fbpx

What is the
Black Health Matters Initiative?​

COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting Black communities all over the country. The same is true right here in Santa Cruz County. To this end, TWDCC has teamed up with County Park Friends to bring COVID- safe, TWDCC “click and mortar” classes, cultural programs and health resources to county park spaces. We have partnered with an advisory group of local organizations; the NAACP local SC chapter, United Way of SC County, Blended Bridges, and the SCC Black Coalition for Racial Justice and Equity to help guide our work and reach our community countywide.

We lead this effort through the arts and culture, which speak to the tradition of gathering, of sharing, and our human need to have fresh air, community, and joy at the heart of a healthy life. In addition to being high-risk for COVID-19 infection, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reports serious and negative effects “across different areas of [Black] people’s lives, including...with household finances, jobs, health care, housing, transportation, caregiving, and well-being.”

TWDCC’s Black Health Matters Initiative focuses needed attention and community partnership to address the social determinants of health in our local Black community. Inviting folks outside into our beautiful county parks, with COVID-safe models, can be done. "What better way to support the community than through art-based, healthy activities together in the park?” says Cat Willis, Executive Director of the Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center (TWDCC).

“Our Parks and public spaces offer a canvas for COVID-safe health and healing during this difficult time. Together we can forge a future for our new normal that centers equity and builds from strength,” adds Mariah Roberts, Executive Director of County Park Friends.

Although this initiative is just beginning, establishing an ongoing arts and health driven platform of services and resources for Black SC families to access throughout the pandemic is our priority. We know that the work that we do to support families and individuals who are most vulnerable strengthens all of us and ensures our whole community is not just surviving, but thriving.

BHM Community Assessment Project

Black Health Matters Initiative Call to Action: Survey Participation

As attendees and supporters of the Black Health Matters Initiative, you are aware of the leading mission of the work: to facilitate an arts and health driven platform of services and resources for Black SC families to access throughout the pandemic.

One factor that we have yet to touch on however, is the parallel goal of gathering information and feedback from the community to fill the gap‘s that are abundant in county data. Did you know that the Black community in Santa Cruz County was recently classified as "Other" in census reports? Based on the small population of Black and mixed families in SCC, the data collected to represent the realities and needs of the community is simply not enough. To this end, the Initiative is working in partnership with United Way SCC to conduct a community assessment that will examine the quality of life for African Americans in Santa Cruz County.

We ask that you join us in our efforts to address the impacts of COVID-19 on the Black Community by participating in the first survey of the assessment. The survey link is listed below.

For your participation, your email will be included in a raffle to win 1 of 10 $50 Visa cash cards. Winners will be announced via direct contact in the coming weeks.

Plus One Campaign! This email is our soft/internal launch of the community assessment project. We go live tomorrow on our website and will have a link for public access. In an effort to gather as much data as we can during the assessment period, we ask that all participants join us in our plus one campaign - please invite, share, and spread the link within your circles and help us reach twice as many community members.

Thank you for joining the first of our Black Health Matters events and for taking the time to fill out the survey questions. Your support and input is greatly appreciated.

In Community,
The Black Health Matters Advisory Team
Take the survey HERE

What is the
Black Health Matters Initiative?​

COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting Black communities all over the country. The same is true right here in Santa Cruz County. To this end, TWDCC has teamed up with County Park Friends to bring COVID- safe, TWDCC “click and mortar” classes, cultural programs and health resources to county park spaces. We have partnered with an advisory group of local organizations; the NAACP local SC chapter, United Way of SC County, Blended Bridges, and the SCC Black Coalition for Racial Justice and Equity to help guide our work and reach our community countywide.

We lead this effort through the arts and culture, which speak to the tradition of gathering, of sharing, and our human need to have fresh air, community, and joy at the heart of a healthy life. In addition to being high-risk for COVID-19 infection, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reports serious and negative effects “across different areas of [Black] people’s lives, including...with household finances, jobs, health care, housing, transportation, caregiving, and well-being.”

TWDCC’s Black Health Matters Initiative focuses needed attention and community partnership to address the social determinants of health in our local Black community. Inviting folks outside into our beautiful county parks, with COVID-safe models, can be done. "What better way to support the community than through art-based, healthy activities together in the park?” says Cat Willis, Executive Director of the Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center (TWDCC).

“Our Parks and public spaces offer a canvas for COVID-safe health and healing during this difficult time. Together we can forge a future for our new normal that centers equity and builds from strength,” adds Mariah Roberts, Executive Director of County Park Friends.

Although this initiative is just beginning, establishing an ongoing arts and health driven platform of services and resources for Black SC families to access throughout the pandemic is our priority. We know that the work that we do to support families and individuals who are most vulnerable strengthens all of us and ensures our whole community is not just surviving, but thriving.

BHM
Community Assessment Project

Black Health Matters Initiative Call to Action: Survey Participation

As attendees and supporters of the Black Health Matters Initiative, you are aware of the leading mission of the work: to facilitate an arts and health driven platform of services and resources for Black SC families to access throughout the pandemic.

One factor that we have yet to touch on however, is the parallel goal of gathering information and feedback from the community to fill the gap‘s that are abundant in county data. Did you know that the Black community in Santa Cruz County was recently classified as "Other" in census reports? Based on the small population of Black and mixed families in SCC, the data collected to represent the realities and needs of the community is simply not enough. To this end, the Initiative is working in partnership with United Way SCC to conduct a community assessment that will examine the quality of life for African Americans in Santa Cruz County.

We ask that you join us in our efforts to address the impacts of COVID-19 on the Black Community by participating in the first survey of the assessment. The survey link is listed below.

For your participation, your email will be included in a raffle to win 1 of 10 $50 Visa cash cards. Winners will be announced via direct contact in the coming weeks.

Plus One Campaign! This email is our soft/internal launch of the community assessment project. We go live tomorrow on our website and will have a link for public access. In an effort to gather as much data as we can during the assessment period, we ask that all participants join us in our plus one campaign - please invite, share, and spread the link within your circles and help us reach twice as many community members.

Thank you for joining the first of our Black Health Matters events and for taking the time to fill out the survey questions. Your support and input is greatly appreciated.

In Community,
The Black Health Matters Advisory Team
Take the survey HERE

Past BHM Happenings

October 17th:
Self-Care Saturday!

We hosted socially-distanced classes and workshops outdoors at Chanticleer Park, including a Wellness Workshop, Soca/Zumba Class, and Afternoon Guided Hike. View the Nutrition & Wellness livestream to the right!

October 24th:
Virtual Family BBQ

We hosted a drive-thru BBQ boxed lunch pickup at Brommer Street Park, and a Virtual Perforamance broadcast from the TWDCC Virtual Theater Studio, celebrating local talent including Afro Samba Soul, Tammi Brown, DJ Sparkle (Sonja Brunner), and more. 

Food graciously provided by Lakia Queen Kia Alkebulan, Bobby Bishop of Bobby’s Can Cooking, and Sweet Bean Bakery. 

The Virtual Performance will be available to view online soon! Check back here for the link!

"African Americans are 20% more likely to have serious psychological distress than whites are. Among men aged 18–44 who had daily feelings of anxiety or depression, non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic men (26.4 percent) were less likely than non-Hispanic White men (45.4 percent) to have used mental health treatments"

Join the Newsletter

For more information,
sign up for the Black Health Matters mailing list.

Enter your email below!