Nzinga Khalid knows prevention is key to eliminating long-term issues. She has been instrumental in leading efforts to improve awareness and public health in the community.
Khalid, prevention coordinator for the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division, brought together more than 25 community organizations, nonprofits, health care systems, libraries and schools throughout southeastern Wisconsin during the Light and Unite Red campaign. Red is the color that represents substance abuse awareness.
The campaign sought to improve public health by educating teens, schools and parents about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse, while also engaging in prevention, treatment and recovery efforts during the National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week.
During the campaign, teen leaders delivered campaign messages through morning announcements at school, on social media, through public service announcements on school and community channels, at workshops and through lunchtime activities.
The campaign reached thousands of teens, and Nzinga helped broaden the campaign to the community by partnering with the Mitchell Park Domes, General Mitchell International Airport, the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Marquette Interchange, which all displayed red lights during the week.
Her efforts helped connect thousands of people with proper resources for alcohol and drug abuse information.
Her relationship with organizations throughout the community has helped Khalid create similar awareness campaigns for Mental Health Awareness Month and her “I Choose” campaign, which showcased what people choose instead of drugs.