Community Action Team

June 17, 2020

The definition of action is the “state of doing something or being active.” The Community Action Team (CAT) is a collective of students, staff, and faculty who came together to elevate and support efforts that practitioners, organizers, and community partners identified as a result of the first wave of COVID-19.  Our CAT would like to express its heartfelt appreciation for the overwhelming support over the last 3 months. Through the sharing of your time, networks, and resources we were able to have a huge impact.  To learn more about these efforts please read our attached newsletter. Our collective efforts reflect how we as a school community can mobilize in response to global pandemics.  Thank you for your advocacy, your volunteerism and for championing the needed change that our world deserves.

Now the CAT turns its attention to another public health pandemic that requires significant action — police brutality (as evidenced through the brutal murder of George Floyd) and the ways that structural and interpersonal racism negatively impact community health and well-being, particularly of our Black and Brown communities. George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and Breonna Taylor were victims of murder perpetuated through racist and anti-black policies and practices in the United States.  Racism is a public health emergency! CAT centers its mission in racial justice and stands in solidarity for the liberation of all forms of oppression. Black lives matter then, now, and always. Black lives matter. We stand in solidarity with members of our school community who are working to listen to and lift up the voices of our Black students, staff, faculty, and communities, in order to inform and to enact the kinds of change required at multiple levels that combats the effects of racism.

While our group, which is mainly comprised of volunteers, pauses for the summer we look forward to re-engaging with you in the Fall. We invite new members to join us as we regroup and continue to organize and centralize opportunities for you to plug into in response to current public health emergencies.  We can still be reached at engagesph@berkeley.edu, but given our limited people power through August, may take additional time to respond.

If you are moved to do something today, take a moment to read through this list of anti-racism resources and stay tuned to how you can get involved in the work of equity and justice with SPH leadership. 

Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.
—Martin Luther King, Jr 

Volunteers packing grocery bags and boxes at the Basic Needs Center.

We are the Community Action Team (CAT) at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health. Our team includes members of diverse student, faculty, and staff groups. We aim to maximize the wellbeing of all our communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic by tapping into the UC Berkeley School of Public Health’s individual and collective wellspring of activism, expertise, and commitment to collaboration.  We will serve to link members of our CAL community to specific community-identified needs that we facilitate and aim to be a clearinghouse to opportunities for action.

If you are affiliated with UC Berkeley, please join us by writing to engagesph@berkeley.edu. Community organizations are also encouraged to write us at engagesph@berkeley.edu to share ways that we can mobilize efforts to help meet their current priorities.

Actions and Opportunities

Prospective volunteers have two methods of being involved with our efforts:

  • All are encouraged to look through the principal domains below and find opportunities that best suit your skills and abilities.
  • For UC Berkeley students, staff, alumni or faculty looking for additional opportunities with CAT community partners, please sign up for our weekly mailing list to be matched with additional opportunities to provide community support.

Utilizing our skills in qualitative and quantitative research, data sharing and analysis, and multicultural and multilingual skills in supporting efforts to address COVID-19.

See opportunities below:

Responding to the calls of organizers, activists, and community-based organizations that are asking for support advocating to public officials. This is an ideal way to get involved if you have limited flexibility, limited time availability, or want to work remotely in a no-exposure context.

Click here for a link of active petitions, call scripts, and template emails to advocate to local representatives: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1X297IBl61KkH3DPgV-VSdI4Hz4j0KgpLiW4Gt_9xrZA/edit#gid=1240712088

Additional opportunities include:

Community Resources

The Community Action Team has assembled a list of resources for those needing additional information on the COVID-19 crisis. Our team is dedicated to providing accurate and current information to all communities.

Ongoing Efforts and Achievements

Contact Us

Our team of knowledgeable volunteers is dedicated to serving communities and providing help during times of crisis. If you are an organization in need of immediate assistance, please reach out to the Community Action Team at EngageSPH@berkeley.edu.

  • Co-Leads: Coco Auerswald, Audrey Cristobal, Quin Hussey, Grace Turkis 
  • Students:  Amia Nash, Aminta Kouyate, Andrea Jacobo, Brie Martin, Brigid Cakouros, Chris Rubeo, Guz Gomez, Jamon Franklin, Julea Vlassakis, Kira Jeter, Maddy Kane, Melissa Leanda, Phoebe Miller, Sarah Ferrell, Aminta Kouyate, Tatyana Roberts, Taylor Young, Brie Martin
  • Staff: Emily Chow, Jessie Heminway, Karen Weidert, Maria Hernandez
  • Faculty: Hildy Fong Baker, Sandi McCoy & Steve Shortell
  • Alumni: Annie Chang
Connect with CAT

If you are an organization in need of immediate support, please contact the Community Action Team at EngageSPH@berkeley.edu