My Name is… Jennifer Hopson OR J Hop
The reason you are reading about me is…5 years ago my father died from a preventable cancer. His life touched many people and I thought the best way to honor him is to use my gifts to give back to others. This has led me to preventive health education.
Right now I’m working on…Trying to save black hearts! I am the African American Health Equity Director for the American Heart Association in Southern California. According to statistics, black people are more likely to die from preventable diseases, which include heart disease, stroke and many cancers. I am essentially trying to work myself out of a job.
But if I wasn’t, I’d be… living on my fantasy island, Cupcakes & Cocktails™ which is my community paradise where everyone that lives on this island contributes their talents to the community.
I can’t stand when people… acknowledge when they spit on me by accident. I’d rather think that it was condensation from an air conditioner unit that landed on me rather than saliva.
But I love it when people… laugh at the same joke and do great things for others when no one is looking…
One thing I do every day is… give thanks, talk to my sister and look something up on Wiki!
If you happen to run into me in the street… Just be who you truly are from the beginning. If you see me, say something or just throw a smile it won’t go to waste, you’ll get one back…usually.
The Best piece of advice I ever received was… remove yourself from comfort to get to know who you really are…
If I had to coin it, my message would be… be present.
My future plans and projects include… to integrate mental health education into our community. My father was a history buff and one of his favorite sayings was from the Greeks “Mens sana in corpore sano,” which translates as, “A healthy mind in a healthy body.” The key to success is a balance between the mind and body. If we get our minds right…everything else will fall into place.
Big Ups to… to my family and many friends and characters that have been woven into my life; their love, support and encouragement has become a source of sustenance for me. I am very lucky and very grateful.
As the regional health equity director at the American Heart Association (AHA), Jennifer Hopson identifies the barriers and factors that prevent the African American community in Southern Los Angeles from having ideal heart health and creates and implements prevention programs to help narrow this health disparity. Ms. Hopson is also responsible for securing funding to produce events and manages a group of dedicated volunteers.
Prior to AHA, Ms. Hopson was a senior associate for Hershey|Cause and worked on a variety of initiatives for both corporate and nonprofit clients. She managed a grassroots community outreach campaign that utilized community, faith-based and government organizations to provide health care messaging to communities in need for First 5 LA, the largest children’s network in Los Angeles County. She also managed the production of a quarterly, small informational magazine for parents with children under the age of five.
Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Jennifer was a member of a public relations team at Campbell & Company, a multicultural healthcare firm in Northern Virginia. Jennifer was depended on to provide PR and media assistance to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Her core mission was to reach African American parents through media outreach and coalition building. This included organizing a series of media and community roundtables in various US cities to recruit editorial staff representing various community-based organizations. Jennifer also served as a project manager for the Coalition on Donation, a national campaign that encourages organ and tissue donation. In addition to providing media outreach, she also formed coalitions with key African-American and health groups across the nation. Ms. Hopson was also the lead staff member responsible for recruiting representatives from key African American organizations in four pilot sites for the National Kidney Disease Education Program.
Jennifer earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism with a concentration in public relations from Howard University. While attending Howard University, Jennifer was a White House intern and worked at the Office of Cabinet Affairs.