TCWF Honors Health Education Leaders Committed to Underserved Communities
The California Wellness Foundation (TCWF) honored two inspiring African American leaders in health education as the 2013 Champions of Health Professions Diversity for their successful efforts to improve the health and wellness of California’s most underserved communities. Kevin D. Williams of Berkeley Youth Alternatives organizes 27 programs for at-risk youth and young adults, and provides direction to graduate-level students entering the public health field. The late Dr. Antronette K. Yancey was a professor in the department of health services and cofounder of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity at UCLA; she was tireless in her commitment to ensure that research findings would be translated to community programs and policy to transform lives.
For almost two decades, Kevin D. Williams has advocated for improved health outcomes via directing youth programs, serving on boards, and mentoring and advising students and health professionals. He is currently the associate director of Berkeley Youth Alternatives (BYA), a community-based nonprofit organization for at-risk youth and young adults that operates 27 programs providing academic support, job readiness and counseling services.
“We want our communities to thrive, not just survive. It is about communication and collaboration with a workforce that reflects the community,” Williams said. “We encourage the next generation of leaders to go into health fields, to do something beyond themselves.”
Most recognized for her program Instant Recess®, which addresses the nation’s obesity epidemic, the late Dr. Antronette “Toni” Yancey also taught and mentored graduate students from underrepresented minority populations in health-related studies, served in the public health sector, and was a poet/spoken word artist. Yancey served as a professor in the department of health services at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health, and co-director of the UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity. As a professor, Dr. Yancey taught courses that included minority health and health disparities, and was an invited lecturer for more than 100 different presentations.
Dr. Yancey lost her battle with lung cancer at her home in Los Angeles on April 23, 2013; she was 55 years old.
On June 24, 2013, TCWF will honor these leaders at its 11th Annual Champions of Health Professions Diversity Award ceremony in Los Angeles. In recognition of their efforts to mentor and inspire students, increase access to higher education and better serve the health and well-being of California’s underserved and disadvantaged communities, each honoree receives a cash award of $25,000.
Since its founding in 1992, TCWF has awarded 6,919 grants totaling more than $852 million. Please visit TCWF’s website at CalWellness.org for more information, including a newsroom section devoted to the award and the three honorees.