NEW YORK CITY | Two days before the Nubian Union Legend Award ceremony, a friend posted this comment on Culture of One World’s Facebook page: “Why just young black men? Why not help everyone?”
Here’s how my good-hearted friend, Tomas DeMoss, chimed in on our conversation:
For young black men with head injuries and TBI (traumatic brain injury), a hands-united community-centered advocacy may someday become one of the surer ways to lend them the crucial medical and psychiatric care.
In recent years, bias-related crimes have surged 30% across NY State against people of color, ethnic minorities and LGBT people — a great number of them have been young people of color and gay men.
Enter the NubianUnion.
Headed by Clark Everson and Henry Rawls, this nonprofit cooperation between two black groups, seeks “to educate the community about the growing incidences of brain injuries in the minority community as well as the wider community,” said Rawls, vice president and chair of Unity Missionary Investors. He is also the leader of the Nubian Cultural Center for Research & Development in New Jersey.
Rawls said traumatic brain injury is not well-understood by the general public – neither the causes, how to prevent the injuries, nor how widespread they are.
“Many people don’t understand brain injury as a major malady,” Rawls said. “It’s what we call a ‘silent injury’ because you don’t see scars. A lot of people, very well-educated people, don’t consider it a major issue. Now we see it in the news because of sports, but sports are a very small part of the reason brain injuries occur.”
What is acquired brain injury?
It’s defined as an injury to the brain caused by a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury/neuro-trauma that disrupts the normal brain function, where continued impairment can be demonstrated. This definition does not include dysfunction caused by congenital or degenerative disorders, birth trauma, or injuries caused by other circumstances.
Head injuries happen when? During senior-citizen falls, “rough play” and shaken-baby syndrome.
The Nubian Union is composed of two community-based non-profits focused on the healing of brain injuries, especially among minority youth. Unity Missionary Investors, which aids economically-challenged communities with tools and programs; and the Nubian Cultural Center for Research & Development, a multigenerational program that promotes racial and ethnic harmony through cultural exchange and education.
On November 23, 2015, the New Jersey–based outfit conferred Nubian Union Legend Awards for Outstanding Leadership to five individuals at The Alger House in New York’s Greenwich Village.
The gala event featured a host of clergy, celebrities and community leader. Martin Levine, DO, associate dean for education development at TouroCOM, was the evening’s keynote speaker. His speech was about “Medicine in the Minority Community.”
Other recipients of the Legend Award included Dr. William Gibbs, Chief of Service of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn; concert pianist Professor Richard Alston; fashion and media specialist China Flowers; as well as Nadege Dady, Dean of Student Affairs at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine Harlem.
What is The Anthony Fund?
It is a collaboration between two nonprofit entities. Based in New Jersey, the Nubian Union offers a powerful stimulus to community empowerment to economically challenged urban areas. Through activities and programs that provide healthcare, education, lifestyles, economics and more, they promote racial and ethnic harmony through education.
Unity Missionary Investors empowers communities, especially those that are economically challenged, with the tools and programs that will give them sustainable life.
The Nubian Cultural Center for Research & Development promotes racial and ethnic harmony through cultural exchange and education. The center is a multigenerational program dedicated to exploring, researching and generating programs that expose the best of the many cultures within a given community to the public.
Together these two groups are working hard to financially buoy The Anthony Fund — a nonprofit advocacy program they created to bring general-public awareness to the increasing numbers of young minority men suffering from head injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
The longterm goal of the Anthony Fund is to provide young black men who have survived a traumatic brain injury the opportunity to access the brain injury related services and supports they need to live in the community.
When more people contribute to it, the fund would purchase support and services to foster independence and maximize quality of life when insurance, personal resources, and/or public programs are unavailable to meet those needs. A portion of the Fund also is used to support public education, outreach, and prevention activities related to TBI.