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Residents Input Needed On Education And Employment

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In 2007, Community Action Partnership of Riverside County conducted a county-wide Community Assessment survey of low-income neighborhoods. 4,759 door-to-door surveys were conducted. The survey results showed that employment and education were major priorities for low-income residents.

As a follow-up to the survey, residents are being invited to participate in focus groups to share their experience, comments and ideas about employment and education opportunities in their community. The first of these focus groups will be held on Monday, June 30 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Corona Library West Room, 650 South Main Street in Corona. Any residents wishing to share their experience or learn about education and employment opportunities are welcome to attend. Light refreshments will be served.

For more information, please contact Kiona Morones at CAP Riverside, (951) 955-4900 or (800) 511-1110.

Bourns College of Engineering Hosts the University of California Bioengineering Symposium

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The ninth annual University of California Systemwide Bioengineering Symposium will convene at UC Riverside Friday through Sunday, June 20-22, bringing hundreds of researchers and students together to share the latest discoveries and ideas in the field.

The symposium will be hosted by the Bourns College of Engineering Bioengineering Department the week after the young program graduates its inaugural graduating class of bioengineering students.

Attendees will see the promise and contributions of bioengineering to medical science, techniques and avenues that were largely unheard of a generation ago. The next generation of University of California bioengineers will descend on the UCR Student Commons to present their own research in a number of broad categories:

  • Bioinformatics & Genomics
  • Biomedical Imaging
  • Nanotechnology & BioMEMS
  • Biocomputation, in Silico & Biosystems Modeling
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Molecular & Cellular Engineering
  • Drug Delivery & Targeting
  • Biomechanics
  • Biophysics

"Bioengineering has helped ignite a revolution in the way medicine understands the healthy body and disease states," said Engineering Dean Reza Abbaschian. "That students are inspired by those advances can be seen in our own program, which has grown from zero to more than 300 students in just three years."

Three distinguished keynote speakers are scheduled during the three day conference.

Don P. Giddens
Don P. Giddens, Dean of Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology will deliver the Friday dinner keynote address at the Mission Inn on "Know Your Arteries, Know Thyself."

John Anderson, President of the Illinois Institute of Technology, will speak after dinner on Saturday at the UCR Commons on "Biomedical Engineering, Bioengineering, Biological Engineering, Biotechology - What's in a Name?"

Kristine Kelley
The final keynote will be given Sunday morning at the Commons by Kristine Kelley, Director of the Division of Discovery Science and Technology at the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.

Organizers for the conference are Jerome Schultz, and Victor Rogers, both professors of bioengineering at BCOE.

Sponsoring the symposium are Genentech Inc., Gilead Sciences Inc., ResMed Inc., Boston Scientific Corp., Abbot Vascular, Penguin Computing Inc. and Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc.

Victor Rogers
After only two decades, the Bourns College of Engineering has achieved significant growth in its enrollment, research holdings and reputation to become ranked as one of the best public engineering colleges of its size in the nation. The number of faculty and students has both tripled since 2000, with a concomitant rise in state-of-the-art laboratories, equipment and technological capabilities. Interdisciplinary and collaborative efforts are a hallmark of the College in education, research and industrial partnerships, particularly in three affiliated research centers.

For more information about the symposium, or to register, visit the event website at www.bioeng.ucr.edu/2008UCBES.

Give hope – give life – give blood

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The Blood Bank of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties invites all healthy residents to give the gift of life Thursday, June 19, 2008 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Defense Media Center-MARB, 23755 "Z" Street in Riverside. For every lifesaving donation, participants receive points as part of the "Gift of Life" Donor Loyalty Program that may be redeemed for items through the Blood Bank's online store. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit www.bbsbrc.org  or call the Blood Bank at 1.800.879.4484.

"The demand for blood never stops. In fact, right here in Southern California, we need to collect at least 500 donations daily to ensure that patients in hospitals get the lifesaving treatments they need," said Joseph W. Dunn, Ph.D., the Blood Bank's executive vice president and chief operating officer.

 Healthy individuals at least 16 years of age may donate blood. (Those 16 years of age must provide the Blood Bank with written parental consent. Parent consent forms are available at any donor center or community blood drive. Donors who have celebrated their 76th birthday must provide the Blood Bank with annual, written physician consent.) All prospective donors should be free of infections or illness, weigh at least 110 pounds and not be at risk for AIDS or hepatitis. Donors receive a free mini-physical as part of the donation process. Donating blood takes about an hour, yet gives someone a lifetime.

The Blood Bank of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties was founded in 1951 as a private, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization by the medical societies of San Bernardino and Riverside counties. The Blood Bank serves 42 medical facilities in Southern California and receives more than 500 donations daily in order to support 150,000 transfusions annually. For additional information, please contact the Blood Bank of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties at 1.800.879.4484 or visit www.bbsbrc.org.

  • 384 West Orange Show Road, San Bernardino, CA 92408 Tel: 909.885.6503 Fax: 909.381.2036

87th Anniversary Commemoration 1921 Tulsa Race

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By Lea Michele Cash

Recently, I flew to Tulsa, Oklahoma to be involved in the 87th Anniversary Commemoration 1921 Tulsa Race Riot.  I had visited Tulsa in April, and again in May.  I arrived with hope and excitement towards finally meeting the prestigious Harvard lawyer, Dr. Charles J. Ogletree Jr.  Ogletree was the legal counsel for Anita Hill, 1991 Senate confirmation hearings and NBC's legal commentator during the O.J. Simpson murder trial. He recently was named by the National Law Journal to be one of "The 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America".  Ogletree, headed the Litigation Team of reparations for the 1921 Race Riot survivors and their descendants. He is also the co-chair of the Reparations Coordinating Committee (RCC).

I stayed at the home of appointed Race Riot Commissioner, historian, Eddie Faye Gates, a retired educator, a mighty warrior who has championed the cause of never letting go the holocaustic tragedy that occurred to Black Tulsans on the fatal evening of May 31, 1921. 

History now records due to much of her efforts, that on this day, the City of Tulsa received a large black eye.  One that has not healed, because of the winds of hatred and Jim Crow Laws fueled by Ku Klux Klansmen, desiring to lynch a young Black man, arrested for assaulting a white woman in an elevator and becoming the worse race riot in America.   

Dr. Charles J. Ogletree (Harvard law professor and civil rights attorney) and Eddie Faye Gates (Historian and Commissioner)
For sixteen hours, thirty-five city blocks burned to the ground by angry White mobs, completely devastating more than a thousand Black families, leaving them homeless and displaced.  The Black men were round up and place in camps, others they shot dead in the street, or in their homes.  Many of Tulsa's children never saw their fathers again.  A group of prominent brave Black men were indicted for starting the riot. My grandfather Jack R. Scott was one of them. Recently, 86 years later, their names were cleared and District Attorney Tim Harris and District Court, Judge Jesse Harris dismissed all charges.

On May 31, 2008, we traveled from all parts of the country to honor those personally affected by the riot and to view the screening of the documentary "Before They Die!" soon to be release to the world.  The documentary is about the race riot survivor's odyssey through the Federal courts to the Supreme Court and on to the US Congress, in their search for moral justice.  

The special activities were held on the campus of Oklahoma State University, Tulsa Campus (OSU).  OSU is a university that elegantly spreads, over the property and land once owned by Blacks who lived in Tulsa's segregated Greenwood area, better known as "Black Wall Street."  To kick off the 87th anniversary a morning march was scheduled from the university to the Greenwood Cultural Center.   However, heavy rains and a thunderstorm did not allow us to march.  By noon, the sky was blue and the sun was out, as if the thunderstorm had never occurred.  Many arrived for the Town Hall Meeting: The Litigation from the Beginning.

This is when I met the survivors, Dr. Olivia Hooker, Otis Clark, and Wes Young.  I met Dr. Ogletree, Suzette Malveaux, Co-Counselor; Michele Roberts, Co-Counselor;, Eric Miller, Co-Counselor; Reggie Turner, producer; J. Denise Clement, MD and Don Ross, former State Representative.  Oh, what a joy it was to be there representing my grandparents and their courageous efforts.  

A memorable occasion for me was to spend time listening to Dr. Olivia Hooker, 93 and Otis Clark, 105, both very precious, beautiful and quite humbly extraordinary.  Dr. Hooks now lives in New York. She was born on February 12, 1915.  She was six years old in 1921, and lived with her parents and four siblings on Independence Street in the Greenwood segregated district.  She witnessed the White mob hacked up their furniture with axes and set fire to her grandmother's bed and sewing machine. She said, "I still remember the sound of gunfire raining down on my home and that mob burned all my doll's clothing. After the riot, my mother saved   all the artillery shells that mobsters had put in all of our dresser drawers." 

Dr. Hooker's parents moved their family to another state. They filed insurance claims for their very prominent clothing store, destroyed property, but the case was thrown out of court in 1926.

Dr. Olivia J. Hooker, 93 year-old race riot survivor.
Dr. Hooker went on to make history, by becoming the first African American to enlist in the Coast Guard Women's Reserve (SPAR). In 1945, she was encouraged to apply for admission to the Coast Guard by her good friend, Alex Haley who then served as a ship cook aboard the CGC Mendota.  Hooker has received many honors and accolades for this historic honor. She has taught Graduate school at Fordham University, retiring as Associate Professor in 1985.

Now, Otis G. Clark, well, he won me over at hello. He was born on February 13, 1903. On the evening of the riot, he fled for his life.  He hoboed on a train, heading to California. He thought, if he went to California that he might be able to find his biological father.

Today, with many extraordinary stories about his life in Hollywood, and the church he helped to start, he travels around the country as the oldest traveling evangelist in the country.

The most memorable event for me was on Sunday, June 1st.    Those of us who had come from far and near stood with the survivors at the Oak Lawn Cemetery, the site of an alleged mass grave.  We held a small ceremony to honor the victims of the riot who were never properly buried.  It was very sad, as we hugged and sang a host of Black spirituals. It was a moving, uplifting and a powerful few moments. Most cried. I tried not to.  Nevertheless, by the time they started the first few verses of "This Little Light of Mine", my favorite song, down came my tears.  The history of what occurred so long ago raced through my head and heart, and all I had learned from my visit. One female descendant wept profusely and a young boy fainted. Dr. Clement rushed to give him medical attention, and hugs and comfort was given gently to the other descendant.    

Martin Luther King, Jr. talked about, unjust and just laws regarding Blacks and Jim Crow Laws. The morally right thing to do by the State of Oklahoma and our nation has not been done, for the injustices suffered after the riot when insurance companies refused to pay the race victims, and Black men were falsely accused for starting the riot. A quest for reparations by surviving victims was shattered in 2005, when the US Supreme Court dismissed without comment a class-action suit against the City of Tulsa, its police department and the State of Oklahoma. Why? 

Because of a lower court's ruling that a two-year-old statute of limitations on claims had expired in 1923.  It mattered little the Tulsa segregated courts in which Ku Klux Klan member ruled and held judgeships and bias, refusing to hear and throwing out Black claims by race riot victims. My grandfather's claim was $48,980.50.

The small group of faithful warriors vowed in the final song, "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Roun".  They are going to keep reflecting on this tragic riot, telling the story, and facing with unwavering strength, the various legal challenges that have ensued until justice is served like the State of Florida has done with the victims of the Rosewood Race Riot.

My aunt, Juanita Maxine Scott Perry, was a documented race riot survivor and mentioned in several books.  She was born June 21, 1919 and died last year. Many of the race riot survivors are dying off never to receive their justice from a country they have loved.  Don Ross said, "Their survival, pride, and courage is Greenwood's last stand. It's as symbolic as the Alamo is to American history. They may have been overpowered and imprisoned in concentration camps, but they never surrendered their hearts, minds and tenacious resilience. One day they will get their justice."

Operation Splash! Makes A Splash

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A $50,000 grant from Kaiser Permanente will cool off a lot of Riverside residents this summer.

At a brief ceremony Thursday at Shamel Park's pool, the health care company and the City Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department announced that the grant will enable qualifying low-income residents to participate in either swim lessons or recreational swimming.  The new program, Operation Splash!, will pay for up to 10,000 recreational swimming day passes, swim lessons for 200 to 400 people at the community pools, and up to 100 scholarships for the day camps.  Seven city pools will take part.

The Operation Splash kick-off program will include City of Fontana Mayor Mark Nuaimi, City of Fontana Mayor Pro Tem Acquanetta Warren, and City of Fontana Council Members. Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center’s Executive Director Greg Christian, Chief Operating Officer Georgina Garcia, and Director of Public Affairs Jennifer Resch-Silvestri will also be on hand, as well as local kids and parents ready to beat the heat with a jump in the pool and an exciting pre-summer swim!

"When you think of Southern California, you think of everyone having pools in their backyards or lying on the beach," said City Councilmember Andy Melendrez at the ceremony.   "But the reality for many children in Riverside is very different. Many don't know how to swim and may never have the opportunity to go to the beach." Beginning Friday, June 13, Fontana residents will have access to free swimming lessons for the entire family at four local pools.

"Operation Splash provides a fun and vital service for Fontana's kids during the Inland Empire's hot summer months," said Greg Christian, Executive Director, Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center. "We are thrilled to be partnering with the City of Fontana to bring the positive benefits of learning to swim and maintaining a healthy lifestyle to the families of Fontana."           

The Riverside Aquettes, a synchronized swimming team, perform during the opening of Operation Splash!
The mission of Operation Splash is to support aquatic facilities and swim programs that help increase physical activity, diminish the risk of chronic disease, and build strong bodies. The program encourages all participants to become water-safe in a fun and healthy environment. Children and their parents can get more information at their local participating community pools.

"In addition to promoting safety, Operation Splash encourages children to be more active. And the more active they become, the healthier they will be," said Dr. David Quam, Area Medical Director for Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center. "This program is a great example of what can be done through the power of community partnerships."

"We are thrilled that Kaiser Permanente's Operation Splash program is now in Fontana," said Frances Hernandez, Community Services Manager for the City of Fontana. "This will encourage more children to learn to swim and become more healthy and active this summer."

To find out about "Operation Splash" visit any local community pool or visit the City of Fontana Web site at www.fontana.org or call 909-350-6569.  Pre- screening/ registration is required.

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BVN National News Wire