San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick Donates Shoe Collection to Bay Area Homeless Shelters

49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick (photo via thegrio.com)

article via thegrio.com

Colin Kaepernick is known for three things. His abilities as an NFL quarterback, his activism and his massive shoe collection. Now, he is taking steps to give back in a new way, by donating most of his shoe collection to Bay Area homeless shelters.

And Kaepernick didn’t just donate hundreds of pairs of shoes, he also donated clothing and books to both shelters and orphanages at the end of the last football season. Who says giving has to end when the holiday season does?

Source: Colin Kaepernick donates shoe collection to Bay Area homeless shelters | theGrio

Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris Pioneers Way to Treat Stress in Children, a Startling Source of Future Disease

Nadine Burke Harris, a pediatrician in San Francisco, is advocating for all children to be screened for traumatic experiences, which, research shows, have a long-term impact on health. She is a Heinz Award winner  (Photo by Jason Henry)

article by 

Soon after Nadine Burke Harris opened a pediatrics clinic in a low-income neighborhood in San Francisco, she began grappling with the high rates of asthma and other illnesses that she was diagnosing in her patients. She wanted to understand why so many of the kids she saw were so sick.

“They would have chronic abdominal pain, headaches, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, opposition defiant disorder,” she said. “It could be that all these different kids have all these diagnoses, or it could be that there is one thing at the root of this.”

She found an answer in a decade-old study that showed a strong link between chronic disease and traumatic experiences during childhood — things such as physical abuse or neglect, or living with a family member addicted to drugs or alcohol. She knew the children she saw lived with high “doses” of adversity, she said, and it made sense: Trauma was affecting their developing brains and also their developing bodies.

So she began to regard her practice in a whole new way. She started evaluating children not just for their medical histories, but also their social histories. And instead of treating only symptoms, she sought to help with the root causes of the stress that were making them sick.

She screened all the children at her clinic for traumatic experiences, and she built a new kind of medical center for those who screened positive. At the Center for Youth Wellness, which opened in 2011, children and their parents can see mental health workers, learn about mindfulness and other relaxation techniques, and meet with case managers who connect them with social services.

Harris’ novel approach to health care, and her personal story, are gaining national attention. Her work has been profiled in a best-selling book by Paul Tough and a documentary film. Her health center has attracted major funders, including Google.org.

Last month, she spoke at the White House for a conference about trauma. And this week, she was honored in Pittsburgh with the Heinz Award for the Human Condition, one of six prizes given annually by the Heinz Foundation to “exceptional Americans, for their creativity and determination in finding solutions to critical issues.” The award comes with a $250,000 prize.

“I think we have reached a tipping point,” Harris said in an interview.

The American Academy of Pediatrics in 2014 announced the launch of a Center on Healthy, Resilient Children to help pediatricians identify children with toxic stress and help intervene. Local chapters are training pediatricians.

A screening tool for childhood trauma on the center’s website has been downloaded 1,100 times. Harris’s goal is for every pediatrician to screen children for trauma. Continue reading

Dave Chappelle Honors and Remembers Prince With Stand-Up Set: ‘This is the Black 9/11’

Dave Chappelle Prince

Comedian Dave Chappelle (CINDY BARRYMORE/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK)

article by Alex Stedman via Variety.com

Devastated by the sudden death of Prince on Thursday, Dave Chappelle almost canceled his Friday San Francisco stand-up show.

But he didn’t, and instead remembered the late music icon with a four-hour comedy set, riffing on Prince and his impact on pop culture, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Chapelle explained that he contemplated not showing up that night, but his band told him, “‘Yo, Prince would definitely not condone that.’ And now there is no place I’d rather be.”

Taking the stage, Chappelle told the audience that “this is the black 9/11.” He said he only heard of Prince’s death after media outlets began calling him for comment.  “I’ll tell you what: I didn’t know him well, but I knew him well,” he said.

Chappelle and Prince became intertwined after the comedian portrayed Prince in one of the most famous sketches from his Comedy Central series “Chappelle’s Show.”

Prince clearly took the joke in stride. In fact, he one-upped Chappelle by using an image of him in his Prince get-up, holding a plate of pancakes, as the cover art for 2013’s “Breakfast Can Wait.”

Chappelle admitted defeat in a 2014 interview with Jimmy Fallon.  “That’s a Prince judo move right there,” Chappelle said. “You make fun of Prince in a sketch and he’ll just use you in his album cover. … That’s checkmate right there.”

Chappelle is one of many to pay tribute to Prince over the weekend. “Saturday Night Live” dedicated a “Goodnight Sweet Prince” tribute to the musician, and Bruce Springsteen opened his Boston show with a cover of “Purple Rain.”

Sway Calloway Joins VH1 as On-Air Personality and Executive Producer of “Behind The…” Series Reboot

Sway Calloway (photo courtesy Bob Gohn/MTV)

Sway Calloway (photo courtesy Bob Gohn/MTV)

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

Former MTV News reporter and radio DJ Sway Calloway has signed with cable channel VH1 as an on-air personality and producer.  Calloway will appear in VH1’s tentpole events, executive produce specials and events and bring new programming ideas to the channel.

As a TV star and host of his own national Sirius XM/Shade 45 radio show “Sway in the Morning,” Calloway has interviewed every global hip hop and pop artist of the last 15 years as well as U.S. senators, governors, President Bill Clinton, Vice President Joseph Biden and President Barack Obama – four times.   And now, with a recurring role in the hit TV series “Empire,” Sway has become a pop culture icon himself.  He continues to host “Sway In The Morning” and connect with fans at SwaysUniverse.com.

Sway’s first partnership with VH1 will be on the new series “Behind The…,” an expansion of the renowned VH1 “Behind The Music” franchise that will explore all facets of pop culture and its intersection with current cultural and political issues.   Calloway will host and serve as executive producer of the “Behind The…” series.
Continue reading

Talmadge King Jr. to Lead the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine

Talmadge King Jr. (photo via  medicine.ucsf.edu)

Talmadge King Jr. (photo via medicine.ucsf.edu)

According to the latest rankings by U.S. News & World Report, the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine ranks third in its listing of the best medical schools in the United States. Only Harvard and Stanford rank higher. Now this prestigious medical school will be led by an African American.

Talmadge E. King Jr. was named dean of the School of Medicine and vice chancellor for medical affairs at the University of California, San Francisco. For the past nine years, Dr. King has been chair of the department of medicine at the university. He joined the faculty at the medical school in 1997 after teaching at the University of Colorado.

Dr. King’s research is focused on inflammatory and immunologic lung injury. He is the past president of the American Thoracic Society. Professor King has been elected a fellow of the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

A native of Georgia, Professor King is a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minnesota. He earned his medical degree at Harvard University and completed his residency at Emory University hospitals in Atlanta.

article via jbhe.com

Laverne Cox’s Madame Tussauds Wax Figure Will Be the 1st Transgender Figure in the Museum’s History

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 20:  Actress Laverne Cox attends Netflix's "Orange Is The New Black" For Your Consideration screening and Q&A at Directors Guild Of America on May 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

Actress Laverne Cox (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

Madame Tussauds San Francisco announced Monday that it will debut a wax figure of Laverne Cox, star of Orange Is the New Black and a transgender rights activist, on June 26 during Pride Weekend festivities in the Bay Area. It is the first-ever transgender figure in the museum’s history.

June 2015 is already shaping up to be a banner Pride Month for the transgender community since a Vanity Fair cover introduced Caitlyn Jenner (formerly known as Bruce Jenner) on June 1.

article by Olivia B. Waxman via time.com

San Francisco D.A. George Gascón Expands Racial Bias Inquiry Into SF Police Department

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón (Photo via

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón (Photo via sfexaminer.com)

First came disclosures of racist and homophobic text messages exchanged by officers of San Francisco’s Police Department. That was followed by the discovery that sheriff’s deputies had been gambling on forced fighting matches between inmates at a city jail.

Then on Thursday, the San Francisco district attorney George Gascón announced that he was expanding the investigation of the city’s police and sheriff’s departments to examine whether those agencies have a deep-seated culture of systemic bias that has led to unlawful arrests or prosecutions.

In a year in which many of the nation’s major cities have been rocked by protests after the fatal police shootings of unarmed African-Americans, the broadened inquiry made clear that even a city known for its liberal politics can be buffeted by accusations that its officers behaved in a racially biased manner.

African-Americans in San Francisco have complained for years about harassment and the use of excessive force by the police. And while African-Americans make up about 5 percent of the city’s population, they account for half of its arrests and jail inmates, and more than 60 percent of the children in juvenile detention, according to city statistics.

D.A. Gascón, formerly the SFPD Chief of Police, said, “If just one individual was wrongly imprisoned because of bias on the part of these officers, that’s one too many.”

In Baltimore on Wednesday, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake acknowledged a “fractured relationship between the police and the community” in her predominately African-American city and asked the Justice Department to conduct a civil rights investigation of the Police Department to determine whether officers had engaged in unconstitutional patterns of abuse or discrimination.

At a news conference in San Francisco announcing the expanded inquiry, the district attorney, George Gascón, acknowledged that the racist text messages had particularly undermined public confidence in both his office and the local criminal justice system.

“In the last few months, we have seen city after city where police use of force or other police activity is coming to the light and indicating that racial animosity and other types of biases play a significant role,” he said. “I think at one point we felt we would be immune from that type of activity.”

He also said he believed that the city’s tradition of inclusivity would allow it to avoid the tumult in Ferguson, Mo., and other cities where racial bias has been found to have played a role in the actions of police officers.

Continue reading