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Stabilizing Families | Strengthening the Individual | Revitalizing the Community

Message from the Prescott-Joseph Center Board of Directors


Dear Prescott-Joseph Friends, Supporters and Associates,


It is with a heavy heart that we share the sad news that PJC Co-Founder and Executive Director Washington Burns, M.D. passed on Monday, December 26, 2022 at his home. He served the Prescott-Joseph Center and the West Oakland community for over 25 years. 


Dr. Burns, as he was known, loved the West Oakland community. He was committed to providing equitable, high quality services to the children, youth, and families of West Oakland and beyond. He was tireless in his efforts to ensure children with asthma had access to the best health care. He was tireless in efforts to ensure that all West Oaklanders had food and basic needs. He was tireless in his efforts to ensure children 0-5 were well-prepared to enter preschool. He was tireless in his efforts to ensure youth had summer activities to keep them engaged. He was a friend, advocate, mentor, and role model to so many. He will be deeply missed, but his memory lives on in our hearts. He was a man of deep faith. "Well done good and faithful servant."


The Burns family will be holding a private memorial this month. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.


We, the PJC Board and friends are planning a Community Celebration of Life for Dr. Burns at St. Patrick Catholic Church in West Oakland in early February. More details will be posted as they are finalized.


All PJC programming has been suspended. However the Food Pantry will continue to operate under a new organization. There will be no interruption of food and diaper distributions.


Ouida Joi Cooper-Rodriguez, M.A. has been appointed as the Interim Executive Director. Please do not hesitate to reach out to her at if you have any questions or just want to reminisce about Dr. Burns.



Rob Rao, Chairperson on behalf of the PJC Board of Directors 

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