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Nafeeza Brunson Adeyola

She was born in Tampa, FL.
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Nafeeza Adeyola characterizes herself first and foremost as a family oriented person who is proud of her achievements as a wife, mother, grandmother and caretaker of countless needy and foster children. She has also been a stable and faithful member of the Islamic community in Western New York and along with her husband, al-Hajj Dawoud S. Adeyola has been involved in many programs and projects to educate the community.

Born in Tampa, Florida to J.P. and Viola Brunson, Nafeeza moved with her parents and brother William Brunson to Buffalo in 1951. Educated in the buffalo public school system, she attended Public Schools 41, 37 and graduated from East High School where she distinguished herself in athletics as a member of the Pep-Squad. She graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1986 where she earned a Bachelors Degree in Community Mental Health.

In the 1970ââ?¬â?¢s, she was a founding member of the group Taara Zakiyya. Ms. Adeyola wrote grants for Taara, one of which was funded and received a grant to fund the Agricultural Enrichment Project (AEP). An educational and violence prevention program, AEP took hundreds of young people from the inner city into the country to cultivate a 2 acre garden and bring vegetables and fruit back into the community in the fall for more than five years.

In the early 1980ââ?¬â?¢s when the HIV/AIDS epidemic was first recognized, Ms. Adeyola along with her longtime friend and co-worker Khaledah Kaudeyr were employed by the American Red Cross. As specialists in community health education, they were among the very first to initiate training and education with a specific focus on the prevention of HIV/AIDS transmission. Together, they administered and supervised thousands of classes, workshops, seminars and training sessions. Many of the people who were trained by them became leaders in the field of HIV/AIDS education, prevention and treatment today. This includes key persons in organizations including but not limited to the National Black Commission on AIDS (BLOCA), Erie County Health Department and Group Ministries, Inc., of Buffalo, New York. Many churches, school districts and educational leaders also attended these informational and training sessions and incorporated the information into their curricula. Her services were in demand outside of Western New York as well in places such as Jamestown, Hamburg, Fredonia and Brocton, New York.

Nafeeza left the American Red Cross in 1992 to accept a position with the fledgling Project Reach as Director of the Outreach component there. Some of her noteworthy accomplishments there were the pre and post testing for HIV/AIDS in the WNY community. In that position she coordinated some of the first outreach programs assisting drug addicts and other persons at risk for HIV/AIDS to receive treatment. Her leadership led to the introduction of these services into the underserved populations such as the Erie County Holding Center. In this position, she also developed and presented a Cultural Diversity Training Program for the State department based in New York City. This was attended by the Director of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) who invited her to conduct the same training for his staff in Atlanta, Georgia. Subsequent to that she was invited to conduct the training in Washington, D.C. for the staff of OASIS a federal drug prevention program. She has worked as a consultant to Lasting Education for Women, Adults and Children (LEWAC), New Dawn Ministries, and Loguen Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church. She has also served as an Executive Board member of Refuge House, Erie County Youth Board and on the Advisory Board of Masten Park Secure Center an agency of the New York State Division for Youth. Ms. Adeyola has also served as an Executive Board member of Ruth House, a residential center for HIV positive women as well as a member of committees for the 2001 Pan ââ?¬â??American Exposition in Buffalo, New York and Community Health Organization (Child Plus).

Ms. Adeyola has been employed by the King Urban Life Center since 1996, originally as Family Coordinator for the King Center pilot project and later as the Home Connection Coordinator. A King Center newsletter in 2003, described her as, ââ?¬Å?an institution at the King Urban Life Center (who is) a special friend and advocate for parents and children.ââ?¬ She attributes her success to ââ?¬Å?being given the latitude to do what needs to be done to assist families. She always realized that ââ?¬Ë?there is no quick fixââ?¬â?¢ and she remained committed to responding as a parent to a parent.ââ?¬

Her present position as Coordinator of the Empower Program at the King Center finds her ââ?¬Å?serving as a liaison between parents and teachers to address school needs and between parents and other agencies to meet needs beyond school. She ââ?¬Å?encourages and assists parents to become involved in the life of the school through volunteering in school day and after school programs and activities.ââ?¬