- D’Artagnan Scorza, Ph.D., Executive Director of Racial Equity, Los Angeles County CEO
- Assemblymember Isaac Bryan, 54th Assembly District
- Megan McClaire, the Chief Deputy Director of the Los Angeles Department of Public Health (LACDPH)
SJLI Founder Dr. D’Artagnan Scorza, transitioned out of his role as our executive director in December 2020 in order to lead the charge on racial equity on a bigger scale. Now, he’s back as a key speaker at the Social Justice Learning Institute’s (@mySJLI) 2021 Summer of Equity Conference on Thursday, September 30th from 9 am to 5:30 pm at Los Angeles Trade Tech College’s Culinary Arts facility.
Serving as the Executive Director of Racial Equity for Los Angeles County and as a lecturer in the Fielding School of Public Health at UCLA, and having served as the President of Inglewood Unified School District’s Board of Education, D’Artagnan is bringing his experience in empowering through education, creating thriving communities and changing systems.
Afternoon Keynote Speaker
When you attend the Social Justice Learning Institute’s (@mySJLI) 2021 Summer of Equity Conference on Thursday, September 30th at Los Angeles Trade Tech College’s Culinary Arts facility, you’ll have the chance to hear from key speakers like Assemblymember Isaac G. Bryan of the 54th District.
The community organizer, educator and activist who founded and directed the UCLA Black Policy Project—a think tank dedicated to advancing racial equity through rigorous policy analysis—will be at this year’s conference helping to frame the future of equity in Los Angeles and speaking on the progress he’s attempting to facilitate on the state level as well.
In addition to his work at the UCLA Black Policy Project, Isaac served as the first Director of Public Policy at the UCLA Ralph J. Bunche Center, was an architect of the movements behind Measure J’s passing and implementation, and even led the organizing for the nationally recognized Million Dollar Hoods project, a community-based participatory research project.
Today, as an assemblymember, Isaac shapes policies for the cities he represents in Los Angeles and Culver City, including the communities of Baldwin Hills, Cheviot Hills, Crenshaw, Century City, Ladera Heights, Mar Vista, Palms, Rancho Park, Westwood and parts of South Central and Inglewood.
Join a Breakout Session
How do we transform neighborhood conditions and expand access to resources that enable us to live healthy lives and thrive?
That’s what we’ll be discussing in the Health Equity: Building Thriving Communities breakout session at the Social Justice Learning Institute (@mySJLI) 2021 Summer of Equity Conference, which will be held virtually and in-person from 9 am to 5:30 pm on Thursday, September 30th at Los Angeles Trade Tech College’s new state-of-the-art culinary facility.
Join us as we brainstorm and activate plans with:
Manal J. Aboleta, Deputy Executive Director of the Prevention Institute;
Dipa Shah-Patel, Director of the County of Los Angeles Public Health;
Heather Fenney Alexander, Co-Executive Director of Community Services Unlimited
Maira Quintanilla, CSU Market Manager
Moderated by Nicole Steele, Health Equity Programs Director at SJLI.
What does it really mean to be transformative in schools? Are we being bold enough?
Those are the types of questions we’ll be asking ourselves during the Educational Equity: Empowering Through Education morning and afternoon breakout sessions at the Social Justice Learning Institute’s (@mySJLI) 2021 Equity Conference, which will be held virtually and in-person from 9 am to 5:30 pm on Thursday, September 30th at Los Angeles Trade Tech College’s new state-of-the-art culinary facility.
Come bring your ideas to the table and let’s strategize around how we can partner together to make more meaningful gains in education for youth of color.
There to help us build will be:
Charisse Bremond Weaver, President and CEO of Brotherhood Crusade;
Micah Ali, President of the Compton Unified School District Board of Trustees;
Jarett Barrios, Senior Vice President of Strategic Community & Programmatic Initiatives for the California Community Foundation;
Casswell Goodman, Executive Director of BAM Los Angeles,
Jackie B. Majors, CEO,Crystal Stairs
Joseph Williams, Director of Operations and Campaigns Students Deserve
With moderation of both panels by Angela Johnson Peters, Associate Director of Programs and Development of the Social Justice Learning Institute.
As a community, we’ve made some serious gains over the last few years. Let’s keep pushing further.
During the morning and afternoon Changing Systems breakout sessions at the Social Justice Learning Institute’s (@mySJLI) 2021 Equity Conference, we’ll collectively think about how we can continue to change systems and ensure that equity is employed in our institutions.
Be a part of the conversation virtually or in person from 9 am to 5:30 pm on Thursday, September 30, 2021, at Los Angeles Trade Tech College’s new state-of-the-art culinary facility.
Helping lead the conversation are:
Dr. Patricia Brent- Sanco, Director of Equity, Access, and Inclusion for Lynwood Unified School District
John Mathews, District 2 Senior Deputy for the Los Angeles County Supervisors Office
Shane Murphy Goldsmith, President & CEO of Liberty Hill Foundation
Leslie Cooper Johnson, Interim President/CEO of Community Coalition
Maria Brenes, Executive Director of Inner City Struggle
Kim Watson, Founder & Executive Director of Project Joy (Kim is co-lead of the AV AAIMM CAT Backbone Organization)
The morning panel will be moderated by Gary Hardie, Jr., Policy and Advocacy Director, and then by Gabriel Regalado, Youth Organizing Manager, for the Social Justice Learning Institute in the afternoon.
The new Expecting Father Group is designed specifically for Black soon-to-be fathers and provides education, support and navigation tools for the prenatal, labor and delivery, postpartum and early parenting periods.
This group runs for 5 (five) consecutive weeks. With the knowledge gained and community created in the group, expectant dads can best support their birthing partners, work to reduce stress, and prepare for baby and family bonding.
Expecting Father Group will kick off on October 12th, led by Davion Mauldin, MS (DPH Fatherhood Coordinator).
Lydia O. Boyd is a Lactation Specialist who provides breast/chestfeeding support and education to expectant and current breast/chestfeeding families in Los Angeles County. In addition to supporting new parents during the early post-pregnancy period, she also provides care for the transition back to work or school after maternity leave, when weaning, and in the event of a pregnancy loss. Although she serves all families regardless of race, the focus of her work is with Black-identifying families belonging to the African diaspora.
Boyd’s 13 years of research and experience in counseling, coaching, and teaching other Black women throughout the breast/chestfeeding journey has made her especially qualified to speak to racial disparities within the birthing community and provides her with a unique perspective and position to support Black mothers, giving them a space where they feel centered and supported. “We are the mothers in the Black community,” Boyd stated, speaking of Black women. “We understand first-hand what we need.” Her work strives to provide a reconnection to the honor and pride of breast/chestfeeding that has been lost from years of oppression.Read more
Join our village! Register via the link to attend the September Community Action Team for the Antelope Valley. This is a great opportunity to learn about the the services offered to African American Birthing families in the AV to support a Joyous and Health Birth. This event will include training and networking with community leaders and community based organizations in the AV.
Online via Zoom
Lancaster, CA 93534
Google map and directions
The LA County Department of Public Health and First 5 LA, in partnership with the LA County African American Infant and Maternal Mortality Initiative is holding a virtual briefing to kick off Los Angeles County’s Black Maternal Health Week – which was officially recognized by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in March -- and elevate awareness about Black infant and maternal mortality and emerging local solutions. The goal of the week is to raise awareness about the issue, and the efforts of public health and community leaders across the County to oppose racism and discrimination at its root and support healthy and joyous births for Black families.
At the virtual event, attendees will hear from a panel of experts about the racism Black mothers face that leads to health disparities and work across the county being done to make a difference. Panelists include:
- Deborah Allen, Deputy Director, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
- Melissa Franklin, CEO of Growth Mindset Communications
- Raena Granberry, Perinatal Equity Initiative Coordinator, Dept. of Public Health
- Adjoa Jones, Founding Leader of African-American Infant and Maternal Mortality Community Action Team at L.A. County Department of Health Services Whole Person Care
- Michelle Sanders, AAIMM Doula Program Coordinator, Dept. of Public Health
- Brandi Sims, Health Systems Program Officer, First 5 LA
- Yolonda Roger Jones, Coordinator of Black Infant Health Program; Dept. of Public Health
- Dana Sherrod, Birth Equity & Racial Justice Manager for Cherished Futures for Black Moms and Babies, Public Health Alliance
“Without healthy Black babies and healthy Black mothers, we can’t have a healthy culture,” commented Rayshell Chambers, COO of Painted Brain, as the Celebrating Black Families: Persevering Through...And the Beat Goes On event kicked off on Friday, February 19. Presented by The San Gabriel Valley African American Infant and Maternal Mortality Community Action Team and The Black Mental Health Task Force, the virtual celebration of Black History Month was all about that very thing: creating (and sustaining) a healthy Black culture.
The event’s central theme, perseverance, was illustrated through the idea of healing from historical trauma collectively as well as creating opportunities to thrive, specifically by creating a sense of real community punctuated by ancestral beats and rhythms. This began with sharing a video on the history of stepping and segued into interactive demonstrations and a panel of members of the Divine Nine (D9).
Throughout, the audience participated with lots of various emoji reactions and a lively, talkative comments section. Solidarity among sorors and frat brothers was shown in the chat as attendees shouted out their allegiances, “Phi Beta Sigma sends greetings to all,” commented one attendee. The event also had two raffles giving away $25 gift cards to various stores (Target, Amazon, to name a few) to people who registered before 3pm on the day of the event.
The “Divine 9,” as the group of nine collective Black Greek fraternities and sororities is known, was originally formed as a way to empower Black college students as they carved their paths in the world, thereby forging opportunities for the Black community as a whole. “We want to make sure that we have a seat at the table,” said panelist Mosi Odom, Zeta Phi Beta, noting that the Black Greeks were there for every pivotal moment in Civil Rights history.
“We’re not just some social club,” said Dr. Corliss P. Bennett, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., speaking to the Divine Nine’s commitment to community service work.
The panel shared programs that the Divine Nine has participated in, including volunteership, fundraising, and donating to other organizations, like The March of Dimes. They also have youth organizations for children. “When you see (the) community, you see us at the front lines,” said Mosi Odom.
“To strengthen the family we must build a foundation again,” said Ken Barrow, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. Barrow spoke about the way that the Divine Nine builds a sense of community, takes care of each other, and creates strong relationships. He tied in the importance of perseverance in maintaining those relationships—particularly as they relate to family. “With perseverance, you do something despite it being difficult,” Barrow said.
Next up was a live step show from Wayne Lyons, CEO of Empire for the Youth, and Gwendolyn Bush. Lyons began by quoting James Baldwin’s Notes of a Native Son. Then, with energetic enthusiasm, jumped in the background while Bush spoke, welcoming the audience to Greek life.
“We work hard, we provide service to all mankind, we provide scholarships, and we set it off!” exclaimed Bush.
The performance set a joyous tone for the rest of the event, as it segued into a demonstration of the Chicago step by Terrance Jones. “It’s a dance form that can adapt to any style of music,” Jones said as he briefly broke down the history of Chicago Step and shared a video about the benefits of stepping.
“Stepping is beautiful,” commented attendee Raena Gransberry as the video played. “Couples gliding and dressed sharp.” Indeed, Jones noted, similar to the formation of Black Greek life, stepping was created as yet another way for Black folks to form a sense of community around a cultural touchstone. And from community, relationships form, families are made.
“This has brought families together,” Jones said. “It was our way to make memories by touching each other.”
Jones got everyone out of their (virtual) chairs to join in some moves. As he pushed his camera back, he revealed blue tape laid down to demonstrate, “dancing in the lane.”
“What a great mental health invention, both in the Black Greek system as well as for anyone else; the movement, the human connection, the solidarity…this can do so much (for) someone struggling but not yet able or willing to connect with more formal services,” commented Melinda Keily, BSN, RN, IBCLC.
The interactive segments continued with a drumming session and demonstration by Cedric Jones of Music Tree. Drumming on a Djembe, Jones gave mini lessons about the African roots of Cumbia, Kuku and Fanga rhythms, encouraging the audience to play along. After his presentation, Jones played the event out as a spoken word presentation expounded on the meaning of perseverance.
To learn more about upcoming free virtual events, visit blackinfantsandfamilies.org.