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[Colorlines] California Becomes First in the Nation to Limit Suspensions for Willful Defiance
Sep 30, 2014 | Article

[Colorlines] California Becomes First in the Nation to Limit Suspensions for Willful Defiance

Last week California became the first state in the country to ban the use of suspensions and expulsions for “willful defiance” for its youngest public school students, the Sacramento Bee reported. California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 420 into law on Saturday. The law bans California public schools from suspending or expelling kindergarten through third-grade students for offenses described as “willful defiance.” “Willful defiance” is a category of subjective and minor offenses that account for 43 percent of suspensions in California public schools, according to the ACLU. Every year California public schools issue more than 10,000 suspensions for willful defiance for students between kindergarten and third grade alone, the Los Angeles Times reported. It’s also the category of school offense with the highest racial disparities.
[BET] Report Explores Barriers for Black Girls' Educational, Economic Success
Sep 30, 2014 | Article

[BET] Report Explores Barriers for Black Girls' Educational, Economic Success

A new report seeks to expand conversations around educational and economic inequities and opportunities for African-American girls. Released by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the National Women’s Law Center, “Unlocking Opportunity for African American Girls” addresses how Black girls face significant obstacles to achievement due to the intersection of racial and gender discrimination and stereotypes. Policy recommendations are also provided to remedy the current racial inequities found within the young demographic. Some of the proposed solutions include eliminating overly punitive and exclusionary discipline practices in schools, supporting pregnant and parenting students and increasing access to athletics and other after-school programs. "We urge educators, school leaders, community leaders and members, advocates, policymakers, and philanthropic organizations to take action to advance the success of African American girls, complementing the important ongoing work to improve educational outcomes for boys and men of color,” the report reads. "Our entire nation has a stake in ensuring the academic and professional success of all children.”
[Press-Telegram] VoiceWaves to highlight youth, immigration and trauma during forum
Sep 30, 2014 | Article

[Press-Telegram] VoiceWaves to highlight youth, immigration and trauma during forum

Long Beach >> The young journalists from VoiceWaves Long Beach spent the summer reporting on the impact trauma has on youth and immigrants. They interviewed teens who escaped gangs and local refugees who left war-torn countries behind but still suffer from nightmares. The students’ work will be featured in Wednesday’s “Community Forum on Trauma and Healing” presented by VoiceWaves, a youth-led journalism and media-training project. The forum will include a historical overview of violence prevention policies in Long Beach, and an immigrant from Central America impacted by trauma will speak, according Michelle Zenarosa, project manager and executive editor of VoiceWaves, which includes 18 youth journalists in their teens and 20s.
Sep 30, 2014 | Press Release

Statement by Sarah Reyes of The California Endowment on the Signing of Assembly Bill 2731

Fresno, CA — Sarah Reyes, Regional Program Manager, Central Valley, of The California Endowment issued the following statement on Governor Brown’ signing Assembly Bill 2731: “We are pleased Governor Brown has signed Assembly Bill 2731, which enables Fresno County to restore health care for its indigent and undocumented populations.
[California Healthline] New ACA Rules, Forms Complicate and Confuse Medi-Cal Renewal Effort
Sep 30, 2014 | Article

[California Healthline] New ACA Rules, Forms Complicate and Confuse Medi-Cal Renewal Effort

In a California Healthline report by Kelley Weiss, experts discussed the low return rate of Medi-Cal renewal forms, and the more-complicated requirements and sometimes-confusing language of the forms. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program. County workers have been struggling with the huge backlog of Medi-Cal applications, and have not yet targeted trying to reach those millions of Medi-Cal enrollees who have not renewed.
[California Healthline] 715K California Children Gain Medicaid Coverage
Sep 30, 2014 | Article

[California Healthline] 715K California Children Gain Medicaid Coverage

Twenty-one states, including some that did not expand their Medicaid programs for adults, have extended their Medicaid programs to children ages six to 18 in families with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level. Hundreds of thousands of children -- including 715,000 in California -- have gained Medicaid coverage because of a provision in the Afforable Care Act that expands the program.
Sep 30, 2014 | Blog

[Oakland Tribune] Steps Toward Peace: Reporting on the decline in homicides in Oakland

Some news reporters and police officers in Oakland have a personal policy not to say things like, "We haven't had a homicide in a week" for fear of jinxing the trend. Imagine how they feel as the city is approaching the end of the second year of dramatic decreases in homicides. After experiencing a 22 percent increase in homicides in 2012, the city finished last year with a 28 percent decrease. The trend has continued through this year. As of Sept. 21, homicides were down 27 percent from this time in 2013, according to Oakland Police Department statistics. For 40 days this summer, normally a busy time for homicide investigators and morticians, there were no killings. The city is holding its breath, hoping the decrease represents a lasting downturn in the violence that has terrorized some Oakland neighborhoods for decades.
Sep 30, 2014 | Blog

[Huffington Post] Makes Me Wanna Holler (Or, When the Music Is the Message)

I had the opportunity recently to attend, with my wife and some close friends, a John Legend concert special dedicated to the music of the ever-soulful Marvin Gaye. I'm no music critic, but as a decades-long fan of Marvin Gaye, John Legend was simply phenomenal. In addition to the musical tribute, Legend added an element of social consciousness to the performance as well, by integrating performances by young spoken word artists. In the aftermath of the Ferguson, Missouri tragedy, the messages of Marvin Gaye's music, the youthful spoken word poets, and the shooting demise of young Michael Brown yielded a powerful mix of music and message about social justice. And a gut-wrenching reminder of how far our society must go.
[KPCC] Play explores tragedy and healing in Santa Ana's immigrant community
Sep 29, 2014 | Article

[KPCC] Play explores tragedy and healing in Santa Ana's immigrant community

Two years ago, Orange County’s South Coast Repertory commissioned playwright José Gonzalez to write a play about the city of Santa Ana. But the job came with unusual instructions for developing the plot. "We went into the community and engaged with about 1,200 people from Santa Ana in story circles," Gonzalez said. At workshops held across the city over the course of a year, Gonzalez heard residents tell stories about daily life in their immigrant community: buying fruit from vendors downtown, struggling to keep up with the rent, fears of being deported. But a few themes in particular stuck out. "One of the themes was lack of open spaces in this community," Gonzalez said. "There are very few parks, and as a result, children have been killed or struck by cars playing in the streets."
[Huffington Post] Why We Should Care About Boys and Young Men of Color
Sep 25, 2014 | Article

[Huffington Post] Why We Should Care About Boys and Young Men of Color

The recent events in Ferguson, Missouri have raised important questions about the fate of young Black men and more broadly speaking, young men of color in this country. Earlier this year, President Obama launched My Brother's Keeper, an initiative which aims to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color across the nation and to ensure that all Black, Latino, Native American, and Asian American Pacific Islander males reach their full potential.
Sep 29, 2014 | Press Release

Statement by Daniel Zingale of The California Endowment on the Signing of Senate Bill 1159

Sacramento, CA -- ­ Daniel Zingale, senior vice president, of The California Endowment issued the following statement on Governor Brown¹s actions on legislation impacting California¹s immigrant population:  We applaud the Governor and the Legislature ...
[The Fresno Bee] Fresno Unified middle school redesign shows positive impact
Sep 24, 2014 | Article

[The Fresno Bee] Fresno Unified middle school redesign shows positive impact

The first year of Fresno Unified's effort to remake middle schools has improved student attendance, expanded electives offerings and raised grades in those classes, district trustees were told Wednesday.In the past year, over 2,000 more Fresno Unified middle schoolers attended at least 95% of school days, 27% more students enrolled in electives and 21% more earned at least a C grade in those classes.
Sep 29, 2014 | Press Release

The California Endowment Applauds Legislation Providing Legal Support to Children Fleeing Violence in Central America and Seeking Refuge in the U.S.

Sacramento, CA – On Saturday, September 27, Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation — Senate Bill 873 — that will provide legal aid to children fleeing violence and seeking refuge, without parental support, to the U.S. from Central America. This ...
[California Health Report] Pavement Helps Trailer Park Residents Breathe
Sep 29, 2014 | Article

[California Health Report] Pavement Helps Trailer Park Residents Breathe

Graciela Zuniga and her two toddler boys suffer from asthma and bronchitis – conditions that are aggravated by all the dust kicked up by cars on the dirt roads of the trailer park they call home. “I get sick a lot, so do they. Everyone gets colds, and fevers too,” said Graciela. The Zunigas can breathe easier now. Crews just finished paving the streets of their neighborhood, The La Pena Mobile Home Park in Mecca, Calif., a farming community 40 miles east of Palm Springs. The Eastern Coachella Valley Mobile Home Paving Project will lay asphalt in 39 aging mobile home parks; a dozen have been completed so far. The project is a $4.1 million investment in the health of some of the poorest communities in the state.
[California Health Report] Video: Angelinos reclaim public space for gardens
Sep 29, 2014 | Article

[California Health Report] Video: Angelinos reclaim public space for gardens

In this story we go to South Los Angeles, a community with some of the highest obesity rates in the country. Almost a third of the adults living there are obese. Now a handful of residents are trying to bring fresh food and health awareness into the area by planting edible gardens in an area riddled with fast food restaurants.
[The Hill] Obama urges black leaders, law enforcement to 'build trust'
Sep 29, 2014 | Article

[The Hill] Obama urges black leaders, law enforcement to 'build trust'

President Obama said the nation was awakened to the “gulf of mistrust” that exists between local law enforcement and minority communities after the killing of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo. “Too many men of color feel targeted by law enforcement ... and the mistrust scars the heart of our children,” he said at the annual Congressional Black Caucus awards dinner Saturday night.
[The Nation] My Brother’s Keeper Will Expand, but Not to Include Women and Girls
Sep 29, 2014 | Article

[The Nation] My Brother’s Keeper Will Expand, but Not to Include Women and Girls

Are we entering a political moment when it’s okay to use the phrases “young people” and “boys and men of color” interchangeably? If President Obama’s speech at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s awards dinner on Saturday is any indication, then yes. After recapping some successes of his presidency—from the Affordable Care Act to declines in child poverty and the prison population—Obama heaped a healthy dose of praise on outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder and moved on to My Brother’s Keeper, the White House’s racial justice initiative. Obama emphasized the need “to address the unique challenges that make it hard for all our young people to survive.” In announcing a new “community challenge” connected to MBK, he talked about getting local leaders—mayors, county officials and tribal leaders—to “publicly commit to implementing strategies to ensure that all young people can succeed.”
[Merced Sun-Star] Merced summit addresses Affordable Care Act progress
Sep 29, 2014 | Article

[Merced Sun-Star] Merced summit addresses Affordable Care Act progress

Local health care professionals and members of the community gathered on Friday to discuss how the Affordable Care Act has impacted and will continue to impact health coverage in Merced County. According to a report presented at Friday’s summit, during the first open enrollment period, 8,403 Merced County residents completed enrollment through Covered California. Between January and June 2014, 13,805 newly eligible residents enrolled in Medi-Cal, and 45 percent of new enrollees were ages 19 to 34. While the numbers showcase success, according to health officials, there is still a lot of work to be done during the second open enrollment this fall. The event hosted a number of speakers and panelists, including Secretary Diana Dooley of the California Health and Human Services Agency, who spoke about the state’s implementation of the ACA, and Dr. Anthony Iton, senior vice president of the California Endowment, who focused on health equity.
[California Healthline] Governor Agrees To Take $6M California Endowment Grant, Signs Many Health Bills
Sep 29, 2014 | Article

[California Healthline] Governor Agrees To Take $6M California Endowment Grant, Signs Many Health Bills

Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a flurry of health-related bills at the end of last week including a bill to reverse the state's position on accepting a grant to help with Medi-Cal enrollment renewals. More than eight million Californians are up for renewal in the Medi-Cal program (California's version of Medicaid). New eligibility rules and new forms have slowed the response rate so far. The California Endowment offered the Department of Health Care Services a $6 million grant to help with the renewal effort that would be doubled by matching federal funding. The state turned down the $12 million money during May budget negotiations.
Sep 27, 2014 | Press Release

Statement by Dr. Robert K. Ross, President and CEO of The California Endowment, on Signing of School Discipline Reform Bill

Los Angeles, Calif. (September 27, 2014) –  Dr. Robert K. Ross, President & CEO of The California Endowment, issued the following statement today on the signing of SB420. "Today is a day for celebration. California has become the first state in the ...
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