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Congratulations Sid Stolz!

Congratulations Sid Stolz!

Vesper Society believes in a just society where everyone is well and respected as a human being. Our board members exemplify these values and we celebrate Sidney (Sid) Stolz, Vesper Board Chair, who recently joined Blue Zones, LLC as its Chief Design and Experience Officer. His primary focus will be the Blue Zone brand and the Blue Legacy Ventures project in Miami, Florida. What are Blue Zones? Blue Zones, LLC was founded by Dan Buettner who expanded the demographic work of Gianni Pes and Michel Poulain by identifying five places around the world with the highest concentration of centenarians: Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece, and Loma Linda, California. Buettner’s research pointed to nine specific lifestyle habits that lead to longevity, now called the Power of 9. In April 2020 Adventist Health acquired Blue Zones as part of its effort to redefine healthcare in the United States. Adventist Health has always believed in creating environments of belonging and easy access to healthy lifestyles, and they know the future of healthcare goes beyond the role of traditional hospitals. Adventist Health is launching a Blue Zones project in every community where they have a presence. In Miami, they have partnered with RPC Legacy Hotel and Residences to open the first flagship well-being and medical facility. The Blue Zone experience at Legacy will combine modern medicine, holistic healing, and the most sophisticated artificial intelligence and technology. Sid Stolz brings more than 35 years of healthcare experience, holding leadership positions at CVS Health/Caremark, United Health Group, Towers Watson, and Maxicare. Sid holds a bachelor of arts in economics from Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas, and a masters of business administration from the University of Texas at Austin. Sid is a member of Augustana Lutheran Church, Washington, D.C., one of the... Read More

Remembering Secretary Norman Y. Mineta (1931-2022)

Remembering Secretary Norman Y. Mineta (1931-2022)

Vesper Society believes a just society begins when everyone is well and respected as a human being. Every day we link arms with leaders to uplift through service, break down barriers, and elevate community voices. In doing so, we are closer to a vision of a world that protects human dignity and enhances human potential. During this Asian Pacific Islander Heritage month, we lift up the life of an amazing public servant, Norman Mineta, who overcame racial barriers to become mayor of San Jose in 1971 and who served in Congress from 1975-1995. He died on May 3, 2022, at age 90. We post part of a press release by Asian Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote), a nonprofit that received a donation from the Vesper Board of Directors Board Designated Fund. “We are heartbroken about the passing of Secretary Norman Y. Mineta. He was a political giant not only for all Americans but especially in the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities, motivating and mentoring generations of AAPIs to get involved and make a difference.” “Many Americans will remember Secretary Mineta for his calm, competent, and unprecedented response to 9/11, his leadership in the creation of the Transportation Security Administration, and his stewardship of the legislation that helped victims of Japanese American internment camps receive reparations. For many of us he will also be remembered as a founding father of the ecosystem that created many AAPI advocacy organizations that exist today – including APIAVote.” “Secretary Mineta leaves behind a big hole not only in our communities and in our hearts, but within the political world. As a true bastion of bipartisanship, he represents what is missing in today’s politics. As he once said, ‘there are no Democratic or Republican bridges.’ Secretary Mineta worked across the aisle to empower... Read More

The Spirit of Renewal

The Spirit of Renewal

Vesper Society believes a just society begins when everyone is well and respected as a human being. We also understand that our well-being is deeply connected to the health of our planet. In Humboldt County, the Yurok Tribe has been working for the past 14 years to restore the condor to its ancestral home, 100 years after it was poached, poisoned, and decimated. [Photo credit: Time-Standard March 31, 2022, Courtesy of Matt Mais/Yurok Tribe] We celebrate the milestone return of  four California condors to the Redwood National Park this month. We lift up the voices of Yurok Tribal leaders as they talk about the significance of this moment. ‘The Spirit of Renewal’: Yurok Tribe, Parks Official Prep for California Condor Release, By Mario Cortez, Times-Standard, Eureka, CA April 12, 2022 Yurok Chairman Joseph L. James spoke about the importance of the California condor, known in the Yurok language as “prey-go-neesh” and its return to the region. “It is a beautiful day, a blessed day, an exciting day for the tribal government,” James said. “We use our condors in our ceremonies and use our condors and our prayers to uplift us again as we dance in our high country. Everything is about balance…. They’ll be flying back above the sky, providing that balance for us as Indigenous people.” Yurok Tribe Member Tiana Williams-Claussen heads the Yurok Wildlife Department and is a culture bearer. She has spent her professional career working to restore the condors’ presence in Yurok lands and skies. “Condors are actually the largest land-based bird in North America with a wingspan of nine-and-a-half feet and serve a vital function as a scavenger, exemplifying that spirit of renewal by going across the landscape and cleaning up the environment in a way that humans or even other scavengers can’t do,” Williams-Claussen... Read More

The Miracle of Morning

The Miracle of Morning

Vesper Society believes that a just society begins when everyone is well and respected as a human being. The month of March marks two years since COVID-19 shut down our society, brought out the best and exposed the worst in us. As we emerge from this pandemic, let us remember the struggles we went through these past two years, for they will continue to define how we create a better world going forward. On this last day of Women’s History Month, we turn again to our beloved inaugural poet laureate, Amanda Gorman, who continues to inspire us from her book Call Us What We Carry. THE MIRACLE OF MORNING We thought we’d awaken to a world in mourning. Heavy clouds crowding, a society storming. But there’s something different on this golden morning. Something magical in the sunlight, wide and warming. We see a dad with a stroller taking a jog. Across the street, a bright-eyed girl chases her dog. A grandma on a porch fingers her rosaries. She grins as her young neighbor brings her groceries. While we might feel small, separate and all alone, Our people have never been more closely tethered. The question isn’t if we can weather this unknown, But how we will weather this unknown together. So, on this meaningful morn, we mourn and we mend. Like light, we can’t be broken, even when we bend. As one, we will defeat both despair and disease. We stand with healthcare heroes and all employees; With families, libraries, waiters, schools, artists; Businesses, restaurants and hospitals hit hardest. We ignite not in the light, but in lack thereof, For it is in loss that we truly learn to love. In this chaos, we will discover clarity. In suffering, we must find solidarity. For it’s our grief that gives... Read More

Expanding Healthcare Access in the African American Community

Expanding Healthcare Access in the African American Community

Every day Vesper Society links arms with leaders and communities to uplift through service, break down barriers, and elevate community voices. One year ago we welcomed our newest partner Marin City Health and Wellness Center and we took this opportunity to interview CEO Harold Wallace. Can you tell us about the history of Marin City? During World War II, the waterfront shipyards in Sausalito were used to produce Liberty Ships between 1942-1945. Thousands of workers migrated to the Bay Area to work in the shipyards, many of whom were African Americans from the South. After the war, they stayed because they could not move elsewhere due to restrictive racist covenants. What kind of healthcare was available to Marin City residents? Even though Neighborhood Health Centers were established in 1965 under the administration of President Lyndon Johnson, it wasn’t until 2006 that the Marin City Health and Wellness Center (MCHWC) was established thanks to grassroots efforts. MCHWC has been operating out of a temporary clinic all these years. We broke ground for a new clinic last September 2021 and expect it to be open in mid-2022. It will be the first time in 80 years that the community will have a viable comprehensive community health center. It is a travesty that the community has not had access to quality healthcare all these decades. How are you expanding access to healthcare in the African American community? In Marin City we are thrilled to put up a health center of substance that can provide excellent primary care. In addition, we are planning many wellness programs to ensure residents can lead healthy lifestyles. Later this year we will move into phase II of expanding the facility at MCHWC. MCHWC has another clinic in the Bayview Hunters Point which has the highest percentage of... Read More

welcome new board members!

welcome new board members!

Vesper Society is delighted to welcome two leaders who join our board of directors this year: Jerry Brown and Joann Conroy. They share Vesper’s belief in the simple idea that a just society begins when everyone is well and respected as a human being. We look forward to working with them to uplift through service, break down barriers, and elevate community voices. Douglas (Jerry) Brown served with the U.S. Peace Corps in Niger and Cameroon, the USDA in Latin America and the Caribbean, and U.S. AID in 32 African countries. Jerry has a graduate degree in International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University. He currently serves on the Church Council at Augustana Lutheran Church in Washington, DC, working on anti-racism learning and advocating for affordable housing and decent wages. Jerry has extensive community outreach and church in society experience. Rev. Joann Conroy is a tribal member of the Oglala Sioux. She serves as chaplain for the Good Samaritan Society/Sanford Health in Maplewood, MN. Her ministry includes St. Paul Area Synod Advocates for Racial Justice and Justice Ministry education program at Auburn Seminary in New York. Rev. Conroy is president of the American Indian Alaskan Native Association of the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) and serves on the board of the National Lutheran Campus Ministry. These remarkable individuals bring deep experience and gifts that reflect our commitment to our values of service, justice, and partnership. With their compassion and expertise on our board, we are one step closer to our vision of a world that protects human dignity and enhances human potential. Learn more about board... Read More

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