The 2013 Conference took part in a unique movement where community members had the opportunity to meet with different sectors to voice their strengths and challenges about communtiy concerns and collaborate with others to learn new approaches to find community-based solutions.

Numerous sessions were available throughout the conference focusing on individual aspects of creating the components to building healthy communities. Attendees took part in sessions and expressed their concerns or gave ideas on the appropriate subject matter during the sessions.

Dr Renford Reese

Renford Reese has been a professor in the political science department at Cal Poly Pomona for 17 years. He is the faculty coordinator for the Africa Study Abroad program. He is the founder/director of the Prison Education Project, the Reintegration Academy for Parolees, and the Colorful Flags Program. He is the author of five provocative books. He is a former Fulbright Scholar–lecturing at the University of Hong Kong. His author’s quote appeared on Starbucks cups worldwide. He has been featured on ESPN and has appeared as a commentator on The Biography Channel. Reese has traveled to 66 countries and has given lectures in many of them.

Dr. Eric Walsh

Dr. Eric Walsh is the Director of Health Officer for the City of Pasadena’s Health Department in Pasadena, California. He oversees one of only three city based departments in the state. In his current role he champions maternal child issues such as exclusive breastfeeding for at least the first 6 months of life, violence prevention and intervention work, availability to affordable fruits and vegetables and access to quality health care. He is a strong believer in servant leadership and collaboration with community partners. Dr. Walsh is committed to the highest level of care for individuals infected with HIV. Dr. walk was born in Hartford, Connecticut. He is a graduated of Oakwook University in Huntsville, Alabama, The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Miami, Florida and Loma Linda University School of Public Health in Loma Linda, California. He recently completed his Doctorate in Public Health. He is board certified in Family Medicine and is Board Eligible in Preventive Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Walsh is a on staff at the Loma Linda University School of Medicine in the Family Medicine Department. Dr. Walsh served on the current, and previous, Presidents of the United States Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. He has been on CDC committees and served on a committee for the former Surgeon General, Dr. David Satcher. Dr. Walsh is a sought after speaker on issues such as health disparities, racism’s impact on health, maternal child health issues, and violence as a contagious disease to just name a few.

Dr. Victor Rios

Dr. Rios is an Award Winning Professor, Author, and Motivational Keynote Speaker. He speaks to high school students, college students, k-12 teachers, parents, and academics about his inspirational life story, from poverty, juvi, and gangs to a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley and a Professorship at UCSB. He uses his research on motivation, aspirations, and resilience among high school and college students to provide powerful keynote presentations to students, teachers, and parents to overcome adversity and work towards social justice. He is the author of two books.

Dr. Brant Choate

Dr. Brant Choate is an experienced educator having worked in a variety of educational environments Toward the beginning of his career, he founded a private school servicing grads K-8. After 12 years of leadership, he transitioned his career to working with adults. As Principal of Hayward adult school, he managed a staff of over 260 part-time teachers and a student population of 20,000. As Director of Adult Education in Sacramento,he managed a large career technical serving many of the community parolee population. Most recently, Dro. Choate joined the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Education Based Incarceration Bureau as Director of Inmate Education. He is responsible for obtaining and managing educational contracts, new program development, and educational policy. Dr. Choate holds a bachelor’s degree in Educational Psychology from Bringham Young University and a Masters and Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Saint Mary’s College of California. Dr. Choate is also adjunct faculty for University of Phoenix, teaching courses in educational research, critical thinking, and teacher education.

Yolanda Savage-Narva

A public health professional for fifteen years, Yolanda Savage-Narva has worked with older adults, tribal communities and governing entities to improve public health outcomes. Empowering communities to improve health and well-being, and improving public health systems and capacity to reduce health disparities are passions that influence Yolanda’s personal and professional choices. Yolanda’s career began as the Director of Activities for the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s Adult Day Health Services. Yolanda’s Mastersthesis focused on Olders Adults and cardiovascular disease and disparities. Presently, Yolanda is the National Campain Director for America Walks, a national non-profit pedestrian advocacy organization dedicated to building a national walking movement. A proud graduate of Tougaloo College and Jackson State University, she received a B.A. degree in Sociology/certification in Gerontology and M.S. degree in Education, respectively.