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Fair Housing Honors 4th Annual Champions for Justice

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By Cheryl Brown

The Riverside Fair Housing Council recently honored six citizens from all over the county who have changed the communities they represent.

Mayor Ron Loveridge called the honorees “people of integrity, who hold true representation of servant leadership.”

Dorella Anderson, was named for her outstanding community service work assisting families and youth for 35 years through the Community Settlement Association.  She has worked to help youth involved with gangs to leave the gang life and relocate their family’s for their safety.  She is a member of Park Avenue Missionary Baptist Church.  Her involvement spans two to three generations of Riverside’s Eastside.

In the legal field, retired Judge Charles D. Field was lauded as a champion for the civil division of the court.  He served compassionately, first in juvenile court and then in the civil division.  Judge Field has been a champion for various organizations.  He was a member of the University of California Board of Regents, past president of the UC Riverside Alumni Association Board, and the Citizens University Committee.  Before his appointment in 1990 by Governor Deukmejian, he was a Senior Partner with Best, Best, & Krieger.

From Coachella, Jeffery A. Hays, Executive Director of Desert Alliance for Community Empowerment and Rancho Housing Alliance, was awarded for his innovative approach to community planning.

Hays overcame the obstacles of a severe lack of infrastructure, poverty and overall economic disparity.  He took eight million dollars and leveraged it into $140 million in funds for housing, infrastructure and community facilities for blighted rural Eastern Coachella Valley.

Ameal Moore was named the Champion of Civil Rights.  He remains committed to his work even though a bullet from an angry constituent almost took his life, the life of the mayor, and fellow councilmembers.  After the death of Tyisha Miller at the hands of the Riverside Police in 1998, he took the position as councilman and campaigned vigorously to win support for the formation of a police review board passed by the voters.

Beverly Mumphrey was still surprised that her community service work was recognized.  She has passion to help those who are lonely, of low-income, and hungry.  An example of her passion is the care she gave to an elderly person who could not afford a caregiver, she took care of her until her death and began helping others sacrificing time and money.  She has helped every year to gather and distribute $250,000 worth of food to the needy in Lake Elsinore.  Her acceptance speech from a wheel chair was moving.

Sysay Vilaylack, came here from Vietnam, with no money, and could not speak English, but through his strong faith in Jesus Christ, has made  a difference in the faith-based community as well as the Asian community where he is an advocate for self-sufficiency.

Vilaylack serves as a bridge to the Laotian community.  He has helped the community with the grief from the death of a young Laotian man who was in his own front yard holding a knife that he was using as a tool to fix his car,  when a Riverside Police officer approached and fatally shot him.  Vilaylack also helps Asian farmers learn English and provides them with the necessary tools to be successful.

The MC’s, both attorneys, Jack B. Clarke, Jr. from Best, Best, and Krieger and Theresa J. Rhyne, passed fun loving jabs at each other adding interest to the program.

Rose Mayes is the Executive Director of the Riverside Fair Housing Council and Jack Sevens is the Fair Housing Council of Riverside County, Inc. Board President.

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