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Author Archives: WSS News

“The Fellas” Dedicate the Last Man Mob of the School Year to the Memory of the Late Ratibu Jacocks

Submitted on Behalf of Terrance Stone

TheFellasIn honor of William Henry Jacocks, a longtime Rialto resident and active community member who with his wife, former Assemblywoman Wilmer Amina Carter, founded the Inland Area Kwanzaa Group, “The Fellas” dedicated their last Man Mob of the year to his memory. The Man Mob is a group of men from the local Inland Empire community who are interested in engaging and supporting the students at our schools.  Some are fathers, entrepreneurs, educators, college alumni, community and civic leaders, business owners, fraternity members, ministry groups, retirees, and current college students.  The me, show up to local schools, give hi-fives, tell the students to have a good day, encourage them to study hard, and let them know that they are supported by their community.  The goals are twofold: encourage and motivate students to succeed, and show them examples of positive, professional men of color.TheFellas5

The Man Mob is not just for students—it is for parents, teachers, school administrators and staff as well.  Indeed, before we visit a school we try to identify a teacher who has positively impacted children the most.  Once we get a consensus, we try and give that teacher a gift (e.g., certificate, hat, thank you card) to recognize their hard work, diligence and commitment to our students.  We work with superintendents, principals, district administrators, and school board members to plan and coordinate our meetings.  We invite them and let them know that we are coming to have a fun, safe, and joyful experience.

Lesford Duncan, a Child Abuse Prevention Coordinator for the San Bernardino County Children’s Network, was the first to propose the Man Mob idea in the fall of 2015.  Mr. Duncan saw a post on social media wherein a well-dressed group of African American fathers in Atlanta were hi-fiving elementary students who were entering the school building.  He suggested that the Fellas coordinate something similar here in the San Bernardino area.  It was then that several members of The Fellas (Jonathan Buffong, Terrance Stone, Hardy Brown, Ed Brantley, Keith Hosea, Joseph Williams, Alex Avila, Mars Serna, and Dr. Wil Greer, Charles Brown) organized the first Man Mob, which took place on August 17th, 2015, at Del Vallejo Middle School in San Bernardino.

The experience was so positive that they decided to do it again at more schools.  Since then, The Fellasgroup has held a Man Mob during every month of the 2016-2017 school year, and we are TheFellas3inspired by the rise of additional groups.  Mars Serna and the Emerging Men of Fontana, Frank Kelley and the PACK Coalition Man Mob of the High Desert, and Corey Jackson of Moreno Valley have all held fantastic events, and fully represent the Man Mob spirit.  We are hopeful that the ongoing encouragement, across cities and schools, will have a ripple effect on children’s confidence, school engagement, and achievement.

The success of the initial Man Mob led to requests from a number of school leaders and teachers to come out and visit their school.  We knew early on that we would need a strategy for choosing schools that could most benefit from a Man Mob.  We also wanted to get organized, and make best use of our busy participants’ time and energy.  To do this, The Fellas came together and looked at school data from across the Inland Empire.  They identified schools with some of the greatest numbers of low-income and African American students, had several discussions, and added a sample of the schools to our 2015-2016 calendar.  Though the Fellas  have tried to stay true to our initial selections, we added some schools and a university along the way to be as responsive to demand as our time would allow. “The Fellas wanted to give tribute to the late Ratibu Jacocks, because we knew that this is something that he would proud of, matter fact, he would probably be the first person in front of the line giving a hi five!” Jonathan Buffong. Another program that is honoring the namesake of Ratibu is the Ratibu Shadidi Literacy Program. Dr. Wil Greer, Assistant Professor Educational Leadership & Technology at CSUSB has designed this opportunity to help African American boys in grades K-5 read at or above grade level. Please contact wgreer@csusb.edu for morning information.

San Bernardino Native Supports One of Navy’s Most Versatile Combat Ships

Petty Officer 1st Class Clarence Jones

Petty Officer 1st Class Clarence Jones

SAN DIEGO – A 1998 Pacific  High School graduate and San Bernardino, California native is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of a team supporting one of the country’s most versatile combat ships.

Petty Officer 1st Class Clarence Jones is a gunner’s mate and a member of Commander, LCS Squadron One which supports both variants of littoral combat ships based in San Diego.

As a Navy gunner’s mate he is part of a training team for littoral combat squadron, specializing in training Navy boarding teams and weapons systems aboard ships.

“Even though I’m shore duty, it still gives me an opportunity to go out to the field and train crews of LCS ships,” said Jones. “I enjoy training others to do their job effectively for when they go out to the fleet.”

The LCS platform has a unique manning concept called “3-2-1,” where three crews serve aboard two different littoral combat ships, one of which is deployed.  This innovative manning concept allows the LCS to spend more time forward deployed without overtaxing the crew, according to Navy officials.

Designed to defeat threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft, littoral combat ships are a bold departure from traditional Navy shipbuilding programs. The LCS sustainment strategy was developed to take into account the unique design and manning of LCS and its associated mission modules.

“I have a pretty good chain of command, when stuff needs to get done it will get done,” said Jones. “Leadership looks out for their junior sailors, to where junior sailors look up to their chain of command.”

According to Navy officials, the path to becoming an LCS sailor is a long one.  Following an 18-month training pipeline, sailors have to qualify on a simulator that is nearly identical to the ship.  This intense and realistic training pipeline allows sailors to execute their roles and responsibilities immediately upon stepping on board.

“Sailors that work aboard this platform are expected to be capable of performing a variety of tasks to assist in the completion of the LCS mission,” said Capt. Warren R Buller, Commander, LCS Squadron One. “The training that is required of our sailors is rigorous and difficult. This ensures that they are mission ready to defend and protect America at all times.”

As a service member supporting the LCS mission, Jones explained they are building a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes. Sailors know how important it is for the Navy to develop new war fighting capabilities to continue their success on the world’s oceans.

“When I joined the Navy, I came in with the idea to serve my country the best that I can,” added Jones. “When I took the oath, I took every word seriously, and I plan on carrying out the oath until the day I retire.”

Through innovative planning, the design of systems, and crew requirements, the LCS platform allows the fleet to increase forward presence and optimize its personnel, improving the ability of the Navy to be where it matters, when it matters.

Inland Empire Community Adopts the “Village” Concept for Their High School Students

IEABSE college reveal

FONTANA, CA- A morning full of inspirational family support, community pride and student celebration. The Inland Empire Alliance of Black School Educators (IEABSE) presented “It Takes a Village” 2016 Scholarship Celebration on Saturday April 16 at the Jessie Turner Health and Fitness Center in Fontana. With the room filled to capacity, over forty scholarships were awarded to Inland Empire High School students for their academic achievements, community service, perseverance and leadership. This event was sponsored by Black Voice Foundation and New Life Christian Church. The scholarship donors were comprised of local organizations and businesses as well as individuals who desire to see Inland Empire students thrive in their educational aspirations. Long time scholarship donor Dina Walker, President of BLU Educational Foundation, stated “Saturday’s ceremony was philanthropy at its best! We see businesses, community, faith-based organizations and individuals contributing to secure the educational futures of our children”.

Mayor Acquanetta Warren of Fontana welcomed the audience to the growing city of Fontana and gave an encouraging message that focused on working together as a community to use education as a tool to attract resources to the Inland Empire region. The highlight of the morning was a series of what IEABSE has coined the “Reveals”. This is a similar process to when a student athlete selects their college choice on national signing day. IEABSE highlighted five stellar students from the entire group of scholarship awardees. Each student was joined on stage by family members and their most influential educators. On the table were their top four college considerations. Their parents began by talking about their children’s challenges, achievements and special qualities. In the short time the parents spoke the audience had an opportunity to peer into the lives of the students and identify with the awesome importance of their future educational decisions. As the anticipation rose to a height, the student was given the microphone and either unrolled a diploma or reported their choice to and audience of cheers.  Audience members were both impressed and inspired. “This was an epic and historic celebration of black youth achievement in the classroom, in life and at play. I found the entire experience moving, inclusive, & inspirational celebration of black youth achievement.” Rev Benita Ramsey, Jordan- Rustin Social Justice fund.

IEABSE board with checks

IEABSE board with checks

Inland Empire high school administrators, teachers, coaches and counselors were also on hand to encourage their students and celebrate in their triumphs. “The reveals were exceptional, allowing both parents and students to speak and key supporters to be acknowledged” Linda Wing, Ph.D. Chief of Information and Accountability. Rancho Cucamonga High School, Arlington High School and Summit High School seniors walked away with fifteen of the forty-three scholarship opportunities. The goal of the Scholarship Celebration was to offer family members, educators and community members an opportunity to celebrate and focus on the accomplishments of local African American students. The ceremony left students motivated, parents hopeful, and donors reassured.  Gwen Dowdy-Rodgers, Founder, Young Women’s Empowerment Foundation (YWE) and parent of a prior recipient declared “With so many of our students needing educational support Young Women’s Empowerment Foundation was happy to be able to provide a deserving student a scholarship thanks to IEABE’s community outreach”.

The Scholarship Celebration precedes the IEABSE annually hosted Inland Empire High School Black Graduation Recognition Ceremony (I.E. Black Grad). The I.E. Black Grad is the largest High School Black Graduation Recognition Ceremony in Southern CA and will be held May 14th, 2016, on campus at California State University, San Bernardino, where over two thousand individuals are expected to attend. For more information please contact IEABSE directly at ieabse@gmail.com.