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Unity Care Announces Impressive Speaker Lineup for 3rd Annual Town Hall Focused on Improving Health Outcomes for Black and Latinx Youth

Panelists to include award-winning speakers, authors, spiritual leaders and NFL players from the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks

SAN JOSE, Calif., June 03, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Unity Care, a San Jose-based nonprofit organization that provides safe, stable housing and supportive services for transition-age foster youth with a focus on communities of color, announced the speaker lineup for its upcoming Town Hall on June 16. Organized in partnership with VA58, The California Alliance, Walden Family Services, the Silicon Valley African Film Festival, Roots Community Health Care, and Vision y Compromiso, the event will feature award-winning speakers, authors, spiritual leaders and NFL players.

“I’m thrilled to welcome all of our renowned panelists and speakers to the Town Hall event, to lead critical discussions covering the intersection between mental health and spirituality, and the impact of nutrition and exercise on mental health, particularly amongst foster youth and emerging adults,” said Andre Chapman, Founder and CEO of Unity Care. “Through our close partnerships with organizations throughout California, we are making progress toward helping members of underserved communities of color access the resources and services they need to secure housing, improve their health and lead happy, productive lives.”

The Town Hall will begin at 5.30 p.m. PST. on Zoom with a welcome speech from event moderator Janice Edwards, an Emmy-nominated and award-winning talk show host, producer and author. Edwards will Introduce Unity Care’s André Chapman, Founder of the Covid-19 Black Initiative. Next, spoken word artist Tyanna Rae Ann Braswell will share a performance on Juneteenth and its significance to this audience and community. The audience will then have the opportunity to attend two panel discussions:

Panel 1: "Mental Health, Wellness and Spirituality”

  • Dr. Noha Aboelata, Founder and CEO at Roots Community Health Center: An Oakland native, Aboelata has devoted her career to eliminating health disparities and improving the health of marginalized communities. She pioneered the provision of a community-based, community-driven and community-empowering model for improving wellness, called “Whole Health.”
  • Dr. Kristee Haggins, Psychologist and Executive Director of Safe Black Space: Dr. Kristee Haggins is a community healer, African-centered psychologist, consultant and professor who takes a holistic approach to healing mind, body, spirit and community.
  • Pastor Anthony Williams: Pastor Williams has a demonstrated history of working in the religious institutions industry, with expertise in Pastoral Counseling, Philanthropy, Community Organizing, Preaching and Nonprofit Management.

Panel 2: "Nutrition and Exercise as fundamental to Wellness”

  • Jocelyn Dubin MS, RD: Dubin has been a registered dietitian for 18 years and is a Lead Public Health Nutritionist in the County of Santa Clara’ Public Health Department Healthy Communities Branch. She aspires to teach people to use food as medicine to promote health and well-being.
  • Sidney Jones IV of the Seattle Seahawks: Jones is a Cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL). At the University of Washington, as a sophomore in 2015, Jones was named first team All-Pac-12.
  • Curtis Robinson of the San Francisco 49ers: Robinson is a Linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers of the NFL. At Stanford University, he was a two-time All-Pac-12 honorable mention, team captain and recipient of the Jack Huston Award.

Both panels will be delivered in Spanish as well as English, and will be translated for ASL speakers. The Spanish Panels will feature the following speakers:

  • Vanessa Vancour, Moderator: Vancour is a former TV anchor with a passion for bilingual storytelling and community engagement. She is best-known for her TEDx talk, "I'm Mexican, Does that Change Your Assumptions about Me?"
  • Ramiro Zúñiga, MD, MBA, FAAFP: Zúñiga is Vice President and Medical Director of Health Net and California Health and Wellness. His focus there is to ensure the provision of high-quality whole healthcare to the diverse communities served by both plans.
  • Yoana Luna, Regional Program Manager for Southern California: Luna brings to her position a wealth of knowledge of services for children of all ages and their parents, community resources, and years of experience in home and clinical settings.
  • Alejandra Reyes, Regional Project Manager, Central Coast and Central Valley of California: In 2009, Reyes trained as Promotora and has since dedicated herself to working for the community to help people find resources to fulfill their basic needs and improve their life.

Culminating an 8-week campaign aimed at sharing information about how the Covid-19 vaccine must be part of a holistic wellness program in the post-pandem ic era, this Town Hall event is the third event of its kind and a central effort of theCalifornia Department of Public Heath’s Vaccinate All 58 program. It’s also a key component of Unity Care’s Covid-19 Black initiative, launched in 2020 in partnership with the Black Leadership Kitchen Cabinet and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Covid-19 Black strives to eliminate the spread of Covid-19 and improve overall health outcomes in the African Ancestry community.

Visit covid19black.org for more information about the Town Hall on June 16.

About Unity Care
Founded in 1993, we transform the lives of young people in and emerging from foster care by providing stable housing, caring connections, and life skills that build a foundation to achieve their potential. Unity Care provides supportive housing in nine Northern California counties, delivering culturally proficient and trauma-informed services centered on Unity Care’s “5 Pillars of Success” – HOUSING, EDUCATION, EMPLOYMENT, WELL-BEING, and UNCONDITIONAL CARE. Unity Care is nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA). To learn more about Unity Care visit www.unitycare.org.

About Walden Family Services

The third annual virtual COVID-19 Black town hall is being organized largely in partnership with Walden Family Services. Walden is a Foster Family and Transitional Housing Agency, servicing foster youth in Southern California. Walden’s vision is for every child to have a loving family, and the ability to realize their greatest potential toward becoming a self-sufficient and productive member of their community.


Media Contact:
Rachel Willingham
(425) 270-9265
[email protected]