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Mother Whose Son Suffers Lead Poisoning Receives UR Grant to Pursue Program to Help Others

Sylvia Gale, Executive Director of the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement; Queen Zakia Rafiqa Shabazz, Founder of United Parents Against Lead Poisoning and Coordinator of the Virginia Environmental Justice Collaborative
Sylvia Gale, Executive Director of the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement; Queen Zakia Rafiqa Shabazz, Founder of United Parents Against Lead Poisoning and Coordinator of the Virginia Environmental Justice Collaborative (Photo: University of Richmond)

The University of Richmond this fall begins a new fellowship program, to encourage non-profit community leaders to come on campus and pursue their missions.

Queen Zakia Rafiqa Shabazz is one of the first.

Shabazz:   My son was poisoned by lead.  We believe it was lead-based paint.

He is now 25-years old and she says he has good days and bad.  But it set her on a life course to be sure it doesn’t happen to others.

She founded United Parents Against Lead and is the coordinator of the Virginia Environmental Justice Collaborative, and this Fall will receive one of the University’s first fellowships to bring her work on campus.

Sylvia G ale:   To really take a deep dive

Sylvia Gale is Executive Director of the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement

Gale:  To think deeper about that work in order to emerge with new ideas and new tools.

It includes a six thousand dollar stipend, office space and a chance to interact with faculty and students and to share her message.

Shabazz: Prevention is the key because there are no safe levels of lead.

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