In The News: Venus Williams On Homelessness And Health Care In Los Angeles

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 16: Venus Williams attends Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation's annual Blue Diamond Gala at Dodger Stadium on June 16, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

June 21, 2022

By Madison-June 21, 2022

Venus Williams is using her platform to help those in need of healthcare, education and homes in the city she was raised.  

“It’s so important to talk about these topics because if we’re not talking about them, then we can’t address them,” Williams told Los Angeles. “So we have to have these conversations and then we’re able to start to have action.”

That action includes partnering with Blue Shield of California to help bring attention to the bias that exists today in healthcare. Williams wanted to work with the organization in order to spread awareness on a variety of issues including her auto-immune disorder Sjorgren’s Syndrome, mental health, black maternal health, fitness and wellness.

“It’s so important to service the use of the community. I’ve worked with Blue Shield on the ‘Hear Me’ campaign recently and it highlighted people whose voices haven’t been heard, which is disproportionately women and women of color,” Williams said. “I want to make sure these voices are heard and that we’re serving a community — and this is my community, I was born right here in Southern California.”

LAMag talked to the tennis champ on the blue carpet at the 6th Annual Blue Diamond Gala at Dodgers Stadium. The sold out, star-studded evening featured sets by award-winning celebrity DJ D-Nice and an exclusive concert from global superstar, Jennifer Lopez. A record-breaking $3.6 million was raised to support the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation in their mission to improve education, health care, homelessness, and social justice for all Angelenos. Williams believes the annual gala is a great celebration because it gives more athletes the opportunity to use their platform to help others. 

“I think you realize as your life goes on and your career goes on, ‘Wow, I’ve been so blessed to have this opportunity of a lifetime, so now I have to give back to others.’ There’s nothing more exciting than that,” she said. “Mentoring for me has just been so rewarding, helping the community has been so rewarding and makes me feel good. It’s not even about feeling good, but that feeling of realizing you can be a part of something so much bigger than yourself brings overwhelming joy.”

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Felicia Roberts took an idea gathered a few people to reached into a minority community to highlight the positive, using a minority newspaper the Central Valley Voice. Roberts was joined by her sisters Carolyn Williams, Alleashia Thomas, niece Hermonie Lynn Williams, nephew Ron Williams, cousin Jerald Lester, Jay Slaffey, Greg Savage, Tim Daniels and the late J Denise Fontaine. Each individual played an important role in the birth of the newspapers. Since, then many have stood strong behind the success of the newspapers and its goal to fill a void in the Central Valley community. The Central Valley Voice published their 1st issue in November 1991. Its purposed was to highlight the achievements of minorities in the Central Valley. The Voice focuses on the accomplishments of African Americans and Hispanics giving young people role models while diminishing the stereotypical pictures of gangs, crime and violence that permeate the minority communities. Since 1991, the Central Valley Voice has provided an important voice for the minority community throughout the Madera, Merced. Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties.

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