Here’s a look at African American people and issues making headlines throughout the country.
A San Francisco Bay Area newlywed couple, Kevin Weston and Lateefah Simon, have started a national effort to register 1,000 African Americans as possible bone marrow donors and find a match for Kevin, who needs to undergo a transplant in less than two months for an extremely rare form of leukemia. Kevin was diagnosed with T-cell Prolymphocytic Leukemia (T-PLL), which primarily affects adults over the age of 30. The cancer is very rare and aggressive, with only 10 cases per year in the United States. The couple urges African Americans to find and attend a local drive-in their communities and to join the Be the Match bone marrow registry. Registering takes just a few minutes, and involves a pre-screening and swab sample of the inside of the cheek. People can also go online to www.marrow.org to order a kit to be sent to their homes. For more information on Kevin and Lateefah’s story visit www.KevinandLateefah.com.
Metta World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, star forward for the Los Angeles Lakers, leads the roster of judges for the statewide high school student video contest called Directing Change. The contest is part of statewide efforts to prevent suicide, reduce stigma and discrimination related to mental illness, and to promote the mental health and wellness of students. High school students throughout California are invited to Direct Change by submitting 60-second public service announcements in two categories: suicide prevention and eliminating stigma about mental illness. Deadline to submit video entries is March 1, 2013.