HHREC is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization committed to creating healthy communities by improving the overall health and quality of life of Bay Area residents by reducing the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs and eliminating racism and violence of all kinds.
HHREC blends health, art, media, and local community voices to create community-based prevention and early intervention strategy that addresses collective physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. All programs engage local residents (children, youth, adults, and elders), consumers, family members, and service providers to organize, design and plan program activities.
Talia Benet has a passion for working with the Bay Area community and advocating for systems and policies change. Talia has worked in education and the nonprofit sector for over 12 years. She credits her mentor the Rev. Charley Hames, Jr. for teaching her about servant leadership and stewardship. She is President of The Ushers Ministry at Beebe Memorial Cathedral, a historically African American church that has been in the Oakland community for over 90 years. Talia was partially raised in New Orleans and considers herself a "Californian with southern mannerisms." In her spare time Talia enjoys spending time with her family, mentoring youth, and researching southern Antebellum history. Accomplishments:
Raising a strong independent daughter who is 14 years old and helping over 60 underserved youth get off of court probation, through providing community volunteer opportunities.
Christensen is a graduate of Chico State and has a passion for serving the Oakland Community and youth.
Anjila Yusufi recently joined HHREC as the Program Manager of Health Through Art. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Health Sciences with an emphasis in Community Health from California State University, East Bay. Anjila grew up in the Bay Area and focused most of her professional career in helping low income underserved populations in Alameda County. She continues to do that at HHREC by managing the Call for Art and Roving Art Show. She serves her community by increasing awareness of mental health and promoting overall wellness in a judge-free environment.
Jean Smithson-Bell is the new Programs Director for HHREC. Jean has been a designer and facilitator of training and organizational development programs for the last 20+ years. She has worked with a diverse workforce of managers and employees to achieve educational objectives, leadership initiatives, intact, departmental teambuilding outcomes, and individual coaching consults within both public and private sectors. Jean holds a B.S. degree in Education and a Master’s degree in Public Administration with an emphasis in Management.
Jean Smithson-Bell, MPA
Michael Githku is an exercise physiologist, fitness specialist, and athletics coach. William has a Masters in Exercise Physiology from San Jose State University He is a certified personal trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine and National Strength and Conditioning Association.
He is a Certified Strength Conditioning Specialist and is an Exercise Physiology. He is an expert in strength training, functional fitness, and Metabolic conditioning.
Charrice Williams is an exercise physiologist, fitness specialist, and athletics coach. William has a Masters in Exercise Physiology from San Jose State University He is a certified personal trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine and National Strength and Conditioning Association.
She is a Certified Strength Conditioning Specialist and is an Exercise Physiology. He is an expert in strength training, functional fitness, and Metabolic conditioning.
Ava M. Square, T.A. Program Manager, supports HHREC’s work with Alameda County Behavioral Health (ACBH), and the ACBH Office of Ethnic Services. The projects and services funded by the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA).include: Community Based Learning Training, WISER - A Magazine for Older Adults, and reports for Community Listening Sessions, and ACBH MHSA 3-Year Plan. Ava holds a MA in Organizational Development and Transformation from the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS).
Adriene Bennett recently joined HHREC as Program Manager for the 10 X 10 Wellness Campaign. In that role, she is responsible for the Get Fit and Rethink Your Drink programs as well as the We Move For Health event and continuing to promote the #MentalWellness365 campaign. Adrienebrings over 15 years’ experience in project management and team building. After receiving her Masters of Science in Healthcare Administration in 2018, she's determined to focus her talents in the area of community and bringing awareness to mental health and physical wellness.
Allison Agbeniyi is the Program Manager for Black Women’s Media and Wellness Project. Over the past 20 years, she has worked extensively in social services, education and the nonprofit sector where she focused on using holistic approaches to serve and educate her community. Agbeniyi has a B.A. in Social Work from San Francisco State University and a M.S. in College Student Personnel Services from Arkansas State University which she uses to fulfill her mission of being a voice for the voiceless, and to uphold her mantra “let the healing begin”.
OUR EXTENDED FAMILY
Retreat Event Coordinator
Sharon Green-Holder has been the Event Planner for Black Women’s Media Project since the first "Be Still" retreat in February 2006 where Ms. Laura Hayes was the celebrity guest speaker. Since then the retreats have occurred at least three times a year with a tremendous growth in the guest mailing list. In preparation for each retreat Sharon takes time to put in the "Love" she has for event planning: to bring to life the vision and the purpose of the retreats and at the same time to be of service to the "Be Still" Community. The "Be Still" family of Self-Care Practitioners continues to grow with each retreat. It’s amazing how the word gets out about the retreats and the overwhelming response of new potential Self-Care Practitioners. With the approval of the Executive Director, Sharon makes sure to carefully choose new Practitioners with the respect of the goal and the purpose of the retreats.
Sharon Green-Holder passion for event planning started at a young age. Since then she has planned a variety of events such as weddings, birthday and holiday celebrations, and spa gatherings. She is the Owner & CEO of Event Extraordinaire and serves as President of the Mom & Pop Green Non-Profit Organization. Sharon is thankful for the continuing blessing to serve as the Event Planner for Black Women’s Media Project and the "Be Still" retreats.
Artist in Residence/
Darren Linzie has lived experience with mental illness. He produced his first professional CD in 2004, and his second CD, through an Innovation Grant Program grant, in 2011. In addition, he has taken college courses on how to produce records and video production at Laney Community College.
Darren is a gifted artist working in pencil, acrylics and other mediums for painting works of art. He creates indoor murals and his work can be seen at the BACS Townehouse Wellness Center on Oakland Avenue. Darren also has created hand-drawn comics for many years and painted a mural for the Innovation Grants Program. Darren also works with Transitional Age Youth in creating mural panels. Darren attended the California College of Arts and Crafts and studied art history. He is a member of WRAP and Highland Hospital Outpatient services. He is an alumnus from Creative Growth Center where he participated for 10 years, and where he was a top student and became a co-facilitator. For 10 years he has been learning about psychology at Highland Hospital and studying Asian Arts at Laney College
Previous Executive Director
Tiffany Bell, Health & Fitness Consultant and Master Trainer is passionate about teaching and demonstrating healthy living, fitness and stress reduction to individual regardless of the physical and mental limitations. Ms. Bell finds solutions to attain a healthier state through therapeutic stress reducing self care, clean eating, and proper physical activity. She teaches various group classes with low to high intensities for cardiovascular, flexibility, and strength training. Ms. Bell has implemented programs to serve as a powerful supplement to medical interventions for seniors, youth, and social organizations to medical hospitals and public health agencies. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology, several certifications in personal training, nutrition, indoor cycling, dance, yoga, and Reiki. With over 15 years experience, Ms. Bell has made a lifetime commitment to guide others into the freedom that comes from better health.
Colette Winlock began as HHREC’s Executive Director in January of 2010. She has a master’s degree in cultural anthropology and social transformation. She was the Project Director of the Black Women’s Media Project for several years. In 1997, along with Sherry Kiara Harris and Sheila James, she published two editions of Crossing the Invisible Line a jet-styled magazine focused on African American women and their views on alcohol and drug-related problems. Colette has developed numerous media campaigns and an unprecedented 10 years of self-care retreats for African American women called “Be Still.” She has played a major role in coordinating multiple community-based research projects, needs assessments, media campaigns, technical assistance, and community engagement activities at the county, state and national level. Her prior work outside of HHREC includes serving as the Executive Director of the National Black Alcoholism Council, CA Chapter, Director of Health Programs for the Bay Area Black United Fund (BABUF) where she is a founding member along with African American community leaders who implemented the Critical Mass Health Conductors, she is Health Conductor #10. For BABUF Colette also coordinated the bi-annual African American Health Summit. Working with former San Francisco 49er Delvin Williams and other professional and amateur athletes she coordinated youth sports camp and drug abuse prevention programs. A former track and field athlete Colette is inducted into two sports halls of fame. She has also been inducted into Alameda County Women’s Commission Hall of Fame for her community activism. Colette writes literary fiction and in 2013 published her debut novel Undoing Crazy with Oaktown Press.
OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Brendalynn Goodall is an accomplished administrator with more than 25 years in the field of aging and workforce development.
Brendalynn has expertise in the areas of planning, community organization, program administration, and personnel management. She served from 2001-2011, as the Aging & Adult Services Manager with the City Of Oakland, Department of Human Services, oversaw five programs for seniors and adults with disabilities and provided services to approximately 4,000 older adults annually. As a native of Oakland, Brendalynn earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Master’s Degree in Social Work from two Bay Area institutions. Recently, semi-retired, Brendalynn is exploring all options, where she can utilize her skills and assets to continue to make a difference in her community.
Andrea Slater has been a community advocate, political consultant since 2000 in CA, she focuses on issues related to inequity and voter engagement.
She is a current faculty member at Laney College, where she teaches Political Science. Andrea was led to the board of HHREC through her own family's experience with the in-family fostering and adoption of her youngest brother many years ago. This experience has helped shaped her understanding of the needs of former foster youth and transitional services.
Timothy Batts, J.D , has more than twenty years of experience in the insurance litigation and loss prevention. His primary areas of focus have been complex litigation, outcome analytics and strategic loss prevention. He is currently employed with the Law Offices of Casalina & Disston, located in Oakland, California. After completing his undergraduate studies at Boston University, he obtained his Juris Doctorate from University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill.
Mr. Batts began his career providing comprehensive loss prevention and claims management services to hospitals, medical facilities, surgical centers and physicians. In addition to his professional responsibilities, Mr. Batts is actively involved in his county’s election process. Serving as a Precinct Inspector from 2010 - 2012, he was instrumental in the implementation of the Ranked Choice Balloting introduced to Alameda County in the 2010 election cycle.
Carla Keener became First 5 Alameda County’s (First 5’s) director of programs in October 2018. She plans and oversees programs, in addition to collaborating on program and project evaluations. Ms. Keener provides leadership, overall staff supervision, and operational guidance to staff for six programmatic strategies: Early ID, Quality Early Care and Education, Neighborhoods Ready for School, Fatherhood, and Parent and Community Engagement and Training.
Ms. Keener joined First 5 in 2001 and held several other positions before becoming director of programs. From 2011 to 2018, she was a senior program administrator and prior to that, she was a program services administrator. In both positions, Ms. Keener supported the development and implementation of programs that bridged services with Alameda County’s early childhood systems and provided support and training to parents and community providers.