American Healthcare for the underserved African American Community
Speaker biographies included:
Dr. Ben Danielson
Dr. Ben Danielson is an advocate for equitable health care and a respected voice on the detrimental impacts of racism on health. He is a physician and clinical professor at the department of pediatrics, UW School of Medicine.
Throughout his medical career, Dr. Danielson has been a leader for a more racially just and accessible health care system. Referred to as “a quiet hero of health care” by The Seattle Times, Danielson’s commitment to the children and families of Seattle’s Central District helped shape many young lives and uplift a community.
Dr. Danielson once said that he wanted to “inspire people about the power that they have to be important change agents in the world.” True to his word, his dedication to health equity and public service garnered many honors over the years. In 2018, he was named the Seattle Municipal League’s “Citizen of the Year,” and in 2016 he earned the Norm Maleng Advocate for Youth Award. He sits on many nonprofit boards and has served on several mayoral task forces.
Dr. Thelma Jackson
Thelma Jackson has lived in the Lacey area for more than 50 years. She has been actively involved in various activities including serving on the North Thurston School Board from 1977 to 1997, as President five times, Former President of the Board of Trustees of The Evergreen State College, one of the founding members of the Black Alliance of Thurston County and a member of various other state and local boards, commissions, task forces and committees over the years. Dr. Jackson retired from Foresight Consultants, her educational consulting and executive coaching firm in 2020.
Thelma administers the Northwest Institute for Leadership and Change, the 501(c)3 non-profit corporation that she founded in 2003. Currently Dr. Jackson is Chairperson of the City of Lacey Equity Commission. She is a frequent speaker and workshop presenter on a variety of topics that span her years of experience and expertise.
Thelma and her husband, Nat for 56 years, are parents to three successful entrepreneurial children and four adult granddaughters who are carrying on the family traditions of business ownership and civic engagement.
Mr. William (Will for short) Craven was born in Roslyn, WA; his father having moved to the town of Roslyn from Texas to work in the coal mines. Roslyn’s population had once been 22% African American, after 300 Black miners had been brought to town as strikebreakers in 1888 and 1889. By 1975, except for Craven’s family, there only a handful of blacks still to residing in Roslyn.
In 1966, Mr. Craven married Virginia, another Roslyn native. They married just 1 year after it became legal for blacks to marry whites. They had 6 children and many grandchildren.
A younger Will craven wore many hats: Janitor at the local school, gravedigger, basketball, football and baseball coach, and handyman. He was a constant presence in the community to all people who needed help.
Mr. Craven was on the city council in 1975. In June of 1975, the mayoral position was vacated. William Craven was appointed and then ran and won with a landslide of 76%. Becoming the First black mayor in the state of Washington, being elected by a white majority! Wil Craven opened doors for people of color. He continued to serve in his many roles, and added one more. In his additional role, he worked to preserve the Roslyn cemetery and get it on the national registry.
In his later years, he built a memorial to the 4 fallen Firefighters in Roslyn to not only honor his son Tom craven who had fallen, but the other three fallen Firefighters as well. He truly believed in selflessness.
In 2013 his wife, Virginia of 47 years passed away. He loves to spend time with his children and grandchildren. And at the young age of 83, he is still helping people around the town of Roslyn and maintaining the Black cemetery, Mt. Olivet.
LIFE WITHOUT BLACK PEOPLE
A very humorous and revealing story is told about a group of people who were fed up with African Americans, so they joined together and wished themselves away. They passed through a deep dark tunnel and emerged in sort of a twilight zone where there is an America without black people.
At first these people breathed a sigh of relief. At last, they said, “No more crime, drugs, violence and welfare. All of the blacks have gone!”
Then suddenly, reality set in. The “NEW AMERICA” is not America at all — only a barren land.
1. There are very few crops that have flourished because the nation was built on a slave-supported system.
2. There are no cities with tall skyscrapers because Alexander Mils, a black man, invented the elevator, and without it, one finds great difficulty reaching higher floors.
3. There are few if any cars because Richard Spikes, a black man, invented the automatic gearshift, Joseph Gambol, also black, invented the Super Charge System for Internal Combustion Engines, and Garrett A. Morgan, a black man, invented the traffic signals.
4. Furthermore, one could not use the rapid transit system because its precursor was the electric trolley, which was invented by another black man, Albert R. Robinson.
5. Even if there were streets on which cars and a rapid transit system could operate, they were cluttered with paper because an African American, Charles Brooks, invented the street sweeper.
6. There were few if any newspapers, magazines, and books because John Love invented the pencil sharpener, William Purveys invented the fountain pen, and Lee Barrage invented the Type Writing Machine and W. A. Love invented the Advanced Printing Press. They were all, you guessed it, Black.
7. Even if Americans could write their letters, articles, and books, they would not have been transported by mail because William Barry invented the Postmarking and Canceling Machine, William Purveys invented the Hand Stamp and Philip Downing invented the Letter Drop.
8. The lawns were brown and wilted because Joseph Smith invented the Lawn Sprinkler and John Burr the Lawn Mower.
9. When they entered their homes, they found them to be poorly ventilated and poorly heated. You see, Frederick Jones invented the Air Conditioner and Alice Parker the Heating Furnace. Their homes were also dim. But of course, Lewis Latimer invented the Electric Lamp, Michael Harvey invented the lantern and Granville T. Woods invented the Automatic Cut off Switch. Their homes were also filthy because Thomas W. Steward invented the Mop and Lloyd P. Ray the Dust Pan.
10. Their children met them at the door-barefooted, shabby, and unkempt. But what could one expect? Jan E. Matzelinger invented the Shoe Lacing Machine, Walter Sammons invented the Comb, Sarah Boone invented the Ironing Board and George T. Samon invented the Clothes Dryer.
11. Finally, they were resigned to at least have dinner amidst all of this turmoil. But here again, the food had spoiled because another Black Man, John Standard invented the refrigerator.
Now, isn’t that something? What would this country be like without the contributions of blacks?
Martin Luther King, Jr. said in a speech delivered in June 1966 at the Southern Leadership Conference, “by the time we leave for work, Americans have depended on the inventions from the minds of Blacks.” Black history includes more than just slavery. Our history didn’t begin with slavery, slavery interrupted our history.
LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING
Often referred to as "The Black National Anthem," Lift Every Voice and Sing was a hymn written as a poem by NAACP leader James Weldon Johnson in 1900. His brother, John Rosamond Johnson (1873-1954), composed the music for the lyrics. A choir of 500 schoolchildren at the segregated Stanton School, where James Weldon Johnson was principal, first performed the song in public in Jacksonville, Florida to celebrate President Abraham Lincoln's birthday.
At the turn of the 20th century, Johnson's lyrics eloquently captured the solemn yet hopeful appeal for the liberty of Black Americans. Set against the religious invocation of God and the promise of freedom, the song was later adopted by NAACP and prominently used as a rallying cry during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s.
LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING lyrics
Lift every voice and sing,
'Til earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the listening skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on 'til victory is won.
Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chastening rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat,
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered,
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
Out from the gloomy past,
'Til now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.
God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who has by Thy might
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,
May we forever stand,
True to our God,
True to our native land.
A collection of current and past events sponsored by BUILD.