2012 Black History Month Heroes - KQED
Congratulations to our 2012 Local Heroes of the Year:
Dr. Frank O. Brown, M.D.
The Hillcare Foundation for Health
Dr. Brown established the HillCare Foundation in 1992. The Foundation was an active contributor to the California Healthy Start Program whose mission was to reduce the prenatal mortality of African American women in Alameda County by 50 percent in five years. Many of these protocols are still used today throughout the State.
Dr. Brown has also served as Medical Director of the Healthy Start Asha House Project; Chairman, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Providence Hospital; Medical and Laboratory Director at the BayCare Women’s Health Services; and Obstetrics and Gynecology Physician and Consultant at the East Oakland Health Center.
Dr. Brown currently serves as the Executive and Medical Director of ReGynesis Health Services, an organization that provides full-scope obstetrics and gynecological services, birth control, pregnancy prevention, health education and case management, with a particular focus on indigent minority clients, teen pregnancy, and jail and prison re-entry women.
OMI Community Action Organization
Edna James is the President of Commission on Aging and Adult Services and is a staunch advocate for senior and disabled services. James has been an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. for over 50 years and joined the San Francisco Chapter in 1961.
In addition to her active sorority involvement, James served as President and later Far West Regional Director of Jack & Jill of America, San Francisco Chapter; President of the Bench and Bar Spouses of Northern California; Member, San Francisco African American Outreach Committee, American Diabetes Association; President, Ocean View-Merced Heights-Ingleside Community Action Organization; Chair, San Francisco African-American Senior and Disabled Partnership; Board Member Southeast Health Center of San Francisco; Co-Chair Health Committee, San Francisco African American Community Health Equity Council, Chair-Health Policy, Bay Area Black Nurses Association.
James was raised in Houston, Texas and completed her Bachelor Science Nursing from Dillard University. She continued her education in San Francisco and earned a Master of Science Degree in Community Health Nursing from the University of California San Francisco, School of Nursing. Believing in the concept of lifelong learning, five years ago James continued her postgraduate studies and earned a Master’s Degree in Gerontology in 2006 at San Francisco State University
Tennis Pro and Coach
Los Paseos Lobsters
Don Johnson was the first African American tennis coach at Pratt Institute in New York. As Pratt’s Tennis Head Coach, Johnson successfully ran the National Junior Tennis League program on the Pratt campus providing free t-shirts, equipment, lunches and summer employment for teenage youth as recreation leaders. The individuals in this program not only had the chance to learn the game of tennis, but he taught them how to be leaders. Johnson was the first African American to win the Metropolitan Tennis Coaches Conference tournament in New York City.
Johnson moved to San Jose in the 1970’s and set up a program for 500 Hispanic and Black low- income youth on the East Side of San Jose in partnership with the City of San Jose. He went on to start his own programs in South San Jose: Los Paseos Lobsters Junior Tennis, Backesto Backhanders Junior Tennis and Bramhall Strings Junior Tennis offering tennis lessons to low income families at a nominal fee, offering free equipment, tennis clothing, t-shirts and tickets to tennis events from local country clubs, the City of San Jose, the USTA and other corporate sponsors and private individuals to keep his dream and program alive. His students have gone on to achieve tennis scholarships at four-year universities and are nationally ranked players.
Harlan L. Kelly, Jr.
Assistant General Manager, Infrastructure
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
Harlan L. Kelly, Jr. is the Assistant General Manager, Infrastructure of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), and the driving force behind an innovative youth program he co-founded, Project Pull, sponsored by the City and County of San Francisco through the SFPUC and the Department of Public Works (DPW).
Now in its 17th year, Project Pull provides full-time summer job opportunities to highly motivated, promising high school students from the diverse communities of San Francisco. The students are paired with San Francisco City employee mentors from various departments, with particular emphasis on exposing the students to potential careers in engineering, architecture, the sciences, business, law and public service.
Kelly has served for 28 years as a civil engineer. In his present capacity at the SFPUC, he oversees the implementation of capital programs for water, sewer, and power, including the $4.6 billion rebuild of the Hetch Hetchy Water System. He was formerly the City Engineer of San Francisco. He has also held functional and project management positions at DPW, including Acting General Manager and Deputy Director of Engineering. He is a licensed professional engineer as well as a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley. He resides in San Francisco with his wife Naomi and their two young sons.
View KQED Black History Month Honorees for 2011