COMMUNITY MOBILIZATION LEADERSHIP COALITION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, January 11, 2013
RICHMOND RESIDENT AND COMMUNITY LEADER KATHLEEN SULLIVAN
ENDORSED BY MIRIAM WONG, RICHMOND LATINA LEADER, TO REPLACE
COUNCILMEMBER-ELECT GARY BELL
Coalition Spokesperson: Lloyd G. Madden
—On Thursday, January 10, 2013, Miriam Wong, a Latina leader in Richmond and one of the founders of the Building Bridges Between the Black and Brown Community Project, endorsed Kathleen Sullivan for appointment to the Richmond City Council seat that Gary Bell won in the most recent election but, because of a medical condition, he is unable to serve at this time.
Ms. Wong joins the Community Mobilization Leadership Coalition of Richmond’s most powerful African American organizations who endorsed on Wednesday, January 9, 2013,
Ms. Sullivan for that same City Council appointment.
“Kathleen Sullivan is an excellent choice to represent the leadership that would have been provided by Gary Bell,” states Ms. Wong. “I have been working with her for a few years now to unite Black and Brown women in Richmond. We have been so successful, we have now become like sisters,” Ms. Wong added. “So I strongly support Kathleen Sullivan to be appointed to our City Council.”
Ms. Sullivan, 57, is an African American and longtime resident of Richmond who worked, among others, side by side with Ms. Wong three years ago to create the Building Bridges Project. Their purpose was to unify Richmond across ethnic and racial lines. The ladies believed that the Black and Brown women of Richmond could—and should—provide the leadership to have the best chance of healing any wounds and ameliorating any cultural differences between Black and Brown residents of this community.
“I am very appreciative of the relationship that Miriam Wong and I have developed over the years,” Ms. Sullivan said. “And our work continues—now we have to get the Black and Brown men on board,” Ms. Sullivan announced with a chuckle. “I’m very pleased to have her endorsement and pledge to continue this important unity work.”
Ms. Sullivan and Ms. Wong began this project three years ago with a community survey and the use of focus groups to expose and then debunk the myths that both sides—Black and Brown—believed about each other. One of the participants in the focus groups who made a significant contribution was former Richmond City Councilmember John Marquez.
From that beginning the group last year celebrated together Juneteenth—the oldest known holiday commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States, dating back to June 19, 1865. Led by Ms. Sullivan and Ms. Wong, Black and Brown women sang and modified the famous James Brown lyrics “I’m Black and I’m Proud” to “I’m Black and I’m Brown” on what became an award-winning unity float that was part of a parade traveling up and down the streets of Richmond.
About Kathleen Sullivan
Ms. Sullivan worked for the Neighborhood House of North Richmond for eight years providing Senior Case Management services to the most at-risk Black families and mothers with young children in Richmond. She has served as Chair of the City of Richmond Human Relations and Human Rights Commission until she termed out last year. In addition, Ms. Sullivan was a member of the Board of the Brookside Community Center for the last eight years until it successfully merged with Lifelong Corporation in 2012.
Ms. Sullivan has been a successful consultant to the foster care system in Contra Costa
County and has fostered more than 42 children in her own Richmond home as well as provided leadership in West County in the redesign of its foster care system.
Currently, Ms. Sullivan is the President of the Richmond/Contra Costa Chapter of Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA), which has supported local elected officials.
She also recently cofounded the ByExampleNation Project, a group of mostly Richmond women formed to support its members in learning how to make healthy choices about eating, drinking and exercising.
Ms. Sullivan obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree from New College San Francisco in Human Relations and was a Master’s candidate in Community Economic Development at the National Economic Development and Law Center.
Ms. Sullivan has adopted two girls while raising two sons with her husband of 13 years, who himself was born and raised in Richmond and comes from one of the African American pioneer families of this community.
About the Community Mobilization Leadership Coalition
This coalition includes, but is not limited to, Black American Political Action Committee
(BAPAC) of Contra Costa County, Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA),
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)-Richmond Branch,
1 Richmond, Men and Women of Purpose, One Accord Project, Men and Women of Valor,
Guardians of Justice, National Brotherhood Alliance (NBA) and Black Men and Women