Building Healthy Communities Long Beach: March 2015
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In this edition of BHC News...
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April 25:
Green Prize Festival

May 27:
People's State of the City 2015
Community Calendar   |   Partners   |   Jobs   |   Resources
Sustainability education comes to Cesar Chavez Park on April 25
Green Prize FestivalThe second annual Green Prize Festival will give residents the chance to learn more about sustainability and eco-friendly ways to improve their lives. The event is organized by long-time BHC partner Green Education Inc., which seeks to educate and transform local communities into green, sustainable neighborhoods. “We selected Cesar Chavez Park this year because it’s a pollution-burdened area. We’re looking to share resources and promote new partnerships that can help make the neighborhood more healthful and sustainable,” explained Stella Ursua, President of Green Education and Chair of the Building Healthy Communities Neighborhoods Workgroup.

The Green Prize Festival will spotlight urban farmers, vendors, locally-sourced restaurants, schools, and green technology accomplishments that contribute to building a green, sustainable community. The daylong activities will also include local artists and entertainers, community-based organizations working to improve the environment, and educational workshops. Thanks to a partnership with state environmental organizations, attendees will also get to test drive alternative-fuel vehicles, including electric cars. 

As a major piece of the event, the “green prize awards” will honor leaders in the environmental community in the categories “green government official,” “green school,” “green non-profit organization,” and “green small business” along with seven others. 

The Green Prize Festival will be held on Saturday, April 25th from 11:00am to 7:00pm at Cesar Chavez Park (401 Golden Ave. LB 90802). For more information or to volunteer for the event, visit
Spring Gathering brings together residents and community groups (Photos)
This past Saturday, westside residents and community organizations visited Century Villages at Cabrillo to connect and learn about community engagement at the Building Healthy Communities: Long Beach Spring Gathering. The three-hour event highlighted the community driven collaborations working to make West Long Beach a community with healthy food access, improved air quality, and community safety and healing. In recognition of the recent murder of Cabrillo-student Keshawn Brooks, attendees created a vision of a healthy and safe Westside community and held a moment of silence to begin our collective healing process. Click here to see photos from the event.
"Placas: The Most Dangerous Tattoo" debuts in Long Beach April 30-May 2
PlacasFrom April 30th to May 2nd, community members experience how the power of story can heal communities impacted by poverty, immigration, and violence. 

“Placas: The Most Dangerous Tattoo” is an original stage play written by playwright and nationally recognized community leader, HBO Def Poetry star, and Oakland based Latino Men and Boys Program Director Paul S. Flores. Ricardo Salinas of Culture Clash stars as Fausto “Placas” Carbajal, a Salvadoran immigrant who tries to reclaim his family after nine years of prison, while letting go of his past life as a gang member. In street culture, placas signify an individual member’s unswerving loyalty to the gang and also serve as a mechanism to create a new identity.

Based on hours of interviews with gang members, parents and intervention workers, playwright Paul S. Flores creates a vibrant and moving bilingual story of fathers and sons struggling to come together in redemption and one man’s determination to reunite his family after surviving El Salvador’s civil war, deportation, prison, and street violence.

In addition to three local performances, the producers of “Placas” and participating sponsors will be hosting healing circles, workshops, and other opportunities for youth of color to engage in pathways away from violence. Through collaborative partnerships, young men and women in Long Beach affected by the same issues “Placas” addresses will get the chance to express themselves through arts and culture, including workshops that will help students heal through telling the true stories of their own communities.

The Long Beach production of “Placas” is sponsored by Building Healthy Communities: Long Beach, Children’s Defense Fund California, Movement Strategy Center, Palacio Magazine, and The California Endowment.
“Placas: The Most Dangerous Tattoo” will begin at 7:30 p.m., Thursday April 30th through Saturday May 2nd, at the Scottish Rite Event Center (855 Elm Ave, Long Beach, CA 90813). Parking is available next door. For more information, visit
Youth journalists launch second trilingual newspaper
VoiceWaves has released the second issue of their trilingual newspaper, featuring stories on food access, police and community relations, and diversity in Long Beach. Thanks to a new partnership, this issue went out to 11,000 homes across Long Beach as an insert in the Long Beach Press-Telegram.

If you have not yet read the newspaper in English, Spanish, or Khmer, copies are available at your local library branch, our Building Healthy Communities office, and online

Have you submitted yours? BHC mini-grant proposals due March 30
The deadline for the BHC mini-grants is rapidly approaching! Building Healthy Communities: Long Beach is excited to help continue supporting the grassroots community work happening in West and Central Long Beach through our BHC mini-grants. BHC mini-grants are designed to support groups advancing work related to our initiative, provide opportunities for learning and development, and support community engagement in our focus area. Mini-grant application must be submitted online no later than March 30. 
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