Roots of South Los Angeles Wellness Center
Roots of South Los Angeles Wellness Center (“Roots of South LA”) is a volunteer, two-person ran organization supported by an all-Black and Latinx female Board of Directors. The vision of Roots of South LA is to reclaim space and create a community where Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (“BIPOC”) healing, rest, and liberation are not only centered but also celebrated.
Roots of South LA utilizes the mind-body-spirit connection, community care, and abolition in their work to continue to challenge and dismantle harmful narratives that further perpetuate systems of oppression.
Currently, Roots of South LA does not have a physical location and functions virtually. Before the pandemic, Roots of South LA worked out of various community spaces. Roots of South LA does not provide therapy presently but plans to in the future.
Roots of South LA is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. All donations, fees for services, and shop purchases go directly back into sustaining Roots of South LA and BIPOC wellness.
Roots of South Los Angeles Wellness Center does not belong to its Co-creators. It belongs to the BIPOC community.
Photo Credit: Trisha Angeles, 2018
Liliana V. Muñoz, LCSW (left)
Liliana (She/Her/Hers/Ella) is a Los Angeles-based school therapist centering the healing and liberation of Black, Indigenous, Children of Color and their families in South Los Angeles and beyond. Liliana has spent over a decade in the mental health field with the last five years focusing on advocating for the healing, safety, and joy of children within the K-5 school system. Liliana holds a double Bachelor's in Psychology and Chicano Studies from the California State University of Los Angeles and a Master's in Social Work from the University of Southern California.
In addition to her work as a school therapist in 2017, Liliana co-founded Roots of South Los Angeles Wellness Center, a non-profit organization whose mission is to center the healing of Black, Indigenous, communities of Color by providing culturally traditional and holistic mental health and wellness services. Through Roots of South Los Angeles Wellness Center Liliana hopes to nurture collective healing through the power of community and intergenerational resilience.
Adriana L. Medrano, PhD (she/her/hers) (right)
Adriana is a Liberation and Mujerista Psychologist. She received her bachelor's in Psychology from the California State University, Los Angeles (2005) & her doctorate from the California School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles (2010). Adriana’s clinical background includes trauma (individual, intergenerational and community) and Womxn’s emotional health. Adriana has a small Private Practice where she centers healing for folx and Womxn of Color & provides consultation to other therapists of color. Her approaches to healing include dream interpretation, spirituality, and mind-body-spirit (somatic/energy) work. Adriana also lives with an invisible disability of depression and anxiety, stemming from intergenerational and community trauma.
Adriana is the daughter of Mexican immigrants. She grew up and still resides on stolen, unceded Tongva land, known as South Central Los Angeles. Living in a predominately Black and Brown community with little to no resources, Adriana continues to witness how systemic oppression and racism are significant sources of trauma. Roots of South LA Wellness Center is a love letter to her community; a reminder that we are deserving of love, safety, protection, healing & liberation.
Board of Directors
Brandy Hardy, LMFT
Brandy is a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist she holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and a master's degree in clinical psychology. She currently works with Justice Involved mentally ill men and women, diverting them from Jails back into the community through holistic clinically based interventions. She also serves as an adjunct professor in the human development department at Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena. Brandy has valued experience working with families, adults and children addressing a wage range of emotionally challenges such a depression, grief & lost, anxiety, and trauma.
Kelli Jackson is the second generation owner of Hank’s Mini Market, a curated market that has served the community for 23 years. Her heart for the community stems from her father’s (Hank) dedication to creating a community-centric business in the Hyde Park neighborhood of South Central Los Angeles. Kelli’s Masters degree in Public Art Studies from the University of Southern California further developed her commitment to her community and sparked her passion of using public art to help redefine and reimagine places and spaces. As a result, she helped to reinvigorate the store that now provides access to art, healthy food options, and safe spaces. Hank’s Mini Market partners with various organizations to provide monthly nutrition workshops, food giveaways, and free blood pressure screenings. Hank’s also collaborates often with local artists and businesses, to activate the community in positive ways. Kelli is proud that Hank’s has evolved into more than a corner store — it’s a gathering place and a bright spot in the neighborhood.
Maria Luisa Hernandez - Meneses
Maria Luisa Hernandez - Meneses received a Bachelor’s of Arts from CSUN, double majored in Chicana/o Studies and Liberal Studies, and holds a Master’s Degree in Education from Cal State LA. Her and her family emigrated from Mexico at the age of 5 and has lived in the MacArthur Park Area of Los Angeles for 20+years. Because of the high need for quality and equitable health services, lack of resources and lack of quality education in our community, Maria Luisa became involved in her community at the age of 12 forming part of youth groups that focused on bringing health services, workshops and educational trainings for her community. Maria Luisa found a passion in education is currently working on her Special Education Teaching Credential at CSULA and hopes work with children from her community to empower the students through social justice, equitable services and high quality education.
Carly Tolbert, LCSW, IFECMHS, RPF II
Carly Tolbert is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has spent more than a decade in service to children and families in community mental health settings in and around Los Angeles. She is the Founder of Kaftan Collective, an organization grounded in the practice of embodied awareness as a pathway to communal healing for Black, Indigenous and POC individuals, families, and communities. With a passion for supporting children ages birth to five and their families, Carly has dedicated much of her career to promoting trauma-informed, reflective and culturally attuned clinical care.
Born and raised in Hyde Park, Los Angeles, Carly is committed to the work of decolonializing mental health; particularly in South Los Angeles where resources for holistic, culturally appropriate, mental health treatment are limited. Deeply inspired by the ancestral wisdom of leaders such as Maya Angelou, Sojourner Truth, Audre Lorde, bell hooks, and Harriet Tubman; Carly has dedicated her work to helping others find their voices, embody their power, embrace their strength (and softness) and bask in beauty in their lived experience. She believes wholeheartedly in the practice of rest a birthright and as a necessity to sustaining the path of liberation and wellness.
Carly is a magna cum laude graduate of Pitzer College, and holds a Master’s in Social Welfare from UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs. Carly holds professional endorsements as an Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist as well as a Reflective Practice Facilitator II with California Center for Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health at WestEd Center for Prevention and Early Intervention.