In the 661 is produced by South Kern Sol in partnership with Building Healthy Communities South Kern. The show is hosted by Kiyoshi Tomono and focuses on highlighting current events and good work happening in the community-all through a lens of health and racial equity.

This show gives residents and organizations the opportunity to examine health in interesting and innovative ways. Health doesn’t only happen in a doctor’s office. Health happens where we work live and play. Health happens when people tap into their power, work together and change the odds in their neighborhoods.

The show will be aired weekly on “In the 661’s” Facebook page and will be shared widely on Building Healthy Communities Kern’s website and social media platforms.

The show is produced by South Kern Sol youth producers, Alejandra Alberto, Dean Welliver, Marilu Cisneros, and Veronica Morley.

Parents, students, teachers, and community advocates were among the attendees who packed the Kern High School District (KHSD) board chambers on the evening of Jan. 30 for the district’s second community forum on school climate, a condition of the discrimination settlement agreement, which requires KHSD, among other things, to hold two community forums a year where administrators must present data related to suspensions, expulsions and involuntary transfers. The agreement also mandates that the district celebrate Black History Month and Hispanic Heritage Month and allow students to celebrate these events.

Sahar Durali, directing attorney with California Rural Legal Assistance, which took part in the suit settlement answered a few questions about the progress the district has made with regard to school climate.

BHC-SK: This is the second KHSD community forum on school climate. In an over-arching sense, what progress has been made with regard to the lawsuit settlement? What needs to be improved?
SD: The district has made some progress with respect to reducing suspension, expulsion, and transfer numbers. However, the data released at the community forum demonstrates significant disparities still exist in discipline of students of color, especially African-American students. It appears the district has also moved forward with a more comprehensive implementation of Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS), and more staff are being trained on PBIS, implicit bias, and social emotional learning concepts. However, KHSD board members have not been trained, and have not indicated whether or not they will participate in any trainings related to PBIS, implicit bias, and social emotional learning concepts.
The district should do more to reduce disparities in discipline. Additionally, during the forum it became evident that some schools still have alarmingly high suspension rates, especially for African-American students. Moreover, school climate surveys reveal that students of color feel especially racially harassed and isolated. The district should do more to address the racially hostile environment these students are facing.
BHC-SK: Now for some specifics with regard to the settlement: Why is KHSD not leading celebrations of Black History Month and Hispanic Heritage Month, especially when these celebrations are so meaningful to create a healthy school climate?
SD: The District agreed to recognize Black History Month and Hispanic Heritage Month under the settlement. At the last two community forums, the District indicated it was recognizing these months by allowing students to celebrate them. Dr. Brenda Lewis [KHSD Assistant Superintendent of Instruction] also stated that the district had alerted administrators that they should permit students and student organizations to put on events. At no point did the district communicate that individual school sites or the District were leading their own events.
We believe this narrow interpretation of the settlement is at odds with the spirit of the agreement and the District’s stated commitment to improve school climate for African-American and Latino students. By putting the burden on student clubs and student organizations to put on celebratory events, the District is sending an explicit message that Black History Month and Hispanic Heritage Month are not a priority and are not worthy of District resources and staff time. Additionally, based on the District’s communications, we suspect that at schools where student clubs are not active, and no student initiates celebrations, Black History Month and Hispanic Heritage Month are simply not being commemorated. It is standard practice for schools statewide and nationwide to put on events during these cultural months, and a commitment to celebrating Black History Month and Hispanic Heritage Month could go a long way to build trust and repair relationships with the Latino and African-American communities.
BHC-SK: As part of the agreement, the school district is required to train teaching and non-teaching staff on implicit bias. During the forum an attendee asked whether the KHSD board would be required to get this training as well. Do you feel that training the school board is important? Why or why not?
SD: Training the school board on implicit bias would demonstrate to the community that the Kern High School District is engaging in self-reflection and taking a meaningful step forward to eliminate bias at the highest levels of leadership.
BHC-SK: The district has been successful at reducing expulsions and transfers rates, but we still see disparities when it comes to African-American students. What should KHSD do to address this?
SD: The settlement identifies the need to address racial disparities by requiring that the District address bias and implicit bias through training, review of policies and development of the behavior matrix. Rachel Godsil of the Perception Institute and Dr. Eddie Fergus were identified in the settlement agreement because of their expertise in this area, along with Dr. Nancy Dome. Their recommendations must be implemented by the District in a meaningful manner to make sure that these disparities do not continue.
BHC-SK: In a survey conducted by the California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS), the percentage of African-American students who felt isolated and/or harassed at school due to their race or ethnicity in the 60 days prior to taking the survey jumped from 16 percent in 2016-17 to 19 percent in 2017-18. Clearly, KHSD needs to improve how it treats African-American students. Any specific suggestions, even beyond the settlement?
SD: Under the Local Control Funding Formula, school districts must create specific goals for numerically significant student subgroups in their Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). At the KHSD, African-American students are a numerically significant subgroup. The district could follow in the footsteps of other school districts to create more targeted, comprehensive programs that create supports specifically for African American students. Additionally, the district should work with its commissioned experts, Rachel Godsil of the Perception Institute and Nancy Dome of Epoch Education, to identify the root of the expressed isolation of African-American students, and to work to eliminate harassment of these students by other students and/or staff. Both Rachel Godsil and Nancy Dome are leading experts in addressing implicit bias and racially hostile educational environments and could work closely with the district to create solutions at all levels.
BHC-SK: KHSD is a diverse district. Results from the CHKS suggest that the administration and staff have not done enough to embrace that diversity and ensure that all students are valued for who they are and the rich personal and cultural experiences they bring to the district. The settlement agreement addresses the training that staff may need to address these issues. How can KHSD address these discipline disparities?
SD: One way that KHSD could probably address discipline disparities and create a more inviting school environment for African-American students and other students of color is to ensure school staff are representative of their student body. The district made a commitment to recruit and hire a diverse staff in both the settlement agreement and their LCAP, which is the document that lays out their priorities for each school year and the budget expenditures related to those priorities. In fact, the LCAP specifically created a goal for hiring teachers that reflect the student demographics. However, of the new hires for the 2017-18 school year, 62.6% were white, 26.3% were Latino, and 2.6% were African American. In comparison to the demographic makeup of the student body, which is approximately 22% white, 65% Latino, 5.9% African-American, 2.6% Asian, 1.3% Filipino, and 2% identified as another race, the District is falling drastically short of their goal!

Read more about KHSD’s Forum on School Climate from South Kern Sol here.

The California Environmental Justice Alliance just released their 5th Environmental Justice Scorecard. The scorecard evaluates how “well California’s elected officials supported actions to address environmental issues that impact low-income communities and communities of color.”

Kern’s representatives all scored below 70 percent.

“There are a number of legislators who scored below 70 percent, but have significant environmental justice constituencies in their districts. These include: Assemblymembers Gray, Salas, Arambula and Cooper, all representing areas with high levels of pollution in the Central Valley,” according to the report.

Click here to download the full report.

On Jan. 30, the Kern High School District (KHSD) will hold a community forum to update the public on student behavior and school climate. This is a great opportunity for parents, students and teachers to learn about what the district is doing to change its pattern of discriminatory discipline practices against Latino and black students.

“The presentation will include reports on fall 2017 semester data regarding suspensions, involuntary transfers, voluntary transfers based on a waiver of rights, expulsions, discipline and referral data, current school climate survey results, the status of the District’s Training Plan and staff development, and an overview of the KHSD policies, procedures and practices relating to Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports (PBIS), Multi-Tiered System of Supports, student behavior expectations and discipline,” according to the district’s website.

As a result of the settlement, the district is required to hold two community forums a year to update and share data with the public on school climate, this will be the first meeting held this year.

The community forum will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 30 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the KHSD Board Room, 5801 Sundale Ave.


By Chyna Patz, South Kern Sol

West High School has a bullying problem.

Walk around West High any school day and you can find somebody on campus who has been personally affected by bullying, or knows a student who has. I have tested this, and found that every student I had spoken to, had been subjected to bullying, at least once at West.

There have even been times when I have had to watch a close friend get called names, just for being gay. All I could do was hold them and tell them it would be alright.

I’ve had friends physically hurt by bullies, to the point where they felt unsafe coming to school.

I’ve personally been shoved by bullies in hallways and made fun of. I know how other victims feel.

Report after report had been filed by victims,  but there was hardly any effort to change the culture until a student who felt their only option was suicide filed a complaint. That set in motion something that has been sorely needed — an anti-bullying assembly to be hosted Tuesday and Thursday.

Click here to read more from South Kern Sol. 

This story was also published in the Bakersfield Californian on Wednesday, January 17, 2018.  

Building Healthy Communities Kern is looking for an All Action Team Liaison. Please take a look at the job description below for more information.

Job Description: All Action Team Liaison

Job title:  All Action Team Liaison

Project Background & Description:

Building Healthy Communities is a public health initiative aimed at achieving health and racial equity in California. The effort, supported by The California Endowment, is intended to improve the health outcomes of people living in fourteen communities throughout California and to provide a blueprint of creating healthy communities by building power, changing the narrative, building partnerships and leveraging resources. Building Healthy Communities Kern (BHC-Kern) can change the odds for underserved communities in Kern. Advancing the work of BHC-Kern is a broad and diverse collaborative comprised of public agencies, community organizations, schools, faith-based groups, advocates, residents and youth. Supporting the BHC-Kern collaborative is the central team (Learning & Evaluation, Communications Director, Policy & Strategic Facilitator, All Action Team Liaison and Translator) also known as the HUB, which provides coordination, infrastructure and logistical support to collaborative partners.


The BHC-Kern All Action Team Liaison will report directly to the Policy & Strategic Facilitator.  The position’s primary function is to provide administrative support to the HUB.  The Liaison is responsible for helping with logistics and arranging meetings, providing clerical support to Hub staff as needed, and helping coordinate large BHC-related events in conjunction with the Hub Policy & Strategic Facilitator.  The All Action Team Liaison may also assist with other initiative-related activities.

The position requires a flexible work schedule as meetings and events may occur outside normal office hours, including evenings and weekends.


  • Works collaboratively with the HUB staff, BHC-Kern partners, and community members to meet the goals of the initiative.

  • Follows established protocols and checklists for planning BHC-Kern events, meetings and activities.

  • Arranges logistics (with support and oversight from Policy & Strategic Facilitator) securing locations, arranging food and refreshments, technology, materials, childcare, etc. for all BHC Kern events, including but not limited to, monthly HUB meetings, Action Team meetings, All Action Team Meetings, and monthly partner events.

  • Attends all meetings and is responsible for taking and distributing minutes, being in charge of set up/clean up, and assisting the Policy & Strategic Facilitator with activities.

  • Responds promptly to telephone, mail and e-mail.

  • Maintains membership roster by keeping the partners database up to date.

  • Maintains and populates BHC-Kern social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and BHC app.

  • Develops monthly newsletter

  • Other duties as assigned.


The All Action Team Liaison must be able to work with a diverse cross-section of people and serve communities with varied economic, social, racial, and cultural backgrounds.  The All Action Team Liaison should enjoy a challenge, be passionate about the work, and be committed to social justice.  The All Action Team Liaison should be a self-starter and-highly motivated, and able to work with minimum supervision, while keeping Hub staff up to date with all activities.


  • A.A degree or higher.

  • Two or more years of recent clerical or office assist experience in the non-profit sector is highly desirable. Event planning experience is a plus.

  • Experience working within community settings is highly desirable.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.  The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills required, including use of proper grammar, punctuation, spelling and standard business formats.

  • Able to manage multiple priorities and work well with others in a busy, fast- paced, evolving team environment.

  • Proactive workstyle, able to anticipate teams’ needs, seeing projects to successful conclusion.

  • Able to use sound judgment in responding to issues and concerns.

  • Able to produce proper and timely record keeping and minutes

  • Able to travel and work evenings and weekends as required.

  • Ability to maintain complete discretion, confidentiality, sensitivity and professional judgment.

  • Possesses strong organizational skills initiative and follow-through

  • Proficient and comfortable using the Internet and social media tools.

  • Possession of a valid driver’s license and the ability to drive within Kern County and California as needed

  • Ability to perform safe and effective lifting and bending.

  • Ability to sit and/or stand for periods of time.

  • Must be able to lift 35 pounds


  • Deep interest in and commitment to the vision, mission, and work of BHC-Kern.

  • Professionalism with the ability to maintain a positive attitude and respectful demeanor at all times.

  • Polite, courteous, and professional demeanor, particularly under stress.

  • Able to work effectively with people from diverse backgrounds and communities.

  • Bi-lingual in Spanish preferable


The All Action Team Liaison is a full-time, contract position.  This position is grant-funded. Salary $40,000.


  • Cover letter

  • Resume

  • Sample original writing

  • Three professional references


Friday February 9, 2018

Mail to:

CSUB Sponsor Program Admin.

Alejandra Garcia

9001 Stockdale Hwy

26BDC Political Science Dept.

Bakersfield, Ca 93311


Subject Line: Application for Hub All Action Team Liaison BHC-Kern

Several health care facilities across Kern County are teaming up to hold enrollment events before the deadline on January 31 to help area residents navigate the process.

“We are coming together to provide community residents with an opportunity to find out about their health coverage options and to enroll into a qualified health plan before Open Enrollment ends,” Clinica Sierra Vista Chief Operating Officer Bill Phelps said.

Phelps added that interest is up this year compared to last year but does not have official numbers yet.

The community is invited to attend the next enrollment event, which will be held Saturday, January 27 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Valley Plaza Mall between Macy’s and JC Penney.

For more information call Clinica Sierra Vista at (661) 328-4245 or Omni Family Health at (661) 459-1900.

Click here for more information.


La fecha límite de la inscripción abierta es el 31 de enero

Varias instalaciones de atención médica por todo el condado de Kern se están reuniendo para celebrar eventos de inscripción antes de la fecha límite del 31 de enero para ayudar a los residentes del área a navegar el proceso.

“Nos estamos reuniendo para brindar a los residentes de la comunidad la oportunidad de conocer sus opciones de cobertura de salud e inscribirse en un plan de salud calificado antes de que finalice la inscripción abierta”, dijo el director de operaciones de Clínica Sierra Vista, Bill Phelps.
Phelps agregó que el interés aumentó este año en comparación con el año pasado, pero aún no tiene cifras oficiales.

La comunidad está invitada a asistir al próximo evento de inscripción que se llevará a cabo el sábado, 27 de enero de 10 a.m. a 3 p.m. en el Valley Plaza Mall, entre Macy’s y JC Penney.

Para obtener más información, llame a Clínica Sierra Vista al (661) 328-4245 o a Omni Family Health al (661) 459-1900.

Haga click aquí para descargar el volante.