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Positive Women Meet Up Celebrates the Beauty of Loc’d, Loose Naturals at 1ST Loc Appreciation Day

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- Positive Women Meet Up, a networking platform for women of color in the Inland Empire, recently hosted the melanin rich, cultural event, “Natural Beauty”, at the Garcia Center for Arts in San Bernardino. Keona Anntionette, the founder of Positive Women Meet Up, has been loc’d for 5 years and natural all her life. As a firm believer that natural hair is beautiful, Keona facilitated the Inland Empire’s first Loc Appreciation Day. With the help of co-producers, Cleo Upshaw, Susan Henderson, and RayVaughn Upshaw, Natural Beauty encouraged the community to celebrate natural hair, out loud.

“Natural Beauty” included a question and answer session with dynamic speakers: Niketa Calame (actress), C.A. Henderson (Realtor, Author, and Educator), Tynesia Evans (Holistic Health and Wellness Coach), James Woods also known as “Dat Yoga Dude” (Author and Health Educator), Wentrelle Damarr (Artist), and Sebrena Thurton (Blogger). Sponsors of the event included Taliah Waajid, Jane Carter for Men, Brilliant Like Me, Alaffia, Dr. O’s Skin and Hair Care, Harmless Harvest, KIND Snacks, Los Angeles Urban League of Young Professionals, and Dr. Lakieta “Dr. Elle” McMurray-Emanuel. Natural Beauty event vendors included Totally Jaz’d, Bold Look Head Wraps, Kreatiewe World, Bundlez N Beauty Hair Salon of Bloomington, Artsy Black Fam, Brilliant Like Me, and Mama’s Tea Cakes. “Natural Beauty” also included a live head wrap tutorial from Juanita Morris of Bold Look Head Wraps, a live hair show produced by Hairstory Natural Hair Salon of Upland, live spoken word from artists: JT Sweet, Brittany Abraham, and Lasia Lynnai, as well as delicious, custom made, desserts from CupKaekes by Chef Kae.

“Natural Beauty” was a celebration of melanin, natural hair, entrepreneurship, natural beauty, and our rich culture. With a bonus of live music from Fingerprint IE, Natural Beauty was simply beautiful.

“Producing this event in San Bernardino was necessary because not only did it bring the community together, it opened a safe space to discuss necessary topics in the African American community: the beauty of our natural hair, best natural hair practices, and to instill confidence and culture into our children and our community. We are proud that the growth of Positive Women Meet Up has allowed us to expand and bring new events to the community,” Keona Anntionette, founder of Positive Women Meet Up, stated.

Announcing the success of Positive Women Meet Up’s special event, “Natural Beauty” will bring awareness to the efforts of Positive Women Meet Up, and create value in the community, as well as inspire art, collaborative efforts, and celebration of African American culture in the city of San Bernardino.

“The city of San Bernardino has suffered tragic losses within the past two years,” Porsche Bowie, creator of the upcoming blog BlackAboutItQueerAbout It.com, lamented. “The terror attack of 2015 and the Northpark Elementary school shooting in April of this year has given the city a lot to mourn about. Events like Positive Women Meet Up and Natural Beauty gives residents and visitors a better view of the city and creates value for the community. This is very important work.”

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Keona Anntionette at info@positivewomenmeetup.com.

JOB OPENING: SECURITY GUARD POSITIONS

NEW HOPE CHURCH is accepting applications to fill two Security Guard positions at the Family Life Center and the New Hope Church. Applications are available at the New Hope Church Office. For additional information, please contact the Church Office at (909) 887-2526.

The individual must possess the following knowledge, skills and abilities and be able to explain and demonstrate that he or she can perform the essential functions of the job, with or without reasonable accommodation, using some other combination of skills and abilities.

  • Ability to read, listen and communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing
  • Must have strong security knowledge
  • Ability to work independently and complete duties and projects with little direct supervision
  • Ability to accurately work under pressure in meeting deadlines
  • At least some security experience

California Health Collaborative of San Bernardino County Raises Awareness on Third-Hand Smoke

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Where there’s no smoke, there’s a firestorm.

Many know that smoking and secondhand smoke are harmful to their health but very few are aware about the dangers of “third-hand smoke” exposure.

Third-hand smoke is the residue from tobacco smoke that accumulates on surfaces. It sticks to walls, windows and furniture or can settle as toxic dust in homes and cars. It even sticks to clothing and hair. The residue builds up in the environment, becoming more toxic over time, according to TobaccoFreeCA.com.

In San Bernardino County, the California Health Collaborative (CHC) has been crusading for tobacco-free apartment units since 2015. Through voluntary tobacco-free housing policies, CHC touts the benefits for renters, property managers and owners, said Roberto A. Terrones, Program Coordinator for San Bernardino County’s Tobacco Control Program.

Terrones said that many in the housing industry expect for tenants of apartment buildings to be against these types of tobacco free policies, but that is not the local nor state-wide sentiment when it comes to these changes. While there has been some blowback, he said, many tenants appreciate the new rules.

“We survey the tenants before we go smoke free. Some people think these smoking policies aren’t popular but we’ve seen that a lot of people are for it,” Terrones said. “People that were opposed don’t always smoke but they see it as a right being taken away. We’re not telling you that you can’t smoke but you have to smoke somewhere else outside of the property.”

One-third of Californians live in multi-unit housing, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Units share common walls, floors or a ceiling, which means that millions may be exposed to secondhand smoke even if they do not allow smoking in their home.

Nine out of 10 people do not smoke in their homes, Terrones said. About seven out of ten people who want tobacco free-housing are people that don’t smoke.

The importance of having tobacco-free housing is to protect the health of tenants, said Evi Hernandez, CHC Director of Program Services. Many times, Hernandez said, they are protecting people that cannot afford to live in single-family homes and those at highest risk for serious illness caused by tobacco smoke exposure, including children and the elderly.

“Among other things, any contact with third-hand smoke can cause skin irritation, trigger asthma attacks and lead to respiratory illnesses,” Hernandez said.” You don’t really see it in the form of smoke and if you’re not aware that it’s there, you can’t avoid it.”

Terrones said the county has been successful with subsidized housing because while many of the tenants’ love where they live, the smoke is killing them, he said. And for financial reasons, they are unable to move. “It’s essentially a trap,” Terrones said. “They can’t just pick up and leave because of their financial situation.”

Some have agreed to set aside a certain percentage of smoke-free units, but as Terrones said, “If you can smell what your neighbor is cooking, you can smell if they’re smoking.”

Long considered a health hazard, secondhand smoke seeps through doors, open windows, outlets and ventilation systems. The health benefits may be obvious, but decreasing the hidden financial costs are a bonus as well. Estimates to ready a unit for rent after a smoker has lived there could be in the thousands of dollars, Hernandez said.

“I’ve gone to these multi-complex houses and their blinds are completely yellow. You can’t get rid of the smell in the carpet. Sometimes the smoke is so pervasive it penetrates the walls and a treatment/paint plan can take weeks,” Terrones said. “It’s (another) benefit of multi-unit apartments to go smoke free.”

When an apartment complex goes tobacco-free, CHC offers a resource directory for tenants that includes local tobacco cessation resources and information about the California Smokers’ Helpline (1-800-NO-BUTTS). 

For further information, contact the County of San Bernardino Tobacco Control Program at (909) 647-4532 or go to sbctcp.blogspot.com

About The San Bernardino County Tobacco Control Program (SBCTCP)

The SBCTCP serves in the capacity of local lead agency for tobacco prevention, education and control efforts in San Bernardino County. With funding support from the California Department of Public Health – Tobacco Control Program, SBCTCP is administered by the California Health Collaborative to implement a comprehensive tobacco control plan that includes the following objectives: 

1) Retain and engage community members representing diverse/priority populations and non-traditional partner agencies in the San Bernardino County Tobacco Control Coalition; 

2) Partner with apartment managers/owners, apartment management companies, the Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino, and tobacco control stakeholders to guide efforts that result in the adoption of smoke-free policies at multi-unit housing complexes; and 

3) Coordinate efforts by incorporated cities in San Bernardino County to adopt a policy that eliminates sales and distribution of tobacco and/or electronic nicotine delivery devices (ENDD) products in pharmacies where licensed professionals provide health care services. 

Program plan strategies were developed based on results of a community needs assessment and prioritization process and adhere to priority areas and guidelines set forth by the California Tobacco Control Program.