By Ja’Nell Gore, South Kern Sol

Every year, some local high schools have assemblies recognizing Cinco de Mayo – a holiday largely ignored in Mexico, but held up in America as a day to celebrate Mexican culture with piñatas, tacos and a lot of alcohol. Meanwhile, throughout the whole month of February, my high school has done nothing to commemorate Black History Month.

Schools should be doing something to show appreciation, or even just acknowledge the evolution of black history – but at Bakersfield High School, nothing like that happened last month.

I would have loved to attend an assembly where they focused on my culture and history, opening the eyes of kids who know little about it.

And this desire of mine isn’t uncalled for, especially in a district that has acknowledged it engaged in a years-long practice of disproportionately suspending and expelling minority students, including African Americans. The district was sued, settling the lawsuit last year for more than $670,000. Among the settlement terms? The district must recognize Black History Month and allow students to celebrate.

Instead of taking initiative and organizing such a celebration, they are leaving it up to students. Considering that most students have never planned a school event (or don’t even know they have the option) why would they ‘leave it to the kids’?

Building Healthy Communities Kern in partnership with South Kern Sol youth media, have launched a new youth-produced webcast. “In the 661” will present stories, current events and good work happening in the community- all through a lens of health and racial equity.The show not only gives youth the opportunity to learn about what it takes to produce a video segment, but it also gives young journalists the opportunity to lift up issues that matter to them and might otherwise go untold.

There’s a lot of good work happening across the community, but rarely do organizations or residents who are working to improve community health have the opportunity to amplify their voice via mainstream media.

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 new show is produced by South Kern Sol youth reporters, Alejandra Alberto, Dean Welliver, Marilu Cisneros, and Veronica Morley and hosted by former KGET news anchor, Kiyoshi Tomono.

By Dean Welliver, South Kern Sol

The Third Annual LGBTQ Youth Summit hosted by the Kern County LGBTQ Youth Roundtable was held this past Saturday at Cal State Bakersfield. The summit offered middle school and high school aged LGBTQ youth a space where they could be themselves without judgement, make new friends, and learn about the resources that are in the community to support them.

“The goal of the event is to bring the LGBTQ community of Kern County together and to ensure young people who identify as being part of the community do not feel isolated,” said Gloria Garcia, lead organizer of the event and LGBT Community Worker at California Rural Legal Assistance.

To Julian Melendez, a senior at Foothill High School, the LGBTQ Youth Summit provided an opportunity for LGBTQ youth to connect to their culture.

“It gives a lot of youth a lot of information that they didn’t receive in school and this way we interact with our own gay culture we are more in tuned especially because in Bakersfield there isn’t very much pride,” said Melendez.

Melendez also noted the importance of having an event like this in Bakersfield.

“I feel like it is important having it in Bakersfield because it does much to combat the conservative nature of Kern county and I feel like it raises lots of awareness for these types of issues,” Melendez said.

Read more from South Kern Sol here.

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.

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.

ROLE

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.

RESPONSIBILITES

  • 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 IDEAL CANDIDATE

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.

EDUCATION and/or EXPERIENCE

  • 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.

QUALIFICATIONS: TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES

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

INTERPERSONAL QUALIFICATIONS

  • 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

SALARY AND BENEFITS

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

HOW TO APPLY 

  • Cover letter

  • Resume

  • Sample original writing

  • Three professional references

DEADLINE

Friday February 9, 2018

Mail to:

CSUB Sponsor Program Admin.

Alejandra Garcia

9001 Stockdale Hwy

26BDC Political Science Dept.

Bakersfield, Ca 93311

E-mail:

bhcagarcia@gmail.com

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.