On October 6th, 2012, the GrassROOTS Community Foundation (GCF) hosted Power Forward, a charity concert and cocktail fundraiser at The Newark Museum. The evening brought together notable guests including Senator Ronald Rice, Councilman Ras Baraka, Mona Scott Young, creator of the Love and Hip Hop television series, Jill Newman of Jill Newman Productions, Seandra Sims & Chuck Creekmur from AllHipHop.com, Dice Raw of The Roots, Christy Davis Jackson, Campaign Manager for the Jon Corzine 2000 U.S. Senate campaign and Kym Hampton of the WNBA New York Liberty.
President of the GCF, Dr. Janice Johnson Dias and Chairman, Tarik “Black Thought” Trotter saw Power Forward as a success and enjoyed seeing the community of Newark come to the event. The evening included dynamic performances from GCF Chairman Black Thought along with Malene Younglao, Maya Azucena, and Nneka Best.
NJ Policy makers in attendance included Senator Ronald L. Rice, Council President Donald Payne Jr. and Newark Councilman Ras Baraka. “The City of Newark was fortunate to have the GrassROOTS Community Foundation (GCF) present the Power Forward charity concert here,” states Councilman Ras Baraka. “The evening raised awareness about the importance of improving the health of our children; while at the same time contribute to the GCF Health Education and Literacy (H.E.A.L.) program that directly benefits families in Newark, Orange and East Orange.”
Prior to the Power Forward Charity Concert, GCF launched the S.H.A.P.E. (Strong, Healthy, And Powerful Everyday) at Central High School in Newark. The program focuses on health literacy, wellness, professional skill development and sisterhood. Students participate in workshops on healthy eating and self-esteem. The S.H.A.P.E. program is funded and supported by the GrassROOTS Community Foundation, HealthCorps, Inc., Barnabas Health, and The American Heart Association. The S.H.A.P.E. program is housed in Central High School through a partnership with the school.
GCF recognizes these issues are not isolated to Newark and that there is great transiency across and within city boundaries. They responded to these health crises with the development of the three health programs each of which service low income children and their mothers. GCF plans to create more programs similar to S.H.A.P.E., H.E.A.L. and Super Camp, further contributions towards the foundation can be completed at: http://grass-rootsfoundation.org/donate.html