Rae Jones “Sheroe”
Director honored for her commitment to Great Beginnings for Black Babies
Great Beginnings for Black Babies (GBBB) Executive Director Rae Jones has been selected one of the 2013 26th District SHeroes by Senator Curren D. Price Jr. and was honored at a February luncheon.
Serving since 2009 at the helm of GBBB, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the healthy development and growth of African American babies and their families, Jones was honored as one of the “extraordinary women who are committed to their professions and communities,” according to Sen. Price.
Jones was nominated by Yvette Chappell-Ingram, former executive director of the California Legislative Black Caucus Foundation.
A veteran communications strategist, public relations practitioner and award-winning journalist, under the auspices of her own company, RAEDIANT Communications, Jones has served a variety of locally-based nonprofit organizations including the Special Needs Network Inc.; California Legislative Black Caucus Foundation; the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce; Jenesse Center Inc.; Excel Family Intervention Programs; Unity One Foundation Inc.; the Leimert Park Village Book Fair; and, the African Marketplace and Cultural Faire.
A Chicago native, Jones previously served as director of communications to (the late) Chicago Mayor Harold Washington; and as public relations director for Malcolm X College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago.
She also previously worked seven years in the corporate communications department of Allstate Insurance Company; as a news reporter, and also as managing editor of a Chicago-based newspaper.
In Los Angeles, Jones has served as public affairs director of Children’s Bureau of Southern California and director of public relations and communications for the Pasadena-based Art Center College of Design.
GBBB was founded in 1990 to promote the healthy development and growth of babies, children and families with a primary goal of reducing infant mortality by providing opportunities for African American women to seek early and continuous prenatal care.
The Institute for Black Parenting embarked 37 years ago on one of the most difficult and pressing social-service issues in placing orphaned Black children into stable households.
Tony Hicks, founder of the Black Parent Union, is an educational consultant specializing in parent and community involvement, who has worked in the public schools for more than 24 years. He has worked in the classroom, serving on councils/committees, coordinating the activities of parent liaisons, conducting workshops, training staff, hosting a cable television show, and leading instructional audits.
“That we arrived at 50 years together is due as much to luck as to love, and a talent for knowing, when we stumble, where to fall, and how to get up again.”
—Ruby Dee on her lifetime marriage to Ossie Davis
For more than 22 years, Great Beginnings for Black Babies Inc. has provided stellar services to its base clientele—pregnant and parenting women. Founded in 1990 to address skyrocketing infant mortality rates in the African American community, Great Beginnings set about the business of impacting those negative rates by encouraging women to live healthy lives devoid of tobacco, alcohol or drugs.
Residents of the Watts-Willowbrook, Broadway-Manchester, West Athens and Compton communities believe they are in the process of bringing out the best in their individual communities and the South Los Angeles region. They are doing this through Best Start, an effort of First 5 LA, an advocacy organization created by California voters to invest tobacco tax revenue in programs that improve the lives of children.