Friday, February 18, 2011

Coalition Partners Drummed Together at Successful School Health Conference

Coalition partners listened and followed the rhythmic beats as part of a demonstration led by Healthy Drumming.

On February 4, 2011, more than 160 participants attended the our annual Alameda County School Health Conference, which was sponsored by The California Endowment. Thanks to all the amazing participants and speakers for making the conference a huge success. With the theme of "Building Equity in Full Service Community Schools", the conference received such a high and unexpected level of interest that we had to turn people away due to space limitations. Despite our limited space, we were excited to have a strong and diverse representation from the entire county. Participants included educators, school health providers, youth, county staff and representatives from our Board of Supervisors. 

The day opened with a grounding "Four Directions" prayer by Dr. Ricardo Carrillo of La Clinica. He set a mood of togetherness and learning as we moved into the day. Alex Briscoe, AC HCSA Director and Lisa Villarreal, San Francisco Foundation, opened up the conversation with a glimpse of what is happening from Alameda County to the National level, creating a good transition to our keynote, Ken Hardy who spoke on the impact the current education system has on our kids.

By the end of Ken Hardy's talk there were many tearful eyes as the audience moved to their community learning sessions.

Our four community learning sessions covered: "Confronting the School to Prison Pipeline: Addressing the Needs of Boys and Young Men of Color", "Invisible Wounds of Oppression: Healing Ourselves, Healing Our Students", Let's Stop Pushing Our Kids Out of School Rethinking the Role of School Discipline", and "It's all about the Family - Supporting the Health of our LGBTQ youth."   

It was clear by the end of the day that many of these topics needed to have a continued conversation.  School Health Services staff has already started to plan how we can keep these discussion going and hopefully achieve some productive outcomes.

During lunch, we were honored to have Sal Nunez and Arturo Carrillo from Healthy Drumming ( lead us through an interactive demonstration of the healing powers of drumming circles. It was hard not to be affected by the healing energy that was emitted from this rhythmic experience. Below are some videos for your enjoyment:

Since there was only so much time and we're doing our best to save trees we would also like to share with everyone interested some great resources relevant to the conference community learning sessions. Below you can click on the title of the article for the full copy.     

Finally, share your thoughts, links and resources and comment on this blog! 

Thank you to everyone who made this year's conference a success and we look forward to seeing more of our partners next year!

School Health Services Coalition Team

Alameda County Public Health Department (2010)
Drexel University Schools of Public Health and Medicine (2007)

Healthy Communities Matter: The Importance of Place to the Health of Boys of Color 
Drexel School of Public Health
Drexel Department of Emergency Medicine Houston Institute PolicyLink
RAND Corporation (2010)

Family Acceptance Project

Ken Hardy Interview and links to publications

Latino Men and Boys Oakland Project 
Paul Flores, Cause Data Collective
The Unity Council of Oakland (2010)

School-based restorative justice as an alternative to zero-tolerance policies: Lessons from West Oakland 
Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice
University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall) (2010)
Beats, Rhymes and Life: Rap Therapy in an Urban Setting 
Tomás Alvarez III, M.S.W., A.C.S.W., (2011)