MARCH, 2015  

United Way Merced: VITA

Our proud partner, United Way Merced County is offering free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) to people in need.

For more information click here.

Calendar of Events Calendar
Thursday, March 19th  
Franklin Elementary School
2736 Franklin Rd. Merced
6:00 p.m to 8:00 p.m.
Friday, March 20th  
732 West 13th St. Merced, 
CA  95341
9:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 21st  
Human Services Agency  Cafeteria  
2115 Wardrobe Ave. 
Merced, CA
10:00 a.m to 2:00 p.m.
Thursday, March 26th
Location TRD
10:00 a.m to 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 28th  
Beachwood Franklin Community 4 Improvement
El Capitan Park
10:00 a.m to 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 28th 
March: M St. & 16th St. 11am
Celebration: McNamara Youth Center 12pm to 3pm 
Monday, March 30th  
Hosted by: MOP
At United Way Merced 
658 W. Main Street
8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 
Tuesday, March 31st 
Cesar Chavez Middle School
161 Plainsburg Rd. Planada
5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 
April 17th - April 18th  
Merced Theatre: Art Kamangar Center  301 Main St. Merced, CA
Shows begins at 7pm
Share your upcoming event with us on our BHC Merced Calendar to be highlighted in our next newsletter and on our website!
Submit your event here o r send information about your event to
Purgatorio Debuts in Merced
(Merced) January, was the Merced premiere of award winning and local director, Rodrigo Reyes' documentary:PURGATORIO
Developed around the issues of undocumented health and the US-Mexican border, this powerful film drew connections between health, trauma, and the undocumented of California. The premiere was free to the public and encouraged a dialogue with panelist consisting of health specialists, undocumented testimonials, and Reyes himself. The event stemmed a much needed conversation that #Health4All is here, present and needed in Merced County.
Past BHC Events
BHC Community Circle
(Le Grand) Last month, we hosted our first BHC Community Circle of the year in Le Grand. Over 100 residents and young people came out to Le Grand High School to highlight what Health Happens Here is all about. The circle was centered around community engagement, people power, Restorative Justice and the #Health4All Movement that advocates health care safety nets to ALL CALIFORNIANS. Over all, another successful event for BHC. We look forward to our next circle in April! 
Past BHC Events
Restorative Justice Conference

(Le Grand) Early this month, Le Grand High School hosted their 3rd Annual Restorative Justice Conference to celebrate the significant strides that RJ has done since its inception 3 years ago. 
The all day celebration, took students from across the county; from Planada, Merced, Livingstons, and beyond to talk about the values of self-respect, student-to-teacher relationship, and conflict resolution.  
The event consisted games, activities, workshops and a keynote speaker. One by from renowned Spoken-Word Artist, Poet Ali; Voicing a central message to follow your dreams and to persevere through negative obstacles. Overall It was an amazing a event, one not to miss next year! 

658 West Main Street Merced, California 95340
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#InvestInOurYouth: Neighborhoods Action TeamNAT
On the Move!
#RiseOfTheYouth: An All Youth Town Hall

(Photo by: DOS, Distinguished Outreach Services) 


( March)  T he Neighborhoods Action Team (NAT) is on the move.


Last week, youth organizations across Merced came together to plan out the first "All Youth Town Hall Meeting." Cleverly named as #RiseOfTheYouth, the town hall will consist of young leaders from Local Youth Organizations; Symple Equazion, Youth I Can, Distinguished Outreach Services, We'Ced Youth Media, and more to press attention on improving relationships among youth, local officials, police, and other interested groups. 

Developed as a response to the needs and topics that you feel must be voiced, the youth-led town will consist of presentations and testimonials within four topics: gang-violence prevention, low-cost recreational activities, job-training opportunities, and affordable youth art programs.

The town hall will take place Thursday, April 26 at the McNamara Youth Center from 6pm to 8pm.

 Add to your calendar here

BHC Merced Presents: PLACAS: The Most Dangerous Tattoo - Free Tickets Available!PLACAS

PLACAS: The Most Dangerous Tattoo , a play by Paul S. Flores starring Ricardo Salinas of Culture Clash, will make its Merced debut Friday, April 17th - Saturday, April 18th, 2015 at The Merced Theatre Art Kamangar Center in downtown Merced. The play will begin at 7:00 p.m.


Developed as a pro-active community response to the issue of gang violence while presenting positive elements of Latino and Central American culture, PLACAS tells the story of one man's determination, transformation and redemption as he leaves gang life and tries to reunite his family after surviving civil war, deportation, prison and street violence.


"What a gang member has to go through to be human is huge," said playwright Paul S. Flores.

"There is a mangled sense of identity of life outside the gang clashing with the strict code of the streets. PLACAS takes a realistic approach to addressing issues that boys and young men of color face on the streets and begins a discussion of how we can mend and heal for the betterment of our community."


Leading to the play, the cast of PLACAS will be holding workshops with local youth organizations; Symple Equazion on Tuesday, April 14 2015 and We'Ced Youth Media on Thursday, April 16, 2015 to discuss topics around gang violence, prevention and promoting peace. "This year, Merced has witnessed a number of youth deaths related to violence, providing an opportunity to speak on such topics we can then begin to mend the issues and restore peace with all young people," said Paul S. Flores.  


To secure free tickets, contact Mark Chalico at (209) 383-4242 or at Tickets are limited, while supplies last. Discounted group codes are also available. 

Tickets are available for purchase  on


Click for more info. 


#Health4All: The Preventions Action Team in Action PAT
#Health4All w/ Supervisor John Pedrozo


(March, 2015) Members of the Prevention Action Team (PAT) and residents met with District 1 Supervisor John Pedrozo and Kathleen Grassi, the Director of Merced Public Health to talk about the importance of #Health4All in Merced. With thoughts expressed and ideas shared, we are one step closer to the right direction. Because health happens not just to some but to all Californians. 


Want to thank both John Pedrozo as well as Kathleen Grassi for setting up a meeting around #Health4All. Together we can create a healthier, safer, and more inclusive community for all Merced County.   


View more photos on Facebook.

#LCFF: Schools Action TeamSAT
Train the Trainer: Building Champions 

The BHC Schools Action Team (SAT) hosted their first of many "train-the-trainer" workshop centered around LCFF also known as the Local Control Funding Formula. With the help of CH1LDREN NOW facilitating the workshop, local stakeholders, residents, and community leaders learned what it takes to be a champion for our schools. The workshop provided skills and a deeper understanding of the not just LCFF but the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) as well as strengthening processes to promote more authentic relationship opportunities between parents and schools.   

We'Ced Media: Youth HighlightWeCed
"At Town Hall, Residents Advocate for Health Care for the Undocumented" 

(By We'Ced Youth Media photo: MOP Merced)


 "On February 25th, County Supervisor John Pedrozo held his annual town hall meeting in South Merced at Tenaya Middle School in South Merced. He began holding these community meetings a few years ago as a way to hear directly from his constituents. Pedrozo oversees District 1, which covers South Merced as well as more rural areas like El Nido, Le Grand and Planada.."


We'Ced Media: Youth Highlight
"Issues Raised at Purgatorio Screening" 


"Merced resident and film maker Rodrigo Reyes screened Purgatorio: A Journey Into the Heart of the Border. Co-sponsored by Merced Organizing Project and Building Healthy Communities, the screening was paired with a panel afterwards that facilitated a conversation around the importance of addressing the needs of the undocumented population in Merced County, estimated by a USC and SDSU study to be near 25,000.."


Job Opportunity: Casual Project Assistant CoordinatorJOB 
We're Hiring


BHC Merced is looking for a new casual Project Assistant Coordinator. If you are or know of someone that is passionate about the work that Building Healthy Communities does and want to get involved, we would love you to join our team.  


Click here for an application.

Building Healthy Communities Merced is a proud partner of United Way of Merced County.