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"The Face of Love" Symposium to Explore Shared History of African Americans and German Immigrants
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), January 8, 2019 - Gitana Productions, in collaboration with the Missouri German Consortium, will explore and celebrate the remarkable contributions of German immigrants to the abolition of slavery in Missouri at The Face of Love: Symposium on the Common History of German and African Americans.

Historians, community leaders and artists will come together to discuss the shared African American and Missouri German history on Saturday, February 23 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the German Cultural Society's Jefferson Hall at 3652 S. Jefferson Avenue. This event is free to the public.

Germans came to America in the 1800s seeking freedom from oppression in Prussia. Remarkably, many German immigrants in Missouri also fought to free oppressed African Americans. Using the lens of history, the symposium will bring to life what it means to strive for social justice for "others" while also advocating for one's own cultural group.

"The rich and shared history between Germans and African Americans in St. Louis isn't widely known and we want to change that," said Cecilia Nadal, executive director of Gitana Productions. "Many German immigrants, who often spoke no English, recognized that the hope for a growing democracy in America could only be realized if slavery was abolished. Often threatened and even run out of town by Missouri slaveholders, these men and women even started newspapers to spread their ideals for a color-blind democracy."

The symposium also will explore the challenges created by contradictions in values and belief systems. While many German immigrants who settled in the Midwest before and after the Civil War staunchly defended freedom for slaves, some chose to set aside those values to survive. Those tensions, with roots in the past, continue today within many American cultural groups.

KETC-TV "Living St. Louis" producer and reporter Ruth Ezell will moderate the symposium, with special guests Colonel John Hayden, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Police Commissioner, and Herbert Quelle, German Consul General. Speakers include:

  • Dr. Sydney Norton, assistant professor of German Studies at Saint Louis University and author of German Immigrant Abolitionists: Fighting for a Free Missouri
  • Dorris Keeven-Franke, executive director of Missouri Germans Consortium and author of Missouri - Where the Sun of Freedom Shines in "Utopia - Revisiting a German State in America"
  • Dr. John W. Wright, author of Discovering African American St. Louis - A Guide to Historic Sites
  • Rev. Starsky Wilson, CEO and president of the Deaconess Foundation and social activist appointed in 2014 by Governor Jay Nixon to head the Ferguson Commission
Entertainment will be provided by the local German and African American communities.

In June, Gitana Productions also will present a provocative original play inspired by the amazing stories of remarkable German immigrants who became leading abolitionists in Missouri. The performances will be held Thursday, June 20 through Sunday, June 23 at Kranzberg Art Center.

For more information, visit www.gitana-inc.org or contact info@gitana-inc.org or 314-721-6556.


Humana Launches Program to Address High Fall Rate Among St. Louisan Older Adults
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), December 2, 2018 - Humana Inc. recently launched a Medicare Advantage plan in St. Louis with a fall prevention benefit. The benefit is administered by Washington University in conjunction with The Home Hazard Removal Program (HARP), a home hazard removal and fall risk intervention delivered in the home by occupational therapists (OTs) to assess home hazards and reduce physical and financial burden due to falls. The program and its outcomes have demonstrated a reduction in falls during studies conducted by researchers at Washington University.

The fall prevention benefit is tailored for Medicare beneficiaries who live in St. Louis to address the high frequency of falls among this population - a dangerous and costly problem that plagues Missouri with a high rate of injury by falling, 31 percent higher than the national average. The benefit is a part of the Humana Gold Plus (HMO) plan and is only available to members who are enrolled in the plan in St. Louis.

As part of the intervention program, Humana members whose diagnoses make them vulnerable to falling will work with a fully trained and certified OT up to three times a year. These diagnoses include members who've had a previous fall or fracture in the past twelve months or those who suffer from hip or knee joint pain. Members who qualify will have a comprehensive clinical in-home assessment to determine fall risks and home hazards, home hazard removal visits, a tailored hazard removal plan and a six-month follow-up to address new or recurring problems. The fall prevention benefit will be available to as many as 2,000 Humana members in the St Louis area beginning January 1, 2019.

"Humana is committed to improving the lives of those we serve, and a component of that means helping people live safely at home, especially those who are most vulnerable to falls," said Elizabeth Peterson, MD, Regional Vice President Health Services,, Humana Medicare, Central Region. "There are often easily addressable solutions to home hazards that could lead to injury, impact quality of life and result in expensive medical bills. Our goal through the HARP program is to help our members to live where they choose and to enable them to stay active by reducing their risk of falling."

"The HARP program was designed to promote successful aging-in-place by focusing on what can be done to mitigate fall risks in the home," said Susan Stark, PhD, Associate Professor, Program in Occupational Therapy, School of Medicine, Washington University in St. Louis, author of the HARP study. "Through tailored environmental interventions, this program has the potential to enhance performance of daily activities, which can ultimately result in safer living and reduced fall-related hospital visits."


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Archived St. Louis Community News and Information:
 Tackling Vacancy: St. Louis Land Bank Assessment
 City Secures $1 Million Federal Grant to Rapidly Re-house People Experiencing Homelessness
 Grand Opening Planned for Trojan Park
 City of St. Louis Launches Prescription Drug Monitoring Program
 Mayor Slay Launches St. Louis Riverfront Butterfly Byway at Bellerive Park
 "Adinkra Tower" Sculpture Dedicated on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday

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