About People's Community Medics


The People’s Community Medics was founded in 2011 by Sharena Thomas and Lesley Phillips. As members of the Oscar Grant Committee we conducted an independent investigation and learned of the refusal of the police to call an ambulance for 20 minutes for the fatally wounded Oscar Grant, we decided that our people need to learn basic emergency first aid so that we can help one another until an ambulance arrives. We reached out to a fellow activist who is a health worker and together we developed a curriculum for our training and learned how to treat seizures and bleeding traumas like gunshot wounds. Since March 2012 we have been giving free trainings in basic emergency first aid for treating seizures, gunshot wounds and stabbings to folks of all ages in Oakland, San Francisco, Richmond, Berkeley, Oxnard, Chicago, Seattle, and Portland.

The People’s Community Medics is a collective of about 10 volunteers. Sharena has previous medial training as a medical assistant. We both are Red Cross certified in CPR and Wilderness First Aid for the urban environment. We are both mothers and Lesley is also a grandmother. We have both been active in our communities for many years.

The People’s Community Medics’ trainings immediately resonate with people; this project is an act of self determination. We resist the state’s disregard for our well-being and are creating an alternative reality. We hope that one day every child will be taught basic first aid in school.

At all of our free trainings we hand out free first aid packets that have gloves, gauze, an instruction sheet in English, Spanish and Chinese, a “know your rights” card from Berkeley Copwatch and Emergen C (for diabetics).

Everything we provide is free, we are an all volunteer organization. Many of the items in our first aid packets are donated, others we pay for from our own pockets. All of our printing has been paid out of pocket by a member. We also have open mic speak-outs at some of our trainings. Printing, medical supplies and transportation costs are our main expenses.

Thank you to the Social Justice Fund-Northwest, ROOF (Red Oak Opportunity Foundation)
and the War Tax Resisters People's Life Fund for their generous financial support.