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2020 Census: State of Black Tulare County two town halls to do virtual chat on total Black health

Community advocates from Tulare County talk issues of health across several genres

By The ONME Newswire

As the progressive California 2020 Census movement across the state has come to an abrupt slow-down, ethnic media outlets and organizations are being creative in finding alternative ways to reach their designated hard-to-count populations.

The African-American Museum Historical & Cultural Museum of the San Joaquin Valley (AAHCMSJV), founded by the late Tulare, CA native, Sgt. Jack Kelley, has been a part of the progressive 2020 Census campaigning to reach African-American hard-to-count or reach populations throughout the Central Valley, thanks to the help of Tulare Complete Count Committee, Sierra Health Foundation and other partnering grassroots community groups, individuals and organizations.

After performing a series of 2020 Census related-events throughout Fresno County under the Sierra Health Foundation's San Joaquin Valley Fund, the AAHCMSJV was ready to move forward to Tulare and Merced counties, until COVID-19 hit sharply, unexpectedly.

Museum operations director and project manager Gregory Melancon was more than concerned about the physical events postponed indefinitely--they had planned mini-concerts and town halls for those areas, which were supposed to take place at the end of March.

"I thought it was over, " said Melancon. "I wasn't sure what we were going to do; we were on a roll at first until all this happened. Luckily we have creative partners and individuals we work with to help us through this crisis situation at our facility and pandemic at the same time."

The digital media outlet, The ONME Network, partnered with the AAHCMSJV to bring its events, projects and campaigns into virtual reality in the hopes to assist with the California 2020 Census progressive movement. ONME News and its affiliates, already a statewide-media partner with the California 2020 Census, has specialized in online media distribution and marketing for over 10 years; such an opportunity was an easy solution for the media team to manage for the African-American Museum at an exceptionally discounted rate.

"As long as they can handle all the online technology stuff, I told them, we can do our continued outreach with our other partners and organizations by phone," said Melancon.

Tulare Complete County Committee Chair Barbara Pilegard, Tulare County Association of Governments Principal Regional Planner Roberto Brady, The AAHCMSJV and ONME came up with online and offline unique solutions to reach the African-American hard-to-count communities in Tulare County, without having physical contact with Tulare County residents.

"We still have our plug-and-play TV dongles we have used for our ONME local channel and national AMPTV channel," said ONME News publisher Julia Dudley Najieb and AAHCMSJV volunteer board member. "This used to be a cumbersome strategy we used over five years ago for African-American residents who did not have cable TV to watch our programming, nor did they have access to watch us online. It was the perfect fit to reach African-Americans without having to be in their presence."

So on top of streaming live the upcoming town halls, the State of Black Tulare County Thurs., April 23 and Thurs., April 30th from 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM, viewers who are a part of the faith-based organization and church representatives featured as the trusted messenger during the broadcast, can reach out to these leaders to obtain an ONME plug-and-play TV device if they have no access to the internet. The dual device fits comfortably in the latest android phone or in the USB port of a TV. The ONME Network has put up to 12 hours of video content featuring Central Valley African-American events, people, and podcasts, intertwined with 2020 Census information. Viewers can watch embedded 2020 census commercials, podcasts shows and 2020 Census town halls--including the two Tulare County town halls.

Hundreds of these devices will be mailed to Tulare County African-American congregants of the respective faith-based establishments being featured during the broadcast. Tulare County churches and faith-based leaders have also added their video content for congregants they now serve and minister at an online distance.

Local celebrity host of the Ken McCoy Entertainment Report, Ken McCoy--featured on The ONME Podcast Network--will moderate both forums; Melancon will serve as the local historian and census-information specialist during both town halls which will discuss the total health of Tulare County African-Americans in education, economics, spirituality, mental health and physical healthcare..

Scroll to information below to learn about the panelists, where to watch both forums live, where to watch it online and on TV in the Central Valley.

April 23, 2020 Town Hall Guests Backgrounds

Carlton Jones, born in Tulare California and raised by his grandmother, attended local schools, graduating from Tulare Western High School. His college education includes College of the Sequoias, Fresno City College and Sacramento State University where he earned a scholarship in Track & Field. Jones played high school football, he was a two time, first team all league defensive player.  In 1994, Jones became a fire fighter with the for the City of Tulare and became a motivational speaker at local schools. He has continued to speak at schools including La Sierra Military Academy and Fresno State University. Jones began a political endeavor in 2004 when he was elected to the Tulare City Council. In 2012, he was re-elected to Tulare City Council, in 2013 Jones was voted by council as the Vice Mayor of the City of Tulare. In 2015 Jones was appointed by California Governor Jerry Brown to the California of the San Joaquin Valley. In Dec. 2016 Jones became the first African American and first person of color to become mayor of Tulare in its 128-year history. Dr. Janeen Marie Goree: Dr. Janeen Marie Goree has served as an educator for both children and adults working for Tulare City Elementary Schools and Fresno Pacific University’s Liberal Arts program.  She has also served in the ministerial capacity for the past eighteen years at Living Christ Church of Tulare under the leadership of Pastor Donahue Green Sr. Dr. Goree’s research centers on the well-being and mental health of adults. She also continues thriving towards social justice goals within our central valley by working hand in hand with the Center for Leadership Equity And Research (CLEAR) organization.  Her research is recognized and supported by organizations such as California State University, Fresno and American Educational Research Association to name a few. Dr. Goree has a passion for fostering self-efficacy in minorities to pull out their maximum potential despite their underprivileged status, which as research has shown, creates leaders of different colors and backgrounds.    Minister James M. Johnson, Jr.: James M. Johnson Jr., is the Founder and CEO of Ministers' Voice magazine, a publication dedicated to providing positive and spiritually uplifting information to the Central Valley. In addition to Ministers' Voice magazine, Johnson conducts two large conferences each year. Time of Empowerment is a spiritual event for women to share and grow in Christ. Let the Fire Fall is the annual men's conference which allows men to learn as well as teach.

Mr. Johnson, Pastor Donahue Green and Carl Taylor founded Living Christ. Johnson serves as an Associate Minister, Church Treasurer and Bible Study Teacher. 

April 30, 2020 Town Hall Guests Backgrounds

Kelly Baker

Ms. Kelly Baker is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), Certified Trauma Informed Yoga Instructor, and owner of Onyx Trauma Healing Center, a mental health and wellness group practice in Hanford, CA.   She specializes in helping professional women who are overly stressed, overwhelmed with drama-filled lives or who suffer from trauma exposure learn to be gentler with themselves, slow down meaningfully, and connect with their strong, confident voices. She believes “When Women Are Well, Society is Well.”

Ms. Baker also partners with Kings Valley Academy II and West Hills College to provide counseling services to high school and college students.

Ms. Baker earned a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from CSU Fresno and her M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy, with a minor in Latina/o culture from Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena, Ca. in 2006.

Her professional career includes Marriage and Therapist Registered Associate with Fresno Pacific University, On-Site Counseling Program. Deputy Director of a Kings County Behavioral Health, Parole Agent with the California Department of Corrections, Supervising Probation Officer with Kings County Probation and Social Worker with Kings County Department of Social Services.

Kelly feels she has been blessed with amazing professional opportunities that helped her to grow and develop as a powerful and fearless leader. Kelly’s philosophy to life is grounded in Proverb 27:17, “Iron Sharpens Iron, as a Sister Sharpens Another Sister.”

On a personal note, Kelly is a mom to 4 amazing children. She enjoys hiking, camping, yoga, meditation, mindfulness and reading a good book. She is passionate about social justice and providing access to yoga for all body size and shapes.

 Bishop Larry M. Dodson Sr.

Bishop Larry M. Dodson Sr., Senior Pastor of New Life Ministries of Tulare County

Larry Mitchell Dodson is currently the Executive Director of the Non Profit community organization known as New Life Ministries of Tulare County, a faith based organization that evolved from the outreach ministry of New Life Community Church of Tulare a Reformed Church in America. His ministerial talents began as early as 1996 while serving as Senior Pastors of Brooks Chapel AME Church of Tulare California til 2003. Under His leadership then and now, he has begun and now does address the multitude of social, economic, and mental health issues of its church and community by currently contracting with the Mental Health Department of the County of Tulare to improve upon services for Underserved African Americans in particular.

Pastor Dodson executes his role as self-less style Bishop by integrating church and community to work together for the betterment of Tulare County, He holds a Doctorate in Ministry from St. Stephens Bible College of Los Angeles, and a Bachelors in Social Ecology from the University of California, Irvine. He has professional experiences as University of California Educational Outreach Counselor and retired as a counselor of the Central Valley Regional Center. He has served on numerous community activeness areas; Elementary School Board Trustee, Tulare County Juvenile Justice Court Commissioner, California State Redesign of Foster Care , Visalia Times Delta Publishers Award, and Chaplin for the City of Tulare Police Department

He has created scholarship opportunities for high schoolers, businesses as State Care Facilities for Adolescent’s and Adults, Thrift Stores, Mentoring Programs for at risk Youths etc.

Grady Dodson

Born and raised in Tulare, Ca, Grady Dodson, graduated from Tulare Union HS and attended historical Black college Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida, founded by Mary McLeod Bethune.

After completing a bachelor science degree in criminal justice, Grady Dodson became a social worker with the Tulare County Child Welfare Service. During his five years with the county, his work included court, adoption, emergency response, and family reunification units. Grady also went back to school and completed his master’s degree in social work. Grady Dodson also picked up a second job with Kings View Behavioral Health System as a therapist as he was under the supervision of Dr. Cynthia Reveeles, licensed psychologist.

Later Grady Dodson took a position with DaVita Dialysis Inc. as a medical social worker. DaVita Inc., a FORTUNE 500® company, is a leading provider of kidney care in the United States, delivering dialysis services and education to patients with chronic kidney failure and end stage renal disease.  After a little over a year with DaVita, Grady Dodson was promoted to the position of facility administrator. In his 11 years of being an administrator, Grady Dodson has opened and operated 6 clinics for DaVita Dialysis.

Grady Dodson has been the assistant Director for Team Superstar Basketball Program for 17 years of its 20 years of existence. Team Superstar is responsible for helping over 100 young men receiving full ride scholarship to 4 year universities. So players have and currently play in the NBA, NFL and overseas professional basketball leagues. He is married to his wife Joyce of nine years with two children. He also is the associate pastor at New Life Community Church and consultation

Find out more about all the town hall community advocates here.

Where to watch it live:

Where to watch online after the broadcast:

How to watch on Smart TVs:

Watch on Roku TV under "The ONME Network", Amazon Fire TV under "The ONME Podcast Network.".

Where to Watch offline:

Starting Monday, April 27th, watch Part 1 on CMAC, Comcast Channel 93 and AT&T-Uverse Monday through Thursday starting at 8:00 PM and Friday mornings at 9:00 AM.



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