We must work together to ensure a fair and complete Census 2020 count of all Californians
For more than a year, we have been speaking with communities, partners and allies across the state about Census 2020. In no uncertain terms, they have shared their fears of participation in a census with a citizenship question, the inclusion of which was intended to terrorize, undercount, underrepresent and underfund Latinx and other immigrant communities and people of color.
We are thrilled that the 2020 Census is being printed without the citizenship question, because it will ensure that all Californians feel safer as they participate in this important civic ritual of affirmation.
There is still much we must do together to ensure a fair and complete count of all California residents. At stake is not only political power and funding for vital community supports ranging from education to infrastructure, but our identity as a nation. When we deny someone’s place in our present, we deny their place in our history and in our future. We tell them something important about who we are and what we value.
The decision to move forward without a citizenship question is a win for inclusion, and an invitation for everyone to be heard and to know that their contributions make their communities – and our state – a better and healthier place.
Find census resources on The Center web site.
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Medication Assisted Treatment Access Points Project second-round funding to be announced in September
We’re looking forward to working with the Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Access Points Project partners throughout California who received round one funding. Additional partners will receive support in a second round of grants, with a request for applications to be available in September.
The second round of funding will focus on opioid use disorder (OUD) and substance use disorder (SUD) prevention, education and outreach in organizations that are trusted entities in their communities, and whose primary population served are people of color. Our goal is to reduce opioid use rates through education about OUD and SUD, as well as education on how to use available health care services including MAT. By combining community engagement activities with training and technical assistance, we expect grassroots efforts to grow and become stronger to greatly reduce opioid use in our communities.
We will post the request for applications on the MAT Access Points Project web page.
The MAT Access Points Project is funded through the California Department of Health Care Services’ MAT Expansion Project and is administered by The Center at Sierra Health Foundation.
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Senate Select Committee on the Social Determinants of Children’s Well-being hearing held in Fresno
The Senate Select Committee on the Social Determinants of Children’s Well-Being held its second public hearing on July 15 at Fresno City Hall, with a focus on the health care workforce shortage, pollution, pesticide exposure, housing, and persistent racial and ethnic inequalities in the Central Valley.
The Committee is chaired by State Senator Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles). She was joined by state senators Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger), Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton) and Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park), and Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) and California Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly. The Committee is holding hearings throughout the state and will make recommendations promoting the health of California’s children.
“The urgency of the issues our children face – especially in the Central Valley – requires a sustained commitment to developing partnerships among trusted community resources, impacted communities and legislative champions dedicated to change,” said Chet P. Hewitt, president and CEO of Sierra Health Foundation and The Center. “This hearing brought together exactly this kind of powerful and necessary partnership, built on the shared belief that a successful future for our state requires the health, talents and contributions of all of our young people.”
Learn more and watch or listen to the hearings.
Photo: Community members line up to make statements and ask questions at the July 15 hearing.
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Sierra Health Foundation staff updates
We’re pleased to announce two recent staff changes.
Ellen Braff-Guajardo has been promoted to Director of Regional Programs. Since joining Sierra Health Foundation and The Center in 2018, Ellen has served as a senior program officer supporting our social justice and racial equity work to combat inequality in the San Joaquin Valley and across California. She has leveraged her extensive local, state and national philanthropic and nonprofit experience to expand and increase our work for children and families experiencing some of the worst health, social and economic outcomes in the state. She has a deep commitment to community engagement as a way to achieve health and racial equity. In her new role, Ellen will direct The Center and the San Joaquin Valley Health Fund strategies to broaden and expand efforts and partnerships in the Valley.
Ray Green joins Sierra Health Foundation and The Center as the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Sacramento Coordinator. Ray previously served as the program director with Roberts Family Development Center and provided critical leadership for both MBK Sacramento and the Black Child Legacy Campaign, including Healing the Hood. He comes to our work with a deep passion and commitment for youth, families and communities. Ray will serve as the lead for MBK Sacramento, supporting the collaborative and further addressing violence prevention and intervention, as well as expanding mentoring opportunities in Sacramento. He also will act as the day-to-day liaison to the Obama Foundation. We look forward to having him on our team and advancing the MBK Sacramento work.
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Kaying Hang to serve as co-chair of Smart Growth California Steering Committee
Smart Growth California recently announced that Sierra Health Foundation Vice President of Programs and Partnerships Kaying Hang has been selected to serve as co-chair of the network’s steering committee.
Smart Growth California is a network of funders working together to build healthy, equitable and sustainable communities throughout California, and is dedicated to advancing reforms that will benefit all Californians and the communities in which they live. Network funders work to achieve a range of outcomes related to social justice, public health, affordable housing, transportation, water, parks and open space, climate, and jobs and economic opportunity.
Kaying will serve with co-chair Craig Martinez from The California Endowment. Founding co-chair Mark Valentine is stepping down from his role. Read his outgoing message.
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Community members join the Black Child Legacy Campaign to build peace and unity at Gun Violence Awareness Rally
More than 1,200 youth and adult community members gathered with leaders and advocates at Cesar Chavez Park in Sacramento on June 27 to raise awareness about gun violence, create strategies and policies to combat gun violence, and learn how to build safe spaces for young people.
Activities at the rally were designed to promote healing and unity, and included a youth-led Harambee, a traditional Kenyan cooperative community activity; Sacramento Area Youth Speaks (SAYS) spoken word artist performances; and a moment of silence in honor of police officer Tara O’Sullivan and others lost to gun violence.
“A healthier community is a safer community. That is why we must continue to invest in our neighborhoods, our young people and our families,” said Chet P. Hewitt, president and CEO of Sierra Health Foundation and co-chair of the Steering Committee on Reduction of African American Child Deaths. “This day of peace and unity is only one of many ways our communities – especially our young people – are working together to build inclusive strategies that lift, empower and heal all who live in and serve our city.”
Learn about the Black Child Legacy Campaign.
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Build.Black. Coalition awards $25,000 in scholarships to Sacramento high school seniors
In February 2019, at Team Up for Change, a summit hosted by the Sacramento Kings and the Milwaukee Bucks to address social injustice, the Kings Foundation awarded The Center at Sierra Health Foundation $25,000 for Build.Black. Coalition and My Brother’s Keeper Sacramento scholarships. The Center recently awarded $1,000 scholarships to 25 graduating high school seniors of color for education, trade or vocational training or other career pathways.
Learn about the Build.Black. Coalition.
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Kings and Queens Rise Co-Ed Summer Basketball League wraps up its second season
The Build.Black. Coalition, in a multi-year partnership with the Sacramento Kings and the Black Child Legacy Campaign, closed out the second season of the highly successful Kings and Queens Rise inter-neighborhood Sacramento basketball league with final games at the new Simmons Community Center on July 20 and a championship tournament at Golden 1 Center on July 23. The Simmons Community Center is a multi-sport and youth development facility being remodeled for community use with Measure U inclusive economic development funds and donations from community and business partners.
The league hosted nine weeks of inter-neighborhood games and practices for youth fifth grade to 10th grade, providing a fun and safe environment for the players to learn fundamental basketball skills, as well as to engage in a positive youth development curriculum developed by Project Optimism.
Photo courtesy of the Sacramento Kings
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