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Systemic Racism as a Public Health Crisis and Its Impact on Health and Mental Health

Thursday, September 3, 2020
10:00am - 11:30am

Health funders have long raised concerns about health disparities in communities of color, and the current pandemic has only exacerbated these inequalities. Data continues to show that Black, Indigenous, and people of color have higher rates of infant mortality, heart disease, and even an advanced aging process due to stress and trauma. We are now at a pivotal moment, and cities and counties across the country are declaring racism as a public health crisis, including San Bernardino County. By declaring racism as a public health emergency, officials recognize systemic racism as a problem that needs to address. Join our next Health Funders Group to dive deeper into the root causes of systemic racism and its impact on the health and mental health of communities of color.



Kaci Patterson

Owner, Social Good Solutions and Chief Strategist, Black Equity Initiative

Kaci Patterson brings over 18 years of experience in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors to her consulting practice. She began her career in the nonprofit sector while in college and soon developed a passion to push the world forward by expanding educational, economic and political opportunities for people of color. Always with an eye toward human and community development, Kaci works with philanthropic institutions, nonprofit organizations and public entities to design, operationalize and manage strategic initiatives from concept to implementation. Her passion is advancing community-driven solutions to social change.

Prior to consulting, Kaci held entry-to-executive-level roles within the nonprofit sector, leading capacity building, education advocacy and social justice initiatives; serving networks of organizations, and, over 1,000 civil society leaders and public officials worldwide. In addition to managing multi-million-dollar grant-making portfolios in the United States and abroad, Kaci has created programs recognized as breakthrough contributions to the field: The School Boards and Community Engagement Initiative was highlighted by Harder+ Co Community Research in 2011 as a transformational strategy. In 2014, she co-founded and launched B.L.A.C.C. (Building Leaders and Cultivating Change), a grassroots social activism fund. She was named a 2016 California Community Foundation Unsung Hero of Los Angeles for her work with the fund; and, has served as the Chief Strategist for the Black Equity Initiative since 2017, a racial justice, systems change effort.



Eraka Bath, MD

Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Vice Chair for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion — UCLA

Dr. Bath is the Director of Child Forensic Services, Associate Professor in Department of Psychiatry, and an Associate Chair for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. She is board certified in child and adolescent, adult and forensic psychiatry. Dr. Bath has a long-standing interest in health care disparities, minority and community mental health, with particular interest in addiction and trauma within the special populations of juvenile justice and foster care youth. Dr. Bath has dedicated her time to working with vulnerable populations and their families and consults regularly with the court system. Her portfolio of research includes funding from the National Institutes of Health, National Institutes of Drug Abuse, PCORI, and Los Angeles County Department of Probation, which includes researching the efficacy of short-term, family based interventions for youth involved in the delinquency system as well as the trajectories of commercially sexually exploited girls.

Dr. Bath obtained her undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley, her medical degree at Howard University College of Medicine, and completed her child psychiatry and forensic training at NYU School of Medicine where she was on faculty prior to joining UCLA.

Jae Canas

Senior Administrative Analyst, Department of Mental Health-UCLA PP4W — Public Partnership 4 Wellbeing

Jae Canas is currently a Sr. Administrative Analyst with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (DMH) and the UCLA Public Partnership for Wellbeing (PPFW) and a member of the DMH Strike Team led by Gita Murthy Consulting. In that capacity he brings an academic, direct service, and community lens to initiatives designed to meet the needs of the most vulnerable and marginalized people in Los Angeles County.

As a former youth under the supervision of the LA County Department of Children and Family Service (DCFS) and prior resident at MacLaren Hall, Jae is inspired by his lived experience to transform systems of care and focus on innovative strategies that improve the wellbeing of children & youth. Jae is driven by a passion for justice, equity, and inclusion to cocreate human centered content for individuals and organizations supporting children, youth, and families.

Jae holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Minor in Disability Studies from UCLA. Jae will begin a Master of Public Health for Health Professionals Program at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health in October 2020.

Rev. Sam Casey

Executive Director, Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement (COPE), San Bernardino

Pastor Samuel J. Casey is the Senior Pastor & Co-Founder of New Life Christian Church in Fontana with his wife Pastor Tamika Casey. The Lord led him along with his wife Pastor Tamika Casey to launch their ministry in October 2013. Pastor Samuel J. Casey began his ministry 25 years ago at Mt. Olive 2nd MBC in Watts, CA under the leadership of Pastor E. Winford Bell. Under the covering of Pastor E. Winford Bell, Pastor Samuel J. Casey was licensed at Mt. Olive 2nd MBC in 1994 and ordained in 2002. In 2001 the Lord relocated Pastor Casey and his family to Imani Christian Cathedral under Bishop Jelani F. Kafela, where he served as the Assistant Pastor to Bishop Kafela. 

Pastor Casey also serves as the Executive Director of Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement (COPE). COPE, founded in 2000, is dedicated to building effective leadership among clergy, community members and local parents through local, regional, and national trainings that build the capacity of individuals to revitalize the communities in which the live, work, and worship. COPE has successfully led and organized outreach campaigns in support of key legislative policies including AB 743, San Bernardino City Unified School Districts Task Force for African American Student Achievement, Local Control Funding Formula, Prop 30, Prop 47, School Discipline Reform that will ultimately seeks to eradicate the School-to-Prison Pipeline, and Civic Engagement Campaigns that seeks to engage voters beyond election cycles. More recently he lead the ReTHINK Public Safety SB Coalition in demanding that San Bernardino County Declares Racism a Public Health Crisis on Tuesday, June 23, 2020.
Pastor Casey has received numerous awards for his Social Justice/Prophetic Work in the community including the 2105 Assembly Member Cheryl Brown’s Men of Distinction Award, 2014 Black Rose Award and the 2012 NAACP Advocacy and Justice Award. Additionally, Pastor Casey was appointed to the Fontana Parks and Recreation Commission in 2015 and served until 2016. Pastor Casey and his wife Tamika have three daughters. Samantha (25) who is a Registered Nurse in Atlanta, GA, Tamia (23) who is  Bio-Chemist living in Delaware, and their youngest child Kourtny (21) who just completed 4 years  serving in the United Stated Navy.

Felicia Jones

Associate Director, COPE

Felicia Jones is the Associate Director with Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement (COPE) in San Bernardino, CA. COPE trains and mobilizes clergy, parents, youth, and community leaders as grassroots organizers to build people power to full it’s mission to “revitalize their communities in which they live, work, and worship.” In this role, she supports the organization’s multi-issue social justice organizing through campaign strategy, policy advocacy, and grassroots leadership development. She was trained and mentored by the late Rev. Eugene Williams, founder of  Regional Congregations and Neighborhood Organization (RCNO), faith-centered organizing model rooted in black liberation.  She served as the Associate Director with Los Angeles Metropolitan Churches where she led the organization’s school improvement efforts.  She continued her focus in education advocacy as the Director of Community Engagement and Advocacy with Families in Schools, a parent advocacy organization and served as a former Board Chair and Deputy Director with Community Asset Development Re-defining Education (CADRE), a South LA based parent-led organization who works to ensure that all children are rightfully educated regardless of where they live.  She is a graduate of Mount St. Mary’s University in Los Angeles College and a single mother.

Stephanie Teleki, Ph.D.

Director, Learning & Impact, California Health Care Foundation

Stephanie Teleki is CHCF’s director of Learning and Impact. She partners with the foundation’s program teams to support organizational learning, evaluate the foundation’s investments, and optimize impact. Stephanie also leads the foundation’s portfolio in maternity care as part of CHCF’s focus on high-value care. This portfolio currently includes work to improve maternal mental health care, and work to promote birth equity for Black mothers / birthing people.*

Previously, Stephanie led CHCF’s transparency-focused efforts to establish and then expand both the California Maternal Data Center and the California Joint Replacement Registry. She also developed projects to track cancer care quality and costs in the state. Prior to joining CHCF, Stephanie was a policy analyst in the health unit of RAND Corporation, where she conducted health policy research and evaluations for such clients as the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, and private-sector health plans. She has also held research and management positions at Kaiser Permanente, MD Anderson Cancer Center, and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. Stephanie received a bachelor’s degree in English and history from Amherst College, a master’s of public health in health services research and policy from the University of Texas at Houston School of Public Health, and a doctorate of philosophy in health services research and policy from the University of California, Los Angeles, Fielding School of Public Health.

*We use the term “birthing people” to recognize that not all people who become pregnant and give birth identify as a woman or a mother.

The SCG Health Funders Group is a peer group of funders seeking to improve the health and well-being of the communities they serve. These facilitated sessions provide opportunities for shared learning and collaboration. All funders seeking to address barriers to health and equity through an intersectional approach are welcome.

No cost to participate

Who May Attend
Current SCG members

SCG members: Register online (you must log in to your SCG account to register).
If you have additional questions regarding these sessions, please contact us at [email protected]

Accommodations for People with Disabilities
If you have a disability and require accommodation in order to fully participate in this activity, please contact our programs team at [email protected] or (213) 680-8866. You will be contacted by someone from our staff to discuss your specific needs.

About this Location
This location is ADA compliant, has dedicated nursing rooms, and gender-neutral restrooms available.

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10:00am - 11:30am

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1:00pm - 2:00pm

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