On June 25 at the Churchill Valley Country Club, The Association of Pittsburgh Black Nurses in Action, a chapter of the National Black Nurses Association Inc., held the third Annual Evelyn Paige Parker Scholarship Luncheon honoring six of their trailblazers. The honorees have been active with the organization for more than 15 years and have overcome discrimination through prayer, pride and perseverance. This year’s honorees included: Adena Davis, Mary Gray, Frances Johnson, Lillian Lesesne, Luevonue Lincoln and Gladys Harris-Nesbit.

TRAILBLAZER—Doretta Lemon-Fallen (co-chair), Lillian Lesesne and Patricia Tucker (co-chair). (Photos by Debbie Norrell)

The mission statement of APBNIA supports the mentoring of nurses throughout Western Pennsylvania. For more than two decades, APBNIA has provided scholarships to African-American Students enrolled in nursing schools located in the Greater Pittsburgh area. This year’s scholarship recipient was also the emcee for the afternoon, Charisse Skinner. She is a second year nursing student at Duquesne University. The scholarship honors the late Evelyn Paige Parker, a passionate community activist. The Center for Inclusion at UPMC also presented scholarships to Jaray Paine and Kimberly Ragsdale.

Jerome Taylor, PhD, president/founder of the Center for Family Excellence at the University of Pittsburgh was the keynote speaker. Taylor spoke about the higher risk of heart disease and depression in African-Americans and how to create healthy environments. He touched on the fact that Blacks delay marriage and are more likely to divorce and to get re-divorced. He went on to say that the issue of race has never been resolved, “we are still walking around with anti-Black and pro-white attitudes that nearly 50 percent of Blacks endorse. This attitude affects mental, physical and spiritual health.” Taylor’s work has been recognized both nationally and locally.

This year’s luncheon was chaired by Patricia Tucker, RN, and Doretta Lemon-Fallen, RN.

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