The founder of a non-profit that fights domestic violence and HIV/AIDS has been named the 32nd District's Woman of the Year by Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Inland Empire).
"This was a difficult process because there are so many women who work incredibly hard to make their communities a better place," Negrete McLeod said. "Even so, Patricia Green-Lee stands out. She uses her own experience to reflect the reality of domestic violence and HIV."
Green-Lee holds a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Science and Human Services and is certificated in substance abuse and domestic violence, Negrete McLeod said.
"Besides all of her work with BASIA, Patricia's expertise and support were instrumental in the success of a domestic violence town hall I sponsored last year," Negrete McLeod said.
Green-Lee said she was shocked when she heard she was named Woman of the Year.
"I was totally surprised. When I found out, I started screaming and hollering and my kids were saying, ‘what's the matter, mama?'" Green-Lee said. "I just kept saying, ‘not me, not me.' I am still in shock."
Green-Lee started BASIA in 2003 but her activism started back in 1989 when she found out her son had HIV.
"I felt so ignorant about HIV and AIDS. When he first came home I was afraid of him, afraid of getting HIV. In 2007, I see a lot of people that still feel the same way," she said.
BASIA provides HIV/AIDS education to teach family members that the autoimmune disease can not be contracted through typical contact. As the non-profit has evolved, it has also provided prevention and intervention resources to African Americans in San Bernardino County.
The Woman of the Year ceremony is the centerpiece of a day-long celebration that includes a morning reception and lunch with all state legislators and each of their Women of the Year selections.
The day's events is sponsored by the Legislative Women's Caucus, of which Negrete McLeod is vice-chair.
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