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Bernard James Tyson – Healthcare Hero and Humanitarian

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On Monday, Nov. 18, the celebration of a life well-lived was hosted at the Chase Center in San Francisco for the final goodbye to the beloved CEO and Board Chair of Kaiser Permanente, Bernard James Tyson. Tyson, who rose through the ranks of Kaiser for over three decades was named CEO in 2013 and Chairman of the Board in 2014. Rays of sun and clear blue skies set the tone for thousands who gathered at the brand new Chase Center in San Francisco to pay their final respects to Tyson’s family and reflect on a man who built a life on serving others with his lifelong medical mission of proving high-quality medical care to anyone who required it.

The San Francisco Symphony quartet performed along with Glad Tidings International Church of God in Christ choir members. The welcome and opening prayer were presented by Bishop J.W. Macklin, Senior Pastor of Glad Tidings International Church of God in Christ in Hayward. Videos and photos of Tyson’s life were also featured. Remarks were given by San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Kenneth I. Chenault Chairman, and Managing Director at General Catalyst also The Honorable Willie Brown Jr., Former Mayor of San Francisco and former Speaker of the California State Assembly also spoke. Entertainment icon Gladys Knight sang “The Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me” as well as “Memories” and “Midnight Train to Georgia.”

Holly Humphries, President, CEO the Josiah Macy Foundation and Mark A. Schuster, MD, PhD, the founding dean and CEO of the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine announced that on July 26, 2020, the Kaiser Permanente Bernard James Tyson School of Medicine will open in Pasadena, CA, furthering his legacy. Humphries and Schuster serve on the school’s board of directors. “Bernard Tyson was a man of many dreams and his legacy will now live through thousands of students bearing the imprint of a medical school that will transform healthcare around the world,” said Humphries.

Other remarks were provided by Frances J. Crosson, MD, Former Executive Director of the Permanente Federation and Cynthia A. Telus, PhD, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals Boards of Directors. Delane Sims represented the family of Andrew Hatch. Sims shared a video of Tyson visiting her ailing father at his bedside and what it meant to have a man of Tyson’s great stature in the community take time out to visit and truly care.

Gregory A. Adams, Interim Executive Chief Executive Officer of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals also spoke. “Bernard was a person who imbedded the best in humanity. He drove a $200 million impact investment to address homelessness and affordable housing. He felt no one should have to go to bed on the streets in America.” Adams also shared that out of his own pocket, Tyson paid for several patients and two Kaiser managers to attend the 2019 CancerCon (Cancer Conference). “Because of Bernard, CancerCon will be in Oakland next year.”

John O. Utendahl, Executive Vice Chairman, Global Corporate Investment Banking for Bank of America, Lloyd H. Dean, CEO CommonSpirit Health, Nancy Brown, CEO American Heart Association, and Robert F. Smith, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, and Alva Wheatley, Retired Kaiser Permanente Executive also spoke during the service. “He impressed and moved everyone around him and showed us to not only fight for what you believe in but own it,” said Utendahl.

“Bernard wanted to nurture the health and happiness of all patients,” said Brown.

Bernard believed in the concept of Ubuntu – “I am because we are,” said Smith. “Bernard manifested this in everything that he touched: healthcare programming in Crenshaw, homelessness in Oakland and taking on the stigma of mental health problems. America periodically invites few African Americans into its bounty, and without fail we produce (Bernard J. Tyson) a shining example of what we can be as a nation when all of its Black citizens — all citizens have a full seat at the education, civil rights, and economic inclusion table. Using his voice and his platform he pushed for MLK’s manifesto for America.”

Dean remembered Tyson for his wit, humor, and competitiveness. Dean recanted the times Bernard would call him from the White House among top healthcare professionals and question why Dean wasn’t included. Dean also joked about Tyson’s sticker shock at a shopping spree with Willie Brown at Wilkes Bashford. “He would call and say, ‘Man that Willie, got me today – the cashier rang up $10,000, I thought she meant all three suits, not $10,000 each.” Retired Kaiser Permanente Executive Director of Diversity, Alva Wiley, a mentor of Tyson said, “Bernard exceeded my expectations in every way.”

Tyson’s wife, Denise Bradley Tyson took the stage with her three sons; Bernard, Jr., Alexander, and Charles and thanked guests for the great outpouring of support. “My husband’s legacy will live on. We will continue what he began.”

The closing prayer was provided by Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. Presiding Bishop, West Angeles Church of God in Christ of Los Angeles. “Bernard was a brilliant man, said Blake. “Kaiser is a better company and the world is a better place because Bernard came through.” The audience fittingly sang “Lean On Me,” prior to departing.

Tyson died in his sleep on Sunday, Nov. 10, just 24 hours after addressing several thousand Black tech professionals at Afrotech (technology conference) at the Oakland Marriott Convention Center.Born in Vallejo California Tyson attended Vallejo High School, graduated from Golden Gate University where he received a Master of Business Administration in health services administration and held a leadership certificate from Harvard University. Tyson served on the boards of the American Heart Association and Salesforce.

Bay Area

BART to Require All Employees Get COVID-19 Vaccinations by December 13

All Bay Area Rapid Transit employees and contractors will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or prove their full vaccination status by mid-December under a policy the agency’s board adopted on October 14.

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COVID-19 mask requirements poster at the Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) station at 1365 Treat Boulevard in Walnut Creek, Calif. on March 5, 2021. (Samantha Laurey/Bay City News)

All Bay Area Rapid Transit employees and contractors will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or prove their full vaccination status by mid-December under a policy the agency’s board adopted on October 14.
The policy — drafted by Board Directors Rebecca Saltzman, Lateefah Simon, Bevan Dufty and Janice Li — will require the full vaccination of BART’s employees and board members by December 13, save for those who have a valid medical or religious exemption.
The board also voted as part of the vaccination policy to direct BART General Manager Bob Powers to implement a vaccination requirement for the agency’s contractors and bargain with the agency’s labor unions to determine how employees who decline to get vaccinated will be handled.
“By adopting this policy today, nobody is getting fired tomorrow,” Li said. “No one is being forced to get the vaccine, but this policy states that being vaccinated is a condition of employment.”
Several board members framed the policy as a necessity to keep both the transit agency’s employees and its riders, particularly children under 12 who are not yet eligible for vaccination, protected against the virus.
BART officials estimated that around 20 to 25% of BART’s nearly 4,000 employees remain unvaccinated, which Board Director Mark Foley argued could lead to further outbreaks and potential service disruptions.
Foley also said that he is acutely empathetic to those hesitant to get vaccinated, noting that he opposed vaccination for “more than a decade” after his then-1-year-old daughter was diagnosed with autism.
Foley and his daughter are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, he said Thursday, and his daughter ultimately received her scheduled vaccinations when she entered high school after Foley said he “allowed science to lead” him and his wife.
“I can see where people come from,” he said. “I understand. Coming from that perspective, I had doubts, I had concerns. But I also allowed myself to be guided by experts. And I was not the expert, Google was not the expert, fake news was not the expert.”
The policy, as written and approved on October 14, does not include an option for frequent testing for those who decline to get vaccinated.
Board Director Debora Allen, the only board member to vote against adopting the policy, took issue with that and argued that the agency should not infringe on its employees’ medical decisions.
Allen added that she got fully vaccinated this summer after initially being skeptical that the vaccine’s protection would be more robust than the antibodies she acquired from contracting the virus.
“I think each person should have the right to research and make their own medical decisions as I did without threats from their employer of losing their job,” she said. “So, I come down on the side of every person making their own choice as to these medical treatments.”
Foley noted that while the policy adopted October 14 does not include a testing component, it does not prevent the addition of such a component during bargaining discussions between Powers and BART’s labor unions.
“This policy allows for labor to negotiate over how to protect their members … It puts the power in the labor leaders’ hands and the general manager to craft a document that helps us move forward,” he said. “So, I’m going to put my faith in their hands that they can come up with something that meets their needs.”
Under federal health guidelines, all BART riders and employees will still be required to wear a face covering when in a BART station or on a BART train, regardless of their vaccination status.

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Arts and Culture

Voices & Visions of Change ™ Scholarship Fundraiser Online Art Sale for AAMLO

The Friends-Stewards of the African American Museum and Library at Oakland (Friends-Stewards of AAMLO), a 501(c)(3) organization, is excited to host Voices & Visions of Change ™ Scholarship Fundraiser Online Art Sale from October 1–16, 2021.

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Friends-Stewards of the African American Museum and Library at Oakland/Facebook

The Friends-Stewards of the African American Museum and Library at Oakland (Friends-Stewards of AAMLO), a 501(c)(3) organization, is excited to host Voices & Visions of Change ™ Scholarship Fundraiser Online Art Sale from October 1–16, 2021.

East Bay award winning painter and sculptor Lawrence H. Buford will present individual Giclee (18” x 24”), Limited Edition, S/N-25, prints of the Honorable Shirley A. Chisholm, U.S. House of Representatives, rendered in graphite and the Honorable John Lewis, U.S. House of Representatives, rendered in watercolor. 

Each beautiful portrait is unframed, printed on conservation grade paper, and accompanied with a Certificate of Authenticity.

For your viewing pleasure, the portraits will be on exhibit starting October 1-16, 2021, at the African American Museum and Library at Oakland (AAMLO), 659 14th St., Oakland, CA 94612, during the hours of operation Mon. – Thurs. 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.; Fri. Noon – 5:30 p.m. and Sat. 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Buford’s art work was recently displayed in the exhibition titled “Men of Valor” held at the African American Museum and Library at Oakland (AAMLO), January 2019 through September 2019.

This Online Scholarship Fundraiser will help to protect and preserve our cultural and artistic treasures and the stories of our shared history. Your support will enable us to establish pathways to lifelong learning, to inspire, uplift, and educate our community about African American History & Culture for present and future generations.

To support our scholarship fundraiser, please visit https://www.artbylawrence.com/scholarship-fundraiser/ for more information about the portraits available for purchase.

To DONATE or to become a member of the Friends-Stewards of African American Museum and Library at Oakland (Friends-Stewards of AAMLO), please visit our website at www.friendsstewardsofaamlo.org

Please join us to make this event a success!

The Oakland Post’s coverage of local news in Alameda County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.

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Bay Area

Taylor Memorial United Methodist Church Celebrates Centennial Oct. 24

Our speaker will be Pastor Anthony Jenkins, Sr. The worship service can be accessed by logging on Taylor’s website at www.taylorumc.org. We hope that you can join us in celebrating our 100 years of serving God and the community of Oakland.

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Taylor Memorial United Methodist Church, Photo courtesy of their website

On Oct. 24, 2021, Taylor Memorial United Methodist Church will celebrate 100 years of Christian service in the City of Oakland, California. Our church is located at 1188 12th Street, Oakland, CA 94607.

Taylor Memorial Episcopal Church was the first African American church of its denomination in Northern California.  The Charter was granted on Oct. 29, 1921, and was the direct result of years of prayer, sacrifice, and determination by our 22 founders. In 1968, the church became a United Methodist Church by a denominational merger.

Pastor, Anthony Jenkins, Sr., Taylor Memorial United Methodist Church By Troy Belton

The church was founded by a group of Christian Warriors with a thirst for spreading the word of God and providing inspiration and love for all who wished to join their mission to serve, educate, demonstrate and promote the teachings of God.

We are unable to celebrate this momentous milestone as we have in the past. However, we will use the technology available and rely on God’s help in making our celebration a success. Our deepest sympathy to those families who lost loved ones to the COVID-19 virus. Let’s continue to pray for those families whose lives have been impacted and changed forever.

Taylor Church has been a beacon of hope, inspiration, outreach, and spiritual leadership in Oakland and the Bay Area. Over the years our membership has grown and included dedicated members from all races including a former Mayor of the City of Oakland, city council members, professional athletes, entertainers, and many other celebrities.

Founders’ Day and the 100th Anniversary Celebration will be held on Sunday, October 24, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. via YouTube. The theme is “Serving Others – Doing God’s Will.”

Our speaker will be Pastor Anthony Jenkins, Sr. The worship service can be accessed by logging on Taylor’s website at www.taylorumc.org. We hope that you can join us in celebrating our 100 years of serving God and the community of Oakland.

Our service will include Broadway songwriter Rahn Coleman on music, Beth Eden’s praise dancers, special greetings, and inspirational preaching. For further information please call 510-444-6162.

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