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Sol Collective: A Center For The Future of Sacramento’s Youth

Sol Collective hosted a month-long Dia de los Muertos celebration in October & November

Through the crippling stressors of modern-day worries and the continuous images of social inequality that permeate our airwaves, a quick temperature check will reveal society’s need to immerse itself in a welcoming and healing environment. In Sacramento,  Sol Collective has grown to be such a place. And more.

Since its beginnings in 2005, Sol Collective has become a gathering center for the forward-looking youth of Sacramento. Among artist showcases, cultural workshops and a number of creative mediums, the location on 21st Street continues to invigorate the local community and its wide range of creative interests.

Sol Collective’s creative director, Salvin Chahal, spoke on the collective’s growing mission in Sacramento.

“We’re basically trying to build [the] community through art, culture and activism,” said Chahal. “We’re trying to uplift the people, [and] we’re trying to heal the people.”

While the Collective is undoubtedly an inclusive space, the people Chahal is referencing are people of color. Chahal, who is of South Asian decent, knows firsthand the frustrations that come with being a person of color, or POC for short. These frustrations can become particularly vexing when access to resources and experiences, may seem inaccessible to communities of color.

Rich Wing, a production assistant who has been with Sol Collective for five years, shares Chahal’s sentiments. Wing notes that in addition to providing an environment that allows expression and growth, the organization can also provide a place for self-care and healing.

“It has inspired me to personally change things that I wanted to change,” said Wing. “It actually transforms people’s way of looking at things.”

One of the many ways Sol Collective has transformed people’s views is through their community-enriching events, such as the celebrity-driven #SchoolsNotPrisons Tour. In association with The California Endowment, the tour was an effort to highlight how resources are often misused in at-risk communities. The tour, which kicked off in Sacramento in August, aimed to shift the narrative that calls for resources typically reserved for prisons and jails to instead be funneled into better education systems, and the like.

Most recently, Sol Collective hosted month-long Dia de los Muertos celebration and a benefit concert for Sacramentans to hear first-hand accounts on the events taking place in Standing Rock. With attendance near capacity, the levels of interest are clear.

For Chahal, these events highlight the commitment Sol Collective has to creating a long-term and sustainable impact in the local community.

“I think how we separate ourselves is we just stay true to ourselves,” said Chahal. “We understand the importance of what we do and the direction we should be going in.”

As Sol Collective looks towards the future, the organization strives to continue its efforts in providing a safe space for knowledge and expression. With plans to expand their reach both in and outside of the Sacramento region, the organization aims to continue its mission of bringing a fresh and grounded perspective to anyone who may be interested.

“I think this place has an impact for anybody that comes in here,” said Wing. “I would say that’s probably one of the most inspiring things for me to see.”

Chahal and his team have created a safe place for POC to nurture and showcase their art in an encouraging environment, in which knowledge is shared, providing entry into a world that for some had previously been viewed as out of reach. Overall, they hope those who visit the center leave with a better place than they arrived.

“You come here and it feels like home,” said Chahal.

For more information on events, services and opportunities to join the community, visit solcollective.org.

About the author

Kevin J. Hendricks

Kevin, or KJ depending on who you ask, is a community contributor with a strong attachment to events, people, and businesses that deal with artistic expression. The Los Angeles-bred writer is an avid lover of food, people, and hip hop culture, and is a self-described homebody. With a major in communication studies, Kevin looks to meld his appreciation for people and cultures, with his love of storytelling, and hopes to provide insight to as many untold stories as possible.

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