Toya Vick: A Voice For Our Community
Boards and commissions in the Inland Valley are key decision-making bodies that oftentimes do not represent the needs and interests of the communities they are supposed to govern. Our Boards and Commissions Training Program trains and supports community leaders to help build upon their skills and network in order to get appointed to key boards and commissions in the Inland Valley. For more information about the program, contact Josephine at Josephine.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Toya Vick is one of our passionate 2017 Boards and Commissions Training Program Fellows. Below, Toya explains in her own words why she’s passionate about being a voice for her community.
I grew up in South Central Los Angeles. I’m a proud single mother of four sons and four grandchildren. In 2005, I moved my family to Moreno Valley in search of a better life. I wanted to live in a community with better education, more opportunities, and less stress and violence. But I found a whole new set of problems.
In our new community, we endured racism, discrimination and Head Start schools with far too many kids to manage. We watched as homeless children and adults suffered without the food, shelter, and counseling services they needed to get back on their feet. We saw families with lower incomes and disabilities ignored, left to struggle without legal assistance, transportation or mental health and medical care.
God showed me that the solution wasn’t to find a neighborhood without problems but to build a better community both for my family and those around us. I began with local community groups like CCAEJ to fight for a better life and quickly found that working to empower our community makes a real, important difference.
The Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice showed me the tools we can use to make these important changes and ensure our community’s needs are respected and represented in our government. I became a 2017 Boards and Commissions Training Program Fellow so I could be a voice for our voiceless, arms and legs for our disabled and seniors and a heart for our children.