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[Oakland Voices] Canticle Farms: Dancing on the Horizon
Mar 30, 2015 |

[Oakland Voices] Canticle Farms: Dancing on the Horizon

When one hears the word “farm,” all sorts of images cross one’s mind. The idyllic world described in the childhood nursery rhyme “Old McDonald.” Small truck farms located on the margins of country roads. Or maybe the acres and acres of farmland one sees driving down I-5.Canticle Farm is none of these. Rather it is an urban farm located on 36th Avenue and Harrington Avenue in East Oakland–three parcels of land that are now joined as one. In founding Canticle Farm, Anne and Terry Symens-Bucher drew from their life-long experiences and activities as faith-based, nonviolent peacemakers. Over the last six years, Anne and Terry and their five children, who are fifth generation Fruitvale residents, have been joined by several others who now comprise Canticle Farm’s intentional community. The farm’s name is derived from a prayer-poem written by the 14th century Catholic saint and mystic St. Francis of Assisi. The “Canticle of Brother Son and Sister Moon” described the saint’s ecstatic realization that the entire universe reflects and magnifies the presence and handiwork of the Creator in all of its dimensions.
Faith, Hope, Basketball…. and Discrimination
Mar 30, 2015 |

Faith, Hope, Basketball…. and Discrimination

This being one of the most exciting windows of the annual sports calendar – March Madness – it is typically a high time on the big stage for the basketball-crazy state of Indiana, as they often host the exalted “Final Four” college championship tourney...
Cesar Chavez’s Legacy of Community Service
Mar 30, 2015 |

Cesar Chavez’s Legacy of Community Service

Long before he was a national icon with his own holiday, Cesar Chavez was a boy who lost his house. The bank took it away during the Great Depression, and the Chavez family was forced to relocate to California, where they toiled as migrant farm...
[Newsweek] Fighting to Reclaim the Future of Oakland's Young Black Men
Mar 26, 2015 |

[Newsweek] Fighting to Reclaim the Future of Oakland's Young Black Men

The Oakland Unified School District’s Office of African American Male Achievement is housed in a one-story portable classroom in the downtown neighborhood of Grand Lake. There are few windows in the barely glorified bunker, which may be for the best: They would just let in the incessant hum of the adjacent MacArthur Freeway. The only bathroom is across a parking lot, which is lined with a phalanx of similar portables painted a deceptively alluring sky-blue. It is somehow fitting that the highway thrums but a few feet away—maybe it reminds those who work here that the goal is to whisk the city's young out of Oakland, to Silicon Valley, to San Francisco, to any place that is better than this place that they have always known. About three miles to the north, at 809 57th Street, is the former home of 1960s radical Bobby Seale, a modest bungalow that sold three years ago for $425,000. In 1966, the year he helped start the Black Panther Party, Seale and fellow founder Huey Newton drafted a 10-point program for the black power movement in the dining room of that house. The fifth of those demands concerned schooling: “We want education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present day society.”
#Health4All: New Reports On Undocumented Californians' Access to Health Care
Mar 26, 2015 |

#Health4All: New Reports On Undocumented Californians' Access to Health Care

Undocumented Californians’ health is a priority at The California Endowment. Their contributions to the state of California are far too often overlooked. They work, they pay taxes, they buy homes and start families; in short, they are just like everyone...
Five-Year Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act: It's working!
Mar 24, 2015 |

Five-Year Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act: It's working!

As a health foundation with a mission to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved families in California, The California Endowment saw the potential benefits that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would bring to our state’s hard...
Project Kinship: Healing Trauma and Empowering the Formerly Incarcerated
Mar 23, 2015 |

Project Kinship: Healing Trauma and Empowering the Formerly Incarcerated

Twenty-one months after leaving Orange County’s central jail, I found myself in front of a dozen teenage girls at Huntington Beach’s Ocean View High School.  A gang member by age thirteen and locked up for the first time before my eighteenth birthday, I...
Healing Together
Mar 23, 2015 |

Healing Together

The Healing Together event on January 29, 2015 at The California Endowment’s Center for Healthy Communities nurtured a compelling conversation on trauma, healing, and hope, and carried a strong and loving charge for transformation and...
[Sacramento Bee] Opinion: Sacramento County should restore health services to undocumented
Mar 23, 2015 |

[Sacramento Bee] Opinion: Sacramento County should restore health services to undocumented

It’s a statement of our times when politicians exclude poor people from medical services – and people of good conscience shrug their shoulders. This happened to some of the poorest, most vulnerable people in Sacramento County in February 2009. Overwhelmed by the torrent of scary economic news, Sacramento residents raised little objection when the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors voted to stop funding health care for undocumented immigrants. I honestly can’t remember whether I knew about it or not. As with all acts that separate certain people from the broader community, there were – and still are – rationally expressed and earnestly felt justifications for disenfranchising people in Sacramento County. In 2009, at the height of the worldwide recession, the county of Sacramento had a $55 million budget deficit to close, so the poorest of the poor became expendable. But economics aren’t the only reason there wasn’t widespread outcry over this decision. It’s simple: The poor people who were losing all but emergency access to health care were undocumented.
Youth Driving Change
Mar 17, 2015 |

Youth Driving Change

California’s young people aren’t just inheriting the future, they’re building it. The energy and action of TCE’s youth partners have made a concrete difference in the lives of millions of Californians.   The Endowment is dedicated to enlisting and...
Mar 16, 2015 |

My Name is Marco and I am Hope

Last Wednesday, March 11, 2015, the boys and young men of color (BMoC) with BHC Fresno launched the “I AM” Project which was borne out of the young men’s frustration with being stereotyped as gang members, troublemakers and dropouts.  Through the poster...
Ferguson: The Pain That Just Keeps Giving
Mar 16, 2015 |

Ferguson: The Pain That Just Keeps Giving

My heart and prayers continue to pour in the direction of Ferguson, Missouri.  Now it appears that after months and months of strife and tension ever since the tragic shooting of Michael Brown, we witness a shooting of two police officers during a...
Mar 16, 2015 |

Reporting on Health: Cleaner air leads to stronger lungs in kids, but can the trend continue?

The Clean Air Act of 1970 may be over four decades old, but the political divisiveness over the law’s regulatory power shows few signs of abating. In a news analysis of President Obama’s ambitious use of the law, published last fall by The New York Times, the act was variously referred to as “the most powerful environmental law in the world” and “the granddaddy of public health and environmental legislation.” The act’s longtime supporters attribute reductions in air pollution to the law’s passage and view it as a key lever in the effort to curb greenhouse emissions. Industry critics, such as the National Mining Association, lambast the legislation as a job killer and say Obama is overreaching in his energetic embrace of the law. If this sounds like old politics, it is. But new research on children, published in the New England Journal of Medicine and widely covered in the press last week, supplies fresh evidence by which to evaluate one of the law’s most basic assumptions: Cleaner air leads to better public health. This latest research – from the two-decade Children’s Health Study at USC – looked at how lung development changed from the age of 11 through 15 among three different groups of Southern California kids. The first group was tracked from 1994 to 1997, the next from 1997 to 2000, and the last from 2007 to 2010. Teams went to schools in five SoCal communities, where they recorded kids’ respiratory illnesses and measured their lung function with a device called a spirometer.
Mar 12, 2015 |

The Titans of Childhood Trauma

“I thought it was hyperbole,” said one participant. “’The Titans of Trauma’, but the speakers were phenomenal.” The titans were gathered for Echo Parenting & Education’s annual Changing the Paradigm conference at The California Endowment in Los Angeles;...
Diversity Key to Finding Meaningful Solutions
Mar 16, 2015 |

Diversity Key to Finding Meaningful Solutions

If you’re reading this blog post, then you’re probably very familiar with a fundamental message of the The California Endowment: that where we live plays a powerful role in the health of our families, too often with devastating results.  The geographic...
[Huffington Post] McFarland Shows a Sprint, but the Real Race Is a Marathon
Mar 10, 2015 |

[Huffington Post] McFarland Shows a Sprint, but the Real Race Is a Marathon

Overcoming the odds takes much more than luck and talent. As seen in the new movie McFarland, USA, it takes passion, determination, and the will to succeed. The film, based on a true story, follows a teacher in California's Central Valley who decides to start the high school's first boys cross country team and encounters many unexpected challenges and successes along the way. The predominantly Latino school district is housed in an area rich with farmland but plagued with poverty. There is no budget for uniforms and no efficient equipment for training. The students do not own running shoes and their family obligations mandate work in the fields both before and after school. Teen pregnancy and school dropout are common, and college, most students believe, is not in their future. But where these young people lack resources, they make up for in ability and resolve. As one of the runners says to the coach in the film, "It's not the size of the dog in the fight. It's the size of the fight in the dog." With the odds stacked against them, the students manage to win the state championship, starting a more than two decade-long winning streak at the school.
Not Just A Leader, But A Changemaker
Mar 10, 2015 |

Not Just A Leader, But A Changemaker

In continuing the drumbeat my co-fellow, Alheli Cuenca, began by sharing her story, I ask that you join me as I share my exploration of self-leadership and how this journey has led me to become a Health Equity Fellow working on issues at the intersection...
What We've Learned from the First Three Years of Building Healthy Communities
Mar 09, 2015 |

What We've Learned from the First Three Years of Building Healthy Communities

As is always the case for busy foundation staff, having time to reflect, while essential, sometimes feels like a luxury. The California Endowment, however, is being intentional in this regard as the stakes are high for the 14 places that make up Building...
California Health Journalism Fellowship brings 20 reporters to USC for training and launch of ambitious reporting projects
Mar 10, 2015 |

California Health Journalism Fellowship brings 20 reporters to USC for training and launch of ambitious reporting projects

Twenty California journalists are gathering this week for the USC Annenberg California Health Journalism Fellowship. We've had a great and inspiring time with them. The journalists, chosen from a competitive field, are taking part in intensive workshops and then spending six months working on ambitious health journalism projects with support from USC Annenberg. Topics explored during the weeklong fellowship include connections between community health and where and how you live, the successes and challenges of health reform and health care innovations that are making a difference in the lives of Californians. The Fellows work for California outlets, including major daily newspapers and public radio stations, regional newspapers, online news outlets and ethnic media outlets. “It’s been an amazing opportunity getting to interact with such a talented group of speakers and fellow reporters,” California Health Journalism Fellow Diana Aguilera told me. “It’s a place where reporters can share ideas and learn from the best in health journalism,” said Aguilera, a reporter at Valley Public Radio in Fresno
Mar 05, 2015 |

[Chronicle of Philanthropy] Opinion: Foundations Must Promote a ‘Diversity Dividend’ at Green Groups

The 50 foundations that give the most to environmental groups shelled out more than $1 billion to green organizations in 2012. One might wonder: What exactly is the makeup of the boards and top leaders of those foundations who are making vital decisions about what organizations to support? Last year, we learned the answer from a study conducted by Dorseta Taylor, a professor of environmental justice at the University of Michigan. Green 2.0, a new campaign dedicated to increasing racial diversity at mainstream environmental groups, released the most comprehensive report on the makeup of those foundation boards and senior staff members.
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