With the COVID-19 pandemic and the death of George Floyd, a local Sacramento group, the South Oak Park Community Association (SOPCA) in partnership with the Oak park chapter of the Black Child Legacy Campaign have curated events such as youth workforce development, youth empowerment, and other obtainable resources through Zoom group conversation to keep the community together.
As the website of the Black Child Legacy Campaign states, it is a community driven movement to establish the reduction of African-American child deaths. In Sacramento, African-American children experience death more than twice the rate of any other ethnicity. The Legacy Campaign has 7 different hubs in each neighborhood: Meadowview, Valley Hi, Fruitridge & Stockton, and Arden Arcade just to name a few. The movement was created by the Steering Committee which was established in June 2013 by a resolution of the Sacramento County County Board of Supervisors.
The topics for the neighborhood update consisted of coping with stress, mental health resources and guest speakers Dr. Kristee Haggins, and Asanteawaa Boykins. Ms.Boykins has a background as a nurse for psychiatric care. She created a mobile mental health unit, Mental Health First where during 3 nights a week, volunteers trained by social workers and counselors answer calls from the public. To reach Mental Health First’s hotline, call or text 916-670-4062. It will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Dr.Haggins is a psychologist and professor who takes a modern approach to healing the community. Her holistic approach to healing racial stress and trauma has helped many for over 25 years. Dr. Haggins teaches courses in multicultural counseling and therapy skills, helping to develop cultural awareness to future psychologists.
“What people are describing is not post-traumatic-stress disorder, but persistent traumatic stress as a result of being black. And that all of the occasions have been opening new wounds,” says Kristee Haggins.