On August 22nd, host David Bell talks to LaKiesha Cotton, Public Health Project Manager and Instructor in Mental Health First Aid, on how she works with healthcare systems to help develop policies that consider the social determinants of health- trauma, racism/discrimination, economic stability, education, physical environment, and access to food.

LaKeisha is a Project Manager for Presbyterian Healthcare Services’ Community Health Department where she coordinates the system’s Health Equity curriculum. In her previous role with Community Health, she was the Lead Coordinator for the Peer Opioid Project, an innovative program that stations Certified Peer Support Specialists in Presbyterian Emergency Departments statewide, to support patients living with substance use disorder.

Prior to working with Presbyterian Healthcare Services, she served as Health Outreach Coordinator for New Mexico’s Office of African American Affairs as an advocate for New Mexico’s Black/African American community and their health concerns. She served as Outreach and Technical Assistance Manager for New Mexico’s Children, Youth and Families Department where her she was the statewide lead for Mental Health First Aid training. Originally from Southern California, LaKiesha provided behavioral intervention for young learners in Long Beach

Unified School District’s Autism Services Department. LaKiesha is an active member of the New Mexico Birth Equity Collaborative. In 2019, she received her certificate in Maternal Child Health from the University of New Mexico and is a member of the 2019 cohort of the New Mexico Women of Color Leadership Initiative.

Ms. Cotton’s passions lie in stigma reduction surrounding issues affecting marginalized communities as well as working within and on behalf of the African diaspora. She is a certified instructor in the following curricula:

  • Mental Health First Aid
  • Youth Mental Health First Aid
  • I Am Me: Understanding the Intersections of Gender, Sexuality and Identity
  • I Am Me Too: Allyship in Action

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On Jaws of Justice, we examine how to find justice in our society.  Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.

Calendar for the week of August 22nd:

  • Legal Aid of Western Missouri can provide free civil legal services to low-income and vulnerable people who live in Jackson CTY MO. Interested individuals can call 816-474-6750 to apply.
  • For Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense virtual meetings this week, go to All are welcome, mothers and others
  • SAT, August 27th, 1 PM Wyandotte County Moms Demand Monthly Meeting at the KCK Public Library – West, 1737 N 82nd St, KCKS.
  • WED, August 24th, 6 PM, Ukrainian Independence: Lecture & Social Hour: 6 pm, National WWI Museum, 2 Memorial Drive, 64108. Learn more:
  • WED, August 24th, 7 PM, on Zoom, is Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty August Meet Up. Join alongside Michelle Smith and Geechee Yaw to discuss Black August and how state sanctioned violence and racial terror lynching’s of those involved in Black Liberation movements of the past continue today through extrajudicial murders of Black people and the death penalty. REGISTER:
  • THURS, August 25th, 6 PM, CELEBRATE WOMEN’S EQUALITY DAY: Voting Rights Act: After Almost 60 Years, Understanding the Civil Rights Movement from the Bottom Up with Dr. Emilye Crosby at the Plaza Library – 4801 Main St, Kansas City, MO RSVP: Moderated by: Dr. Carmaletta Williams, Executive Director of the Black Archives of Mid America The event is co-presented by the Kansas City Public Library & Women’s Equality Coalition of Greater Kansas City.
  • THURS, August 25th, 6 PM via Zoom, Relational Organizing Training. how we can expand our movement for local control of KCPD by building power with our existing networks of family, friends, neighbors, and others you already know. For more info and access, go to
  • A list of services, meals, and hot lines are available at  The list is updated daily.

Please take care of yourselves and others.


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