Happening Now

Sons and Brothers

Apr 11, 2015 |

[Sacramento Bee] California Legislature seeks to curb police violence

After a year in which the use of lethal force by police officers spurred nationwide protests and bared outrage about the intersection of race and law enforcement in America, California legislators have returned to Sacramento determined to pass laws blunting police violence. “It will be probably the No. 1,” public safety issue, said Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles, who chairs the Legislative Black Caucus. “We addressed gun use last year, and we took it on aggressively, and I think this year the Legislature will take on police accountability, police violence and better ways of protecting the residents of California.”
[Your Central Valley] Fresno Boys and Men of Color
Apr 09, 2015 |

[Your Central Valley] Fresno Boys and Men of Color

The Central California Children's Institute has partnered with the California Endowment on an initiative to mobilize community resources to reduce health and social disparities among boys and men of color in Fresno County -- particularly Latinos. Watch to see how Building Healthy Communities and the Fresno Boys and Men of Color are trying to set standards in Fresno County to help the community involvement. The More You Know discusses setting standards for learning and helping children grow, and this organization is doing just that.
[We'Ced] Residents Speak Out on the Effects of Violence in Merced
Apr 09, 2015 |

[We'Ced] Residents Speak Out on the Effects of Violence in Merced

Merced County just counted its ninth homicide of 2015 a few days ago. The previous year had the most homicides on record in the county at 31. Many of the Merced County victims have been young people of color, like the young man shot and killed in Winton earlier this week and a Merced teen who was shot and killed in the parking lot of Tenaya Middle School back in February. Much of the media coverage around the violence has focused on law enforcement, gang activity and property values. We’ced youth reporters asked our community members a different question: How has violence affected your life?
[Richmond Pulse] When Richmond Men Read, Kids Listen
Apr 08, 2015 |

[Richmond Pulse] When Richmond Men Read, Kids Listen

When Ron Shaw stood up to read the children’s book, “Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears,” his audience — second-graders at North Richmond’s Verde Elementary School — stared, giggled and raised their hands to ask questions. Shaw thumbed through the pages of the West African tale, reading the colorful story about a mosquito who tells a lie to an iguana and annoys him. By the end of the story, the youngsters tugged at Shaw’s leg, their way of thanking him for coming to their class.
[Contra Costa Times] Richmond: Injustice and search for answers at heart of new play
Apr 06, 2015 |

[Contra Costa Times] Richmond: Injustice and search for answers at heart of new play

RICHMOND -- A large group of local youths, young adults and theater artists have collaborated on a new play, "Freedom Change," a tale of "lived injustice" that will be presented in performances at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The production, which debuted last weekend, is the work of the Iron Triangle Theatre Company, which will present the play at its home at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, 339 11th St. "This piece is a compilation of their work and strives to represent the complexities of lived injustice while balancing the center's mission of supporting artistic training and re-imagining our world," the company said in a news release. The premise of the play: "In a city that accepts the routine incarceration and release of young men and boys of color, one young man finds himself locked up for a crime he didn't commit. On making bail, with no one to turn to, he goes back to the only world he has ever known and spends his first day searching for answers. But he now sees it through new eyes and questions the nature of the closest friend he's ever known -- as everyone around is questioning him." After each performance, there is a facilitated discussion with the actors, play creators and the audience about the issues and questions presented in the play and how they relate to the greater Richmond community.
[California Health Report] Why Young People Kill
Apr 01, 2015 |

[California Health Report] Why Young People Kill

Dwayne Taylor went to a party at the Ida B. Wells housing project one mid-May night as the Chicago weather was warming to the promise of spring. Once there, according to court documents, Taylor met up with three friends and made a disastrous decision: to rob someone. They left the party and drove around until they found a victim, 21-year-old Tedrin West. Taylor carjacked, abducted and robbed West before shooting him in the back of the head. As her son lay dead in a parking lot, West’s mother called his stolen phone. A man answered. “Where is Tedrin?” she asked. “Where is my son?” The reply: “He’s gone, bitch.” West was murdered in 1993. The group of perpetrators included a 14-year-old boy. The tragedy was part of a wave of youth violence that frightened city dwellers and the nation as a whole in the late ’80s and early ’90s. A graph of violent juvenile crime in the United States in those years looks like a one-sided mountain, climbing up and up with no summit in sight. Juvenile homicide rates jumped from 10 in 100,000 in 1985 to a high of 30 in 100,000 in 1993, just eight years later.
[Los Angeles Times] LAPD is more diverse, but distrust in the community remains
Mar 30, 2015 |

[Los Angeles Times] LAPD is more diverse, but distrust in the community remains

The sweeps came on Friday nights in South Los Angeles, often before big events like Raiders games. Police would round up young men they thought were gang members and hold them over the weekend to keep violence down, a campaign launched by then-Chief Daryl F. Gates to control "the rotten little cowards." Francisco McClure recalled being arrested several times, only to be released the following Monday mornings without being charged. For the young black man, the fact that most of the officers were white made the experience even more bitter. The martial arts instructor, 50, these days sees more Latino and black faces patrolling his community of Jefferson Park, and he says the officers don't hassle residents as much. He commends them for holding neighborhood forums and using more dashboard cameras. But, he said, "they just cleaned up their act a little. Before it was white against blacks. Now it's just blue against blacks."
[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.”
[California Health Report] Hope in a Hidden Public Health Crisis
Mar 23, 2015 |

[California Health Report] Hope in a Hidden Public Health Crisis

LaVerne Vaughn made a decision after she served prison time in her late 30s: She’d live the rest of her life a free woman. Vaughn, now in her early 40s, with a platinum pixie cut and a steady, empathetic gaze, kept her promise to herself. Several years after her release, she started working in violence prevention and helping ex-cons in Richmond, Calif., find their footing after prison. Vaughn’s life isn’t crime-free, despite her successful turnaround. She sees violence on a regular basis, both as a resident of Richmond and in her work for the Office of Neighborhood Safety, the city agency charged with preventing homicides. Richmond, a city of 100,000, is known for its high homicide rate. Guns are the weapons of choice. Comforting mothers whose children have been murdered or maimed by gunfire is part of what Vaughn does. Asked if her work is difficult, she replies softly: “Sometimes. Sometimes it is.” Violence prevention workers in the city face a daunting task. Drive-by shootings are routine, shootings sometimes claim innocent bystanders, and few murders are solved. The homicide rate has soared to nine times the national average twice in the past decade. During one of those especially tragic years, 2006, the city was desperate. That year residents built tent cities in high crime areas in their own attempt to make the streets safe. In 2007 the city opened the Office of Neighborhood Safety.
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...
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...
[Pacific Standard] The Criminalization of Youth
Mar 17, 2015 |

[Pacific Standard] The Criminalization of Youth

As a theatre artist, I regularly work with young people to write and perform stories that speak back to a society that labels them “at risk,” “delinquent,” “dangerous,” and “apathetic.” The youth are smart, engaged, and innovative. And many of them are in prison. Drawing on storytelling, movement, and other approaches to performance, participants between the ages of 13 and 21 explore gender, racial justice, and how identity shapes experience in the Performing Justice Project I co-direct with Lynn Hoare at the University of Texas-Austin
[Access Local TV] Mo’ Money Less Prisoners – Prop. 47 Website Informs
Mar 16, 2015 |

[Access Local TV] Mo’ Money Less Prisoners – Prop. 47 Website Informs

A website promoting the knowledge and use of Proposition 47 is up and running. The widely popular ballot initiative was passed late last year and reduces the punishment for six possible felonies, like drug possession and petty theft, to those of misdemeanors. “This will reduce over-reliance on incarceration for nonviolent offenses,” said Hillary Blout, the statewide Prop 47 implementation manager. Smaller punishments mean less or no jail time. This will free up space in our state jails and prisons that was not there to begin with. “California’s prisons and jails have been overcrowded for years,” said Blout. “The focus on incarceration over prevention and rehabilitation has led to a revolving door in our jails and prisons.” That is exactly the kind of problem Prop. 47 was drafted to fix. “It is prioritizing law enforcement resources on serious, violent crime,” said Blout. “And investing hundreds of millions of new dollars into prevention and treatment in order to break the cycle of crime.”
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...
[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.
[Associated Press] Police agencies line up to learn about unconscious bias
Mar 10, 2015 |

[Associated Press] Police agencies line up to learn about unconscious bias

LOS ANGELES (AP) — When law enforcement officers from around the U.S. visit the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles for training these days, they are faced with a choice between entering a door marked "prejudiced" and another marked "unprejudiced." While most officers pick the "prejudiced" door, some don't and quickly discover that the "unprejudiced" door is locked — a not-so-subtle reminder that no one is unbiased. It's an early lesson officers receive when they show up at the center's Museum of Tolerance for instruction that includes implicit bias training, which aims to help them recognize and understand how their unconscious biases can impact the way they do their jobs. The training is gaining more traction among police departments in dozens of cities, including Philadelphia and Dallas, especially after recent protests over the killings of black men by white officers sparked a debate about the role race plays in policing.
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...
[Latin Post] White House Reports Tout the Progress of Obama's 'My Brother’s Keeper' Initiative Within One Year of its Launch
Mar 09, 2015 |

[Latin Post] White House Reports Tout the Progress of Obama's 'My Brother’s Keeper' Initiative Within One Year of its Launch

The White House issued a one-year progress report on Thursday highlighting the achievements of "My Brother's Keeper," President Barack Obama's signature task force initiative aimed at helping the advancement of American boys of color. Since it launched in February 2014, the program has partnered with nearly 200 mayors, tribal leaders and county executives to introduce programs in 43 states and the District of Columbia.
1 2 317
Showing 120 of 336 Items