Community Leader Spotlight: ACPHC Community Leadership Award Recepients

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Saba Haile Meskel is a great, dedicated community advocate; service provider; and an activist. She has served and assisted many Ethiopians with their immigration, housing, health and social benefits. Saba has been a voice and a solo advocate since the early 80’s who has continued to serve the community as a resource for people to learn how to access benefits and assist with immigration issues. We are inspired by Saba’s commitment to the community and are proud of what she has achieved for the Ethiopian community, especially at a time when there was no organizations to address the community interests.


Alpha G. Timbo is a licensed clinician by discipline and a Clinical Director, at Personal Involvement Center. He directs and manages the clinical, fiscal, staffing and administrative functions of the agency’s mental health department, Wraparound Services, Family Preservation Program, Family Support and Child Abuse Prevention Intervention and Treatment (CAPIT). Alpha is the President of Sierra Leone Muslim Association of Southern California. As a community member and activist he provides opportunities for the Muslim community to study the Quran and help children to read the principles of Islam. He is also a trusted community leader, whom people call and count on for their social, mental, and immigration issues. Alpha is a humble and true social worker, who values human dignity and sensitive for his community needs . Alpha’s Leadership and services to the community for years is acknowledged and respected not only by the Sierra Leonian community but throughout the West African community. Since Alpha joined the African Coalition he has been the voice of all immigrants and in particular the African and Caribbean. Alpha is an Active Board Member serving in the African Coalition.

We are honored and proud of Alpha to be part of our organization.

Banadir Restaurant

Abdurrahman Ahmed to receive on behalf of Banadir Somali Restaurant.
The Banadir Somali restaurant is located in the heart of Inglewood, CA. The restaurant is cozy and warm and it serves as a welcoming space for all Africans to not only to eat but also as a place where people can socialize and come together as a community. The African hospitality mixed with the owners’ charisma makes everyone feel comfortable and cared for as if they were visiting with a close family member. In these trying political times, Banadir is a place where people in the community come to learn about current issues as well as to get our resources on immigration and mental health related issues such as how to cope with the trauma of being a Muslim immigrant in this day and age. When you walk through the doors of Banadir, you are greeted with delicious smells and a variety of languages that are being spoken by the diverse ethnic customers.  What makes this little oasis so unique is that all the customers greets and care for each other like family, regardless of race, religion or ethnic background.

We wanted to say thank you for being an African welcoming center for the community and we look forward to working together more in the future.

Dr. T. Giorgis

Dr. Tedla W. Giorgis is clinical psychologist with 38 years of national and international experience and is currently a special advisor to the Minister of Health of Ethiopia. Dr. Giorgis received his doctoral degree in 1978 from Washington State University in clinical psychology and did his post-doctoral work at Southern Illinois University. Dr. Giorgis served as a Director of the Multicultural Services Division for the Department of Mental Health of the Government of the District of Columbia and was responsible for the delivery of mental health services to the ethnic/linguistic and international communities residing in the District of Columbia. Since 2009, Dr. Giorgis has been serving as a senior adviser on international affairs and mental health at the Office of the Minister of the Ministry of Health, Ethiopia and he is involved in mhGAP and PRIME projects supported by World Health Organization and DEFID respectively,. He has been the lead mental health service developer and traveled to the very rural Ethiopia and built multiple hospitals and service centers, recruited and trained many mental health professionals. Dr. Giorgis has also extensive international working experience in several countries, including in 15 African countries, India and the Caribbean. He has extended his services and changed the African mental health system enlarge. Dr. Giorgis has addressed the issue of mental health in Africa at African Union, advocates for scaling up mental health services and restructuring the traditional mental health service system.

Previous engagements of Dr. Giorgis include working on mental health, human resources, organizational development and knowledge management issues with several international organizations such as the World Bank, Center for Population and Development Activities, US Agency for International Development, American International Health Alliance, UNICEF, University of Washington and the World Health Organization. Dr. Giorgis has several refereed publications in academic journals and has directed the multicultural/international mental health division of the District of Columbia, Department of Mental Health for 28 years until his early retirement six years ago.

Dr. Giorgis has been an essential asset, leader and supporter of the African Coalition. Dr. Giorgis has developed the Mental Heath Curriculum and community toolkits and designed most of our workshops. Coincidentally, Dr. Giorgis was reached out and approached by LACDMHM twenty years ago to help building a multicultural service program in Los Angeles using his extensive academic research background on the African immigrant mental health . Dr. Giorgis have been invited by LACDMH to adder the impact of migration in the immigrant community in US. We are hoping to bring him back sometimes in summer.

We were privileged and honored to present the Global Vision Leadership Award to Dr. Tedla W. Giorgis.