So what is this place? Well, following the 2016 presidential election, a group of community activist gathered to discuss how do we fight to protect the gains in social justice and civil rights that we had experienced under the President Obama administration that have already been taken away or under threat. In the end, we decided that there were plenty of great organizations and political groups doing good work, we needed a trusted clearinghouse to be a singular voice for all the opportunities out there. We also agreed that we needed to do a better job at telling our own stories and that is what most excites me about SPADE SJ. This is an online space for members of the progressive San Joaquin County community to share why issues are important to them and why others should be encouraged/inspired to support and organize around these issues. Up first......
I often talk about how naive I was when I started the San Joaquin Pride Center. My biggest learning curve involved the mental health needs of our local LGBT+ community. In particular, how much need there was. It was and continues to be the largest request from those who reach out to our agency and yet we had to fight tooth and nail to get financial support to take care of our community. It took almost six years for us to get funding to provide holistic care for our people despite report after report stating that's the best approach to reducing mental health disparities. When we finally did funding, well, it didn't come from local sources, it came from the State. What is going on and what is wrong with that picture? Well to better understand the unique challenges to mental wellness in San Joaquin County, we have assembled an awesome collective of non-profit leaders in who are doing the real work to bring about social change in our area and they will be discussing mental wellness on April 25th at Delta College. I hope you can join us and be inspired to be a part of solution. For full details on this special event, Download Mental Health Forum Flyer Final here.
So this is Spade SJ. If you would like to contribute to the discussion, give me an email at nicholasmhatten @ gmail.com. Share your events, share your stories with community. Just keep in mind that the issues we champion are progressive and the details you share must be shared via personal stories. This space will not be an info dump wasteland. It's a space to encourage and inspire! Keep checking back in with us because shortly we will be sharing details on a religion forum and a Stockton City-wide youth summit to be held in September. It's all about supporting political accountability for diversity and equity. SPADE! SPADE SJ.