By Kevin Jefferson
Seated, front row, left to right: Bonita Muslim (past president), Debra Edgerly, Danielle Clark, and Claree’ Haynes. Standing from left to right: Ratha Chuon (Census Partnership Specialist), Etta Jones (Current President), Rhonda Jefferson, Greer S. Colbert, Rayma Jean Osby, Terry Pacheco, Ellanor Blaylock, Gloria Fisher, Dee Perry, and Linda Boston.
A local group of women, Family and Friends for Change, is dedicating itself to making sure that everyone in the community is counted in the upcoming 2010 census.
At the group’s most recent meeting, hosted by Gloria Fisher, members heard a presentation by Ratha Chuon, Partnership Specialist for the United States Census Bureau.
According to Chuon, it is imperative for organizations such as Family and Friends For Change, to spread the word that people in the community need to be counted, since the Federal government allocates funding to states and communities based on census data.
Chuon, a encouraged the members to submit a request for funding, which can be used to purchase items such as, canvas bags, key chains, t-shirts, and/or sun-visors advertising the group’s partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau.
Families and Friends began December 1993, when several women met in the home of Mrs. Brenda Campbell, a long time resident of San Francisco. The women met to express their concerns regarding not having a safe place for their children to interact with and participate in various events.
Led by Bonita Muslim, the women decided on a mission: to enlighten, engage, and empower children, youth and families by participating in various community events and sponsoring fundraisers to donate to students interested in pursuing their college education.
Bonita Muslim served was president for the first 10 years and then the torched was passed to Etta Jones, who has been president for the past six years.