Let's do something to help youths in the East Bay cope with PTSD and anxiety.
I've lived in the Bay Area for three decades, and throughout this time, the Bay Area has been a seemingly never-ending hotbed of political upheaval. Historically Oakland and Berkeley have been ground zero for critical social, political, and cultural issues in America. As a Bay Area resident, I take pride in knowing that political activism in my hometown has lead to advancements in issues such as Criminal Justice, Child Welfare, Immigration, and Racism. These advancements, however, don't come without regressions.
Bay Area residents that live beyond the reaches of the city have the luxury of watching the drama unfold from the comfort of their homes while people riot in the streets demanding justice for the disenfranchised. Meanwhile, Oakland turns into a battle ground at least four times a year, and the youth become exposed to urban warfare. These demonstrations although fundamental to political advancements can be terrifying to young children.
Helicopters, Search Lights, Drone Surveillance, Armored Vehicles, SWAT Teams, Anarchists. DooDoo, Do, Do, Do! 35, 47! (In my Mike Epps Voice) I'm joking, but seriously, we can't let ourselves become desensitized to this.
Lately, our children have become inundated with political rhetoric from the moment they wake up to the time they go to sleep. It's on television while they get ready for school, on the phone when they scroll their timeline, and in the classroom while their teacher shares their unwarranted partisan opinions. All of this rhetoric can become confusing and polarizing for children looking for an education.
I'm not implying that political activism is wrong, I'm saying that the byproduct of political activism can be traumatic for youths that don't have the coping mechanisms available to help them deal with these traumas. These injuries become compounded and eventually lead to the inability to manage. These kids have enough on their plate as it is, they don't need our adult problems too.
You're probably asking yourself, "What can I do to help?"
We can start by leveling the playing field. Our Neighbors in the Peninsula have already realized the benefits of Yoga and have invested into their children's lives by introducing RISE into their curriculum. In the last four years, RISE Yoga for Youth has expanded to 12 schools from San Francisco to Sunnyvale reaching over 1,200 students. Some of the more progressive schools pay out of pocket to bring RISE to their facility; other schools rely heavily on donations to fund the program. Sadly, RISE has ZERO schools from the East Bay on their roster. I want to change that!
We've already raised $10,000 of the proposed $60,000 in funding to help RISE expand to the East Bay! With your help, we can easily reach our goal.
From February 15th until March 1st, 2017, I'm offering special Pet Portrait commissions, proceeds earned will be donated to RISE Yoga for Youth to help them reach their goal. (If you would like to pass on a picture, please give directly to them: HERE)