Community leaders join Native American Walk for Sobriety

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Dozens of community members marched through Richmond on Saturday with the United Urban Warrior Society’s California Chapter to spread awareness about alcohol abuse.

The Third Annual Native American Walk for Sobriety, organized by Richmond resident Mike Kinney, invited the community to join a walk and dialogue from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. starting at San Pablo and Macdonald avenues. The event led to a barbecue at Nichol Park put together by the Men & Women of Purpose.

Joining the march were a number of community leaders such as City of Richmond Crime Prevention Manager Michelle Milam, Richmond Police Activities League Executive Director Larry Lewis, Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia, former Richmond City Councilmember Vinay Pimple, WCCUSD board member Val Cuevas and Contra Costa Board of Education member Fatima Alleyne.

Also, members of the Sikh Gurudwara (temple) in El Sobrante joined to the support the event in Richmond, which a 2012 county study revealed to have the highest number of alcohol outlets and one of the highest densities of alcohol sellers of all Contra Costa cities.

Connie Rietman, executive director of the Inter Tribal Council of California, said she hopes Saturday’s event raised awareness particularly for the benefit of children affected by alcoholism, including fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

“If alcohol is used during a pregnancy…it [can] impact the lives of tribal children for their lifetime,” Rietman said, citing the potential for physical and mental defects. “We want to address and promote sobriety as a most important way to help support the sustainability of our tribal communities with healthy and well children and families.”

Gioia said the gathering was all about the community “speaking together and supporting each other.”

“It really does take a community to keep people working together and to keep people on a good path,” he added.

For more information, call U.U.W.S-California Chapter office at (510) 478-4569.

Images provided by Mike Kinney

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