BY: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare
On Saturday, October 15, 2016, early on a foggy, San Francisco morning, hundreds of activist-athletes and good Samaritans, of all faiths and even those without, came from a rainbow of races, nationalities, sexual orientations, and gender identities converged at Lake Merced Park.
After months of donations, given by a multitude of contributors, over a hundred thousand dollars was raised to support the children affected by the crisis and blockade in Gaza.
Proceeds from the Gaza 5k walk/run went to the UNRWA’s community Mental Health Program for Palestinian children in Gaza suffering from Psychological issues and posttraumatic stress disorder, due to the prolonged crisis of 2014 and the continued Israeli blockade in the Gaza area.
At the event there were several awe-inspiring and wonderful people of various ethnic backgrounds and cultures, united for this one great progressive cause, but the one person who stood out the most to me was fellow activist-athlete and a person I call friend, Chelsea Swall, her toughness still continues to blow me completely off my feet . Chelsea is what many millennials would refer to as a sociopreneur, for those of you unfamiliar with that term, a sociopreneur, according to UrbanDictionary.com is : “An enterprising individual that starts a venture not merely for profits but for inclusion of the communities that so far have been left out of the main stream.”
Well before the age of 30, she has already earned her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy /Counseling , worked at places like San Francisco suicide Prevention, USF Center for Child and Family Development, continues to volunteer in her community and has recently began practicing as a Marriage and Family Therapy Intern at a San Francisco private practice. What is most amazing to me is how she has turned her family’s tragedy and unimaginable personal “Pain into a Passion Fueled Purpose”, having lost two family members to suicide, she fights valiantly everyday to help people suffering with various types of psychological issues and mental Trauma. For Chelsea this is not about politics or religion ,it’s about curing a disease that according to the World Health Organization , over 350 million people are suffering from worldwide. An agonizing disease that at its worst, can lead to suicide, the World Health Organization states: Over 800 000 people die due to suicide every year. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds.”
I am pleased to say Chelsea and I have become good friends over time. Here is some of our conversation from the event :
Me: where are you originally from?
Chelsea : San Diego
Me: What made you come to San Francisco?
Chelsea : I came here for graduate school at San Francisco State University . I also loved the openness of alot of the people here.
Me: what age were you when you decided psychology was the path you wanted to take in life?
Chelsea: in high school I took a psychology class and volunteered at a hospice, but junior year of college is when I knew for sure, that I wanted to work in mental health.
Me: what do you want to accomplish by being here today?
Chelsea : bring awareness and raise money for a good cause.
Me: do you plan to continue to do community volunteering and activism for mental health causes?
Chelsea : yes
For those of you interested in seeing an amazing therapist in the Bay Area, use the link below to contact Chelsea Swall :
Pictures from this beautiful event:
For additional information on The on the crisis in Gaza, please use link below :
For additional information on Mental health use link below :
By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare
This Saturday, on October 15, 2016, the third annual San Francisco Gaza 5K will take place.
To signup for the race or donate to help fight end PTSD, please use link below :
SIGNUP OR DONATE TO THE GAZA 5K
Proceeds from this 5k walk / run benefit the UNRWA’S Community Mental Health Program, for children in Palestine suffering from PTSD and other psychological trauma, due to the blockade and current conflict in the region.
The situation is so dire, the internationally-known scientist, historian, social critic and political activist, Noam Chomsky said the occupation in Palestine is worst than the Apartheid of the South African past.
Noam Chomsky on BDS and How the Israeli Occupation is “Much Worse Than Apartheid”
By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare
Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter was born in Los Angeles, California in 1942. In his earlier days, Carter was a member the Slauson street gang, he was so well-respected, he was nicknamed the “Mayor of the Ghetto” and was also a member of that gang’s extremely tough inner circle called the “Renegades”.
Carter would later be convicted of armed robbery and would be incarcerated at Soledad prison for four years. While in prison he was influenced by the teachings of the Nation of Islam and Malcolm X and would eventually convert to Islam.
He would later renounce Islam and focus his time and energy on the black Liberation movement.
After being released from prison, Carter would meet Huey Newton, one of the founders of the Black Panther Party (BPP) and would join the organization.
In the early part of 1968, Carter would form the Southern California chapter of the B.P.P and would be that chapter’s leader, like all chapters of the group, they studied politics, trained firearms, first aid and read party literature. They also had a free breakfast program for poor, economically-disenfranchised black youths. By April of that same year, the chapter was becoming so popular it was gaining between fifty to a hundred new members a week.
As the B.P.P continued to grow and popularity, they would become targets of Federal Bureau of Investigation ( FBI ) and it’s director J. Edgar Hoover. The FBI’s secret division known as the Counter Intelligence program ( cointelpro ) it would later be revealed in Senate Testimony, that they worked with local police to sabotage, intimidate and harass members of the party.
During the time between 1968-69, many warrantless searches, false arrests occurred and several members of the black organization would be killed.
Towards the end of 1969, J. Edgar Hoover sent out orders to FBI field offices to : “exploit all avenues of creating dissension within the ranks of the BPP”, and “submit imaginative and hard-hitting counterintelligence measures aimed at crippling the BPP” . In Southern California, the FBI would also work hard to exploit the rivalry between the BPP and the black nationalist organization called “US”, which was founded by Ron Karenga. The two groups had very different approaches about how they battled systematic white supremacy, and often times found themselves completing over the same potential recruits.
On January 17, 1969, Carter and fellow Black Panther named John Huggins were allegedly heard making uncomplimentary statements about the head of US, Ron Karenga. An altercation would ensued , which would lead to the murders of Carter and Huggins.
The Panthers would claim that it was an assassination on their leadership, while the US organization would claim that it was a spontaneous event. Claude Hubert, the man who allegedly killed Carter and Huggins would never be captured.
In 1975, during the Church Committee hearings, evidence was revealed that proved that the FBI’s Counter intelligence program, under the direction of Hoover, covertly sent out disinformation, fake death threats and humiliating cartoons to the Panthers and US organization, pretending they were from the other group with the hope of causing conflict and inciting violence between the two black Liberation groups.
Bunchy Carter tribute
For additional information use link below : https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bunchy_Carter