Monday, July 09, 2012

Wanda's Picks Special Broadcast: AIDS in the Black Community; Author Luis J. Rodriguez on tour in San Francisco Bay Area this week

Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick of Howard University College of Medicine and Howard University Hospital is this year's recipient of the District of Columbia Hospital Association's Grass Roots Award

Fitzpatrick, an infectious disease specialist and medical epidemiologist, is being honored for her untiring work to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS and her volunteer efforts to educate the area’s medically underserved residents on how to better protect their health.

“I’m honored to be recognized for my activities in the community,” Fitzpatrick said. “Serving the people who get overlooked or who aren’t able to get quality health care is the reason I am in public health.”

Fitzpatrick will receive her award Wednesday, Oct. 19, at the hospital association’s 33rd annual banquet at the Washington Hilton.

Fitzpatrick is director of the AIDS Education Training Center at Howard University and an associate professor and attending physician in the Department of Medicine at Howard University College of Medicine and Howard University Hospital.

She is also director of the Care Center, a collaborative project between Howard’s Department of Medicine and United Medical Center in Southeast Washington that provides the infectious disease treatment component for the medical center.

When not serving patients, Fitzpatrick volunteers at health fairs, town hall meetings, church events and other public events where she talks about a variety of health issues, including HIV/AIDS, heart disease, wellness, nutrition, obesity and preventable chronic health conditions.

Before coming to Washington in 2008, Fitzpatrick worked for 10 years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, where she led research studies and field investigations in infectious disease (

We close with an interview with Luis Rodriguez. Luis J. Rodriguez, will read from his latest book, his long-awaited sequel to his bestselling memoir Always Running, La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A. Now in paper back, and a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist, It Calls You Back: An Odyssey Through Love, Addiction, Revolutions, and Healing details the intense struggles Luis has had as a writer, father, husband, revolutionary, and healer, including dealing with addictions, family abuse, and a son who did a total of fifteen years in prison.

"In this brilliantly jagged sequel to the gang-life classic, Always Running (1994), acclaimed journalist, poet and fiction writer Rodriguez... chronicles his struggle to leave behind a drug- and crime-ridden world that always threatened to 'call him back.' An acute political consciousness and powerful love of the written word ultimately saved the author from the lurking dangers of the street and the 'nothing life' to which most Latinos in East Los Angeles were automatically condemned... Raw, searing reading from start to finish."--(Kirkus Review)

“Rushing Waters, Rising Dreams: How the Arts are Transforming a Community” is both a book and film. Economic restructuring during the 1970s decimated the once numerous local aerospace and manufacturing jobs in the San Fernando Valley leading to widespread unemployment and street gangs. Truly a wasteland, there were no bookstores or art galleries in Pacoima or Sylmar until Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural and Bookstore opened in 2001. The multi-media community space quickly became a mecca for performances, workshops, a publishing imprint and a youth empowerment project.

"Rushing Waters, Rising Dreams: How the Arts are Transforming a Community" is a new book documenting the positive changes occurring in Pacoima and Sylmar because of the emerging community arts. Co-edited by Luis Rodriguez and Cal State Northridge Professor Denise Sandoval, it includes essays, poems, paintings and photos from over a dozen contributors on the vibrant arts community at Tia Chucha's and at events like the annual literary festival "Celebrating Words." It includes essays by teachers, leaders, youth activists, artists, poets, and others as well as photos, art images, poems, histories, interviews, and more. It is a 9 x 9 table top book, beautifully designed by Tia Chucha Press's designer Jane Brunette.

Filmmaker John Cantu has also made a documentary film in tandem with the book. Cantu is an independent film maker, writer, and editor. The book will be available for sale and the film will have its Bay Area premier screening. The book is distributed by Northwestern University Press and the film will be distributed at a future date by Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural.


Tuesday, July 10, 6-8pm – Co-sponsored by CURYJ (Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice). SF. Cesar E. Chavez Branch Library, 3301 E 12th Street, Suite 271, Oakland, CA 94601. Books available for purchase courtesy of Modern Times Bookstore, SF and Tia Chucha’s Bookstore.

Wednesday, July 11, 12-3pm -.Co-sponsored by POOR Magazine/Prensa POBRE. Books available for purchase courtesy of Readers Bookstore at the Main Library and Tia Chucha’s Bookstore. SF Public Library, 100 Larkin St (@Grove). Koret Auditorium, lower level, SF, CA 94102.

Just Added:

Wednesday evening- July 11 ArtInternationale! Gallery and Art Lounge (961 Pacific) : Poets Party and joint reading: Eugene B. Redmond Writers club from East St. Louis and the Revolutionary Poets Brigade. Eugene B. Redmond, Jack Hirschman, devorah major, QR Hand, Luis Rodriquez, Michael Warr in the house! Music by Keenan Webster on the African koraand Lela and Rado, vocals and guitar. Food and drink available. Public invited; donations suggested but no one turned away.

Thursday, July 12, 6-8:30pm - Community Co-presenter Cine+Mas SF Latino Film Festival. Books available for purchase courtesy of Modern Times Bookstore, SF and Tia Chucha’s Bookstore. 826 Valencia, 826 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110.

For more info about Luis J. Rodriguez please visit:


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