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Elsie Rumford

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Information about Elsie Rumford

Profile image of Elsie Rumford

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
MedicalMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Suicidologist
School Social Work Coordinator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Light Blue
Favorite Food:
Gumbo
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Palm Springs, California; Jamaica
Favorite Quote:
Don't Count Your Chickens Before They're Hatched.

Birthplace

Born:
1/15/1945
Birth Location:
Berkeley, California

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
MedicalMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Suicidologist
School Social Work Coordinator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Light Blue
Favorite Food:
Gumbo
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Palm Springs, California; Jamaica
Favorite Quote:
Don't Count Your Chickens Before They're Hatched.

Birthplace

Born:
1/15/1945
Birth Location:
Berkeley
See how Elsie Rumford is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Suicidologist Elsie R. Rumford was born in Berkeley, California, on January 15, 1945; her mother, Elsie R. Carrington Rumford, was a teacher in Berkeley, and her father, pharmacist William Byron Rumford, was the first African American elected official in northern California. Attending Longfellow Elementary School, Burbank Junior High School and Berkeley High School, Rumsford earned her B.A. degree in Spanish and sociology from San Francisco State University in 1967, and her M.S.W. degree from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1973.

Rumford’s graduate thesis on the rising black suicide rate challenged popular thinking on the subject. After speaking before the Charles R. Drew Post Graduate Medical School, Martin Luther King Hospital, and the Suicide Prevention Center of Los Angeles in 1974, Rumford presented to the California State Senate Subcommittee on Medical Education and Health Needs in support of SB1814, the Suicide Prevention Act of 1974. Rumford appeared on many television and radio talk shows to discuss black suicides and worked as a script consultant to a suicide-related episode of The Jeffersons in 1976. Rumford worked as a clinical social worker for the Dignity Center, a Los Angeles Suicide Prevention Center program, from 1974 to 1975, and El Nido Services from 1976 to 1981. From 1985 to 1988, Rumford was a school-based counselor for the Carson Child Guidance Partnership Program for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), and from 1988 to 1996 she was their outreach coordinator. After1997 Rumford began working as a team leader/DIS Counselor at the Los Angeles Unified School District’s School Mental Health.

A member of the American Association of Suicidology; the National Association of Black Social Workers; and the National Association of Social Workers, Rumsford received the Carson Coordinating Council’s Outstanding Service Award in 1996. Rumford, who had three sons, remained a resident of Los Angeles.

Elsie Rumford was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 2, 2005.

See how Elsie Rumford is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Elsie Rumford's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Elsie Rumford lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Elsie Rumford describes her mother's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Elsie Rumford describes her mother's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Elsie Rumford talks about her maternal grandparents and her grandmother's life in Oakland, California
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Elsie Rumford talks about her maternal family's professional and educational achievements
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Elsie Rumford describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Elsie Rumford describes how her parents met and married
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Elsie Rumford talks about her father's role as a civil rights advocate and his election as the first black assemblyman in Northern California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Elsie Rumford talks about her father's career as a pharmacist and his election to the California State Assembly in 1948
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Elsie Rumford describes her parents' personalities and how she resembles them, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Elsie Rumford describes her parents' personalities and how she resembles them, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Elsie Rumford talks about her father's achievements as one of the first African American pharmacists in the San Francisco Bay Area in California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Elsie Rumford describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Berkeley, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Elsie Rumford talks about her brothers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Elsie Rumford talks about her family's involvement with First AME Church in Oakland, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Elsie Rumford recalls the music, movies and television shows she enjoyed while growing up
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Elsie Rumford talks about her father's civil rights involvement, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Elsie Rumford talks about her father's service civil rights involvement, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Elsie Rumford talks about her father's interest in public health
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Elsie Rumford recalls her experience at Longfellow Elementary School in Berkeley, California and the ethnic make-up of her childhood neighborhood
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Elsie Rumford explains why her mother and her maternal aunts are her role models
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Elsie Rumford talks about attending Burbank Junior High School in Berkeley, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Elsie Rumford remembers attending Berkeley High School in Berkeley, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Elsie Rumford discusses her interest in sociology and Spanish
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Elsie Rumford talks about the rise of the black power movement in Berkeley, California in the 1960s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Elsie Rumford remembers the rise of the Black Panther Party in Northern California in the 1960s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Elsie Rumford talks about her coursework in sociology at San Francisco State College in San Francisco, California
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Elsie Rumford recalls various cultural movements in the San Francisco Bay Area of California in the 1960s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Elsie Rumford recalls her experience reporting discrimination while working for the State of California, department of employment
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Elsie Rumford talks about her brief employment with the City of Oakland, California
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Elsie Rumford remembers her graduate school experiences
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Elsie Rumford talks about her master's thesis on black suicide, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Elsie Rumford talks about her master's thesis on black suicide, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Elsie Rumford talks about the findings of her master's degree thesis on suicide in the black community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Elsie Rumford talks about the recognition that she received for her master's thesis on suicide in the black community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Elsie Rumford talks about her social work career in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Elsie Rumford reflects upon the challenges of parenting
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Elsie Rumford talks about helping parents whose children are diagnosed with attention deficit disorder
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Elsie Rumford reflects upon her role as a psychiatric social worker in the Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Elsie Rumford describes her concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Elsie Rumford reflects upon her life and career
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Elsie Rumford reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Elsie Rumford talks about her sons' and her parents' responses to her career as a social worker
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Elsie Rumford reflects upon her parents' personal and professional success and the values they instilled in her
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Elsie Rumford describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Elsie Rumford narrates her photographs