Born and raised in Newport News and Hampton, Virginia, Constance graduated from Bethel High School, Hampton, Virginia. She married and moved to California in 1974. She received an AA degree from Long Beach City College and a Bachelor of Science Degree from California State University Long Beach in Long Beach, California. Constance worked for the County of Los Angeles for 36 years and retired from Los Angeles County Probation Department in 2015. She joined Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., Alpha Psi Zeta Chapter in 2014. She is the Co-chairperson for the Chapter Stork’s Nest Program and the Domestic Violence Coordinator. She successfully completed forty hours of training in Domestic Violence Intervention Education on June 15, 2021. She is an official Domestic Violence Advocate.
Constance wrote and copyrighted a play about Domestic Violence entitled “Don’t Make Me Over”. She is currently working on a book and hopes to have it published in the next year. When she is not writing, she volunteers as a Deputy Commissioner of Civil Wedding, where she performs weddings at the Registrar Recorder’s Office in Norwalk, California. She is a member of New Philadelphia AME Church in Long Beach, California. She has four children and seven grandchildren.
Treasurer, Fundraising Chair
Valenna Washington was born in Marlin, Texas. Married to Edward Washington and co-owner of Citizens Funeral Services Inc., Los Angeles, Ca. Licensed Pre-need Funeral Arrangement Counselor and business manager
She received her BA from Prairie View University, Prairie View, Texas, in Education and her Masters Degree from St. Louis, Missouri, in Business Administration and Management.
Valenna Served as an Officer (Captain) in the United States Military (Army) from 1977 to 1981. Retired from Xerox Corporation after 27 years in 2015.
Retired from Xerox Corporation.
She is very active in her church. Friendship Baptist Church located in Yorba Linda, California. Serves in the Doorkeepers Ministry and Chairs the Military Veterans Ministry.
Sorority of Delta Sigma Theta
Valenna and Edward Washington have two daughters, Erika Djordjevic and Ashley Washington; a son-in-law, Jovan Djordjevic; and one grandson, Maksim Djordjevic.
Imam Abu Ishaq Abdul Hafiz
Imam Abu Ishaq Abdul Hafiz is the Director of Prison Outreach for the Shura Council of Southern California, which serves Muslim inmates from Los Angeles County up to San Diego County.
He is resident Imam at Masjid Al-Shareef in Long Beach, CA, since 2019.
He is a retired Chaplain from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, where he served as Supervisory Chaplain for 15 of the 22 years.
He is a graduate of Tuskegee University with a BS in US History and received his Islamic certifications studying in Mecca (1978) and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (1980–1986).
Born in Gary, Indiana, and raised as a Baptist, he converted to the Islamic faith during his undergraduate years at Tuskegee Institute in 1970.
He has been recognized by the US Justice Department as a subject matter expert on issues related to Islam in a correctional setting.
Currently, he is the Director of the Prison Outreach Program under the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California.
He works with Administrators in County Jails , Federal and State prisons, and Homeland Security Detention Centers, visiting inmates and detainees, providing them with Islamic reading materials, and introducing them to Islam.
Imam Abdul Hafiz serves on the Advisory Board of n-ACTION Family Network and on the Board of Catholic Restorative Justice.
Imam Abdul Hafiz has two adult daughters and has been married to Safiya Abdul Hafiz for 44 years.
For Mollie Bell, the phrase "straight outta Compton" is so much more than a catchy tagline. Our Woman of the Year is a lifelong resident of Compton, California, and graduated from Compton High School. Compton is the home community which shaped and nurtured her into the woman of action and service we honor today.
Ms. Bell earned an AA degree from El Camino College, attended Pepperdine University, and completed the academic requirements for a Bachelor’s degree at CSU Dominguez Hills. Before her 2018 retirement, she worked for the United States Postal Service for nearly 36 years.
For the past 25 years, Ms. Bell has been a member of Faith United Methodist Church, Los Angeles, where she has continuously sought to serve in various ways. She makes the church announcements and is frequently a Mistress of Ceremony at conferences, luncheons, and workshops. In her own right, in fact, Ms. Bell is a very effective and entertaining motivational speaker.
Ms. Bell is perhaps best thought of as a community activist. She works tirelessly throughout Los Angeles County and wherever representation for a cause takes her. Any time there is a highly publicized, critical case dealing with injustice within the community,Mollie Bell is likely on the scene in fashion or another. She is deeply involved in the social movements inspired by the tragic cases of Trevon Martin, Eric Gardner, and the California woman who was brutally beaten by a Highway Patrol officer. In each situation, Mollie Bell’s grief moved her to action, so she united with key organizations such as Black Lives Matters and Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network and with individuals such as Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
In addition to her consultantship for the Thomas Masereau Legal Clinic for the past three years, Ms. Bell sits on the Advisory Board of n-ACTION Family Network, whose President, Kay Coulson, was our Woman of the Year in 2010. As a representative for n-ACTION FN, Ms. Bell has participated in the Women in Transition Program at LASD-CRDF, where female offenders were provided necessary tools and resources to help them transition back into the community upon release from custody. Because of her positive, forward-moving, and dynamic energy on the Board, n-ACTION Family Network named a scholarship award in her honor. Recipients now receive the Mollie Bell Social Activist Award.
Mollie Bell can be heard on Stevie Wonder’s radio station, KJLH, on "The Front Page" show in the early morning hours on weekdays. She is a regular guest caller and host with Roland Bynum and Katherine Hughes. Ms. Bell became a regular on talk radio in 1992 during civil unrest relating to the killing of Latasha Harland and the beating of Rodney King.
With all that Ms. Bell does in the community, one might be misled into thinking she wouldn’t have time to enjoy leisure activities, but she does in fact enjoy going to casinos, playing bid whist, practicing photography, and watching game shows. She also, of course, makes time for her beloved family; Ms. Bell has three sisters, a brother, and many nieces who reside locally.
Ms. Bell frequently introduces herself with pride as "Mollie Bell—straight outta Compton,’" and her life proves that she is very much in tune with what is taking place in the community. She describes herself as a "regular person dealing with real issues." Her example of down-to-earth, approachable activism is purely inspiring, as is her humility. She typically closes her speeches by saying, "The struggles continues, but always to God be the glory."