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Sons and Brothers

At the Crossroads of Two Sectors
Feb 23, 2015 |

At the Crossroads of Two Sectors

Here at Greenlining, we see diversity and equity as the key to success. Only by allowing everyone to contribute their talents and creativity across all sectors can we build an inclusive, fair, and prosperous society. As President Obama recently stated in...
[Public CEO] How to make every offender an Ex-Offender
Feb 19, 2015 |

[Public CEO] How to make every offender an Ex-Offender

Immediately after Californians voted in favor of Proposition 47—which redefined nonviolent felonies—last November,lawyers’ phones started ringing. The goal of this legislation—called the “The Safe Neighborhood and Schools Act” by its supporters—is to keep low-risk, nonviolent offenders out of prison in the first place. But for thousands of Californians, it means less time behind bars, and reentry into the outside world sooner than expected.
[Huffington Post]Politics of Black Lives Matter: Broadening Public Safety Priorities Beyond Arrests and Prisons
Feb 13, 2015 |

[Huffington Post]Politics of Black Lives Matter: Broadening Public Safety Priorities Beyond Arrests and Prisons

Sadly, the recent killings of Black men, women, and children by the police are fatal interactions in a long history of state violence. Police killings demonstrate the need for better law enforcement practices. These fatal interactions reinforce the need to reform policies that place Blacks under greater police scrutiny and lead to disadvantage throughout the criminal justice system.
Reporting on Health: Just how does childhood adversity turn into poorer health?
Feb 12, 2015 |

Reporting on Health: Just how does childhood adversity turn into poorer health?

If you’re brushing up on your knowledge of how early adversity influences long-term health, sooner or later you’ll come across the CDC’s page on the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, that famous 1998 study of Kaiser Permanente members in San Diego that launched a flotilla of news articles and studies on how childhood trauma can damage one’s lifelong health outlook. On that CDC page, you’ll notice a little pyramid meant to illustrate the basics: A foundation of early adversity ups the odds of chronic disease and “Early Death,” the pyramid’s ominous crown. Between that difficult start and untimely end lies the adoption of risky behaviors and “social, emotional and cognitive impairment.” The same pyramid is included in the original study, but the CDC took the liberty of adding in the words “scientific gaps,” a reminder that our understanding of the links between early adversity, unhealthy behaviors, and early disease and death is still a bit murky. The standard explanation is that children who are abused or traumatized are more likely to grow into adults who smoke, drink, take drugs and take greater health risks than their more fortunate peers. It’s those behaviors that are precipitating poorer health and premature death. That’s the idea offered by Dr. Vincent Felitti and co-authors in the founding study:
Obama Budget Reflects California’s Values
Feb 04, 2015 |

Obama Budget Reflects California’s Values

President Obama released his federal budget proposal this week. Where the State of the Union address lays out a President’s vision in words, his budget lays out his vision in dollars. And thanks to a rebounding economy and shrinking deficit, President...
[Washington Post] Spotlight on helping D.C.’s male black and Latino students
Feb 02, 2015 |

[Washington Post] Spotlight on helping D.C.’s male black and Latino students

“FOR BLACK youths, a path to ruination, not success.” That was the headline on the recent account by The Post’s Courtland Milloy of the death of Phillip Jones, who was shot at the age of 17 while waiting for a bus. Sadly, this waste of the life of a young man of color is all too familiar in the District. That is why a new education initiative focusing attention and resources on young men of color is so urgently needed. District school and city officials announced on Jan. 21, coincidentally the same day Phillip Jones’s story was chronicled, the launch of a $20 million program targeting black and Latino male students. “Empowering Males of Color” is part of the White House’s nationwide My Brother’s Keeper effort to improve opportunities for African American and Hispanic youth and is in keeping with Mayor Muriel E. Bowser’s promise to make young minority men a priority of her administration. Male students of color make up 43 percent of those enrolled in the city’s traditional public schools, but they lag their counterparts by nearly every measure, including reading and math proficiency and graduation rates. That lack of success in school too often has dire, lifelong consequences, including higher rates of incarceration and unemployment, lower wages and death at an earlier age.
[Oakland Tribune] Steps Toward Peace: Addressing socioeconomic inequality issues essential to reducing crime in Oakland
Feb 02, 2015 |

[Oakland Tribune] Steps Toward Peace: Addressing socioeconomic inequality issues essential to reducing crime in Oakland

A city struggles and reduces gun violence, but how is the reduction sustained? In Oakland, 2014 was the second consecutive year the homicide rate declined. However, one month into the new year, the number of homicides was already higher than it was one month into last year or 2013. Richmond, which also had seen a significant drop in gun violence, started the year with an upsurge. San Francisco's Western Addition, where gun violence had dropped in recent years, is grieving a quadruple homicide just days into the new year; the victims were 19 to 22. The Boston Miracle, when homicides dropped dramatically in that city, inspired several cities across the country to adopt the Ceasefire strategies originated there. In Boston, the number of homicides spiked in 2014. When I started interviewing people for this series, asking what they thought had contributed to the decline in Oakland's homicide rate, a couple of them sounded a warning.
[Oakland Voices] Healing From The Scars and Sin of Racism is Ongoing
Feb 02, 2015 |

[Oakland Voices] Healing From The Scars and Sin of Racism is Ongoing

  When Illinois Senator Barack Hussein Obama was elected president of the United States in 2008 to great fanfare, it was popularly believed the United States had exorcized the demons of racism from its national character. To be sure, Obama’s election...
[Sacramento Bee] California can end school-to-prison pipeline with more choice
Jan 27, 2015 |

[Sacramento Bee] California can end school-to-prison pipeline with more choice

As the nation focuses on the state of the union and how we make ourselves a better nation, one fact is inexplicably never addressed: If we are to get people back to work, we need to not only have jobs available but trained workers available to take those jobs. Unfortunately, too many policymakers have failed to draw the incontrovertible link education plays in fostering the school-to-prison and welfare pipeline. The United States spends $228 billion on criminal justice because we badly spend $595 billion on our abysmal schools. In California, 70 percent of prison inmates do not have a high school diploma. We need to alter the discourse and directly address how both our public education and criminal justice systems affect poor and minority youths.
[The Christian Science Monitor] 'Rebranding' views of young black males
Jan 27, 2015 |

[The Christian Science Monitor] 'Rebranding' views of young black males

Beginning in February, the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, a program based at the Open Society Foundations since 2008, will be spun off from the foundation and operate as a separate organization. The change reflects the growing national interest in programs aimed at helping young black men. In 2013, for instance, more than 40 foundation leaders created the Executives’ Alliance, a group that looks for ways to expand opportunities for young minority males. Last year, those efforts attracted interest from the Obama administration, which resulted in the president announcing the launch of an effort called My Brother’s Keeper in his State of the Union speech.
[Access Sacramento] Tensions Between People of Color and Police Could Persist in 2015
Jan 27, 2015 |

[Access Sacramento] Tensions Between People of Color and Police Could Persist in 2015

The tensions between law enforcement and people of color are definitely going to be present in 2015. Just because a new year has arisen and resolutions fill the air does not mean that society has fixed itself. The relationship between people of color and police brutality seems to be an issue that rises and sets like the sun. The the families of the victims, both citizens and police officers, will carry these tensions for the rest of their lives. According to reports, there were fourteen major police brutality cases that gained national attention in 2014. Of those fourteen cases, only one police officer was indicted for the alleged murder of an unarmed man of color. Three of those case found the officers not guilty of murder of the unarmed black males. The remaining nine of those cases are still pending in the process of investigation. All fourteen of these black males were unarmed and were all killed by law enforcement. The case of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, was one specifically that led people of color to say that they have had enough. Brown was 18 years old when offer Darren Wilson, age 28, shot and killed Brown. Wilson was one of the three cases where the officer was not charged in the killing.
[We'Ced] Youth Reflect After Forum On Police Relations in South Merced
Jan 27, 2015 |

[We'Ced] Youth Reflect After Forum On Police Relations in South Merced

On Saturday January 10, more than two dozen young people gathered at the newly opened McNamara Youth Center in South Merced to participate in a conversation on the relationship between law enforcement and youth. Organized by community organizations Youth-I-Can and MOJO, the event featured Merced NAACP President and current Sheriff Darryl Davis as a speaker. Davis shared his personal journey as a law enforcement officer as well as practical tips to help youth stay safe while dealing with law enforcement. We’Ced youth reporters spoke with youth attendees to hear more about the experiences between youth and law enforcement in Merced and the insights gained from Saturday’s dialogue.
[Voicewaves] Stereotypes of Asian Men On TV is No Joking Matter
Jan 27, 2015 |

[Voicewaves] Stereotypes of Asian Men On TV is No Joking Matter

Thirteen-year-old Matthew Duarte, a Filipino American eighth-grader at Lindbergh STEM Academy in Long Beach, notices that there aren’t too many faces that look like him on TV. “The other shows sometimes have Asian people and they are nerds, and I am not a nerd,” Duarte said. “It sucks, but it does not bother me that much because The Walking Dead has Glenn.” Duarte’s sentiments echo many Asian American youth, who grow up seeing mostly stereotypical representations of themselves in media. From 2000 to 2010 the Asian American community in the U.S. grew almost 10 percent, according to the Census. In Long Beach, where there are high numbers of Cambodian and Filipino American youth, young Asian American men can feel lost and confused when they don’t fit the mold of the Asian stereotype of nerd or martial artist.
[Youth Radio] Triggered: Objects Mistaken for Guns
Jan 27, 2015 |

[Youth Radio] Triggered: Objects Mistaken for Guns

In 2007, 18-year-old Khiel Coppin was fatally shot in Brooklyn when police officers opened fire on the teen after responding to his mother’s 911 call for help. Earlier that day, Coppin's mother had reportedly sought help for her son from a psychiatric hospital. The police officers thought he was holding a gun, according to authorities, who say that on the 911 call and on the scene, Coppin claimed to have one. The object turned out to be a hairbrush
[Chronicle of Philanthropy] Open Society Foundations Spins Off Entity Focused on Helping Black Males
Jan 26, 2015 |

[Chronicle of Philanthropy] Open Society Foundations Spins Off Entity Focused on Helping Black Males

Beginning in February, the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, a program based at the Open Society Foundations since 2008, will be spun off from the foundation and operate as a separate organization. The change reflects the growing national interest in programs aimed at helping young black men. In 2013, for instance, more than 40 foundation leaders created the Executives’ Alliance, a group that looks for ways to expand opportunities for young minority males. Last year, those efforts attracted interest from the Obama administration, which resulted in the president announcing the launch of an effort called My Brother’s Keeper in his State of the Union speech.
[California Healthline] Behavioral Health Issues Plague Children in Welfare, Justice Systems
Jan 21, 2015 |

[California Healthline] Behavioral Health Issues Plague Children in Welfare, Justice Systems

Children in California and other states who are involved in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems tend to have more behavioral health problems and high rates of detention as the result of poorly coordinated services, the Center for Public Integrity reports.
[Daily Democrat] Yolo County Jail seeing fewer inmates due to Prop. 47
Jan 20, 2015 |

[Daily Democrat] Yolo County Jail seeing fewer inmates due to Prop. 47

Proposition 47 began affecting California law enforcement agencies, courtrooms and jails the day after it was passed, and Yolo County has been no exception. As attorneys continue to sort through hundreds of cases, determining whether Prop. 47, which reduces certain felony charges to misdemeanors, applies, jails are releasing inmates who qualify. After the election, sheriffs across the state immediately began implementing Prop. 47, which calls for treating shoplifting, forgery, fraud, petty theft and possession of small amounts of drugs, including cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines, as misdemeanors instead of felonies. On Nov. 15, ten days after Prop. 47 took effect, 45 prisoners were released from the Yolo County Jail — a number that continues to grow. As cases are being reviewed in the courtroom, more and more inmates are being released, according to Sheriff's Capt. Larry Cecchettini who oversees the Yolo County Jail. "We've released 169 inmates since Nov. 5, 2014, the day after Prop. 47 passed," he said. "We have a capacity of 455 between Monroe and Leinberger Centers and we have been at capacity for a long time."
[The Chronicle of Social Change] Shut It Down: A Conversation on Ending Juvenile Prisons
Jan 20, 2015 |

[The Chronicle of Social Change] Shut It Down: A Conversation on Ending Juvenile Prisons

It is not ordinary to see people lined up around the block to hear a panel discussion on juvenile justice. But on the evening of Jan. 14 in downtown Oakland, California, nearly 200 people gathered for a conversation about, as moderator Lateefah Simon of the Rosenberg Foundation put it, “how we end the brutal systems we’ve created.” Billed as Burning Down the House: The End of Juvenile Prison (after the title of a recently published book by Nell Bernstein), the discussion featured Zachary Norris, executive director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, and Raj Jayadev, founder and director of Silicon Valley De-Bug as well as Bernstein
[Oakland Tribune] Steps Toward Peace: Oakland's tradition of fighting youth violence
Jan 20, 2015 |

[Oakland Tribune] Steps Toward Peace: Oakland's tradition of fighting youth violence

Teens on Target. East Oakland Youth Development Center. Youth Alive. Urban Peace Movement. Silence the Violence. East Bay Asian Youth Center. Youth Uprising. Khadafy Foundation. United Roots. The Mentoring Center. That's just a sampling of the numerous youth development and violence prevention programs established in Oakland over the years. "Oakland is considered a hub of youth engagement and community organizing," said Nicole Lee, founding executive director of the Urban Peace Movement and a fourth-generation Oaklander. She calls Oakland the Silicon Valley of social change. "The energy, synergy, exchange of ideas, funding structures; the innovation attracts people," she said. Strategies to combat youth violence range from GED preparation and after-school programs to bedside intervention with shooting victims, political organizing and cultural education. For example, Youth Alive, started in 1989, was one of the first organizations to identify gun violence as a public health issue. The interruption of the cycle of retaliatory violence has been recognized as a key strategy used in a number of programs, including Youth Alive's Caught in the Crossfire and the city's Oakland Unite anti-violence efforts.
[Los Angeles Times] Op-Ed: Four ways to make black, brown and all lives matter
Jan 16, 2015 |

[Los Angeles Times] Op-Ed: Four ways to make black, brown and all lives matter

Too many black men of my generation have been asleep at the switch. We haven't built on the successes of the civil rights movement to create a better America for our young sons and brothers, whose hardships are so evident after the tragedies in Ferguson, Mo., and on Staten Island, N.Y. So what I'm about to say might surprise you: I am uninspired by the many calls for a great National Conversation on Race. I'm done with talking. Let's get down to the doing. In California we stand at a once-in-a-generation crossroads. If we take action in four key areas, we will transform the lives of young people of color in our state for the better. The good news for California is that we have reforms underway we can build on. But if we do nothing, and just keep talking and studying, we'll blow it.
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