Houston Veteran to Receive Faces and Voices of Recovery ,National Vernon Johnson Award in Washington DC on June 27th
Faces & Voices of Recovery, the Nation’s leading addiction recovery advocacy organization, is pleased to honor Rev. Dr. Robert Gilmore, Sr. with the Vernon Johnson award for contributions advocating for the rights of people and their families in or seeking recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs.
WHAT: AMERICA HONORS RECOVERY AWARDS PROGRAM AND RECEPTION
WHERE: Carnegie Institute for Science, 1530 P Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
WHEN: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm
To learn more about the 2012America Honors Recovery Award recipients go to
Prayer, Faith, Family Has Kept Veteran from Relapse and with Hope
A native Texan, born in Houston, Robert attended Houston Independent Schools in Third Ward (Blackshear Elementary, James D. Ryan Middle School and Jack Yates Senior High School). He tells about the many activities academically and athletically in the community, from music to swimming to whatever peaked your interest. In 1971 he joined the United States Air Force, at the end of the Vietnam War, to become a medical service specialist and be stationed at Clark AFB in the Philippines. He almost never made it back, because of drug addiction, but through the love and support of his family, particularly his two “Prayer Warrior Grandmothers”, Other Moma and BoBo, he made it back. His Mother Olan, always called him ‘her little preacher and professor’, it must have stuck, because that’s what he became, “A Gospel Preacher and a University Professor”.
In 1974, Robert was released from the United States Special Treatment Program and then given an Honorable Discharge in 1975 with the rank of Sergeant. The Houston Independent School District third ward product, headed to Texas Southern University, two blocks from his family home and the rest you can say is history. The Vietnam Era Veteran became a member of the historic TSU Debate team lead by Dr. Thomas F. Freeman, a founding member of K-TSU radio station as the first Gospel Sunday Program Director and served in a host of leadership building programs on the TSU campus from the University Program Council, Veterans Club and Baptist Student Union. He often states that for a Veteran, you have to keep listening for orders and learning how to be a leader and he had major role models like TSU Tennis Coach/Professional Photographer Mr. Herbert Provost, Forward Times Founder, Julius Carter ,Congressman Mickey Leland and Dr. Robert Terry.
Robert earned three degrees from Texas Southern university in Tele-communications, Speech and Psychology; before heading to the University of Houston where he earned the Doctorate in Education in 1985. In between, he had accepted his call in the ministry, under Rev. Dr. Johnny Hobbs, Pastor of the Barbers Memorial Missionary Baptist Church, where he was baptized at the age of 9 years old. He earned the masters of Divinity from the Houston Graduate School of Theology and was ordained in ‘Urban Ministry and Pastoral Counseling”, by the Independent Missionary Baptist General Convention of Texas, under the late Dr. E. Stanley Branch, Moderator.
The leadership of the Church was vital in the development and model that Gilmore has utilized since finishing the Houston Graduate School of Theology, his thesis on the Development of an Urban Ministry model led to the Hope After Project and the founding of Real Urban Ministry in 1989. The Black Church in particular, within major urban centers holds the key to the stability and success of the African American community in the future. Increased demands for addressing health disparities, contemporary life and a host of related dysfunctional realities warrant increased training, education, intervention , support and partnerships. A key goal of the “Hope After Recovery and Wellness Initiative” is to build a stronger more effective network which includes private, professional, community and faith leadership. The dynamics of mental health and substance abuse alone warrants the foundation of ‘Urban Ministry Health Teams’ in each Black Church within a targeted priority community, to not participate is indicative of a greater need for support. Personal and professional training gave Robert a stronger understanding as to why many leaders have not been able to address the magnitude of Church, community and society problems.
Robert received a award for Outstanding Community Service and wife, Jacqueline 25 Year Silver Star Recognition at the ALPHA KAPPA ALPHA SORORITY, Inc. , 80th South Central Regional Conference”, pictured is Mr. Herman “Skip” Mason, 33rd General President, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and Attorney Carolyn House Stewart, 28th International President, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. In May 2012 he was a Keynote Presenter at the 17th Annual Dr. Robert Lee Sutherland Conference, hosted by the historic Hogg Foundation, the 2012 Biennial theme was “Spiritual Crossroads: Faith, Mental Health and the African-American Community”, aimed to equip professional, private, community and faith leaders understanding, partnerships, outreach and engagement. (Program Coordinator, Vickie Coffee-Fletcher at (512) 475-7057, www.hogg.utexas.edu.)
A National Certified Counselor, Texas Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor and Chemical Dependency Counselor. He provides consultant and counselor services to groups such as the Houston Ministers Against Crime, Northeast Harris County Ministers Alliance, Elected Leaders and a host of community stakeholders in the Gulf Cost area. Appointed to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health, Region VI Health Equity Council and Texas Health and Human Services Commission Medicaid and CHIP Region 6 Advisory Committee. http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/6787227.html#none
The Vietnam-Era Veteran and author of ‘A True Story: Hope After Dope, From a Drug Addict to A Doctor”, explains the despair of addiction, ptsd, depression and suicide attempts that he made while in the U.S. Air Force. a href="http://www.hopeafter.org/">www.hopeafter.org> Real Urban Ministry, Inc.501c3 through a network of 800 Clergy/Community leaders is focused on providing training, technical support and education for increased ‘Urban Ministry Health” programs, addressing Health Disparities and the Hope After Recovery and Wellness Initiative. Gilmore recorded a 2012 message to urge Veterans, Family and Friends to connect and find resources.
Gilmore states, “the increased needs of human beings points to increased methods of recovery and wellness and what I learned over the past 40 years on my journey is that often times the solution is closer than you think. A key aspect of the Hope After Recovery and Wellness Imitative is to increase the level of understanding, contact s, professional resources and partnerships. The Black Church in the African American community is the base that I used first, then the educational institutions , then the professional resources and in many ways they all had overlapping roles for my success. Of course for me the strongest foundation has been Prayer, Faith, Hope and Lord knows a whole lot of Preaching the Gospel”. Real Urban Ministry,Inc is grateful for my being selected and we plan to share this story of ‘recovery’ with who and whomever will listen, “It’s a Blessing”.
National, State and Local leadership at Real Urban Ministry sponsored or participant events.
Dr. Vernus Swisher, CEO, Career and Recovery; Dr. James Forbes, Pastor Emeritus, Riverside Church, New York; US Region 6 Health & Human Service Director, Atty. Marjorie Petty; Texas Associate Director, Joyce James; City of Houston Health Department Director, Stephen Williams; Commander Dickens, Office of Minority Health; Over 100 Clergy at Baptist Ministers Association gathering, President J.J. Roberson in Wheel Chair.
ABOUT FACES & VOICES OF RECOVERY
Faces & Voices of Recovery is organizing the over 23 million Americans in recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs, their families, friends and allies in a campaign to end discrimination; broaden social understanding; and achieve a just response to addiction as a public health crisis. http://www.facesandvoicesofrecovery.org
Award recipients were selected from nominees submitted by organizations and advocates from across the U.S. The recipients will be featured at an awards benefit that will feature members of Congress, federal officials and leaders of the nation’s addiction recovery advocacy movement. The ceremony fosters excellence in advocacy related to recovery from addiction and honors the legacies of three addiction recovery trailblazers who dedicated their lives to removing barriers for individuals and families affected by addiction: Johnson Institute founder, Dr. Vernon E. Johnson, and recovery advocates, Joel Hernandez and Lisa Mojer-Torres. The event is co-hosted by the Hazelden Foundation’s Center for Public Advocacy. The award recipients and Faces & Voices of Recovery-supported recovery community organizations nationwide have launched local and state campaigns to support people in or seeking recovery from addiction and their families.
ABOUT HAZELDEN’S CENTER FOR PUBLIC ADVOCACY
Hazelden’s Center for Public Advocacy exists to improve public understanding of alcoholism and drug addiction by serving as a leading national expert on issues related to addiction, treatment and recovery. In 2009 The Johnson Institute transferred key program, including America Honors Recovery, to Hazelden’s Center for Public Advocacy to keep the Johnson Institute’s 43-year legacy alive for future generations.
Their efforts seek to end discriminatory laws that keep recovering people from jobs, housing and other services; they develop and deliver innovative peer recovery support services including a growing network of recovery community centers and educate the public and policymakers about the reality of recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs. The award recipients were also part of a successful campaign to end insurance discrimination facing people with addiction which led to passage of the historic Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and the inclusion of addiction services in the Affordable Care Act. These new laws remove barriers to treatment and recovery for the more than 23 million Americans who have yet to get the help they need to recover from addiction.
Congratulations and God bless you!