Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced that she has appointed Oulèye N. Warnock, First Lady of Ebenezer Baptist Church, the pastoral home of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as Senior Human Trafficking Fellow of the City of Atlanta. In this role, Warnock will lead the transformation and acceleration of how the City approaches the prevention of human trafficking and the extension of support to trafficking survivors. Warnock is specifically tasked with developing and implementing a citywide policy blueprint on current anti-trafficking programs, critical gaps, and recommended new or strengthened policies and practices to be rolled out across all City departments.
The appointment of an expert solely dedicated to addressing Atlanta’s human trafficking issue was a promise Mayor Bottoms made during a January press conference in recognition of Human Trafficking Awareness Month. This appointment marks the fulfillment of that pledge.
“Just as there are top-level officials who plan for the City’s economic growth and development, it is equally important to have members of my administration who plan for the safety and protection of all who come through Atlanta, particularly those who are most vulnerable amongst us,” said Mayor Bottoms.
Warnock brings a wealth of global humanitarianism expertise to the City of Atlanta. She has conducted policy research and planning domestically and abroad including in Tel Aviv, Israel, Dakar, Senegal, and Northern Thailand. Warnock received her B.A. in International Studies from Spelman College and holds postgraduate degrees from Oxford University and Columbia University, where she is a Richard Hofstadter Fellow.
“Human trafficking in our city is part of a global network of modern day slavery, and we are committed to bringing it to an end in Atlanta.” said Warnock. “I am grateful for this opportunity to work in Mayor Bottoms’ administration as we build a safer Atlanta and a promising future for all who call this great city home.”
The Senior Human Trafficking Fellow is part of the Mayor’s Executive team and reports to the Chief of Staff. The position is funded for a minimum of two years through a grant from The Partnership for Freedom. Warnock assumed this new role this month.
If you have a church home or even if you visit church on C.E. (Christmas & Easter) time, you know that the church announcements is a special part of the service in which we announce the goings-on of the church AND shout out those members who have achieved special accolades. My article on my father, for example, has been shouted every Sunday of this month. And rightfully so, I guess, LOL, because he did recently retire after serving as pastor for 38 years, but I digress…
Well, on this past Sunday, veteran actress, my soror, Angela Bassett, who portrays T’Challa’s stepmother Queen Ramonda in “Black Panther,” was recognized for her role during the service at her church West Angeles Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles this past Sunday, according to the church’s Facebook page!
And the church choir even dressed in African-themed attire and represented for Wakanda! #WakandaForever…
And check out the video below:
The best feeling is being recognized by your church family! Angela Bassett looks very proud to be recognized by her church family at the West Angeles Church of God in Christ for her fantastic role in “Black Panther!” And rightfully so!
As today is the last Sunday of the month, I could not let the month go by without mentioning that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I lost two line sisters to this hideous disease so I feel compelled to participate in this advocacy. Unfortunately, I missed walking in the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk this year as I and many others who loved Lola Brown, one of those line sisters who passed away, do every year. However, I do want to highlight the work of The Lola Brown Foundation, which was founded by her best friend Jennifer Phillips in her honor. Below is a video in which Lola shares about her passion for breast cancer awareness followed by her bio:
Lola Brown, a native of Denver, Colorado grew up in Columbia, South Carolina. She attended Richland Northeast High School. While in school, she received honors to attend the South Carolina Governor’s School for academics and was named to the South Carolina All-State Band. You could also find Lola on the court scrambling for digs for the volleyball team or shooting hoops with her varsity basketball teammates.
She graduated from Richland Northeast High School with honors and received a music scholarship to attend the University of Georgia. While at UGA, she joined Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. where she participated in various community service activities. Lola was talented and musically gifted. She was an accomplished pianist and a faithful Christian. She served as an active member of First Northeast Baptist Church in Columbia, SC for several years where she played the piano and directed choirs.
Lola, began her professional career as a financial specialist in the banking industry, was promoted to portfolio manager, and later branch manager. In 2003, at the age of 28 years old, Lola discovered a lump in her breast as she conducted a breast-self exam. Doctors diagnosed her with breast cancer. She was a newlywed to Gilbert Jamal Brown and a new mother to a toddler, Gilbert Jamal Brown II, affectionately known as Gil.
Despite surgeries and years of chemotherapy, Lola continued to fight. She worked throughout her treatment and emphasized the importance of a healthy diet and exercise. During her spare time she worked as an aerobics instructor. She exemplified the true meaning of strength and courage and inspired others to embrace fitness.
Because of Lola’s generous spirit, passion to help find a cure, and desire to promote awareness about breast cancer to young women, she put together a team of family and friends. Through the years those teams raised more than $10,000 for cancer research, for survivors, and for those she called victors. In Oct. 2013, at 38 years old,Lola became one of the victors.
Below are some of the highlights of the foundation’s work to date:
As a celebration of her legacy, the South Carolina House of Representatives has recognized Lola Brown and the foundation’s efforts and named October 23, 2017, the official Lola Brown Breast Self-Check Day in the state of South Carolina. Since Lola was diagnosed at 28 years old, Lola stressed the importance of early detection and breast self-exams and wanted to educate young women that they too could be diagnosed with breast cancer even under the age of 40. In honor of her push for awareness, The LBF is currently working with South Carolina lawmakers and school districts to educate high school seniors on the importance of breast self-exams. The goal is to have a certified health professional talk to students about breast self-exams and breast cancer. Those students can only participate in the 30 to 45 minute session if they have signed parental/guardian consent forms.
The LBF Scholarship for high school seniors –
Jennifer Phillips and LBF Scholar….
Pampered Pink – The LBF will identify those in need based on financial, or medical hardship through breast cancer organizations and support groups. Once identified, The LBF will pamper and assist women between the ages of 18 to 40 who are affected by breast cancer by donating a Pampered Pink spa gift certificate.
I usually make my donation to the American Cancer Society on behalf of breast cancer awareness during the month of October, but I missed doing so this year as I was out of town. However, this year, to support The Lola Brown Foundation, I will be making my donation to the foundation and you can too by clicking on this Paypal link! Although October will be over in a few days, the foundation’s work continues throughout the year so please consider The Lola Brown Foundation as you give to charitable organizations.