In Solidarity
The Ethnic Health Institute (EHI) stands in solidarity with Black community members within Samuel Merritt University, locally and nationally; who are speaking out, standing up and fighting for their lives.

EHI was created to address health disparities disproportionately affecting ethnic and underserved communities in the Bay Area. With a mission to serve as a national model for university and community-based partnerships that benefit underserved and ethnic community members; and prepare and support SMU students to serve diverse communities, impact health equity, and increase workforce diversity; EHI commits to reaching beyond traditional approaches with a clear understanding that reducing racial health disparities requires acknowledging and battling the effects of blatant, ongoing structural racism. Twenty-three years after our founding, EHI stands committed, through words and actions, to Black communities and advocates for the mobilization of all communities to come together, in solidarity, against racism and injustice.

During this time we encourage you to take care of yourself and your loved ones. In whatever way works best for you, practice self-care and find ways to take action toward local and national healing and systemic change.

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."

-F ormer President Barack Obama

Don't know how or where to start?
Your freedom to protest is protected under the First Amendment which grants citizens the right to assemble peaceably and to petition their government. 

If you are planning to protest, know your Protester Rights and check out these resources on how to protest safely:

Educate Yourself & Others

Be an ally and stay informed. Learn about the history of institutional racism in the country. Follow organizations and leaders to educate yourself, family, friends, and colleagues. Incorporate fair and equitable practices, and confront racism.
Support your Local Communities & Small Businesses

Support your local economy, community and neighborhood. Buy from small business, which have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and protests.
Support Social Justice Organizations
Systemic change starts with small local changes in our city, neighborhood, and home.

Support your community by donating to frontline people or organizations, and participating in their efforts.
Get Civically Engaged

Know your representatives:
Knowledge is Power! Research and know your state and local government officials. Elect officials who stand for issues that you care about.

Get involved in your local Chambers of Commerce:
Chambers of Commerce help to protect and promote local business. They’re also a great way for you to network with other companies in your area and learn about how your city or town’s professional landscape is growing.

Attend your local city council meetings:
This is a great way to learn about pressing civic issues in your community.

Voting is the most powerful way you can be civically engaged. It’s also one of the most underutilized powers citizens have. 
State of California Voter Registration link:

Help others register to vote!
The more voices rallying together, the more powerful voting becomes. Help your friends and community get registered to make their voices count.

Fill out the Census!
The Census gives us data about our community, informs the distribution of billions of dollars in federal funding, and determines the number of decision-makers representing us. Our counties receive billions of dollars from the federal government for essential services based solely on the census count.

Learn more and consider donating to
these impactful causes:

COVID-19 Racial Disparities
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed inequities that have resulted due to various structural deficiencies, including our healthcare system. CDC data demonstrates a disproportionate number of cases and deaths among racial and ethnic minority groups. Nationally, African-American deaths from COVID-19 are nearly two times greater than would be expected based on their share of the population (NPR, 2020). Similar data is seen in Black and Latino communities in the Bay Area. In Alameda County, African-Americans make up 10% of the county's population, and account for 11% of all COVID-19 cases. Similarly, Latinos are 22% of the county's population, and account for 25% of all COVID-19 cases (KQED, 2020). 

Find a Testing Site:
COVID-19 Volunteer Opportunities
Allen Temple COVID-19 Testing Site

Allen Temple Church is seeking volunteers to help with drive-thru community testing.
Monday -Saturday
SHIFT 1: 12:30 - 4 p.m.
SHIFT 2: 3:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Volunteers urgently needed through June 30, 2020.

If you are interested in volunteering, fill out this Google form and also send text to Dr. Jennifer Obidah, at 510-309-7804.
Unless otherwise specified, voluntary participation in any activities or events included in this digest is considered non-work, non-school related and will not be considered for academic credit or paid time. Individuals who choose to volunteer under these conditions personally assume all the benefits and risks associated with their participation. Individuals with questions about whether a particular activity may be counted as work or for academic credit should contact their immediate supervisor or faculty member BEFORE participating.
Take a Break...
BeWell SMU is a resource hub for all staff, faculty and students. It includes links to virtual wellness classes, events, and resources for self-care, connection and interaction.

Since its inception in April 2020, SMU students, faculty and staff have facilitated virtual wellness classes, with students taking the lead. Now two months into launching, here is what they have to say:
"Teaching a BeWell exercise class has become a staple of my week. Not only because it provides some structure, but it's a great opportunity to stay fit and see familiar faces. Staying connected to my community has been grounding during all of this, and it's provided me a sense of normalcy."
Kelton Retherford, DPT, 2021
Core-ona Conditioning
"I chose to participate in BeWell SMU and create the BINGO class is to give students something to look forward to. I realize how important it is to prioritize your mental health and give yourself five minutes to do something fun. Whether that be my BINGO class, joining the PT students in an exercise/yoga class, or learning how to make yummy bread! Students are able to take a break, have fun, and do self-care! If you'd like to propose a wellness class, reach out to Katherine LeRoy. It can be as simple as making lunch together! No idea is too big or too small. During this time, we can all benefit from some sort of
socialization and connect the SMU family."

Paola Calderon , BSN, 2020
“Before shelter-in-place happened, my classmates and I participated in various wellness activities on campus. It was a way for us to take a break from long hours of class and studying and just hang out. The virtual BeWell classes are a way to experience that same feeling of community and wellness I felt when I was at SMU. I like how I get to see some familiar faces I am used to seeing around campus, as well as some new faces. I also enjoy attending some of the other BeWell classes, such as Colin’s Yoga class and Kelton’s Core-ona class. I appreciate how these classes are set up throughout the week to remind me to take breaks from studying and move. I look forward to participating in other BeWell classes in the future, and I hope the BeWell community continues to stay strong once we return to campus."

Mindy Pham , DPT, 2021
Virtual Body Bootcamp 

To access the BeWell SMU resource hub click here.

To connect with or provide feedback to the BeWell SMU wellness team please email
W hether you're standing in line at Trader Joe’s, meditating, or breaking a sweat during an at home workout, f ind your musical happy space with one of our quarantine playlists.
450 30 th St. Oakland, CA 94609
Peralta Pavilion, Suite 2877
(2 nd floor)
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