In Pursuit of Happiness: How to Help Empower Black Families

The Committee For Racial Justice (CRJ) will be gathering by Zoom on Sunday, Feb. 21, at 6:30 p.m., to explore a topic that is most pressing in the Black community. This double pandemic of catastrophic civil unrest and COVID-19 is triggering a mental health crisis within the Black community.

Families and individuals are seeing an increase in reported cases of depression (adults and teens), domestic abuse, addiction/alcoholism, and suicide. In this Black History month, we will learn more about the intergenerational trauma rooted in systemic racism and oppression that is disproportionately impacting Black families at alarming rates.

To help promote the importance of receiving mental health services in the Black community, we will explore various mentally debilitating causes as well as optimal outcomes when clinical services are received. We want to see what is being done to help families experiencing mental health crisis during this time and discover where we need to be supporting those efforts and advocating for even more solutions.

On the night of 2/21/21, a panel of Black Mental Health experts will inform and guide us through this arduous landscape and help us discuss what can be done.

Our panelists include Black Mental Health clinicians and advocates: Miyumi McKinley (LCSW) founder of The Healing Black Intergenerational Trauma Center; Nakeya Fields (LCSW), President of Therapeutic Play Foundation; Rayshell Chambers (Masters of Public Policy & Administration), co-founder of Painted Brain healing services through the arts; Maagic Collins, host of Fight the Funk Podcast, as well as mental health and civil rights advocate; and Sir James Baliey, Facilitator of Faithful Fellowships and Humanities Facilitator at FreeLA High School.

In addition to local issues, the panel will also discuss LA County, CA state, and federal efforts to address Black Mental Health.

There will time for Q & A after their presentations.

Call Joanne at (310) 422-5431 for further information.

Sunday, February 21, 2021 from 6:30 -8 p.m. zoom meeting

Registration required:

Submitted by Joanne Berlin


SMC Emeritus Gallery to Host Online Opening Reception for 2021 Annual Student Photography Exhibition Online March 4

The Santa Monica College Emeritus Art Gallery is pleased to present its 2021 Annual Student Photography Exhibition Online on Thursday, March 4. The exhibition will be shown online only for the first time ever at the recently redesigned website.

A free, live Zoom Virtual Launch Event will be held online from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 4. A link at takes guests directly to the exhibition’s opening reception.

The opening reception will be hosted by Dean of Noncredit and External Programs Dr. Scott Silverman and Emeritus Art Gallery Curator Jesse Benson. The reception includes a live scroll through the exhibition, a discussion between Benson and several of the exhibit’s photographers about selected images, and a Q&A offering guests the chance to ask the artists questions about their work.

To see the artwork online at any time after 5 p.m. on March 4, viewers may go to and click the 2021 Annual Emeritus Student Photography Exhibition link, available 24 hours a day. The link takes viewers directly to the exhibition album on a Facebook page that is open to public viewing (Facebook account not necessary).

“Already among our most tech-savvy students, our Emeritus photographers adapted swiftly to an online exhibition format,” said Benson. “It is evident in this selection of photographs that these creative people were able to flourish through quarantine by examining their immediate surroundings and reflecting on past adventures caught on film.”

“The photos produced by our SMC Emeritus students will amaze you,” said Dr. Scott C. Silverman, Dean of Noncredit and External Programs. “Whether they are amateur photographers, longtime enthusiasts, or onetime professional photographers, the work they’ve submitted for this show is something to be appreciated, and we hope you will join us.”

The salon-style group exhibition features a remarkable variety of recent photographic works created by 35 students. The students are: Kathleen Battersby, Dorli Burge, Christine Chambers, Miles Clay, Anna Conley, John Dalton, Laurie Foye, Jim Gerstley, Trude Haas, Susan Hannan, Gilbert Ialongo, Shellee James, Marilyn Kabakov, Leticia Lua, Francine Lyness, Michael Main, Victoria Maturo, Ellen Mayer, Kelly McCool, Wendy Miller, Susan O’Carroll, Regina Palley, Allan Popelka, Doris Power, Judy Raffel, Rochelle Renaud, Linda Rosman, Karen Sandler, Ganna Shneydina, Marilyn Stern, Jo Tashima, Michael Telerant, Jonathan Tillman, James Wang, and Linda Zarou.

SMC’s widely praised Emeritus program — founded by Santa Monica College in 1975 as a noncredit program to serve the lifelong learning interests of older adults — offers more than 120 noncredit adult education classes and special programs that serve more than 3,000 students each year.

More information is available by visiting or calling 310-434-4306.

Submitted by Grace Smith