Sista O & D'vine Praize

Sista O & D’vine Praize, publicity photo.

By Don Chaddock, Inside CDCR editor

In her day job, Nashea Jackson receives, assesses and routes public records act requests. It’s an important job for the public and the department which is why she finds work-life balance through her music. For over 22 years, Jackson has been in state service. In her spare time, she’s part of a singing group known as Sista O & D’Vine Praize.

The group released two CDs, “Meditation” released June 2007 and November 2008 “Outstanding”; also “Spirit and Truth” released August 2012. Both CDs were released independently. The group had a distribution deal with Koch records for two years. Their music is currently available to purchase through iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Pandora and other music streaming sites.

“We’ve won two awards: Best Gospel group – 2008 Pure Gospo Live Awards; Urban Contemporary Song of the Year – “Outstanding” – 2010 Rhythm of Gospel Awards. We’ve traveled to several places all over the United States like North Carolina, Memphis, Texas and of course northern and southern California. We have yet to travel overseas, however we have been invited and it is still a goal of ours. We’ve donated and partnered with several cancer foundations on events: Carries Touch, Angela’s Answer and Susan G Komen,” said group member Pam Odom.

Inside CDCR caught up with Jackson to find out about her music beyond the job.

What do you do in your CDCR role?

Nashea Jackson Singing Group 3

Nashea Jackson has been in state service for more than 22 y ears. Photo courtesy singing group Sista O & D’Vine Praize.

I am the Public Records Act Coordinator (PRA) and the Service of Process Desk (SOP) at the Office of Legal Affairs (OLA).

As the PRA Coordinator I receive PRA Requests from the public, review the request and ensure it is forwarded to the proper department or unit. All requests for OLA are either assigned to an attorney or the staff that has the responsive documents. I help research and retrieve the information that is being requested and prepare the information that can be released to the requester. Also, I update the PRA Coordinator List that is on CDCR Intranet page, ensure that the PRA coordinators have access to the Public Records Tracking System (PRATS), and I host the bi-monthly PRA Conference calls.

As part of the SOP team OLA receives the documents, then ensure that they are in compliance as proper service. We locate the named defendant(s) on the documents that we cannot accept service for then forwarded to the specific Litigation Coordinator that can accept service. The named defendants that the Office of Legal affairs can accept service for the documents are processed by our unit and forwarded to the appropriate Office of the Attorney General to represent the California Department of Corrections and Executive staff.

When did you start singing?

At the age of 6 I was a member of the Treble Choir at my church. My mother was the Minister of Music. She has played at our church for 51 years. She is now the Minister of Music emeritus so she plays for the Male Chorus and fills in whenever needed.

How was music shared in your household growing up?

My father and mother had a collection of albums that consisted of many genres of music. There was always some type of music playing; my father would play his saxophone with the music and we would dance or sing around the house. My mother would play the piano to prepare the music for the choir and the church services so we were able to sing along with her. At a young age, my brother learned to play the drums, my sister learned to play the piano, and I sing and play the tambourine or other percussion instruments.

What about singing appeals to you?

I love the way a song makes me or people feel by the emotions that flows from within to an outward expression. Music inspires, uplifts, encourages, and can change an entire atmosphere from within you or for an entire room of people. Music brings all people from various walks of life together.

Who are your biggest Inspirations?

My great-grandmother, and my mother, both played the piano and have beautiful anointed and spirit-filled voices that uplift the congregation. My great-grandmother who has since passed away was and still is an inspiration. Until this day many people come up to me and reminisce about her, and my mother will always be inspirational to me and many others.

Why do you sing?

My personal relationship with Christ inspires me to sing praises to him for the many blessings he has bestowed upon my life. In turn, it allows me to encourage and uplift others and let people know that everything will be all right or you can make it through whatever it is you’re going through. When people come up to me and say “that song you sang brought tears to my eyes and lifted my spirit” or “that song helped me through a trying time” then I know I’ve sung my best and it makes me happy to know I’m doing what I was called to do which is singing.