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2020 Census: Watch part 1 of Thursday's State of Black Tulare County online town hall

Community advocates acknowledge that the 2020 census was not as prominent in peoples lives until now

By The ONME Newswire

As grass-root organizations are using the online medium to communicate and reach people about the importance of filling out the 2020 Census, community advocates in Tulare County are following suit to appeal to the masses, especially to Black residents who may have a lack of information of the funding aspect provided by the federal government.

The African-American Museum Historical & Cultural Museum of the San Joaquin Valley (AAHCMSJV), founded by the late Tulare, CA native, Sgt. Jack Kelley, featured its first online 2020 Census town hall Thursday night, April 23 to address all areas of Black Health and the census regarding Tulare County, sponsored by the Tulare Complete Count Committee.

Local celebrity host, Ken McCoy of ONME News's Ken McCoy Entertainment Report, moderated the online forum featuring Tulare, CA Dist. 3 Councilman Carlton Jones, Author and Educational Expert Dr. Janeen Marie Goree, and Ministers' Voice Publisher Min. James M. Johnson, Jr. The AAHCMSJV museum operation's director, Gregory Melancon, served as the local historian and census-information specialist on the panel as well.

Guests were brutally honest about their lack of prior knowledge of the 2020 census, not realizing how critical the count of each Black resident affected funding and resources for an historically undeserved people, (watch video above to hear real answers from guests whether they filled out the census or note and why.)

Viewers can watch this Thursday part 2 of the town hall on "Total Black Health" April 30th from 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM.

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 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.

You can also watch the upcoming town halls live here April 30th:



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