Black Health and Wellness Spotlighted during Black History Month 2022

December 15, 2021 7:44 AM
by Delana Gbenekama


Black History Month 2022 Recap: Published March 10, 2022


An estimated 650 people gathered virtually and in person in February 2021 for 10-plus Black History Month events and activities organized by the City’s Black History Month Committee. The focus this year was on Black Health and Wellness, and events and activities ranged from paint and sip classes to a Black History art reception to an annual awards ceremony celebrating eight Black professionals in Santa Monica. Participants joined from several locations, including Santa Monica and many other California cities, Oregon, Arkansas, New Jersey, Belize, Japan and Canada. 


These events organized by the Black History Month Committee would not have been possible without the support of our generous sponsors: 


Additionally, the Greens Festival organized by the Parent Connection Group in collaboration with Virginia Avenue Park and the Library, drew about 350 attendees for a day of fun that highlighted Black California history. 


Below are recaps and links to the videos of some of the big events. You can view photos on our Facebook page.  


February 3 | Black Health and Wellness 



About 125 people joined the City’s Black History Month Committee for the third annual opening ceremony, which focused on Black Health and Wellness. The virtual event featured the following health experts who provided important insight about caring for our mental and physical health: 



The event featured a performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” also known as the Black National Anthem, by Castella. It also included stellar tap performances by Syncopated Ladies’ members Assata Madison, Gisele Silva and Pamela Yasutake, who also gave a brief interview about the history of tap dance. 


Dairy-Free Caribbean Curry Chicken 

Santa Monica resident and SaMo High School student Jahrid Longsworth shared his recipe for Caribbean curry chicken, which I had a chance to taste and can vouch for. You can watch the full-length video of Jahrid’s cooking demonstration and view the recipe for this dish on YouTube: 



February 19: Black History Reception at Bergamot 

An estimated 150 people attended the Black History reception at Building Bridges Art Exchange to view artwork by local school children and exhibits on historical and present-day Black health professionals in Santa Monica. The exhibit also featured pieces by Chelle Barbour, a mixed media artist known for her diverse Afro-Futurist and Afro-Surrealist collages that challenges the notion of agency and black beauty. Additionally, actress and playwright Lorinda Hawkins Smith portrayed Bridget Biddy Mason, who made major contributions to Black health and wellness. Delicious vegan refreshments were provided by Beyond Vegan, owned by Black entrepreneur Cameron Moore. View the event photos in our Facebook album.


February 24: Celebrating Black Excellence Community Awards 


 

About 100 people attended the virtual Celebrating Black Excellence Community Awards honoring Black professionals in Santa Monica who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and service. Eight leaders received the award this year and were cheered on by friends and family, some of whom were as far away as Belize: 



Emceed by equity advocate and Downtown Santa Monica Inc. commissioner Ericka Lesley, the event featured a tribute to Black staff, residents and public figures we lost in 2021 and up until the awards ceremony. The in memoriam was set to a rendition of the Boyz II Men song “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye” performed by the artist Cozce, a Los Angeles native focused on uplifting the African American community. 


Additionally, attendees enjoyed high energy and joyful South African dance performances featuring South African celebrity choreographer and dancer Lindiwe Rose and the following dancers: 



Lindiwe Rose spoke of how her parents and many other South Africans fought against apartheid so that she could be free and live her dream of dancing and choreographing. 

 

Additionally, Thando Skwatsha, a South African musician, sang a beautiful song about children playing in the field and having a good time while trying to catch birds. According to Thando, “The song perfectly incorporates how we’re celebrating Black History Month and the freedom of Black people by speaking about freedom and spirituality as a whole.” 



February 17 and 27: Paint and Sip Courses 


The Black History Month Committee welcomed artist Nicole K. on February 17 and educator La Shaunn Spivey-Angeletti on February 27 to teach paint and sip courses for the community. Nicole and La Shaunn provided their own interpretation of artwork sketches for participants to paint based on the topic farming. View photos from both paint and sip classes on our Facebook page.


This topic was chosen as a focus to raise awareness about how enslaved Africans and their descendants were the backbone of this country’s agricultural economy for centuries and how they’ve been mostly pushed out of the industry due to racist policies. A Washington Post article released in 2021 stated, “Of the 3.4 million farmers in the United States today, only 45,000 are Black, according to the USDA, down from 1 million a century ago. Black farmland ownership peaked in 1910 at 16 to 19 million acres, about 14 percent of total agricultural land, according to the Census of Agriculture. A century later, 90 percent of that land had been lost. White farmers now account for 98 percent of the acres, according to USDA data.” These numbers are telling. 


The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 includes an allocation of $4 billion to provide debt relief to socially disadvantaged farmers, including Black farmers, who have been disproportionately impacted by the discriminatory lending practices of the USDA. However, this debt relief is tied up in lawsuits due to claims that providing this debt relief based on race is discriminatory. Many Black farmers are hanging on by a thread and facing foreclosures as they continue to wait for debt relief in a country where we’re still fighting for racial equity. 


 

February 26: Black History Greens Festival - Photos coming soon

The Parent Connection Group welcomed community members to its 7th annual Black History Greens Festival in person at Virginia Avenue Park. Guests had fun dancing to the lively music mixes presented by KCRW’s Novena Carmel, taking a ride on Mr. Todd’s horse and pony, visiting with SMPD’s Mounted Unit, hearing about Black Cowboy Nat Love, and savoring a taste of freshly cooked green at the cooking demonstration. In addition, there were dance performances by Homeboy the Clown, story times presented by the Santa Monica Public Library, and a Black California history exhibit that included a trivia game and a special screening of Orchestra Santa Monica’s “We Gather” film.  After two years of limited gatherings, the Greens Festival brought joy to many in the community. - Greens Festival recap authored by Carla Fantozzi 



Black History Month 2022 to Focus on Black Health and Wellness

Published January 11, 2022

Author: Delana Gbenekama


Black History Month (February) is a time to celebrate and learn about the history and accomplishments of the Black community since this aspect of American history has not been as widely taught and discussed in the mainstream as it should be. Equally important is bringing awareness to issues that affect the Black community by engaging in dialogue, sparking thought through avenues such as art, and inspiring action to make positive changes. The theme for Black History Month 2022 is Black Health and Wellness. Issues pertaining to this theme range from the high maternal mortality rate among Black mothers to the generational wealth gap to barriers to mental health to housing. 


Because Black History Month is also a time to celebrate, the City’s Black History Month Committee is prioritizing elements of joy and healing in our programming for all to enjoy, especially our Black participants who regularly experience an onslaught of racism. This is reflected by providing students an outlet for artistic expression by submitting Black history-themed artwork with a deadline of January 25 (click here for details). This year’s programming will also include a therapeutic paint and sip class, stress-relieving somatic soul integration workshops, a TikTok dance class, and more. We’re once again honoring Black community members who live and work in Santa Monica for their outstanding leadership and service. You can submit nominations here by February 2.


A comprehensive list of Black History Month 2022 events and activities is listed at the end of this article. We encourage you to RSVP and join us to celebrate and learn. Most of our events will be held virtually to keep everyone safe during the pandemic. We ask that you wear a mask and maintain physical distancing for any in-person event you attend. 


In addition to participating in our Black History Month event programming, we encourage you to browse our Black-owned businesses page to discover local entrepreneurs to support and visit the City’s equity page featuring information about the Black Agenda for Santa Monica and the newly formed Santa Monica Black Lives Association, a nonprofit organization formed by Black community leaders.


Applications for Right to Return Pilot Program open January 18 - February 21

On the topic of housing, studies show that housing has a direct effect on health. A lack of affordable housing disproportionately places a strain on low-income families, forcing them to choose between food, heating and other basic needs, according to an article published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Santa Monica City Council, in a step to right some wrongs that were perpetrated against Communities of Color in Santa Monica, approved the Right to Return pilot program last summer. While this program can never compare to building generational wealth through homeownership, it is a step in the right direction and in the context of the affordable housing crisis. Click here to learn more. 



Black History Month Events and Activities


Tuesday, January 25, no earlier than 6:30 p.m.: City Council Proclamation and Presentation (Virtual)

Staff will present to the Santa Monica City Council a line-up of events for Black History Month and accept a proclamation honoring Black History Month. Click here to watch the meeting on the City’s YouTube page.


Tuesday, February 1 at 12 p.m.: Black History-Themed Bingo with Comedienne Kristal Adams (Virtual)

Laugh your way through an hour-long Black History Month-themed bingo emceed by Comedienne Kristal Adams. Learn about Black history while trying your luck at winning coveted prizes. Click here to RSVP.


Tuesday, February 1 – Wednesday, February 16: Black History Month Exhibits at Santa Monica City Hall

The City is partnering with the Quinn Research Center to display exhibits at Santa Monica City Hall featuring Black historical figures in Santa Monica who worked in health and wellness. Additionally, the City is working the Library, City staff, local schools and the Building Bridges Art Exchange to collect student art to display. The public is welcome to browse the exhibits during the City’s regular business hours.


Thursday, February 3 at 10:30 a.m.: Black Health and Wellness (Virtual)

Join us for the Black History Month opening ceremony featuring local health professionals, including Phillip Brown, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor at UCLA Family Medicine, and Nakeya T. Fields, mental health entrepreneur, author, and speaker, who will discuss the importance of mental and physical health. The event will also feature tap performances by the Syncopated Ladies, the singing of the Black National Anthem by Castella, a hula hoop competition, and a healthy cooking demonstration. Click here to RSVP.


Wednesday, February 9 at 12 p.m.: Somatic Soul Integration (Virtual)

Experience an embodiment practice that explores the living moving parts of our body through the art of breath work, mindful movement, and dance. Somatic Soul Integration supports the collective on the journey to self-actualization by healing mind, body, spirit and soul. Using a playful body-oriented focus, you will learn about the habits we hold around safety and connection and how they shape our present moment experiences. This 90-minute stress-relieving workshop is designed to make you feel safe in your body and connected to the source of wellness. The workshop will be led by Misty Powell, a psychologist, Wholistic Reiki Healer and certified yoga instructor. Click here to RSVP.


Saturday, February 12 at 10 a.m.: Somatic Soul Integration (Virtual)

Experience an embodiment practice that explores the living moving parts of our body through the art of breath work, mindful movement, and dance. Somatic Soul Integration supports the collective on the journey to self-actualization by healing mind, body, spirit and soul. Using a playful body-oriented focus, you will learn about the habits we hold around safety and connection and how they shape our present moment experiences. This 90-minute stress-relieving workshop is designed to make you feel safe in your body and connected to the source of wellness. The workshop will be led by Misty Powell, a psychologist, Wholistic Reiki Healer and certified yoga instructor. Click here to RSVP.


Tuesday, February 15 at 12 p.m.: TikTok Dance Class with Choreographer and Dancer Jamal Josef (Virtual)

Join us for a class on the latest and most popular TikTok dance moves with celebrity choreographer and dancer Jamal Josef. Click here to RSVP.


Thursday, February 17 from 12-2 p.m.: Paint and Sip  

Join us for a therapeutic Black History-themed painting session while sipping on a non-alcoholic beverage at Virginia Avenue Park. The class will be led by artist Nicole K. Click here to RSVP. 


Thursday, February 17 - Wednesday, February 23: Black History Month Exhibits at Bergamot 

The City, Building Bridges Art Exchange and the Quinn Research Center are partnering to display exhibits at the Building Bridges Art Exchange at the Bergamot Station Arts Center, 2525 Michigan Ave., Unit F2. Additionally, the other galleries at Bergamot will feature online or on-site exhibits throughout the month. The City is also working the Library, City staff, local schools and the Building Bridges Art Exchange to collect student art to display. You can view the exhibits during Building Bridges Art Exchange regular hours: Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 12-6 p.m.


Saturday, February 19 at 2 p.m.: Reception and Black History-Themed Art Walk at Bergamot

The City and Building Bridges Art Exchange are partnering to host a reception at the Bergamot Station Arts Center, 2525 Michigan Ave., Unit F2, to highlight the exhibits. The reception will include refreshments followed by a self-guided tour of galleries displaying Black History-themed exhibits. Click here to RSVP.


Thursday, February 24 at 6:30 p.m.: Celebrating Black Excellence Community Awards (Virtual)

The City will hold a virtual awards ceremony honoring Black professionals in Santa Monica for outstanding leadership and service. The event will also showcase South African dance performances featuring celebrity choreographer and dancer Lindiwe Rose. Click here to RSVP.


The City’s Black History Month Committee is accepting nominations for professionals who will be honored. Nominees must live or work in Santa Monica. The deadline for submissions is February 2, 2022. Click here to submit nominations.


Saturday, February 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Black History Greens Festival 

Join Virginia Avenue Park, the Parent Connection Group, and the Library in a celebration of Black History Month with the annual Greens Festival at Virginia Avenue Park. This year’s theme is Celebrating Black California History. Click here for details.


Sunday, February 27 at 2 p.m.: Paint and Sip

Join us for a therapeutic Black History-themed painting session while sipping on a non-alcoholic beverage at Virginia Avenue Park. The class will be led by educator La Shaunn Spivey-Angeletti. Please note that space is limited. Click here to RSVP

 

SPONSORS

Thank you to our sponsors for their generous support of our programming: 




El Mes de la Historia Negra 2022 se enfocará en la salud y
bienestar afroestadounidenses 


Publicado enero 11, 2022

Autora: Delana Gbenekama


El Mes de la Historia Negra (febrero) es un momento para celebrar y aprender sobre la historia y logros de la comunidad afroestadounidense ya que este aspecto de la historia estadounidense no se ha enseñado y discutido tan ampliamente en la corriente principal como debería. Es igualmente importante general conciencia sobre los problemas que afectan a la comunidad afroestadounidense mediante el dialogo, despertando el pensamiento a través de avenidas tales como el arte e inspirando acciones para hacer cambios positivos. El tema para el Mes de la Historia Negra 2022 es la salud y bienestar afroestadounidenses. Los problemas relacionados con este rango de temas van desde la alta tasa de mortalidad maternal entre las madres afroestadounidenses a la brecha generacional de riqueza a las barreras para acceder a la salud mental, a la vivienda.  


Debido a que el Mes de la Historia Negra también es un momento para celebrar, el Comité del Mes de la Historia Negra de la Ciudad está priorizando elementos de alegría y sanación en nuestra programación para el disfrute de todos, especialmente de nuestros participantes afroestadounidenses quienes experimentan con regularidad los embates del racismo. Esto se refleja al proporcionar a los estudiantes una salida para la expresión artística al presentar obras de arte con temática de la historia afroestadounidense con una fecha límite del 25 de enero (haga clic aquí para obtener los detalles). La programación de este año también incluirá una clase de pintura y bebida terapéutica, talleres de integración del alma somática para aliviar el estrés, una clase de baile de TikTok y más. Una vez más, estamos honrando a los miembros de la comunidad afroestadounidense que viven y trabajan en Santa Mónica por su sobresaliente liderazgo y servicio. Puede enviar sus nominaciones aquí a más tardar el 2 de febrero.


Al final de este artículo encontrará una lista completa de los eventos y actividades del Mes de la Historia Negra 2022. Lo animamos a reservar y acompañarnos para celebrar y aprender. La mayoría de nuestros eventos se llevarán a cabo virtualmente para mantener a todos seguros durante la pandemia. Le pedimos que use un cubrebocas y mantenga el distanciamiento físico en cualquier evento presencial al que asista. 


Además de participar en nuestra programación de eventos para el Mes de la Historia Negra, lo animamos a navegar por nuestra página de negocios propiedad de afroestadounidenses para descubrir empresarios locales para apoyar y a que visite la página de equidad de la ciudad que presenta información sobre la Agenda Afroestadounidense para Santa Mónica y la recién formada Black Lives Association de Santa Mónica, una organización sin fines de lucro formada por líderes de la comunidad afroestadounidense. 


Las solicitudes para el Programa Piloto Derecho a Regresar estarán abiertas del 18 de enero al 21 de febrero

En el tema de la vivienda, los estudios muestran que la vivienda tiene un efecto directo sobre la salud. La falta de vivienda asequible ejerce una presión desproporcionada sobre las familias de bajos recursos, forzándoles a elegir entre alimentos, calefacción y otras necesidades básicas, de acuerdo con un artículo publicado por la Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. El Consejo de la Ciudad de Santa Mónica, en un paso para corregir algunos agravios perpetrados en contra de las Comunidades de Color en Santa Mónica, aprobó el programa piloto Derecho a Regresar el verano pasado. Aunque este programa no podrá compararse nunca al desarrollo de riqueza generacional a través de la propiedad de la vivienda, es un paso en la dirección correcta y en el contexto de la crisis de vivienda asequible. Haga clic aquí para saber más.  



Eventos y actividades del Mes de la Historia Negra


Martes, 25 de enero, no antes de las 6:30 p.m.: Proclamación y Presentación del Consejo de la Ciudad (virtual). 

El personal presentará al Consejo de la Ciudad de Santa Mónica un cartel de eventos para el Mes de la Historia Negra y aceptará una proclamación honrando el Mes de la Historia Negra. Haga clic aquí para ver la reunión en la página de YouTube de la Ciudad. 


Martes, 1 de febrero a las 12:00 p.m.: Bingo con Tema de la Historia Negra con la comediante Kristal Adams (virtual) 

Ría a lo largo de un bingo temático del Mes de la Historia Negra de una hora de duración presentado por la comediante Kristal Adams. Aprenda sobre la historia negra mientras prueba su suerte en ganar codiciados premios. Haga clic aquí para reservar.


Martes, 1 de febrero al miércoles, 16 de febrero: Exhibiciones del Mes de la Historia Negra en el Ayuntamiento de Santa Mónica

La Ciudad se ha asociado con el Quinn Research Center para mostrar exhibiciones en el Ayuntamiento de Santa Mónica presentando a figuras históricas afroestadounidenses en Santa Mónica quienes han trabajado en la salud y bienestar. Además, la Ciudad está trabajando con la Biblioteca, el personal de la Ciudad, las escuelas locales y el Building Bridges Art Exchange para recolectar el arte de los estudiantes para mostrarlo. El público es bienvenido a explorar las exhibiciones durante el horario comercial normal de la Ciudad.

   

Jueves, 3 de febrero a las 10:30 a.m.: Salud y bienestar afroestadounidense (virtual) 

Acompáñenos para la ceremonia de apertura del Mes de la Historia Negra presentando a profesionales de la salud locales, incluidos el Dr. Phillip Brown, Profesor Clínico Asistente en Medicina Familiar de UCLA y Nakeya T. Fields, empresaria de la salud mental, autora y oradora, quien discutirá la importancia de la salud mental y física. El evento también contará con las presentaciones de Syncopated Ladies, la entonación del Himno Nacional Negro por Castella, una competencia de hula hoop y una demostración de cocina saludable. Haga clic aquí para reservar. 


Miércoles, 9 de febrero a las 12:00 p.m.: Integración del alma somática (virtual) 

Experimente una práctica de encarnación que explora las partes vivas y móviles de nuestro cuerpo a través del arte del trabajo de la respiración, el movimiento consciente y la danza. La integración del alma somática apoya al colectivo en el viaje a la autorrealización sanando la mente, cuerpo, espíritu y alma. Mediante el uso de un enfoque lúdico orientado al cuerpo, aprenderá sobre los hábitos que mantenemos alrededor de la seguridad y la conexión y cómo estos forman nuestras experiencias del momento presente. Este taller para liberar el estrés de 90 minutos de duración está diseñado para hacerle sentir seguro en su cuerpo y conectado a una fuente de bienestar. El taller será dirigido por Misty Powell, psicóloga, sanadora holística de Reiki e instructora certificada de yoga. Haga clic aquí para reservar.  


Sábado, 12 de febrero a las 10:00 a.m.: Integración del alma somática (virtual) 

Experimente una práctica de encarnación que explora las partes vivas y móviles de nuestro cuerpo a través del arte del trabajo de la respiración, el movimiento consciente y la danza. La integración del alma somática apoya al colectivo en el viaje a la autorrealización sanando la mente, cuerpo, espíritu y alma. Mediante el uso de un enfoque lúdico orientado al cuerpo, aprenderá sobre los hábitos que mantenemos alrededor de la seguridad y la conexión y cómo estos forman nuestras experiencias del momento presente. Este taller para liberar el estrés de 90 minutos de duración está diseñado para hacerle sentir seguro en su cuerpo y conectado a una fuente de bienestar. El taller será dirigido por Misty Powell, psicóloga, sanadora holística de Reiki e instructora certificada de yoga. Haga clic aquí para reservar.


Martes, 15 de febrero a las 12:00 p.m.: Clase de Baile de TikTok con el coreógrafo y bailarín Jamal Josef (virtual).

Acompáñenos en una clase sobre los últimos y más populares pasos de baile para TikTok con el coreógrafo de celebridades y bailarín Jamal Josef. Haga clic aquí para reservar.


Jueves, 17 de febrero de las  12:00 pm a las 2:00 p.m.: Pintar y Beber

Acompáñenos en una sesión terapéutica de pintura temática de la Historia Negra mientras bebe una bebida no alcohólica en el Virginia Avenue Park. La clase será guiada por la artista Nicole K. Por favor considere que el espacio es limitado. Haga clic aquí para reservar.  


Jueves, 17 de febrero al miércoles, 23 de febrero: Exhibiciones sobre el Mes de la Historia Negra en Bergamot

La Ciudad, el Building Bridges Art Exchange y el Quinn Research Center se asocian para presentar exhibiciones en el Building Bridges Art Exchange en el Bergamot Station Arts Center, 2525 Michigan Ave., Unidad F2. Además, las otras galerías en el Bergamot presentarán exhibiciones en línea y en el sitio a lo largo del mes. La Ciudad también está trabajando con la Biblioteca, el personal de la Ciudad, las escuelas locales y el Building Bridges Art Exchange para recolectar el arte de los estudiantes para exhibir. Puede ver las exhibiciones durante el horario regular de Building Bridges Art Exchange: de martes a viernes de 11 a.m. a 5 p.m. y sábados de 12 a 6 p.m.


Sábado, 19 de febrero a las 2:00 p.m.: Recepción y Caminata de Arte Temática sobre el Mes de la Historia Negra en el Bergamot.

La Ciudad y el Building Bridges Art Exchange se asocian para organizar una recepción en el Bergamot Station Arts Center, 2525 Michigan Ave., Unidad F2, para destacar las exhibiciones. La recepción incluirá refrigerios seguidos de una visita autoguiada de las galerías que presentan exhibiciones temáticas sobre la historia afroestadounidense. Haga clic aquí para reservar.  


Jueves, 24 de febrero a las 6:30 p.m.: Celebración de los Premios Comunitarios a la Excelencia Afroestadounidense (virtual). 

La Ciudad llevará a cabo una ceremonia virtual de premiación para honrar a los profesionales afroestadounidenses en Santa Mónica que se destacan por su liderazgo y servicio. El evento también exhibirá presentaciones de danza sudafricana con los coreógrafos de celebridades y bailarines Lindiwe Rose. Haga clic aquí para reservar. 


El Comité del Mes de la Historia Negra de la Ciudad está aceptando nominaciones de profesionales que serán honrados. Los nominados deben vivir o trabajar en Santa Mónica. La fecha límite de presentación es el 2 de febrero de 2022. Haga clic aquí para enviar sus nominaciones. 


Sábado, 26 de febrero de las 10:00 a.m. a las 2:00 p.m.: Festival Greens de la Historia Negra.  

Únase a Virginia Avenue Park, el Parent Connection Group, y la Biblioteca en la celebración del Mes de la Historia Negra con el Festival Anual Greens en el Virginia Avenue Park. El tema de este año es Celebrar la Historia Negra de California. Haga clic aquí para más detalles.

 


Domingo, 27 de febrero a las 2:00 p.m.: Pintar y Beber.

Acompáñenos en una sesión terapéutica de pintura temática de la Historia Negra mientras bebe una bebida no alcohólica en el Virginia Avenue Park. La clase será guiada por la educadora La Shaunn Spivey-Angeletti. Por favor considere que el espacio es limitado. Haga clic aquí para reservar.  


PATROCINADORES:

Gracias a nuestros patrocinadores por su generoso apoyo a nuestra programación: 

Authored By

Delana Gbenekama
Communications and Marketing Coordinator

Categories

Arts, Culture & Fun