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Author Archives: Naomi Bonman

ISAH Hosts Successful and Historical Block by Block Community Event

From left to right: Councilmember Benito J. Barrios, Dr. Deborah Winn, Mayor R. Carey Davis, “Sweet” Alice Harris, Alexis (representative from Assemblymember Cheryl Brown’s office), and Allen Harris. (Photo by Nomi K. Bonman)

From left to right: Councilmember Benito J. Barrios, Dr. Deborah Winn, Mayor R. Carey Davis, “Sweet” Alice Harris, Alexis (representative from Assemblymember Cheryl Brown’s office), and Allen Harris. (Photo by Nomi K. Bonman)

By Naomi K. Bonman

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- Between the hours of 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. Wall Avenue was peaceful and full of joy during the first annual Block by Block I.S.A.H. Juneteenth event held by Dr. Deborah Winn and her organization WWAM, Inc. Not only was this event a first annual one, but the ISAH Block by Block Juneteenth Celebration was the first in history to be done in the city of San Bernardino.

This was one of the epic events that took place on Saturday, June 20 in an effort to bring the city back up. Change and progress has been long overdue within the city and things are finally looking up for San Bernardino.

Although the day was hot, guests, vendors, speakers, and performers were able to cool down under the trees of the block while they enjoyed one another’s company in a positive event that was much needed in the community.

“By you coming together today shows that you are committed to helping our community thrive, overcome our challenges, and try to serve one another”, Mayor of San Bernardino, R. Carey Davis, stated. “By serving one another we build from families in creating a strong neighborhood. It is that family unit that must be strong. The stronger we make our individual families, the stronger our neighborhoods and community will be.”

In addition to the mayor’s presence, other political dignitaries that came out to represent change included Councilmember Benito J. Barrios and representatives from Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown’s and Assemblyman Marc Steinorth’s, 40th District, office. They each gave a brieg statement on the changes that they would like to see and are striving to make within the City of San Bernardino. The US Army Recruiting Center was also present to assist young men in options that are available in enlisting into the armed forces. Other activities of the day included expungements, live performances, a prayer circle, raffles and toy giveaways for children, scholarships, vendor booths, and complimentary hot dogs and water.

Juneteenth 3 (Photo by Nomi K. Bonman)

Lastly, when you are out doing good for the community and helping others without excepting anything in return, blessings rain down. WWAM has received a new and amazing supporter. Ms. Ladis M. Morgan, 86, who lives just a few blocks away from Dr. Winn and who has lived in the city for over 46 years, has been a tremendous blessing to the organization and children of the community.

Community lays Riverside Community Leader, Dorella Anderson, to Rest

Dorella Anderson

Dorella Anderson

By Naomi K. Bonman

Family members, extended family, friends, and community residents came together on Friday, May 29 to celebrate the life of Riverside community trailblazer, Dorella Anderson, better known as Dorie to most, or Mrs. And Sis. Anderson to others. The homegoing services were all that the late community leader would have wanted. The sanctuary of Park Avenue Baptist Church in Riverside was overflowing to capacity, filled with those that loved and cherished Dorella, Godmother Dorie (as I called her).

Mrs. Anderson, 79, served has a champion and advocate for families and youth on the Eastside of Riverside for the past 35 years at the Community Settlement House, just minutes away from Downtown Riverside. She played a pivotal role in assisting immigrants adapt and settle into life in the States by helping them obtain citizenship and addressing issues that assited them to remain in the country legally. Her work with families on the Eastside spans two generations.

“She led a life that supported the Eastside children for more than 50 years. She was talented, beautiful, athletic, and had a confidence that drew people towards her. The events at Lincoln Park and the Community Settlement Association continued the work of a prior generation of local families who truly made the area a community,” Dorella’s cousin, Craig Goodwin stated.

Anderson was the founder and lifetime member of the Riverside African American Historical Society and will be remembered for bringing “Toys for Tots” to Riverside, teaching crafts, dancing, and for her involvement in numerous community affairs.

As a personal extended family and church member of Anderson’s I will miss her gentle and sweet spirit and her willingness of speaking her mind to anyone and saying how she felt, and because she was not afraid to speak her mind and speak out you felt even more comfortable around her.

She will definitely be missed among Riverside and surrounding cities, but she lives on in our hearts forever until we all meet again.