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Comcast and Black Joy Parade Honor the 2024 Icons Among Us 

Comcast and Black Joy Parade Celebrate the 2024 Icons Among Us in Oakland, CA

On Sunday, February 25th, hundreds of thousands of Bay Area residents and visitors gathered in downtown Oakland to express their joy and celebrate in community during the 7th annual Black Joy Parade. Founded in 2017 by Elisha Greenwell and Amber Lester, the Black Joy Parade has grown from an idea between friends to a major community event that attracts visitors and boosts Oakland’s economy. Comcast has proudly supported the Black Joy Parade and its mission to honor, celebrate, and amplify Black joy since its inception.

To celebrate the movement beyond the parade and festival, Comcast joined forces with Black Joy Parade in 2020 to introduce the “Icons Among Us” award, an initiative to recognize community-nominated local activists and leaders dedicated to being warriors for racial equality. Upon selection, each “Icon” receives a $5,000 contribution from Comcast to donate to a charity of their choice. Since 2021, 12 individuals have been awarded this recognition. 

Comcast’s float in the Black Joy Parade procession featured the 2024 Icons: educator and activist, Shelene Huey-Booker; children’s advocate, Jameelah Hanif; and unhoused individuals’ advocate, Donald Frazier. Each Icon is committed to igniting change and inspiring innovation within our communities.

Comcast float at the 7th Annual Black Joy Parade on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024 in Oakland, CA

Adding onto the celebration, Comcast and Black Joy Parade partnered with Visit Oakland to host a panel introducing the 2024 Icons to reporters and influencers to give them a warm welcome and congratulations.

Comcast and Black Joy Parade Icons Among Us 2024 panel discussion at Kissel Uptown Oakland Hotel in Oakland, CA

Meet our 2024 Icons: 

Shelene Huey-Booker

Shelene Huey-Booker, Comcast and Black Joy Parade Icons Among Us 2024 in Oakland, CA

Shelene Huey-Booker is the founder and executive director of Youth Utilizing Power & Praise nonprofit Organization (YUPP ORG) whose mission is to create cross-cultural networks that enhance the whole being through performing and fine arts, public speaking, and sports for youth. For the past 21 years, Shelene has given her life to this cause.  

“My life’s goal is to be a loving bridge that connects the underserved and the overlooked to opportunities that help them cultivate their gifts,” said Huey-Booker. “When I think of Black, I think of overcomer and when I think of joy, I think of the sense of being. Being named an Icon and walking in the parade was amazing. One of the highlights was having my 11-year-old daughter with me and showing her that anything is possible if she puts her dreams and passions to action.”

Jameelah Hanif

Jameelah Hanif, Comcast and Black Joy Parade Icons Among Us 2024 in Oakland, CA

Born in Oakland and a current Vallejo resident, Jameelah Hanif is a dedicated advocate for racial justice who is committed to addressing racial disparities in childhood education. In 2018 she founded Watch Me Grow, Inc., a non-profit that supports parents who suffer from trauma and connects them with the resources and services offered by various public agencies and private organizations within Solano County.  

Hanif is a driving force behind resource fairs in Vallejo, ensuring that underserved communities have access to essential support systems. At Watch Me Grow, Inc. parents are helped with job placement, childcare alternative payment, rental assistance, and mental health services, among others. 

“What inspires me is becoming educated and aware of ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences). These are traumatic experiences that cause stress. It’s important to raise awareness about these experiences and what we can do to reduce them within our community, households, and schools, so all children can thrive,” said Hanif. “From what I saw today (at the parade) and what Black Joy means to me: I saw excellence today. I saw laughter, resilience, harmony, liberation, creativity.”

Donald Frazier

Donald Frazier, Comcast and Black Joy Parade Icons Among Us 2024 in Oakland, CA

Donald Frazier is the Executive Director of the Reentry Providers Association of California and the CEO of Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS), an organization that was created in 1971 to help homeless, poor, and disabled people achieve health and self-sufficiency, and to fight against the root causes of poverty and homelessness in the Bay Area. Thanks to Frazier’s leadership, BOSS is recognized as a social justice leader with housing, reentry, and violence prevention.  

Frazier’s primary interests are in the development of policies and practices promoting socio-economic and educational advancement as essential components to uplift disadvantaged communities. 

“I was born to do this work. What inspires me is that I have to give back,” said Frazier. “What Comcast is doing through the Icons Among Us is phenomenal and invigorating.” 

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