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NAACP, FAMU, DOH-Leon, & FSU College of Medicine Put Heads Together For Greater Frenchtown and Southside Area Neighbors

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                   Contact: J. Page Jolly
May 4, 2015                                                                                                                                                     Telephone: (850) 606-8190
(850) 321-3213

--Community Advisory Council to be new voice for communities--

Tallahassee–The Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University’s College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Center For Health Equity, the Florida Department of Health in Leon County, the Tallahassee Branch National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and The Florida State University’s College of Medicine are launching their own version of a family kitchen table meeting to give voice to the residents of two neighborhoods traditionally overlooked. The Community Advisory Council kickoff will be on Saturday, May 9, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Two meals will be served for the residents who come to talk around the kitchen table at the Richardson-Lewis Clinic Building, at 872 West Orange Avenue, Tallahassee, Florida.

The first meeting will be an opportunity to meet the neighbors over coffee. The goals are to put into place the membership, discuss goals and talk about how to proceed. “We need people who have a mission, who say, ‘I want to be heard, I want to make progress, I want to make changes!’” said Cynthia Seaborn, Health Committee Chair, Tallahassee Branch of the NAACP.

“Leaders and citizens both agree that our agencies need to hear feedback from residents about life-altering issues, and we must work with them to find solutions,” said Claudia Blackburn, RN, MPH, Health Officer for DOH-Leon. “We must open our ears and help our residents make the changes they want and need to create a healthier place to live, work, play and pray.”

“This is the beginning of an era of self-determination and self-progress,” said Dale Landry, President, Tallahassee Branch NAACP. “Too often we have seen others try to define disparities in health impacting minorities, who are neither minority, nor have the best interest of the health of minorities in mind. This is the first step to provide an opportunity for minorities to take an active role in determining what health disparities are impacting them and to take a lead in defining how best to correct it.”

“We must not remain tone-deaf to our neighbors’ concerns. The Community Advisory Council is a very important step in changing the status quo,” said Dr. Michael Thompson, Dean of the FAMU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. “We will do whatever we can to support current leaders and help grow new leaders.”

“Gone are the days when doing what’s best for a group of people precludes their input,” said Dr. Les Beitsch, Chair, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Social Medicine, Center for Medicine and Public Health, FSU College of Medicine. “The sponsoring groups of CAC will be a sounding board and technical advisor for the voices of Greater Frenchtown and the Southside area. Good ideas don’t just come from afar. Good ideas come from kitchen table talks with friends, family and neighbors over cups of coffee and glasses of tea.”

“Custom has it that the kitchen is the heart of the home—where nurture is natural and nature is shaped, where talk and ideas flow freely and where every member of the family has a say in the running of their everyday lives. The heart of the home is where leaders grow and goals are born. That’s what we hope for, for CAC,” said Claudia Blackburn.


Who: Residents of Greater Frenchtown and Southside areas are cordially invited to attend and help launch the Community Advisory Council. A free breakfast and lunch will be served.

What: Free breakfast, lunch and good conversation with neighbors who want to make progress on the health of the Greater Frenchtown and Southside area communities.

When: Saturday, May 9, from 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Where: The Richardson-Lewis Clinic Building
872 West Orange Avenue
Tallahassee, Florida 32303 

Call to Register: 850-606-8153.