Roots of South Los Angeles Wellness Center
The mission of Roots of South Los Angeles Wellness Center ("Roots of South LA") is to heal inner-city communities by providing holistic, culturally appropriate, mental health services to those in need. Based on the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health website there are only 5 DMH Contracted Wellness Centers within a 51 mile square mile region of South Los Angeles. In addition to providing a range of mental health services, Roots of South LA hopes to provide a safe haven by destigmatizing mental health and providing holistic practices that include culture, arts, music and indigenous healing practices relevant to the demographics reflected within the communities of South Los Angeles. Furthermore, Roots of South LA will not focus just on the individual, but also the community as a whole.
Photo Credit: Trisha Angeles, 2018
Liliana V. Muñoz, LCSW (left)
Liliana is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who works with adults, children, and families to address the developmental and interpersonal impact of trauma on their lives. After spending nearly a decade in the mental health field Liliana knew that more needed to be done to destigmatize mental health and co-founded Roots of South Los Angeles Wellness Center, a non-profit organization focusing on holistic, culturally appropriate mental health services for communities of color. “As we begin to heal our people, we can begin to heal our communities”.
Liliana has worked in developing and providing trauma informed trainings to school personnel, interns and parents in South Los Angeles to create a trauma responsive environment supportive of children’s needs. Through Roots of South Los Angeles Wellness Center Liliana has supported various community organizations throughout Los Angeles County by developing and providing Holistic Wellness Workshops to decrease burnout and increase wellbeing in the workplace as well as facilitates Community Healing Circles to promote emotional wellness and healing for Women of Color.
Liliana holds a double Bachelor in Psychology and Chicano Studies from the California State University of Los Angeles and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Southern California.
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.
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.