The SOL Project advocates for healthy, smoke-free communities for African Americans and other populations who suffer disproportionately as a result of social conditions and tobacco use.
Saving Our Legacy, African Americans for Smoke-Free Safe Places was founded in 2007 by Kimberly Bankston-Lee and Twlia Laster. The project name was derived by community advocates, Julius Bankston, Roxie Mason, Jolean French and Carol McGruder, who shared a collective vision for improving health among African Americans in Sacramento County.
The SOL Project works with key opinion leaders, businesses, community members, educators, lawmakers and non-profits to adopt and implement smoke-free policies that protect people from the hazards of tobacco smoke and electronic smoking device vapor.
Twlia Laster, Program Manager
Ms. Twlia Laster has been working in tobacco control specifically serving African American and African Immigrant populations for 17 years. Her experience includes, administration, grant coordination, program development, coordination, management, cessation and focus group facilitation on each African American priority population contract for the California Tobacco Control Program (CTCP) funded grant programs since 1996. Her most recent work focuses on advocating for smoke-free policies in outdoor dining areas, providing technical assistance to Sacramento Regional Transit District (SRTD) on implementation of their recently adopted smoke free policy for light rail stops and bus stations; and development and implementation of a Social Determinants of Health Community Action Plan for African Americans in Sacramento County.
Kimberly Bankston-Lee, Senior Program Director
Ms. Bankston-Lee has 17 years of experience planning, developing and implementing tobacco control programs for non-profits, county government and health care services such as the Gold Country Regional Tobacco Control Coalition, the African American Tobacco Education Partnership, Smoking Cessation Counselor for Sutter Medical Centers, and the Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services.
Ms. Bankston-Lee has worked with restaurateurs, the rental housing industry, community colleges and trade schools, and government agencies to adopt smoke-free policies and ordinances. She has developed numerous educational materials and campaigns such as policy tool kits, guides for adopting smoke-free policies, pamphlets, brochures and post cards on various tobacco issues and products; and developed TV, radio and social media campaigns to increase awareness about the dangers of secondhand smoke, nonsmokers’ rights, and support for smoke-free outdoor policies.
Saving Our Legacy:
african americans for smoke-free safe places
The SOL Project