Photo by Adam L. Turner
By Marvin X
Family, friends, co-workers and members of the community attended a recent tribute to Majeedah Rahman, founder and director of the Healthy Babies Project, a recovery program for women with children.
Over 70 guests were on hand to wish Rahman happy birthday and give thanks for the many community programs to which she has made contributions. The family told stories about how she was always available to help family members when they were in need.
Shirley Orndoroff from Stockton spoke about the Community Involvement Program that was organized by Rahman in 1968 at the University of Pacific, describing how she and fellow students closed the University tower down until demands were met.
The major demands were for the university to accept 250 disadvantaged students each year, as well as to provide free books, tuition, food and housing. The students in turn agreed to volunteer 30 hours per semester at a community agency.
Orndoroff was one of those who received her degree from the Community Involvement Program, which is still in operation at the university.
Tarika Lewis, a former member of the Black Panther Party along with Rahman, spoke about the party and the 10-point platform and other Panther community programs.
One program organized by Rahman was the Samuel Napier Intercommunual Youth Institute, which became the Oakland Community School.
Rahman organized a 24 -hour residential school for children between the ages of 4-18. During the day students were involved in school activities, and in the evenings they participated in community activities and cleaning the school.
Many African-American students and other international students enrolled at the school, which included a strong parent participation program.
Five women who graduated from the Healthy Babies Program explained how well they are staying clean and sober. They talked about their many years of sobriety and what they are doing today.
Two of the women are now working for Child Protective Services to help make sure other women do not fall through the cracks. Another is a general manager at a well-known restaurant.
Co-workers and staff from the Contra Costa College spoke about wonderful things Rahman is doing at the college. One of her students recently received an $8,000 scholarship from the King/Kennedy Foundation.