Home / Author Archives: WSS News (page 10)

Author Archives: WSS News

Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program Partners with Local Barbershops to Offer Free Health Screenings

LOS ANGELES, CA- On Saturday, February 17, The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program will address the growing concern of African American men and health disparities during the Los Angeles Initiative of the ground-breaking grass-roots initiative. The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program will offer from diabetes and hypertension screenings in Black-owned barbershops in Los Angeles and surrounding areas.

Founded in 2006, The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program is the first initiative of its kind to exclusively address health care disparities among African American men on a national level. The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program has screened over 30,000 African American men across the country for cardiovascular disease as well as prostate cancer. Now, the program is on a mission to screen and educate 1 million African American men for cardiovascular disease by the year 2020. The BBHOP will underscore the need for African American men to adopt healthier lifestyles and to promote early detection of diabetes and hypertension. Forty percent (40%) of African American men die prematurely from cardiovascular disease as compared to 21% of white men. Black men suffer far worse health conditions than any other racial group in America. There are a number of reasons for this. They include racial discrimination; a lack of affordable health services; poor health education, cultural barriers; poverty, employment that does not carry health insurance; insufficient medical and social services catering to black men.

The health fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. To find a local barbershop near you that is participating, please visit www.blackbarbershop.org.

Introducing the 2018 Senior King and Queen

Don and Celest Griggs Senior King & Queen

Don and Celest Griggs Senior King & Queen

By Margret Hill

Please allow me to introduce you to the San Bernardino Black Culture Foundation 2018 Senior King and Queen, Don and Celeste Griggs.  Congratulations Royalty.

Mrs. Celeste Brown Griggs was born in Waterloo, Iowa.  She graduated from East Waterloo High School in 1963, where she was a class mate and sweet heart of Don Griggs.  Mrs. Griggs joined Don in California after his return from overseas duty.  They were married in 1965 in Oceanside, California.

After moving to the Inland Empire, Celeste worked for Pacific Telephone Company and attended San Bernardino Valley College.  She became a home maker with their three children for five years before deciding to return to the work force.  She worked for Kaiser Permanent for twenty-seven years, retiring as Supervisor of staffing and payroll in the Appointment Center in Fontana.

Mr. Don Griggs was born in Waterloo, Iowa. He graduated from East Waterloo High School in 1961.  Upon graduation, he enlisted in the United State Marine Corps where he served for four years.  He was employed by Southern California Edison for ten years before entering the retail business.  Eager to be involved with his new community, Don was instrumental in bringing Boy Scouting to the inner city of San Bernardino serving as a Neighborhood Commissioner over seeing several troops and Cub Packs during the late sixties. Don took boys on overnight scouting trips and chaperoned them at the Helen Dade Boy Scouts of America Camp in Lake Arrowhead during the summer.

Griggs is well known for his impeccable style of clothing and his love for neckties.  He was co-owner of Irv Silvers Men’s Fashions for fifteen years, having stores located in the Inland Center Mall of San Bernardino and The Tyler Galleria of Riverside. He became President of the Merchants Association at Tyler Galleria.

He was hired by Nordstrom’s to manage the Men’s Clothing Department for fifteen years until he retired.  While there, he was able to display and sell his personal design collection of ties; “Designs by Don”.  Always one to ensure that employees of all races were treated with equity, Mr. Griggs co-founded the Diversity Board to oversee that a certain percentage of employees hired were people of color.

Mr. Griggs has been a small business owner for over thirty years. “I felt there was a niche market that had not been touched in men’s neckwear. I envisioned a quality line of African print men’s neckwear that would reflect elegance and significance, while appealing to professional and distinguished men.” 

The Griggs were volunteers at Priscilla’s Helping Hands and now host H.U.G.S (Home Unity Growth Groups).

Letter to the Editor: Hidden Community Angel

From left to right: Debbie Lagaret, Alysha Darby and Adrienne Braxton.

From left to right: Debbie Lagaret, Alysha Darby and Adrienne Braxton.

By Alysha Darby

I met a woman named “Debbie” at the Walmart in Redlands. She was the woman who checks the receipt as you’re walking out the door. I was struggling to get my receipt out of my wallet because I had a big box in my hand. Anyways, she was saying sorry that she had to do this it was a part of her job, I said, “Oh no worries.”

She said, “Yeah, I have stage III cancer but I still got to get up and come do my job because I need it, and I’m going to beat cancer. I’m a survivor.” Then she told me she wanted to get extensions like me and braids when her hair grows back! Then she told me she loved me and said, “Come see me again sister.”

After I spoke with one of Debbie’s daughters, she revealed to me that Debbie had been a district manager at Walmart for 23 years and that after being out of work for only four months (for radiation and Chemotherapy treatment) Walmart moved her down to a door greeter and cut her pay by $4 an hour! Debbie now has to work every single day while in pain, then goes home to take care of her own sick mother. Talk about a soldier!  Debbie’s daughter explained to me that finances are a problem due to all Debbie’s expensive hospital bills.

Last week, me and my boyfriend Mo Ziah met up with Adrienne Braxton and Sonia Adams from Celebrating a Vision Foundation. We put together a gift basket for Ms. Debbie which included chocolate covered strawberries, a prayer blanket, gift cards, candles, a survivor t-shirt and a lot of chocolate covered goodies.

God is really working through me because I have never had so much passion to help someone that I didn’t even know! This is only the beginning.

I believe raising this money could honestly change Debbie’s life and at least allow her to battle this cancer head up without having financial problems as well. She deserves that chance! Please anything can help, thank you all. You can visit https://www.gofundme.com/debbie-lagaret-cancer-fighter to donate.