This year Community Health Councils turns 25!
CHC has been an integral part of South LA’s history of struggles and accomplishments and this year is of particular significance not only to CHC, but also to South LA, as we acknowledged 25 years since the uprising on April 29, 1992. This landmark anniversary gives us an opportunity to reflect on what we have achieved, and on what needs to improve so we stay relevant to our partners and communities; it is also a time to revel in the possibilities that renewal brings to us all. But why do we expect other people to care?
We’ve made it this far! Twenty-five years ago, our founders had a dream that people in South LA would enjoy having access to the basic resources that support the well-being of a community—responsible healthcare, healthy and affordable food options, parks and open spaces, community safety, good schools, affordable housing, etc. You know, the basic stuff that any other community wishes to have. CHC has been in the fight to ensure these resources remained, were improved, or created in South LA. We have made a difference.
Our partners are also a part of this history! All of us are connected to the rich history of South LA, and by celebrating this incredible milestone together, everyone can be included in a tradition of acknowledgement, inclusion and appreciation. Thus, this particular anniversary calls for us to stop, take a breath, and highlight those positive examples of poignant historical events that make up South LA; of exemplary leaders that have been a beacon of hope, and be clear about our direction and steps towards social change. This year, is not only deeply meaningful to our communities, but imperative for the greater understanding of social justice. The events of Charlottesville, Virginia, when the “Unite the Right” rally and proceeding comments by Trump continue to make it clear that these racist elements are emboldened and ready to destroy our communities. Some argue that confederate monuments are meant to celebrate Southern pride, but we know, at a very visceral level, that these spaces serve as constant reminders of institutional racism, segregation and slavery.
On September 28th, we are looking forward to seeing the beautiful diversity of our partners and supporters under one roof so that we can celebrate our histories that make up the collective account of our beloved South Los Angeles. At the 25-year mark, we can look back and count the successes and be proud of our well-earned battle scars. However, we can’t consider our accomplishments as an end point. We will celebrate our collective monumental contributions and use them as a platform for future growth.