Friday, August 1, 2008


Sister Mary McKinney is the 2007 Humanitarian of the Year

Reginald Beamon is the 2007 Community Service Award winner.

Kim Carter is a 2007 Black Rose.

Carl Jones is a 2007 Black Rose.

Brenda Dowdy is a 2007 Black Rose.

Project Action, as a group, is a 2007 Black Rose.

Lola Lee is a 2007 Black Rose.

Dixie Jourdan is a 2007 Black Rose.

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) – If you know someone who gives their time to make a better community, the Black Culture Foundation wants to know about them.

It’s seeking nominees for the 19th Annual Black Rose, Humanitarian of the Year and Community Volunteer of the Year awards. It will present these awards Friday, Sept. 26 at a dinner in the Valencia Room of the National Orange Show Grounds.

“We are looking for people who are doing over and above what they are paid to do every day,” says Margaret Hill, chairman of the Black Rose Awards program. “Many of these people don’t toot their own horn, but do so much for the community, they deserve recognition.”

To give the committee time to review all nominees, nomination forms should be turned in by Aug. 22. To obtain a nomination form, contact Hill at (909) 864-3267.

Although the awards program focuses on the Black community in San Bernardino, Hill says, an award winner need not be Black, nor a resident of the city. Many community leaders in law enforcement, education and other public venues have been recognized, and people living in places such as Riverside, Chino, Rialto and Fontana have received the awards in honor of work done to benefit the Inland Empire as a whole.

The Foundation is selling tickets to the awards ceremony for $50 each. Tables of 10 can be reserved for $500. To order tickets or reserve a table, contact Hill at (909) 864-3267.

The event begins at 6 p.m. in the National Orange Show - Valencia Room, 689 South E Street, San Bernardino. (Access is on Arrowhead Ave.) It starts with a social hour, followed by dinner and the ceremony at 7 p.m.

Thursday, July 31, 2008


Homeless Shelter Director Roosevelt Carroll and Capt. Stephen Ball, Commander of The Salvation Army of San Bernardino, with a $1 million check The Salvation Army received from California, to assist in building apartments for women and families transitioning out of homelessness.

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) – The Salvation Army of San Bernardino will build eight new apartments for families transitioning out of homelessness, thanks to a one million dollar forgivable loan just approved by the state.

“This is amazing news for our community,” said Captain Steve Ball, San Bernardino corps officer. “We’ve been dreaming of this day so we can help more people move off San Bernardino streets and transition into brand new lives.”

The apartments will offer a stable, transitional home where eight families( as many as 36 individuals) can stay for up to two years, receive counseling, find jobs and save money for permanent housing.

The major of the city of San Bernardino agrees it is good news. Although the city hasn’t yet formally approved the plans, it is helping The Salvation Army get through the approval process.

“The Salvation Army’s plans for the homeless are very, very needed,” said Kent Paxton, director of Operation Phoenix, and leader in the city’s effort to assist The Salvation Army through the approval process. “A recent survey showed that San Bernardino has more homeless people than any city in the county,” Paxton added.

“The San Bernardino City Unified School District counted 1,700 homeless children in the district,” he said. “Those children belong to families, some of whom will benefit greatly from these apartments.”

The California Department of Housing & Community Development awarded The Salvation Army a $1 million loan on July 16. This loan won’t have to be repaid if The Salvation Army completes construction of the shelter and fulfills the program requirements over a 10-year compliance period, said Adriana Mattox, a funding consultant with Hill & Associates, a firm that helped The Salvation Army obtain funds.

Sheltering up to 96 homeless people every night is just one of the many ministries The Salvation Army of San Bernardino currently offers. Others include serving dinners six nights a week to up to 200 people, helping emergency workers in disasters, providing spiritual counseling and training, operating youth mentoring programs, and working to improve the lives of homeless people within the community.

“None of the money we are about to receive can be used for these other programs,” Capt. Ball said. “While the money for our apartment project is wonderfully received by The Salvation Army, it’s important to understand that the many other programs we operate need continued support.”

The Salvation Army will build the new transitional apartments on the same property where it will soon relocate its emergency shelter. It is still working out the design of this shelter, but Capt. Ball expects it to house 60 to 80 people, with room for an additional 40 more during cold weather months.

It plans to also remodel some of the new shelter’s rooms for single women and families with children.

Adult Rehabilitation Center, a separate branch of The Salvation Army, currently operates the Tenth Street shelter as a residence for men in recovery from addictions. The Salvation Army of San Bernardino operates a shelter at 746 W. Fifth Street, primarily serving homeless women and children, but also married couples.

In October of 2008, Adult Rehabilitation Services will move its men’s residence to a new building on Doolittle Street, and the Salvation Army of San Bernardino intends to move its services to Tenth Street.

The Salvation Army San Bernardino Citadel Corps has helped residents of San Bernardino, Rialto, Grand Terrace, Highland, Bloomington and Colton since 1887.

The homeless shelter and meals program is at 746 W. Fifth St. in San Bernardino. For more information, call (909) 888-1336.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Dr. E. M. Abdulmumin (standing at right), one of the speakers at the Healthy Heritage Wellness Conference held Saturday, July 26, talks with Leura Valeriano, Health Education Assistant Elida Drachenberg and Clarese Hill at the American Cancer Society’s information booth before the conference began.

Nikia Hammonds-Blakely, keynote speaker for the Healthy Heritage Wellness Conference held Saturday, July 26, told of her experience with breast cancer when she was just 16 years old.

(Riverside, Calif.) –Cancer, cardiovascular disease and bad relationships.

These are serious health problems, but they can be avoided. And for those who already face these and other problems affecting their body, mind and spirit, help is available.

That’s the message the organizers of the Healthy Heritage Wellness Conference believe more than 350 participants took home with them after the all-day event Saturday, July 26.

“I was humbled and overjoyed by the turnout,” said organizer Phyllis Clark, who created the event four years ago. “Some of these people have come all four years. We truly have a following. I am grateful for them, and for the sponsors. They have consistently believed in the multicultural community that attends this conference.”

To inspire others to take charge of their own health, the Healthy Heritage Wellness Conference brought in as its keynote speaker Nikia Hammonds-Blakely, a representative of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The 30-year-old Hammonds-Blakely told about her experience with breast cancer 14 years ago, when she was in high school.

“To say that diagnosis changed my life is an understatement,” Hammonds-Blakely said. “It changed my life forever.”

Like most girls, Hammonds-Blakely didn’t think much beyond boys, clothes, and who she would go with to the junior prom when she was 16 years old. But when both her own self-exam and her doctor’s clinical breast exam revealed a suspicious lump, things changed.

“My doctor said ‘It’s probably nothing,’ but wanted me to have a biopsy just in case,” Hammonds-Blakely said. “When we got the results of the biopsy back, it showed I not only had cancer, but a rare and extremely aggressive type.”

“It was too much to wrap my mind around,” she said. “I went home daily feeling like a monster. I wondered who would ever love me? Would I ever get married? Would I ever have children? And if so, would I be able to nurse them?”

Hammonds-Blakely had a strong Christian faith before she contracted breast cancer, and it was by relying on this faith she got through this most difficult time in her life, she said. Faith was also what motivated her to use the difficulties she had gone through to help others.

“I realized no one ever knows when we will leave this earth,” she said. “Our responsibility while we are here is to manage our life and let it have purpose to help someone else. For as long as I am going to be here, I am going to use my life to the maximum.”

With this newfound motivation, Hammonds-Blakely went from an average student to fifth in her graduating class in high school. She has now obtained a Master’s Degree in marketing, and is working on her Ph.D. in organizational management.

This young woman also is a member of the Susan G. Komen’s Young Woman’s Advisory Council, a position that gives her numerous opportunities to let women know that breast cancer can happen at a young age. It also gave her the opportunity to travel to Nigeria, where she and her mother were able to bless many teen-age girls who had recently survived breast cancer with 750 prosthetic bras, and encouragement from a “sister” who had been there.

“That was one of the most profound experiences of my life,” she said.

Another speaker for the event was Dr. E.M. Abdulmumin, professor, youth advocate, and karate instructor. He urged the largely African-American audience to consider the African lifestyle as one that is healthier and more balanced than that of Americans, and to make changes

“Our parents fought hard to get us out of slavery,” he said. “Now we have a new kind of slavery. As our children have moved away from their values, and their culture, they have become slaves to peer pressure.”

In the afternoon, a panel of experts gave their advice for a healthier lifestyle. These included Dr. Steven Barag, who presented information about preventing and curing hypertension and other cardiovascular disease; Dr. David Williams, who gave information about his specialty, preventative medicine and how it can help people stay healthy; marriage and family counselor Tiombe Preston, who taught 12 Commandments for Emotional Health; author and college professor Charles Fossett, who offered his sage advice on relationships and Pastor Gerald Hightower of Purpose Center International, who provided the audience a spiritual perspective on finding one’s purpose in life.

The free Healthy Heritage Wellness Conference was organized by a committee which includes staff members from Riverside County Public Health Department; the American Cancer Society; the Southern California Witness Project, a breast cancer awareness group; Inland Agency; Dameron Communications and many volunteers.

Sponsors for the 2008 Healthy Heritage Wellness Conference included The American Cancer Society, Pharmaceutical and Research Manufacturers of America (PhARMA), Southern California Edison, the Riverside Community Health Foundation, Inland Agency, Dameron Communications, Black Voice News, Brothers and Sisters in Action (BASIA), Abbott Vascular and Novartis.

These sponsorships allow the conference organizers to put the event on at no charge.

For more information about the Healthy Heritage Wellness Conference call (951) 565-4431 or e-mail

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


(San Bernardino, Calf.) Gene Williams joined Dameron Communications, a highly regarded public relations firm located in San Bernardino County, as a summer intern.

Gene is a recent graduate from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Communications. Williams is one of four interns working for Carl Dameron who serves as creative director and CEO.

“Interning for Dameron Communications has influenced my life twofold; it has provided a clear perspective of what I want to become as a professional and the experience has built my character in a positive way,” said Williams.

Gene’s involvement with extracurricular activities served as a beneficial supplement to his educational training as a public relations practitioner. Gene has served on several executive boards, became a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America and held a position as a writer for The Poly Post, the university newspaper.

“Becoming a writer for The Post prepared me as a public relations specialist. It served as an outlet for writing in-depth articles and provided a sense of accomplishment with published stories. My involvement with the paper confirmed that I was majoring in the right career field” said Williams.

Gene also served as the Director of Public Relations for the Multicultural Council (MCC), a student run organization that funds and provides a guideline for cultural clubs and organizations.

During his time with MCC he created brochures, flyers, updated their website and provided a voice for the organization within the school. He also took part in events that promoted social awareness and social change within the minority community.

Gene’s prior experience in public relations stems from his college career, where he developed a strong educational foundation in communications and public relations. His experiences range from constructing communication plans for the Orange County chapter of the ALS foundation, creating media related materials for an educational resource company.

Within the first few months at Dameron Communications Gene has been part of many projects such as the grand opening of the American Heritage University’s new location in
San Bernardino and He will be part of an upcoming camping to raise awareness for Riverside County Auditor-Controller Robert Byrd.

Gene’s interest in making a difference for minorities manifested itself to his desire to make a difference on a local level by pursuing a career within the county of San Bernardino as a Community Relations Officer for the Sheriffs Department.

Dameron Communications will be Gene’s first step into the competitive world of public relations; his desire to grow professionally and personally has begun.

For more information on Dameron Communications call (909) 888-0821.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Christopher Sloan New Intern At Dameron Communications

“Christopher is very dedicate to his work and I know he will succeed in both his career in photography and public relations,” said Carl Dameron, creative director and CEO for the agency.

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) Christopher Sloan started his internship at Dameron Communications in the summer 2008. He is a senior at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona), majoring in Communications: Public Relations.

“Within three weeks of being at Dameron Communications, I have already learned so much about public relations. I am honored to have Carl Dameron as a mentor, ” said Sloan. “I am happy I found an internship where I can learn more about both public relations as well as photography.”

Sloan will be returning to Cal Poly Pomona to complete his last four classes in the 2008/2009-school term, however, due to budget cuts, he will remain at Cal Poly Pomona for the entire school year.

Since he has very few classes left for the 2008/2009-school term, he will dedicate the remainder of his time to the college newspaper (the Poly Post), Public Relations Student Society of American (PRSSA) Cal Poly Pomona chapter, the Communications Club, the Communications’ photography department and work with the Cal Poly Pomona Music Department.

Sloan is the president of both PRSSA and the Communications Club at Cal Poly for the 2008/2009-school term. PRSSA is a chartered club that is open to all students within the communications department; however, its focus is within public relations.

“After my interview with Carl Dameron (Creative Director at Dameron Communications), I realized that outside of classroom, I had no writing samples,” said Sloan. “Realizing this, I decided to incorporate opportunities for PRSSA members to gain experience within the public relations field outside of the classroom.”

Sloan has spoken to Guiang Corporation and the Newman Club Catholic Campus Ministry about PRSSA doing all their public relations.

“I believe that by allowing students to work on actual public relations projects, PRSSA will give students the experience they need to succeed after graduation.” Said Sloan.

The communications club will be dedicated to giving its members experience within both journalism and organizational communications.

Sloan will continue to photograph and start writing for the Poly Post and the music department. He will also continue to be a photography lab assistant for the communications department.

“If nothing else, I have learned this summer that a press release is written for the target audience and should be written in such a way that the target audience will be able to clearly understand the message being sent,” said Sloan.

Sloan looks forward to continuing his summer internship with Carl Dameron and knows that by the end of the summer, he will have a basic overview as to what a career in public relations is all about.