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2008 Black History Heroes

Gloria Brown

Gloria Rhodes Brown
Mills-Peninsula Health Services
San Mateo, CA

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For more than 34 years, Gloria Rhodes Brown has devoted herself to improving the lifestyles and health status of residents in San Mateo and San Francisco counties. She currently serves on the board of directors for Mills-Peninsula Health Services and, in 1995, helped establish its African American Community Health Advisory Committee.

As a founder and member of the committee, Brown created key health screening and awareness programs specifically targeting the African American community. She worked with local faith-based organizations to launch Breast Cancer Awareness Sunday, Prostate Cancer Awareness Sunday, and Soul Stroll, which focuses on exercise and diabetes prevention. She also helped develop screening programs for blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as educational programs to help people understand diabetes.

Brown retired after a full career in public health, but began to receive requests to continue her nutrition and health outreach work. In 2006, she founded JX Consulting, which specializes in developing nutrition and health promotion programs for community-based organizations.

Brown serves on numerous boards and committees and has been inducted into the San Mateo County Women's Hall of Fame.


Diane Gray
Jackie Cohen

Diane Gray & Jackie Cohen
100% College Prep Institute
San Francisco, CA

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Diane Gray and Jackie Cohen are cousins and co-founders of the 100% College Prep Institute, which offers college preparatory services to middle and high school youth in San Francisco's Bayview Hunters Point district. The program, driven solely by community donations and the immediate needs of the children and families it serves, provides tutoring, college tours and summer programs.

The two founders have a history of active community involvement and worked together at a local nonprofit in the late 1990's. While there, they helped teenage girls work through everyday challenges and develop leadership skills. Gray and Cohen soon introduced a tutorial program and encouraged the parents to take an active role in their children's emotional and educational well being. This was the foundation of 100% College Prep, formally established in 1999.

While busy working two jobs, Cohen still volunteers for the program and serves as its associate director. She is currently working to open the Odelia Jones College Resource Center and an internship program to support 100% College Prep graduates and college students. Gray serves as the program's executive director while working toward a certificate in college and career advising.

Both Cohen and Gray are San Francisco natives and received the Daniel E. Koshland Civic Unity Award recognizing them for outstanding leadership in the Bayview neighborhood. This award allowed both women to become Koshland Community Fellows, joining seven other Fellows to invest $300,000 over five years to improve the quality of life for Bayview residents.


Pam Hogan

Pam Hogan
Pam Hogan Productions
San Francisco, CA

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Pam Hogan is a national trainer and professional mediator who specializes in conflict management, communication and cultural competency. Hogan developed a successful training program targeting African American inmates and parolees so that they can productively reenter society and the job market after their incarceration.

Using her expertise, Hogan has conducted workshops for local San Francisco organizations such as the Department of Children, Youth and their Families, as well as classroom-based trainings for "at risk" youth. By 1999, she became very concerned with the preponderance of African American inmates and parolees in the correctional system and decided to develop a training program to help former inmates obtain and maintain employment.

Since then, she has personally trained more than 2,000 previously incarcerated men and women. In 2006, Hogan produced a four hour video course that is currently used in jails and prisons across the country. She has also authored a book, From Prison to Paycheck: What No One Ever Tells You About Getting a Job.

Hogan holds a bachelor's degree in psycho-social theory from UC Berkeley and a master's degree in nonprofit administration with an emphasis in multi-ethnic dispute resolution.


J. Douglas Hollie

J. Douglas Hollie
S.M.A.R.T. Students, Inc.
Dublin, CA

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J. Douglas Hollie's passion to help underprivileged and inner city youth inspired the former NFL lineman to start S.M.A.R.T. Students, Inc. in Dublin in 1996. S.M.A.R.T., which stands for Students Making Academically Rewarding Trips, gives disadvantaged youth access to academics, counseling, therapy, recreational activities and life skills training in a nurturing environment. Participants are referred to the program by the juvenile court system, juvenile probation officers and the Division of Social Services.

Prior to starting S.M.A.R.T. Students, Hollie worked for the San Francisco Juvenile Hall system, learning first-hand the many perils that face Bay Area youth. He had seen much of it himself growing up in Detroit's Highland Park neighborhood, before moving West to play football for San Francisco City College and Southern Methodist University.

While playing college football, he followed in the footsteps of one of his idols--Buffalo Bills offensive Lineman Reggie McKenzie--and held football camps for young people. He's still involved in youth football in the Dublin area and also serves as the athletic director for the Tri-Valley Falcons.

His goal for the S.M.A.R.T. program is to level the playing field for disadvantaged youth, engaging parents, grandparents, and the community to find solutions to their problems. Building on S.M.A.R.T.'s success, he plans to open additional locations in the East Bay.

Also on KQED.org this week ...

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Find holiday-related KQED television and radio programming, Bay Area events, recipes, and other Web-exclusive goodies.

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