Eight black outlets win over $5 million in grants

By Lee Hubbard

Tina Brown was born and raised in the Western Addition of San Francisco. She had a troubled childhood, which led to her being a runaway, being incarcerated in Juvenile Hall, and becoming a teenage mother.

Bad choices in life have led to bad relationships and an unstable life situation. But things would change – with a brush with the law as an adult – which would change his life.

Brown found a mentor, found a job, and it helped turn her life around. She became a productive citizen and an activist for young black women.

“I started interacting with young girls and we started doing weekly get-togethers with young girls ages 12 to 17,” Brown said. “We were able to talk about what is happening in the community and their lives.

This was the start of My Sister’s Keeper, a San Francisco-based nonprofit Brown started. The organization is concerned with improving the lives of young black girls through mentorship, training and exposure.

“It started as a way to talk to heal the trauma inside of me,” Brown continued. “I was going to these black women’s conferences in Atlanta, Los Angeles and Miami and I noticed there really wasn’t anything going on in the Bay Area or San Francisco.”

The Fulton Street African American Cultural Center was the site of the fourth annual My Sisters Keepers, By All Means Necessary conference last weekend, which brought together local and national figures to speak to young women about being assets for local and national black communities. .

Over a hundred people attended the one-day conference. Those in attendance included grassroots national activists such as Tamika Mallory, Angela Davis and Dr. Syleecia Thompson, an educator and host of a Fox Soul TV show.

Mallory calls herself a street politician and rose to fame at the George Floyd protest, where she made an impassioned plea against racism and the fight for black liberation from white supremacy in front of millions of viewers.

“I came to this conference to share my work on how we work politically and how we can find ways to be connected and empowered,” Mallory said.

She hosts a national podcast called Street Politicians on the iHeart Network, along with her co-host Mysonne.

“Black women are excluded from positions of power, often because we are women,” Mallory continued. “But we have to talk.”

“Each generation has its own way of expressing itself,” Mallory said. “As leaders, we need to create inclusive spaces,” so people communicate about issues. There is still work to be done, and it will take a united front to get things done, she said.

“We need to help free our black men and help them lead, so we can fight together,” Mallory continued.

A panel of men also came to address the ladies. This included San Francisco hip-hop producer and activist Herm Lewis, Bishop Keith Clark of the World Assembly Church in Oakland, and Hakeem Brown, a city council member from Vallejo, California.

Bridgette Leblanc, a local businesswoman and vice president of the San Francisco Black Chamber of Commerce was also present. She said women need to lean more into business and then join organizations like the chamber that help incubate and grow them.

She said that as an organization, the chamber helps bring black businesses to San Francisco and ensures that black businesses get a share of the money coming into San Francisco.

“It’s not easy to be a leader, but [we] you have to move into [these positions] to get things done,” Leblanc said.

Other women who spoke at the conference included Gina Fromer, head of the San Francisco Children’s Council, Dr. Ramona Bishop, founder of elite public schools in Vallejo, and Cloey Hewlett, California commissioner of the Department of Health. financial protection and innovation.

“People got a lot of value out of the conference,” Brown said. “It brought mentorship, fellowship and a lot of activity that people can lean on to initiate action and change.”

Comments are closed.