Sunday, March 25, 2012

2012 College Conference Tour: UCLA

24 youth and staff members braved the roads of Los Angeles for the third installment of the College Conference Tour for the American Indian Student Association 13th Annual Youth Conference at UCLA.  Pics from the weekend can be seen in our Photobucket album here.

The trip started with a mostly traffic-free drive to Koreatown, where we stopped for lunch at Sanya, a Korean BBQ joint.  With bellies full, attendees drove to West Los Angeles for a tour and exploration of the Museum of Tolerance.  First, we explored the museum's exhibits on the history of (in)tolerance in the United States, the power of media, the pervasiveness of stereotype, and widespread child labor in the world.  Next, we were taken on a historical journey detailing the origins, atrocities and legacies of the Holocaust.  Each attendee was given a card to follow the journey of a Jewish child through the Holocaust.  One of the children on these cards, Devorah Kirszenbaum (known today as Dorothy Greenstein), survived the Nazis' crimes and shared her experiences of living in the Warsaw Ghetto and working as a mother's helper in Polish households during World War II.  After her stories and encouragement to the audience to "not hold grudges" and "study, study, study," youth members and staff got to speak one-on-one with Ms. Greenstein, which was arguably the highlight of our Museum of Tolerance visit.  We ended day 1 with a trip to Griffith Observatory, where we attended the last showing of "Centered in the Universe," a presentation in the planetarium dome of the Observatory.  After the 30-minute show, youth members explored the interactive exhibits of the observatory and ran around the declines and grassy spaces of the park. 

Day 2 was for the conference at UCLA.  Youth members went on tours of the UCLA campus, participated in workshops on Native art, culture, and college admissions, and met other Native youth from around California.  The keynote speaker for the event was Robert Johnston from the Native Wellness Institute.  Mr. Johnston encouraged attendees to stick with their motivations and believe in themselves, inviting students onstage with him to introduce themselves and their goals in front of the audience.  After the conference, we headed to Hollywood Boulevard for one last stroll (and dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings) before driving back to San Diego.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Stories from Acoma Pueblo

Thank you, Kimberley, for introducing us to our wonderful guests this week!  Artist and storyteller Waya'aisiwa and his son Noah graced our Youth Center with traditional stories.  After the storytelling, he shared some of his artwork with us, combining traditional designs and imagery with inspiring quotes such as "Mountains are hard to climb when you don't believe," and "When you believe...your prayers do fly..."  To show gratitude to our guests, we gifted them with sage wrapped by our youth members.  Thank you again for the stories and art!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dreamweaver Consortium at Active Living Research poster reception!

Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) staff from the Dreamweaver Consortium (Indian Health Council, Southern Indian Health Council, Sycuan Medical/Dental Center and San Diego American Indian Health Center) united together to create a poster for the Active Living Research (ALR) poster reception, with the poster's slot sponsored by the Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP).  The poster included four quadrants with pictures, graphs and captions detailing the great research and work for Native children in San Diego County.  The poster (pictured here) had perfect placement, right at the entrance to the reception.  I would've taken a picture of the poster during the reception, but with the amount of traffic of onlookers and inquisitive researchers visiting the poster throughout the afternoon, it was nearly impossible!  Thanks to PEI staff from the Dreamweaver Consortium--Martina, Art, Leon, Charity, and SDAIHC staff--for coming out to the reception and for unifying together to make such an awesome was a grand success!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Monday, March 5, 2012

Red Cross teaches disaster preparedness

The Youth Center was graced with the presence of Ana Ortiz, AmeriCorps from the American Red Cross, for a disaster preparedness training (special thanks to Kimberley for hooking us up with the Red Cross, you rock!).  Youth members and staff learned about preparation for earthquakes, power outages, and other disasters that may occur here in the San Diego region.  After taking a quiz on what we learned, the members were given disaster preparedness kits, which included first aid kits, information, and a bowl (which Coral is modeling here as a hat...fashionable, eh?).  Thank you to Ana and the Red Cross for the information!  Special note: if you're in the top bunk of a bunk bed during an earthquake, stay in bed and put a pillow over your head until the shaking is over.  On the other hand, if you're on the bottom bunk, get off and find cover elsewhere, just in case the top bunk collapses.  If you didn't know, now you know.