Denver, CO — Five Black women are currently serving as judges in Colorado, which is a record-breaking number in the state. They were appointed by Gov. Jared Polis during a period of less than two years.
In October 2019, Frances Johnson was appointed for the 4th Judicial District Court in Colorado Springs, making her the first Black woman to hold the position in general jurisdiction.
A month after that, Nikea Bland became the first Black woman appointed to a Denver district court of general jurisdiction.
“It’s 2020, and there shouldn’t be any Black firsts left, but here we are,” Bland told Essence. “I’m just glad to see we are finally moving forward. It’s progress.”
Nationwide — Mr. Charles Michael Able is among the distinguished scientist and clinical research professionals in the field of radiology to receive the Fellow of the American College of Radiology – one of the highest honors awarded to diagnostic radiologists, radiation oncologists, interventional radiologists, medical physicists, and nuclear medicine physicians.
Able, who is the former Director of Medical Physics at the Florida Cancer Specialists and Research Institute, has a career that spans over 30 years working as a Medical Physicist in cancer research and radiation therapy. Mr. Able managed 9 medical physicists and 13 dosimetrists performing SRS, SBRT, HDR, LDR seed implants, and radiopharmaceutical therapies. Through his leadership, the radiation therapy program grew from six to nine centers in 2020. The nine centers include eleven accelerators and two mobile HDR systems that are treating on average 300 patients a day. Able has traveled all over America, Switzerland, Austria, and China speaking about cancer research and medical physics. Able has made incredible contributions to the Medical Physics profession through his research publications and presentations. He represents the 1% of African Americans working in the Medical Physics profession.
San Francisco, CA — The city of San Francisco has launched the Abundant Birth Project, which aims to curb the high rates of Black women deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth by giving them monthly stipends worth $1,000.
The pilot program would reportedly provide $1,000 per month to about 150 low- and middle-income pregnant Black and Pacific Islander women throughout their pregnancy until at least 6 months after they have given birth.
The project, which is a brainchild of Dr. Zea Malawa of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, targets to ease the stress which is considered as one of the biggest factors negatively affecting pregnant women’s health, particularly Black women.
Washington, DC — Jennaye Fennell, a single Black mother and educator, and her 3 entrepreneurial children are the creators of Fennell Adventures, a collection of unique travel books for kids. 16-year old Jiyah, 12-year old Jace, and 11-year old Merl are the talented writers of the series. They believe that there is no reason for families to be held back from traveling within their imagination during COVID-19 or for children to be reading boring books while quarantining at home.
Initial travel thought
One day while in college at the University of Delaware, the professor asked, “Who has traveled?” Jennaye was an inner-city child who had only traveled to Disney World once. She watched all of her Caucasian classmates describe all of their extraordinary destinations and vowed to make a change with her own children.