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Author Archives: WSS News

BLU Educational Foundation Opens Thoughtful Dialogue Confronting Issues of Self-Image, Personal Achievement, and Relationships during Women’s History Month Screening of “The Souls of Black Girls”

Panelist Zumar Zamaan (back center) pictured with students who work closely with Dina Walker

Panelist Zumar Zamaan (back center) pictured with students who work closely with Dina Walker

SAN BERNARDINO, CA – – BLU Educational Foundation (BLU) launched a thoughtful dialogue this month with the community screening of the award-winning provocative news documentary, The Souls of Black Girls. The screening was held Thursday, March 24 at San Bernardino Valley College and included a post-screening panel discussion with thought-leaders from the Inland Empire Region. The panel also included local students who work closely with Dina Walker, founder of BLU.

Dina Walker, Founder of BLU, pictured with community leaders (l to r) Hardy Brown II and Jonathan Buffong

Dina Walker, Founder of BLU, pictured with community leaders (l to r) Hardy Brown II and Jonathan Buffong

“Our objective was to provide a safe environment where the community could come together to discuss socially relevant issues facing African American girls and women,” said Walker. It’s important for all women to have a healthy self-image. We’re optimistic that this discussion will extend well beyond Women’s History Month.”

Panelists included Zumar Zamaan, a local writer; Dr. April Clay, a counseling consultant; Faith Ellis, an English teacher; and students Davina Clay, Raihanah Medlock, and Breanna Smith. They each shared personal experiences and how they’ve chosen to navigate issues such as family dynamics, dating relationships and public perceptions of black women.

The screening also served as a precursor to BLU’s Soul Sister’s Leadership Academy and Conference slated for this summer and fall respectively. T-shirts bearing the slogan #BlackGirlsMatter can be purchased to support the Academy and participant scholarships.

Produced by rising filmmaker Daphne Valerius, The Souls of Black Girls raises the question of whether or not women of color may be suffering from a self-image disorder as a result of trying to attain the standards of beauty that are celebrated in media images. The candid piece features interviews with young women discussing their self-image as well as social commentary from Rapper/Political Activist Chuck D, Actresses Regina King and Jada Pinkett Smith, PBS Washington Week Moderator Gwen Ifill and Cultural Critic Michaela Angela Davis, among others.

Memorial Services for Pastor Dennis Brown will be Held Next Friday

Dennis M. Brown

Dennis M. Brown

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- Memorial services for Pastor Dennis M. Brown will be held on Friday, April 8 at 7 p.m. at Temple Missionary Baptist Church located at 1583 Union Street in San Bernardino. Pastor Brown was called “The Voice of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” When he would sing, members of the community caked him the Black Elvis.

Pastor Dennis was called home to be with The Lord on Thursday, March 24 at 4:35 p.m. For more information on the services, please call Bishop Leroi Lacey at (949) 705-8191 or Bishop Daniel Frazier at (909) 534-1383.

First Responders Acknowledged on the Assembly Floor


Front row: Mayor Carey Davis, City of San Bernardino; Supervisor Josie Gonzales, 5th Supervisorial District; San Bernardino Councilman Fred Shorett, 4th Ward; Assemblymembers Eric Linder (R-Corona), Freddie Rodriguez (D-Pomona), Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale), Cheryl Brown (D-San Bernardino), Jose Medina (D-Riverside),Marc Steinorth (R-Rancho Cucamonga), and Jay Obernolte (R-Hesperia); Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga); San Bernardino Councilman John Valdivia, 3rd Ward; and San Bernardino Councilwoman Virginia Marquez, 1st Ward.

Back row: Robert Duarte Gutierrez, American Medical Response; Captain Jack DeJong, San Bernardino County Fire; Chief Mark Garcia, Redlands Police Department; Annemarie Teall, San Bernardino Police Dept. Dispatch Unit; Deputy Sheriff Shaun Wallen, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Dept.; Chief Jarrod Burguan, San Bernardino Police Dept.; San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon; Chief Thomas Hannemann, San Bernardino City Fire; Ryan Starling, San Bernardino City Fire; Eric Sherwin, San Bernardino County Fire; anonymous lady John Chamberlain on behalf of Kathleen Opliger, San Bernardino County Fire; and Dr. Michael Neeki, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center/San Bernardino County Department of Probation.