The Vera Brown-Curtis Project

Vera Brown-Curtis Hayes would approve of the new Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law project named in her honor to increase utilization of our services by low-income African Americanssays Betty Nordwind the Center’s director.  Vera, described by her fellow colleagues as a “passionate advocate, protector and defender of human rights,” devoted her time, skills and funds to three organizations until her untimely death. These fortunate organizations include the Center, The Links, Los Angeles Chapter, and Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles Inc. (BWL).

Partially underwritten in its first year by The Links, the Vera Brown-Curtis Project hired an intern, determined its focus to be on 5 zip code areas in the county with the largest percentage of economically deprived African Americans, and began its contact with a wide variety of local organizations and churches. Recently, twelve of the Center’s volunteers and supporters met to make more plans and committed to work on the project. The ultimate goal is to establish a new outreach site within these communities, making the Center more visible and its initial appointment process more accessible.

“The Center is pursuing part of the mission advanced by its co-founder BWL and first President Mablean Ephriam, to serve low-income African-Americans,” says Nordwind.  “African-American children have the highest poverty rate (33%) in the county, they form the largest percentage of homeless people (50%), and black unemployment is generally higher than other groups and has grown since the recession,” Nordwind continues.  “I have been wanting to do this for a long time and I am very grateful to The Links, LA Chapter for providing us the opportunity to take action.”