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Simone Akila Ruskamp

Simone

Akila

Ruskamp

She/Her

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Simone Akila Ruskamp

Co-Founder, Executive Director of Community Coordination

Simone Akila (she/her/her) is a Black woman who loves Black people. She is a co-founder of Juneteenth Santa Barbara as well as Healing Justice Santa Barbara. She has led successful campaigns to center de-escalation and affirmation of life in Santa Barbara police use of force policies, secure monies for mental health positions instead of additional funding for law enforcement, establish city and county institutional support for Black cultural events, and to designate sites of Black Santa Barbara history as historical landmarks to protect them from gentrification. She currently is one of the driving forces behind the forming police oversight commission in Santa Barbara, an organizing effort spanning over 4 years.

Simone Akila is a Masters of Social Work and received her degree from Howard University, a historically Black university in Washington DC. She studies Afrocentric approaches to healing and therapy; and was the Vice President of Howard University's School of Social Work Student Council Association.

As the parent of a young child, Simone Akila affirms the radical work of mothering and believes that all are needed to create the communities we deserve.

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