Twlia Laster, Project director 

Ms. Twlia Laster has been working in tobacco control specifically serving African American and African Immigrant populations for 21 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. 

Meet the Staff 

Kimberly Bankston-Lee, Senior Program Director

Ms. Bankston-Lee has 21 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.​

Analyse Houston, Community Engagement Coordinator

Analyse Houston has taken on the position of Community Engagement Coordinator. She will be focused on working with youth to educate them about the dangers of smoking and what they can do to help create a smoke free environment.   She is a graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa where she received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Management with a specialization in Community Management. Analyse has been working with youth for the past 9 years as a Summer Camp Counselor, as an educational presenter in elementary schools in Hawaii and as an Activities Coordinator at UH planning events and programs for college students. She was born in Sacramento and raised in Elk Grove. She is excited to be returning to her hometown creating smoke-free areas.

  Saving Our Legacy: African Americans for Smoke-Free Safe Places

​Beatriz Aurelio, Project Manager

Beatriz Aurelio holds a Masters in Public Health from the University of San Francisco, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the California State University, Sacramento, and is a Masters of Science in Global Health candidate. Beatriz is passionate about breaking down barriers to health equity and strives to be an agent of change in the community. Beatriz has presented on health equity topics at the National School of Public Health in Cuba, Pantawid Pamilya Programs in Cainta, Philippines,  and the United Nations University of Peace in Costa Rica, as well as for the Asian and Pacific Islanders in Higher Education, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Active Minds, and other national organizations. Beatriz also assists with refugee health equity with The Courageous Kitchen, a 5013c in Bangkok, Thailand. As a chronic asthmatic, she knows first hands the effects of smoke inhalation, second hand smoke, and tobacco exposure and how detrimental it can be to one’s health. Beatriz believes that to achieve health equity and address the social determinants of health, it is imperative to reduce a child’s risk of exposure and accessibility to tobacco products.