Plugged is an open mic/jam session that takes place at Sol Collective every 2nd Sunday. Admission is $5 and the event goes from 8pm-11pm. It is open to the public and creatives of all types, including poets, musicians,visual artists, dancers and anyone else who’d like to watch.
On Saturday, October 20th, the California Endowment held their very first TCE Youth Awards at their headquarters in Los Angeles. Young people from all across California convened to be recognized for the work they are doing in their communities. From changing policies regarding foster youth, advocating for a healthy air quality, fighting to end racist random searches in high schools, or pre-registering over 500 youth to vote, these exceptional youth were recognized for their incredible work in front of an audience of several hundred from all across the country.
The California Endowment, a statewide foundation created in 1996, aims to improve the health of all the residents of California. The TCE Youth Awards recognized youth leaders for doing just that; building healthier communities across the state.
15 youth were presented with individual awards, along with 2 youth-led organizations which received $10,000 each and one youth receiving the Brandon Harrison Visionary award along with a $15,000 cash prize. The Brandon Harrison Visionary Award was named in honor of an inspiring
youth leader from Stockton who passed away from gun violence in August of 2017.
The awards ceremony was hosted by the four women behind the National Women’s March in 2016; Bob Bland, Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez, and Linda Sarsour.
“I am so proud to be in a room of not our future leaders, not tomorrow’s leaders, not someday leaders, I’m talking about the leaders right now,” said Linda Sarsour, the powerful Palestinian-American Muslim civil right activist. “You have given me so much hope, being in this space with you.”
Sarsour has fought for civils rights by advocating for Black Lives Matter, fighting against systematic oppression for women and immigrants, and by creating an intersectional movement.
The awards started off with dancing, dinner and dessert, and mingling. Sol Collective, a Sacramento arts and cultural non-profit organization, ran a table for everyone to come and write about the ways in which they heal; supporting Sacramento’s Community Champion winner Yeshahyah Yisrael.
The dancing ended with a blessing ritual and performance led by youth into the awards ceremony.
“We partnered with Dr. Ross and The California Endowment to make sure that authentic youth voice is a part of TCE’s strategy and long term investment in the state of California,” said Christopher Covington, a powerful leader on the President’s Youth Council with the California Endowment. “They are working with their communities; they are building relationships, and they’re moving power as it is and changing policies, and building systems and culture change that we would like to see; for what California is meant to be.”
Making sure that youth are being heard, recognized, and praised is all part of the California Endowments values. Often times, youth can feel overlooked and unheard. Creating the very first Youth Awards gave these young people a chance to make even more change in their communities.
“One of the award recipients said that they were glad to get recognized because a lot of times they feel as though, you know, their work goes unnoticed,” said Simon Moore, a student at UCLA and Community Champion Award winner. The Community Champion Award was created to honor the youth that have transformed living spaces in their communities be tackling health issues.
“It is very important to publicize things like this and to let it be known that there are students out there, there are youth in our generation that are advocating,” Moore added. “I hope it can serve as a very positive message to not just the adults today but the children that are growing up as the new generation.”
Moore’s focus has been to reduce mental health stigma and he had done just that by visiting middle and high schools to address suicide. He was passionate about the fact that youth are standing up all over California and the nation for marginalized groups that deserve a voice and wishes to “continue the fight.”
“I’ve been on a path, what I believe my life’s purpose is, to teach, to help, to love, to give, to grow,” said the late Brandon Harrison in a video shown during the award ceremony. “Ever since I was young, I’ve wanted to change the world.”
Harrison worked closely with the California Endowment, joining the President’s Youth Council and fighting to end the schools-to-prison pipeline. The California Endowment’s President’s Youth Council created the Brandon Harrison Award after his death to honor youth who have overcome childhood trauma and have turned their lives around for their communities.
“What if every single one of these youth were actually representing us in office,” asked Bob Bland, one of the awards Emcee’s to the audience of the event. “What if you were elevated to positions of power that were proportionate to the level of your vision the expansiveness of the ideas you’re talking about and the incredible change that you want to make in the state of California?”
The 2018 TCE Youth Awards put a spotlight on just a few of the young people making a difference in our country today. It is hoped that future events in the years to come can continue this tradition and share even more inspiring voices and stories with regularity.
On Friday, August 12th, Sol Collective hosted a pop-up Art Show and poster sale with Ernesto Yerena. It was a chance for the community to get together, view art, listen to music and eat traditional Mexican food. Yerena’s art focuses on the Chicano experience and feelings on both sides of the border.
“For me being a political artist, it’s important because a lot of times, the media’s not gonna put out our own stories, stories from our own neighborhoods, from our heritage,” says Yerena.
Sol Collective regularly provides opportunities for the community to engage in activities that promote social justice and awareness. Just last week, on August 8th, Sol Collective hosted Sac Activist School: Mothers Out Front.
“I’ve known them (Sol Collective) for years, and I’ve always wanted to come and do something like this here, we just planned this last minute but, it’s nice to be a part of something here in the community,” Yerena said.
The show brought the community together to appreciate art that highlighted the cultural Chicano experience, while surrounded by great company.
Political art, social justice, and culture all culminated in one place at the Pop Up Art Show. For more events like this one, check out @solcollective on Instagram and Facebook.
An art gallery that highlights women of color is now being showcased at Sacramento’s Sol Collective. Nisha Sethi, the creator of the gallery, hoped to inspire other people with her work to share their voices and participate in protests.
On Sunday, February 11th, the “Unity Ball” promoting solidarity with trans women will be held at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria from 6:00 PM to 10:30 PM. Only the first 450 people will be allowed to enter, and the tickets on Eventbrite have already been sold out.
“It’s actually a three-part series, and it’s called the unity projects,” Ebony Harper said in a previous interview. “And they’re to promote solidarity with trans folks, predominantly trans women of color.”
The three-part event included a Sacramento screening of two movies, Major! and KIKI. that occurred last year and the creation of a mural of Chyna Gibson, a trans woman who had been murdered.
The dance is based on “ballroom scene”, which is an LGBT based organization. Ballroom scene involves many art forms, such as dance, modeling, and singing. In ballroom scene, there are usually competitions in which members of the ballroom scene participate in.
“So the ballroom scene is an underground organization, I call underground but it’s actually really really big…” Demetriel Colon said in a previous interview. “It’s associated with a lot of different houses, or similarly, families of the LGBT community and what they do is compete regularly for cash prizes or trophies and things like that.”
You can read more about the Unity Ball on Sol Collective’s website here, or check out their Facebook page.
On November 3rd, Sacramento celebrates the Day of the Dead in its Old Town. The event was hosted by Soul Collective. The purpose of this event is for Latinos to celebrate their own culture in Sacramento as well as for others to find value in it.
On September 9th, from 11 am to 1 pm, Sol Collective will be hosting an event called “Healing for the Homies”. This event is geared towards activists and artists whose work takes a toll on them. Tickets are $10 and the event will be at 2574 21st street.
With the events in Charlottesville, d the hurricane in Texas, it’s easy to get caught up in what’s going on in the world around you. Though it is good to keep up on how the world is doing, activists can get too caught up in other people and big issues and forget about taking care of themselves.
Healing for the Homies helps activists and artists to take a step away from the issues of the world and take some much-needed time to focus on themselves. Healing for the Homies tickets can be found here.
“Sol Collective is a non-profit organization focusing on art, culture, activism, and we have a lot of programing such as Sacramento Activist School. We have Sol Live media platform, which I am the assembly director of, and basically, we try to provide a platform and a voice to individuals who represent marginalized communities,” said Salvin Chahal, the Creative Director of Sol Collective said in a previous interview. “Our work is just rooted in basically healing the people in the best way we can, because we know right now more than ever our communities are hurting, and we don’t need to see any numbers to get a better understanding of that. We know, we can feel it in our hearts and our minds and our souls, so anything we can do to basically provide the opposite of the duality of what’s going on with everything, that what we want to do that’s what our work is rooted in; trying to heal and build community through art and activism. Two things that go hand in hand in whatever way you think when you think of art of activism.”
More information about Healing for the Homies can be found on Sol Collective’s Facebook Page.
Sol Collective now has an open art gallery open to the public until September for anyone to view. Many of the pieces are for sale and have a mix of artists from California and Mexico.
Every Wednesday evening at the Sol Collective, the Art and Activism School meets for presentations and hands-on workshops to strengthen and expand the Sacramento art and activist communities. With no cost, no experience required and free pizza, the Art and Activist School is the perfect place for aspiring activists and artists looking to get involved in hands-on activist projects and to join the community.
Wednesday evenings, 6 – 9pm
2574 21st Street