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Palm Springs celebrates first ever Unity Day

It was an important day Saturday at the James O. Jesse Desert Highland Unity Center. Kids and families came together from all over Riverside county to celebrate the first ever Unity Day.

“What we’re trying to do is bring our communities together and start to celebrate the resilience in our communities,” said Sandra Austin, the CEO of Family Health and Support Network.

Unity Day is made possible by the organization “Building Resilience in African American Families,” or BRAAF. The event designed to bring together families in an effort to reduce mental health problems in African American families. Over the past several months, young men have learned skills through their rights of passage program.

“They help me grow as a person, too. They taught me proper manners and how to respect women and how to set the table for dinner,” said Darion Botley, who’s in 10th grade.

They came together as one at Saturday’s unity circle, showing their community at large what they’ve learned.

“One of the biggest outcomes is the increase in family cohesion that has happened through this program. And it’s one of the most important components,” said Dr. Pierre Scott the staff development officer with Riverside County.

Palm Springs Mayor Robert Moon said he’s honored to be in attendance

“The African American community is a very important and very respected part of our community. And I really wanted to be here to help them to recognize this event,” Moon said.

Community leaders said their goals for the future are to continue to work side by side.

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