By Herald Staff
The Cincinnati Herald
E. Selean Holmes is the new multicultural outreach manager for the Cincinnati Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, a global organization rooted in a culture of inclusivity, compassion, collaboration and dedication. It’s ranked Best Nonprofit to Work For. June is National Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month.
The Alzheimer’s Association is the brains behind saving yours.
The Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Cincinnati welcomes E. Selean Holmes as multicultural outreach manager; she will succeed Jill Gorley.
Holmes, a seasoned nonprofit program management professional has over 25 years of experience in multicultural education and outreach, mainly in the museum field.
As a chief curator and department director, she developed history exhibitions and intergenerational public programs that often served as a platform for advocacy and change, highlighting the contributions and stories of African Americans in medicine, Civil Rights, business and more, in addition to collecting artifacts from seniors nationwide. Her consulting client list includes celebrities, corporations and national institutions.
At Smith College, an Ivy League school in New England, she was the director of a multicultural center that served seven student ethnic groups, while promoting the president’s special initiative to advance diversity. In other organizations, Holmes often focused on the marginalized or underrepresented peoples and cultivating relationships with community partners in Cincinnati and major markets.
She leaves her position as editorial consultant at KGL Media Group, which publishes The Cincinnati Herald to help the Alzheimer’s Association raise awareness. African Americans have twice the incidence of Alzheimer’s and up to 100% more than other populations.
HOLMES IS no stranger to the healthcare field. Since returning to Cincinnati from Chicago, she held a series of consultancies, including as a specialist for the Central Community Health Board and the City Prosecutor’s Office, helping mentally ill clients stay out of jail. She was a writer/content developer for the Center for Closing the Health Gap that deals with health disparities, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital invited her to deliver a speech on the contributions of African Americans in science. Assisting seniors by organizing their homes and working in the administration of a church are also assets to this job.
“The foundation of my career has centered on diversity and inclusion and serving as a change agent from directorships in museums and other nonprofits like the YWCA, whose mission is to eliminate racism, to the Symphony’s Community Engagement & Diversity Division,” said Holmes.
She is now charged with forging relationships with key community leaders, businesses and organizations to identify and support the needs of community caregivers, health professionals and people with the disease. The job will entail creating awareness among specific multicultural priority populations including African American, Latino, LGBT and women.
“I come from a family of healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses and a chemist. When I was in college, I had a summer job working in a nursing home where I did everything from serving meals to changing bedpans. When they found out I was creative, I was allowed to implement an art therapy program. It had a profound positive effect on the patients. I’m excited about utilizing my background to bring awareness about Alzheimer’s.’’
Holmes added it’s not just a job for her, for it’s also personal. “I lost my mother to this disease, so I can relate to families and caregiving. I also appreciate the association’s museum art program designed for individuals with memory loss.
HOLMES IS the recipient of numerous awards for her leadership in cultural education including the Philo T. Farnsworth Award for Ethnic Programming, the Zora Neale Hurston Scholar Award and recognition from The Cincinnati Enquirer and Gannett Services. She has served on many boards, including the International Visitor’s Council, University of Cincinnati Friends of Women’s Studies (vice president), Association of African American Museums and the University of Chicago Civic Knowledge Project.
She attended Knoxville College, a United Negro College Fund school, graduated from the University of Cincinnati and completed an African studies summer institute at Yale University. Her global travels enhance a keen understanding of the importance of cross-cultural communication and world health issues.
ALZHEIMER’S is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S., and 5.8 million are living with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
The Alzheimer’s Association Greater Cincinnati Chapter is the brains behind saving yours, offering a myriad of free services.
For online caregiver resources visit alz.org/care. The local office can be reached at 1-800-272-3900 and 513-721-4284 or visit www.alz.org/cincinnati.