CLARKSTON GA – The Clarkston Development Foundation (CDF: A Collective Action Initiative) has announced the appointment of Lorrie Lynn King as community health director. King is the founding director of 50 Cents. Period., a non-profit organization based in Clarkston that provides reproductive healthcare and education to women and girls in marginalized societies in the U.S. and abroad. In her new position with CDF, King will serve as the senior officer responsible for planning and directing community health programs and initiatives for Clarkston. She will report directly to CDF Founding Executive Director Jeremy Lewis.
“The ethnically diverse population of Clarkston presents a unique set of opportunities and challenges in regards to community health,” said Lewis. “I am confident that in this new role, Lorrie will be instrumental in clearly defining the organization’s goals and developing new strategies that will help us meet those challenges so that all our community members, especially those newly arrived from conflict zones and refugee camps, will lead healthier and more fulfilling lives.”
King brings over twenty years of experience in the fields of reproductive health and international development, across sectors in East Africa, Russia and South Asia, with distinguished agencies such as CARE International and United Children’s Fund. Her HIV/AIDS case management training curriculum designed for post-genocide Rwanda was chosen as the training standard by the Rwandan Ministry of Health. In 2010, King founded 50 Cents. Period., a Georgia-based non-profit organization providing reproductive healthcare and education to women and girls in marginalized societies in the U.S. and abroad. Under her leadership, 50 Cents. Period. set up programs in India, Nepal and parts of Africa to supply girls with not only the necessary sanitary supplies but reproductive healthcare education to help them better understand their own bodies. King has also actively advocated in country against such practices as chaupadi (the forced, ritualized exclusion of women during menstruation), female genital mutilation (FGM) and rape warfare.
King’s field experiences led to her development and launch of “Women’s Circle” programs in Clarkston, providing to the refugee women basic reproductive and preventive health education with linkages to family planning, counseling, and preventive screenings, while also addressing the spectrum of psycho-social issues faced by survivors of rape warfare, torture, genocide and FGM. Working with local schools and resettlement agencies, King also established “Girl Power,” an after-school program providing education on period and puberty basics, family planning, sexual and reproductive health, and other questions asked by teenaged girls. King will continue both programs under her new position with CDF, as well as develop other programs dealing with a broader spectrum of community health concerns.
“As a long-time resident of Clarkston, I know firsthand the continuing problems faced by the refugee community in regards to healthcare, especially the women,” said King. “The refugee community in Clarkston needs not just access to basic healthcare, but specialized services dealing with living with HIV/AIDs or the aftermath of rape warfare, torture and genocide. My goal with The CDF is to design a holistic healthcare program that helps refugees fully engage with the community, and can be used as a model in other refugee centers across the U.S. An added challenge will be designing and implementing health programs that encompass these issues, as well as the health disparities facing all Clarkston residents.”
King studied at Oglethorpe University, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in International Development, and holds post-graduate certificates in Health and Human Rights from Harvard University School of Public Health, and Health in Prisons from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She also studied for her Master of International Public Health at the University of Liverpool. She retains active membership in the American Public Health Association.
In 2014, King was named to “CNN Top 10: Visionary Women,” as well as honored in the Georgia House of Representatives with a resolution recognizing her work domestically and abroad helping countless numbers of women and young girls overcome the stigmas associated with their gender, periods or reproductive choices. Also in 2014, she was appointed the first U.S. Ambassador for global Menstrual Hygiene Day by WASH United.
About Clarkston Development Foundation
Clarkston Development Foundation (CDF: A Collective Action Initiative)is a community impact organization in Clarkston, Georgia, engaging residents through holistic programs of safety, education, economic development and community health.