By Marie Y. Lemelle, MBA
The Cultural Inclusion Foundation (CIF) presents its inaugural event to commemorate International Women’s Month by honoring 40 high-profile women together on March 3, 2023, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the W Hotel – Hollywood, located at 6250 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028. The award dinner’s theme Celebrating Culturally Diverse Women “Making a Difference,“ highlights the importance of embracing cultural diversity and supporting women empowerment. Tickets available at https://culturalinclusionfoundation.org or call 602-473-3534. Proceeds from the event will benefit the National Alliance of Mental Illness Urban LA, a 501(c)3 organization.
This inaugural event is the first-of-its-kind to honor 40 influential women at the same time. Among the prestigious honorees are Southern California Black Chamber of Commerce Long Beach Area President Sharifah Hardie, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, First Partner of California Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Justice for Women Founder Daphna Ziman, Olympian Jeanette Bolden-Pickens, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, LA City Councilwomen, LA County Board Supervisors, and more.
It is an honor to be recognized with like-minded women who walk the walk and talk the talk. As a diversity, equity and inclusion expert and influencer, it is my commitment to lift up women and be an example of an individual who believes in building communities and close the gap of health disparities especially in the mental illness space.Sharifah Hardie who plans to run for California State Senate District 33 in the 2024 Primary Elections.
Hardie was raised in South Central Los Angeles, but now calls Long Beach, CA home. She is a business consultant, author, talk show host, influencer and a diversity, equity and inclusion expert, President of the Southern California Black Chamber of Commerce – Long Beach Area and an influencer. “It is an honor to be recognized with like-minded women who walk the walk and talk the talk. As a diversity, equity and inclusion expert and influencer, it is my commitment to lift up women and be an example of an individual who believes in building communities and close the gap of health disparities especially in the mental illness space,” said Hardie who plans to run for California State Senate District 33 in the 2024 Primary Elections.
With over twenty five years of business experience, Sharifah Hardie has positioned herself to become one of the top executives in entertainment, business, politics and a person on the rise.
“The prominence of women honored at the Cultural Inclusion Foundation event epitomizes International Women’s Month, a global celebration of economic, political, and social achievements of women observed annually in March,” said CIF Co-Founder and Vice President Richard A. Hanner, Sr. “We applaud and acknowledge their tireless work and outstanding accomplishments in support of our collective fight to improve the quality of life for persons affected by mental illness in the respective communities they serve and worldwide.”
The 2023 Honorees:
1. Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass
2. First Partner of California Jennifer Siebel Newsom
3. Congresswoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove
4. Congresswoman Maxine Waters
5. Claim Health and Wellness President Vera Scott
6. LA County Board Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell
7. LA County Board Supervisor Hilda Solis
8. LA County Board Supervisor Lindsey Horvath
9. LA County Board Supervisor Janice Hahn
10. LA County Board Supervisor Kathryn Barger
11. LA City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto
12. LA City Councilwoman Eunisses Hernandez
13. LA City Councilwoman Nithya Raman
14. LA City Councilwoman Katy Young-Yaroslavsky
15. LA City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez
16. LA City Councilwoman Heather Hutt
17. LA City Councilwoman Traci Park
18. Senegal Consulate Mame Toucouleur Mbaye
19. Chief Master Sgt. Ericka Kelly (ret.)
20. Activist and Philanthropist Daphna E. Ziman
21. Bank of America Senior VP Simone S. Branigan
22. Actress and Producer Beverly Todd
23. Management Consultant Phillipa Johnson
24. Social Change Activist/PR Consultant Marie Y. Lemelle, MBA
25. Cultural Affairs Director for LA Chargers Liliana T. Pérez
26. Olympian and Gold Medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee
27. Olympian and Gold Medalist Jeanette Bolden-Pickens
28. Chase Bank VP Vanessa Torres
29. Attorney Gihan Thomas
30. USA Cheer Coach Permella Harris
31. Activist Shaghayegh Cyrous
32. Filmmaker Mira Victor
33. TV Broadcaster/Pilot Christina Pascucci
34. Visual Artist Gale Fulton Ross
35. Entrepreneur Del Richardson
36. Attorney Demetria L. Graves
37. US Army Commander Angela N. Adams (ret.)
38. US Global Beauty Pageant Founder Sneh Misra
39. Southern California Black Chamber of Commerce – Long Beach Area President Sharifah Hardie
40. Activist/Author Susan Burton
CIF’s mission includes the fight to improve lives affected by mental illness and supports NAMI Urban Los Angeles (NULA) that was founded in 2003. It is the urban affiliate of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to educating, advocating, supporting, and building better lives for the millions of individuals & families affected by mental illness.
NULA provides education about severe brain disorders, supports increased funding for research, and advocates for adequate health insurance, housing rehabilitation, and jobs for people with serious psychiatric illnesses in communities of color. It also seeks to educate the public about the myths of mental illness to eradicate stigma. NULA seeks to be a beacon of hope in the community it serves.
U.S. President Joe Biden focused on mental illness in his State of the Union Address. “Two out of five adults report symptoms of anxiety or depression. Black and Brown communities are disproportionately undertreated – even as their burden of mental illness has continued to rise,” said President Biden. “Even before the pandemic, rates of depression and anxiety were inching higher. But the grief, trauma, and physical isolation of the last two years have driven Americans to a breaking point.”
According to Help for Our Heroes program, post-traumatic stress disorder affects more than 7.7 million Americans. Veterans are at a higher risk of suffering from PTSD. To help address this disparity, CIF connects Veterans to health, housing and business support. “Our service for Veterans includes their children by providing toys during the holidays,” said Hanner who is an Air Force Veteran. “On a year-round basis we provide blankets to unhoused Veterans and seniors.”
For press credentials, contact Platinum Star Public Relations at 213-276-7827 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Cultural Inclusion Foundation
Seeing a need for energetic, nonprofit work in this area, the Cultural Inclusion Foundation (CIF) organization was formed to provide sensible solutions. Our organization continues to grow with the helping hands of our amazing and caring community.
As a nonprofit 501 c 3 organization, CIF embraces diversity and equity with an inclusive approach bridging programs that support mental health and mental wellbeing. We focus on making the maximum positive effort for our community. Our members and volunteers provide the momentum that helps us affect change. Using data driven models, we provide solutions that make a long-lasting difference.
CIF programs include Community Food Bank – Food justice is an important part of community justice. Donations from local businesses are used to fight hunger; Volunteer Service Sundays – Every Sunday, we mobilize our volunteers to make a real difference in communities to focus on cultural inclusion and bringing together; and Community Connections – We work to help people who provide services to help the people who need them.
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