convince managers and doctors to integrate the Kaiser workforce. He rallied management to hire Blacks, Hispanics, Asians and Indians as Affirmation Action officers at all of its medical centers in Southern California,” Brown said. “Minority personnel hired after 1973 stood on the shoulders of these courageous giants,” he added. “With the support of Kaiser President Jim Vohs and Dr. Raymond Kay of the Permanente Medical Group’, Art and John’s bold leadership as well as those individuals who worked behind the scenes to promote equality ultimately ensured my employment thus allowing me and my family to buy the newspaper and nurture it into a self sustaining instrument for justice and social equality,” said Brown. Similarly honoree Charleta (Charly) Marshall, RN fought for inclusivity. She helped found the United Nurses Association at Kaiser Fontana now the largest union of nurses in the state. She also started the first Medicare certified hospice program at the Fontana facility. Because of her exceptional writing skills, recalled Brown, she was once called an “arrogant Black woman.”

“Forty years ago in a climate of resistance and oppression, the Black Voice News, was born. Dedicated to independence and permanence, thanks to community builders like you, the Black Voice continues to both serve and be a part of this rich community,” added Cheryl Brown. Title sponsors of the celebration and Community Builders reception were General Motors, Macy’s, Wells Fargo and UC Riverside.

Dr. Ruth Jackson the first and only African American university librarian in all of the University of California schools recognized the Black Voice News which was started at UCR in 1972 by Ardess E. Lilly Jr. then-president of the campus’ Black Student Union.

“It makes me proud to salute you and be part of a community where all members have an opportunity to be knowledgeable about issues that shape their lives and prepare them for a better future,” said Jackson.

Other salutes included a resolution from 2012 honoree, Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge who was unable to attend the event. The presentation made by City Councilman Mike Gardner lauded the newspaper’s achievements and contributions often in the face of injustice and adversity. “You have not only reported the news, you have been a tireless advocate on behalf of civil rights, and a force in shaping policy and bettering this community.”

“Dignitaries and ordinary people, I believe that it takes a village to create and sustain communities,” said honoree Keynasia Buffong. “We are many voices with one mission, our attitudes and actions serve to expand equality and opportunity for all people.”

“We in the community are like the human body,” said honoree Carl Clemons, the first Black chairman of the San Bernardino Planning Commission. “We all have different parts – together those parts make one viable body. If we neglect one part, there’s a vacuum. If we don’t fill that vacuum, pretty soon we become dysfunctional. We all have a responsibility to keep the body functioning properly.”

“Our commitment to human dignity in times of loss is to never turn away a family due to a lack of funds,” said honoree Mark McKay founder of McKay’s Family Mortuary. “Celebrating our humanitarian efforts in this way serves to strengthen and empower us as Community Builders.”

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