South Kern Sol youth storytellers demonstrated the power behind storytelling at their final event of their 2016 Summer Series earlier this month where they invited community leaders, elected officials, county administrators to the Bakersfield Museum of Art to join the conversation about equity, and why place and race matter in Kern.

Youth spoke about the breadth of issues they are covering to ensure that Kern becomes a healthier place for everyone. Some of those issues include: access to safe, clean drinking water; the need for everyone to have access to health care regardless of immigration status; equitable health-promoting land use policies; clean, safe air quality; restorative justice policies and practices in schools; equitable funding for low income school districts through the Local Control Funding Formula; and safe and well-maintained parks.

Several of their stories, along with photos from past events, were also displayed on the white walls of the museum.

Professor Mark Martinez, Ph.D., from CSU Bakersfield’s Social Justice Center moderated a panel discussion, where three youth storytellers: Randy Villegas, Dean Welliver, and Yesenia Aguilar spoke about what drives them to write stories about issues impacting their communities.

[Click here to learn more about the event in this beautiful report by Matt Boone from Bakersfield’s KBAK and KBFX Eyewitness News]

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