Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-09-19
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Mental-health advocate talks ONE Northside, upcoming convention
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times
2018-04-30

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Sam Wickham has been advocating for mental health justice for many years and is slated to speak at this year's Organization Neighborhoods for Equality: Northside's ( ONE Northside ) free convention, "Community Power, Community Solutions," May 6 at the American Islamic College.

ONE Northside is a community organization of mixed-income, multi-ethnic, intergenerational people from more than 100 institutions as well as community members from Rogers Park, Edgewater, Uptown, Ravenswood, North Center, Lake View and Lincoln Park whose mission is to eliminate injustice across a variety of issues.

Wickham ( who is a board member, convention co-chair and also on ONE Northside's Mental Health Justice Team ) will be talking about the campaigns her team is working on and call on legislators in attendance to commit to providing community solutions to these issues. She is one of many speakers from each of ONE Northside's issues teams—in the areas of economic justice, mental-health justice, police accountability, education and affordable housing—who will be onstage that day.

In terms of her work on the Mental Health Justice Team, Wickham and the rest of the 30-person team come together each month to discuss ways to move the campaign forward. Wickham explained that she came to ONE Northside through the organization's mental health justice organizer Ellen Glover whom she met at the mental health center where she receives services.

When the center was about to close, Wickham said she contacted Glover to see what she could do to prevent its closure. Through organizing, Wickham noted that she was able to move 30 people to come to a meeting to stop the center from closing; from ther, "I was hooked."

Wickham has worked on a number of campaigns with the Mental Health Justice Team, including fighting to raise the Personal Needs Allowance ( PNA ) for people living in mental health nursing homes. She, along with the rest of the team, wrote a bill and got state legislators to sponsor it and the bill passed both houses. Although Gov. Rauner vetoed the bill, the language ended up in the budget implementation bill so the PNA was raised from $30 to $60 a month.

Currently, the Mental Health Justice Team is working on getting SB353, co-sponsored by state Sen. Heather Steans, passed. This development would permanently raise the Medicaid reimbursement rates for community health providers to 95 percent of the Medicare rates. Wickham said her role is to garner community support, have meetings with elected officials and go to Springfield to lobby other elected officials. She noted this bill will help her personally since her doctor and therapist moved to agencies that do not accept Medicaid and she cannot afford the costs without this bill being made law in Illinois. Wickham credits Heartland Alliance for the assist they gave her so she could see a new doctor and therapist.

"Recently, I was able to testify in front of a Senate committee about SB353 and tell my personal story of the impact these low reimbursement raises has had on my level of medical care," said Wickham.

As one of the board members, Wickham said she helps "review and pass budgets, building a strategic plan for the organization that aligns with our vision and making sure the executive director has the support and tools they needs to do their job well."

Wickham's community work is a direct result of the obstacles she faces as a person with severe depression and PTSD as well as her time growing up in South Carolina in the '70s and '80s. She explained that even at an early age she could not hid the fact that she was, as she describes herself, "a butch dyke." Wickham said she knew she was queer at five years old and since there was "no closet phase for me that led to a lot of bullying and fighting" before she entered high school. She said that many family members had a hard time accepting her sexual orientation except for her maternal grandparents.

When Wickham turned 18 her friends took her to the only gay bar in Charleston, South Carolina and that night sent her down the path of alcoholism, which runs in her family. Wickham noted that it was not until she moved to Chicago that she found "huge, wonderful 12-step communities" and just last year she celebrated 10 years of sobriety.

Wickham is also living with mental illness and receives Social Security disability assistance. In addition to this financial assistance, Wickham also works part-time as a deli clerk at Jewel. Prior to working at Jewel, Wickham was a short-order cook, line cook and chef at various restaurants as well as a Starbucks barista/shift manager.

In her free time, Wickham likes to hang out with friends, read science fiction, go to the dog beach to watch the puppies, watch movies and listen to music.

"I am proud of all the work that we have accomplished as a community," said Wickham. "Yet, as we have unfortunately seen and felt in this last year, we still have a long way to go. Our community advocates, leaders and allies have done amazing, hard work during these unsteady times to help make the world a safer place for every minority group.

"We will be celebrating our victories since our last convention in 2016, debuting our new campaigns, holding our local elected officials accountable to our values and worldview and reveling in the joy of having a thousand like-minded politically progressive people in one room," said Wickham. "Folks should expect stirring and thought-provoking personal stories of why our campaigns matter in the world we live in, given the opportunity to take actions to help create change in our world and invite our elected officials to support community driven solutions to the problems we face and finally, at the end of the convention, to march as one to demand government that works for our communities."

The American Islamic College is at 640. W. Irving Park Rd. Doors open at 2 p.m., with the convention running 2:30-5 p.m.

See onenorthside.org/convention-2018/; to register for this free convention, visit bit.ly/ONSCONVENTION18 .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

HRC Calls On DHS To Address Sexual Abuse LGBTQ Detainees Face In ICE Detention 2018-09-22 - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer ( LGBTQ ) civil ...


Gay News

2018 MIDWEST LGBTQ HEALTH SYMPOSIUM 'Assessment for Women and People with a Cervix' report unveiled 2018-09-19 - During the fourth annual Midwest LGBTQ Health Symposium, a report, "#ChicagoHealthLooksLike: Results of a Chicago-wide Community Needs and Strengths Assessment for Women and ...


Gay News

2018 MIDWEST LGBTQ HEALTH SYMPOSIUM Boykin focuses on racism and health, wellness 2018-09-19 - Black AIDS Institute ( BAI ) Policy, Advocacy and Mobilization Senior Coordinator Maximillian Boykin addressed a packed, standing-room-only crowd about "How Racism is ...


Gay News

Court Rules Wisc. State Employee Health Insurance Must Cover Transgender Workers 2018-09-19 - A federal court found that denying health insurance for gender-affirming medical care violates the Constitution and federal non-discrimination law. The federal lawsuit ...


Gay News

2018 MIDWEST LGBTQ HEALTH SYMPOSIUM Jessica Halem keynote LGBTQ health symposium 2018-09-19 - Jessica Halem, a former Chicagoan and Harvard Medical School's first-ever LGBT program director, gave the keynote address, "Honor the Dead and Fight for ...


Gay News

Court Rules Case Challenging Defense Dept. HIV Discrimination Can Proceed 2018-09-14 - ( Alexandria, VA September 14, 2018 ) — Today, a Virginia federal court ruled a case filed by Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN, along ...


Gay News

LGBTQ+ family group Fortunate Families responds to Cathlolic clerical abuse 2018-09-14 - Fortunate Families, Inc., Catholic Family, Friends & Allies Ministry Supporting LGBTQ+ Sisters and Brothers, today sent a letter to Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President ...


Gay News

Intersex-Affirming Hospital Policy Guide Published 2018-09-14 - ( New York, NY ) — interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth, Lambda Legal, and Proskauer Rose LLP have released the nation's first intersex-affirming ...


Gay News

Study Reveals Which Transgender Teens Have Highest Suicide Risk 2018-09-12 - TUCSON, Ariz. — Research has shown that transgender adolescents are at greater risk for attempting suicide than cisgender teens, who identify with the ...


Gay News

Smart911 program debuts in Chicago 2018-09-12 - State Rep. Greg Harris ( D-Chicago ) has alerted locals to Smart911, a free online platform in Chicago. It allows residents to enter ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.