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Youth in Action

[Voicewaves] Masculinity & Depression: Why Men Won’t Come Forward
Nov 18, 2014 |

[Voicewaves] Masculinity & Depression: Why Men Won’t Come Forward

When Alex Villaneda was 15, his father passed away. It began a years-long bout with depression that he felt he could not tell anyone about. “I felt I must be the only one that feels this way, and I’m weak as a man because everyone else is alright,” Villaneda said. Last week’s admission by rapper Kendrick Lamar about his struggle with depression and this summer’s suicide of internationally acclaimed comedian Robin Williams, brings national spotlight to the discussion of depression and it’s affects on men. Depression remains largely under-diagnosed in the male population. While men are diagnosed at lower rates than women, men commit suicide at rates that are 4 to 18 times higher than women, depending on the age group, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, suicide rates have seen a sharp rise among Americans. More people now die of suicides than from car accidents. For many men like Villaneda, depression is a hidden secret that can be further compounded with the stigma associated with manhood.
[Richmond Pulse] Takeaways from the Election
Nov 10, 2014 |

[Richmond Pulse] Takeaways from the Election

EDITOR’S NOTE: The 2014 election in Richmond will be remembered for Chevron’s $3 million spending spree on its preferred candidates, Mayor-elect Tom Butt’s victory, outgoing councilman Corky Booze’s loss and more. Even with national news attention and high stakes for the city on the line, less than 17,000 residents voted. In the election’s aftermath, Richmond Pulse asked several community members: What will you remember most about this election?
[Merced Sun-Star] Merced Youth Council funded
Nov 07, 2014 |

[Merced Sun-Star] Merced Youth Council funded

Merced’s Youth Council has been given a budget of $12,500 this fiscal year, but any unspent money will not be guaranteed next year after a vote this week by the Merced City Council. A 5-2 vote from City Council approved giving the money to the council made up of young people. Mayor Stan Thurston cast a dissenting vote, saying City Council needed a plan to ensure cash for future youth budgets. Councilman Mike Murphy, who cast the other “no” vote, said the Youth Council should have greater discretion over the funding. According to city records, the approval vote by City Council on Monday established a general fund account that distributes the money to four Youth Council items: office supplies ($500), professional services ($7,000) and other materials ($1,000), as well as travel and training ($4,000). Read more here: http://www.mercedsunstar.com/news/article3609900.html#storylink=cpy
[South Kern Sol] Youth Commentary: Why I Hope California Votes Yes on Prop. 47
Nov 05, 2014 |

[South Kern Sol] Youth Commentary: Why I Hope California Votes Yes on Prop. 47

This November, California voters will have the opportunity to vote for Proposition 47. The measure could be a first step in revolutionizing how California handles crime. Prop 47 would require six nonviolent, nonsexual crimes be classified as misdemeanors instead of felonies. The crimes include: possessing drugs for personal use, forgery of less than $950, petty theft of less than $950, receiving stolen property of less than $950, check fraud of less than $950, and shoplifting items of less than $950. By reclassifying these crimes to less serious offenses, offenders will receive shortened sentences and people currently serving long sentences for such crimes could be freed early. The reduced incarceration is expected to produce $1.25 billion dollars in savings, which will be shifted into K-12 public education, mental health and drug treatment programs, and victim services.
Nov 04, 2014 |

New Report: Lessons Learned from the Get Mobile Forum on Mobile Technology for Community Engagement

This is a blog post by Beatriz Solis, Program Director at The California Endowment Healthy Communities (South Region), and Geoffrey Cowan, Director of the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy. At the 2014 Get Mobile Forum, we ...
[Coachella Unincorporated] Rethinking our Drinks: Moving Forward with Moderation
Nov 04, 2014 |

[Coachella Unincorporated] Rethinking our Drinks: Moving Forward with Moderation

Today was the final day of no sugary beverages. While I certainly am excited to dive back into the world of sugary drinks, I hope to do so in moderation. If anything, this week has taught me that you don’t need sugary beverages to function, and in many cases, water will do just fine. This last week, my family did ask me why I wasn’t drinking any type of sugar-filled beverage during meals. I told them that I was “rethinking” my drink for the entire week, and instead of drinking soda and juice, I would have to make do with just water. A few days into the week-long challenge, I did feel a little sluggish. However, after a while, my body adapted to the lack of sugary beverages — my mind did not. And I was tempted many times throughout the week. All in all, I think it is important that young people drink sugary beverages in moderation. It’s a bit of a challenge, but a it is challenge that is worthwhile.
[We'Ced] Merced Youth: #2Young2Vote but Not to Young to Care
Nov 04, 2014 |

[We'Ced] Merced Youth: #2Young2Vote but Not to Young to Care

The California Endowment has launched a project called #2Young2Vote in an effort to promote youth voice on matters of policy. We’Ced’s youth reporters spoke with young people who, though legally unable to vote due to age, see the transformative power of voting to change their communities for the better.
Health Happens with Youth Media!
Nov 03, 2014 |

Health Happens with Youth Media!

Each week, youth from our Building Healthy Communities sites share stories about their communties. This week they examine teen use of e-cigarettes, punk music and the American Dream, among a number of other topics. In Stockton, punks are the new mall ...
Engagement and Awareness Key in Encouraging Young Voters
Oct 31, 2014 |

Engagement and Awareness Key in Encouraging Young Voters

FRESNO, CA– When asked if he will be voting this November, Fresno State student Khoua Xiong said, “No, I won’t because I haven’t registered and I haven’t informed myself enough.” Without knowing how the issues will impact him directly, Xiong says he will be sitting out this November.
[Wecedyouth.org] Why I Decided to Phone Bank for Prop. 47
Oct 30, 2014 |

[Wecedyouth.org] Why I Decided to Phone Bank for Prop. 47

Editor’s Note: Proposition 47 is a California ballot measure that, if approved by voters on November 4, will reclassify six non-violent felonies, including petty theft and drug possession, as misdemeanors. The reclassification would reduce sentences and would be applied retroactively, resulting in early releases for tens of thousands of prisoners.
This Week in Youth Media
Oct 20, 2014 |

This Week in Youth Media

Each week, youth in our 14 Building Healthy Communities sites knit together stories about their communities and other topics of interest to them. They do this through the written word, photography, and video. These youth journalists are honing their ...
[Voicewaves] Latino Immigrants Use Theater to Heal from Trauma
Oct 15, 2014 |

[Voicewaves] Latino Immigrants Use Theater to Heal from Trauma

There are many conventional ways to treat trauma in the United States, counseling and prescriptions among them. But what about theater and the arts? Teatro Jornalero Sin Fronteras (Day Laborer Theater Without Borders) is one group using the arts as so. Lorena Moran, a Long Beach resident, is the director of the theater group, whose immigrant members tend to be older adults. The theater troupe performs wherever day laborers gather to tell their stories of migration and labor abuse that they can relate to. Recently, VoiceWaves was on hand to capture the group’s performance in downtown Long Beach.
[Richmond Pulse] Deferred but Still in Limbo
Oct 15, 2014 |

[Richmond Pulse] Deferred but Still in Limbo

Manuel Martinez perceived his future would follow the life of his father. When he was 17, he thought he’d work in construction after high school. Despite living in Richmond, Calif., since the age of one, Martinez didn’t see he had many options because of his undocumented status. Farther north, in Modesto, Yaquelin Valencia, a Kennedy High School graduate, spent a lot of her time driving around the Central Valley. She was 20-years-old and passionate about organizing immigrant communities. She was also undocumented, and ineligible for a driver’s license. On June 15, 2012, President Obama announced an executive order that would alter the course of the two youngsters’ lives, along with the lives of hundreds of thousands in similar situations. The order granted young immigrants who met specific criteria the chance to apply for what is essentially a temporary reprieve from deportation, or the threat of it.
[Boyle Heights Beat] California 1st in nation to limit ‘willful defiance’ suspensions
Oct 14, 2014 |

[Boyle Heights Beat] California 1st in nation to limit ‘willful defiance’ suspensions

California has just adopted a law that limits the way schools use “willful defiance” as a reason for suspending and expelling students. Because this category is so vague, schools have used it to suspend or expel kids for minor things like interrupting a class or speaking over the teacher. The new law forbids expelling students in kindergarten through third grade for willful defiance and limits suspensions on this basis to kids older than fourth-grade. I believe this new law puts us in the right direction toward how schools should operate. When I was around 7, I remember getting into a fight with a kid on the playground. The teachers didn’t suspend me. They sat me down next to the kid and made us each tell the story from our point of view. We got the story straight. We would each apologize for what we did wrong in the situation and shake hands. And then we went back to playing.
[CV Independent] Representing the Community: East Valley Youth Share Their Perspectives Community Planners
Oct 13, 2014 |

[CV Independent] Representing the Community: East Valley Youth Share Their Perspectives Community Planners

A smile grows on Jacqueline Aguilar’s face when she talks about local art and her community. Aguilar, a senior at Coachella Valley High School, is passionate about these topics—and she’s eager to share her insight with anyone willing to listen. Aguilar represented Raices Cultura when she spoke about art and her community to an audience of city planners at the 2014 Annual Conference of the American Planning Association’s California Chapter in Anaheim in mid-September. “I was really nervous. I was shaking,” Aguilar said. “I’m not usually that nervous, but people started showing up, and it was really weird to have such a large audience.” Aguilar and other youth representatives from the eastern Coachella Valley participated in a youth panel at the annual conference titled “Legitimate Voices: Youth Perspectives on the Meaning of Building Healthy Communities in the Eastern Coachella Valley.”
The Power of Youth
Oct 13, 2014 |

The Power of Youth

As a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Improving Population Health, I was recently given the opportunity to co-author a discussion paper that would spotlight youth as change agents to improve health in communities. This topic grew ...
Health Happens with Youth Media!
Oct 07, 2014 |

Health Happens with Youth Media!

Each week in the 14 BHC places, young people knit together experiences at school, at work, at home and in their neighborhoods to tell stories about how health happens. Below are highlights of their reporting: For the first time in 15 years, California ...
[Cochella Unincorporated] Youth lead the way in voter registration
Sep 23, 2014 |

[Cochella Unincorporated] Youth lead the way in voter registration

College juniors Neftali Galarza and Nayeli Figueroa spent their summer vacation trekking large swaths of farmland, hoping to speak with eastern Coachella Valley residents in their homes. When the two college students finally reached a resident, many of whom are spread out across the valley in trailer parks, apartment complexes and small businesses, they had just one question for them: “Are you registered to vote?”
[DetermiNation] 2014 Sisters & Brothers at the Capital
Sep 22, 2014 |

[DetermiNation] 2014 Sisters & Brothers at the Capital

The Alliance for Boys & Men of Color converged hundreds of youth and young adults at the California State Capitol from August 4-7, 2014. This video documents the experience of the young men and women that participated in this delegation. The Alliance for Boys and Men of Color is a California-wide coalition committed to increasing and improving opportunities for success for the state’s boys and young men of color. The Alliance includes youth, community organizations, funders, and officials in areas such as education, public health, and law enforcement. The Alliance partners with the Select Committee to help achieve its Action Plan.
[Richmond Pulse] The Push to Register Young Voters
Sep 22, 2014 |

[Richmond Pulse] The Push to Register Young Voters

It’s no secret that one of the groups least likely to register, or vote, is the youth. Now, a local group is hoping to help change that trend. September 23 is National Voter Registration Day, a nationwide campaign coordinated with volunteers and organizations to educate and reach out to to voters, while guiding them step by step through the registration process and helping them find their voting location. In Richmond, one of the organizations helping to register voters on National Voter Registration Day is the local chapter of the League of Women Voters, a national nonprofit aimed at increasing civic involvement. “We do some advocacy work in that we encourage people to vote in ways that are most equitable and democratic,” said Kia Croom, President of the League of Women Voters West Contra Costa County. “The other part is our voters services in which we get people registered to vote.”
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