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Celebrating Black Joy and Spreading Awareness 

The streets of Oakland were alive with vibrant colors, infectious energy, and a powerful sense of community as the 2024 Black Joy Parade took center stage on Sunday, February 25. 

Black Joy Parade-goers with colorful noisemakers walking down Franklin and 19th St.

The Black Joy Parade is a yearly celebration of the Black community and its contributions to history and culture. The event started with a parade and culminated in a celebration featuring local businesses, community-based organizations, and musical artists.  

CIRM outreach manager, Aditi Desai highlighting resource materials about Sickle Cell Disease.

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) was present at the event, engaging with attendees and spreading awareness about Sickle Cell Disease (SCD). With approximately 100,000 Americans impacted by this disease, primarily from black and brown communities, raising awareness and funding research is crucial. 

At the event, CIRM’s booth drew crowds of all ages eager to learn more. With individuals stopping by to chat and collect materials and countless others exposed to CIRM’s mission through strategic placement, the impact was felt throughout the parade. 

CIRM marketing and communications director, Esteban Cortez, in a discussion with a parader-goer.

But it wasn’t just about spreading awareness; it was about fostering connection and joy. Attendees embraced CIRM’s presence, participating in activities like the Blood Cell Plinko board, which became an instant hit!

CIRM medical affairs & policy project manager Emily Crotti, MPH, explains the game Blood Cell Plinko!

To learn more about CIRM’s investments in sickle cell research, explore this page on our website. To learn more about Oakland’s Black Joy Parade, visit their official website.