Youth who live with community violence experience heightened fear that they could be a target and that the world is an unsafe place. There are communities around the country that are notorious for homicides, and gang violence—places that are too dangerous for children to play outside, and for teens to feel respected and safe. Living in fear takes a toll on a person’s mental health, and ongoing stress can have serious physical consequences as well. Community violence and racism makes it much harder to live a healthy life! We will discuss what communities are doing to give teens a voice, agency, heal, and become change agents.
“West Contra Costa youth bear the burden of multiple health and social inequities. There is a harmful public narrative, promoted in both policies and the media, that youth of color are deficits, not assets, to the larger community.”
“Programming at RYSE is anchored in the belief that young people have the lived knowledge and expertise to identify, prioritize, and direct the activities and services necessary to thrive.”
Dalia J. Ramos-Mucino has been the RYSE Member Engagement Coordinator since 2017. As Member Engagement Coordinator, Dalia is responsible for holding a friendly and positive culture within the space and with the youth. Dalia is passionate about creative expression in different forms like dancing, poetry, and storytelling. She will always work to ensure that RYSE is a safe, welcoming, and fun environment where youth feel open to express their thoughts and feelings. Before joining the RYSE staff, Dalia attended RYSE as a 14-year-old member and at 16 became an intern on the RYSE Leadership Team. She has been trained in Non-Violent Communication, Restorative Justice, and more.
Kanwarpal Dhaliwal is one of the co-founders of RYSE and as the Associate Director, she supports and guides the implementation and integration of healing-centered practices, grounded in racial justice and liberation, across all of RYSE’s program areas. She also develops, promotes, and advocates for policies, investments, practices, and research that enliven healing, justice, and liberation across the fields and sectors in which RYSE works. Kanwarpal believes that the purpose of her work and life is to contribute to movements, communities, and legacies of liberation that honor the ancestors who fought for her existence and survival, and to forge a world that is just and gentle for future generations. Before joining RYSE, Kanwarpal received a Master’s Degree in Public Health, and now serves as adjunct faculty at San Francisco State University.