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Youth in Action

[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?
[South Kern Sol] Lessons learned from a box of raisins
Apr 07, 2015 |

[South Kern Sol] Lessons learned from a box of raisins

Have you ever been a teenager working in the fields turning grapes into raisins in the summer heat? My name is Bianca Pulido and I worked in the fields last summer here in Arvin. I can now imagine the huge struggle that field workers go through every day to put food on their table. While it was not my first job, it was my first experience working in the fields. I began this job the last few days of my junior year. I left school at 2:57 every day, then went home to eat, do some homework, and wait for my mom to get out of her first job. She is a single mother of 4 girls and she has always been a very hard working lady. At this time she held 2 jobs and neither were easy. One of them was working in the fields and the other was working at Grimmway Farms as a packer. It killed me to see her come home tired every afternoon and have to get ready for her next job. So one day when she came home I told her, “Sabes que mamá quiero trabajar contigo en la tarde” (You know what mom, I want to work with you in the evenings). She told me to stop speaking nonsense. I replied, “No really, how hard can it be? I’m just going to pick grapes, right?” Giving me a knowing look, she finally agreed: “Okay, fine, you want to work in the fields, let’s go then.”
[South Kern Sol] Touched by Loss, Families Lead Fight Against Police Violence
Mar 30, 2015 |

[South Kern Sol] Touched by Loss, Families Lead Fight Against Police Violence

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – On a Saturday afternoon in March over 200 protesters gathered in East Bakersfield along Mt. Vernon and Flower streets in East Bakersfield. The streets connect the sites where four men were killed in recent years in fatal encounters with police. The significance of the location is not lost on those gathered, many of them relatives of the slain men. “I’ve got one that says, ‘My uncle was shot by police officers,’ who does this apply to?” one organizer asked the crowd as it assembled around a pile of signs before the march began. “Who’s lost an uncle and wants this sign?” After collecting their signs, the group – numbering in the hundreds – marched along the 2.4 mile-long route along which David Silva, David Turner, James de la Rosa, and Ronnie Ledesma all died at the hands of local law enforcement. For the past few years now, families around this Central Valley city have been gathering for regular rallies such as this one – sometimes ending in barbecue picnics – to put a spotlight on the issue of police violence in the community.
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...
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...
From Fresno to Greenlining
Mar 02, 2015 |

From Fresno to Greenlining

Earlier this month, Juan Reynoso wrote about the Health Equity Fellows and the journey we’ve embarked on together. To help this all make a little more sense, we’re each going to tell you a bit about ourselves and what landed us here. My story begins in...
[The Know Youth Media] Fresnans Meet to Discuss Gang Prevention
Feb 24, 2015 |

[The Know Youth Media] Fresnans Meet to Discuss Gang Prevention

FRESNO, Calif — Ruben Hernandez is an active gang member in Fresno but is fed up with what he sees everyday in his community. “I’ve noticed that a lot of the children, ages 12 to 18 have started to rebel against the police,” Hernandez said. Hernandez, 30, has spent 15 years incarcerated and another 4 years in parole. Hernandez wants his children to learn from his mistakes so that they won’t make the same ones. Hernandez joined other ex-gang members and concerned community members at People’s Church on February 19 to discuss issues of gang violence and gang prevention. The town hall was organized by KMPH FOx 26 after the murder of Janessa Ramirez, 9, when she was caught in crossfire between two rival gang members. The town hall was moderated by KMPH’s Monty Torres, and the panel included Police Chief Jerry Dyer, Sheriff Margaret Mims, Pastor B.T. Lewis of Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church and Ernie Rodriguez, an outreach worker. Much of the discussion centered around preventing youth from joining gangs.
[In These Times] Meet the Radical Brownies
Feb 23, 2015 |

[In These Times] Meet the Radical Brownies

When Anayvette Martinez’s daughter, a fourth grader, wanted “desperately” to join a girls’ troop like the Girl Scouts of America, it gave Martinez an idea. “I saw the need for a group that would empower and encourage her to form bonds of sisterhood with other girls in her community,” wrote Martinez on Facebook. “I began to imagine what a radical young girl’s social justice troop looked like; a group that centered and affirmed her experiences as a beautiful and brilliant brown girl against so many societal pressures to conform to mainstream ideals of girlhood.” Martinez enlisted the help of a friend, Marilyn Hollinquest, and the result was the Radical Brownies: an Oakland, California-based, social-justice-focused girls’ troop. Its mission: to “empower young girls of color so that they step into their collective power, brilliance and leadership in order to make the world a more radical place.” The group takes its name from the junior division of the Girl Scouts, but is unaffiliated. Instead of camping or selling cookies, these Brownies participate in protests and marches, carrying #BlackLivesMatter banners and wearing small brown berets to pay homage to the Brown Berets and the Black Panthers. The founding chapter has 12 members, all girls of color, ages 8 to 11. At the first meeting, in late 2014, the girls discussed what the word “radical” meant to them. They decided it was “[being a] fierce community advocate,” Hollinquest told PBS.
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...
[Boyle Heights Beat] More LAUSD high schools serve breakfast in the classroom
Feb 23, 2015 |

[Boyle Heights Beat] More LAUSD high schools serve breakfast in the classroom

It’s second period at Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet in Boyle Heights and the sound of squeaky wheels coming down the hallway interrupts the students working frantically on the school yearbook.A student worker walks in with a small steel cart and lifts a blue bag to reveal cereal boxes, milk cartons and granola bars. Most students push back their chairs and head toward the front of the class to pick up their breakfasts. Throughout Los Angeles Unified School District, this new program, Breakfast in the Classroom, provides food for children in their classrooms between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. The menu changes daily, and students eat at desks that were previously used strictly for schoolwork.
[The Know] Fresnans Meet To Discuss Gang Prevention
Feb 23, 2015 |

[The Know] Fresnans Meet To Discuss Gang Prevention

Ruben Hernandez is an active gang member in Fresno but is fed up with what he sees everyday in his community. “I’ve noticed that a lot of the children, ages 12 to 18 have started to rebel against the police,” Hernandez said. Hernandez, 30, has spent 15 years incarcerated and another 4 years in parole. Hernandez wants his children to learn from his mistakes so that they won’t make the same ones. Hernandez joined other ex-gang members and concerned community members at People’s Church on February 19 to discuss issues of gang violence and gang prevention.
[Voicewaves Long Beach] 6 Views of Community Policing in Long Beach
Feb 06, 2015 |

[Voicewaves Long Beach] 6 Views of Community Policing in Long Beach

The Long Beach Police Department has taken steps recently to improve relations with the communities it serves. The move comes in the wake of nationwide protests that followed killings by police officers of unarmed black men in Ferguson, Mo. and New York.
[Boyle Heights Beat] New Eastside high school recruits students at Ramona Gardens
Feb 02, 2015 |

[Boyle Heights Beat] New Eastside high school recruits students at Ramona Gardens

A high school that guarantees graduation and entry into a four-year college: that’s what Connie Cervantes offered parents of eighth graders at Ramona Gardens last week, as she pitched applications for a new Eastside campus of the USC Hybrid High School.
[Oakland Local] Literacy through the arts: an artistic approach to mentoring (Community Voices)
Jan 30, 2015 |

[Oakland Local] Literacy through the arts: an artistic approach to mentoring (Community Voices)

Mentoring is difficult, rewarding, and often extremely frustrating. It is an activity in which you will have to be able to take losses and stay the course. You may lose as many as you save and that can be heartbreaking. But if you can point to one and say you helped them to become who they wanted to be, then you have done something phenomenal. Sometimes the only thing between failure and potential is encouragement, and often that is all it takes: someone who says “I believe you can.”
[Coachella Unincorporated] Agua 4 All Campaign Launches in the Eastern Coachella Valley
Jan 30, 2015 |

[Coachella Unincorporated] Agua 4 All Campaign Launches in the Eastern Coachella Valley

THERMAL, Calif. — Agua 4 All, a pilot project that aims to bring clean drinking water to rural communities across California, launched Wednesday at the San Jose Community Center in Thermal, Calif. The project will fund the installation of water bottle refilling stations, or “taps,” in schools and other locations accessible to community members in rural parts of California where access to clean drinking water is often scarce. The eastern Coachella Valley is the first location to pilot the tap program; a similar program is being replicated in South Kern County. Sergio Carranza, executive director of Pueblo Unido CDC, said this project will aid 150,000 residents in the eastern Coachella Valley and South Kern County who lack access to safe drinking water in their communities due to high levels of naturally occurring arsenic found in their groundwater. “Today, this initiative marks a historical event and a new initiative where we are focused on creating new resources, leveraging more opportunities and working together with the community to change the way we receive water,” said Carranza at the morning press conference. “We are changing the culture of drinking water; we are creating a new habit of drinking water.”
[Eastern Group Publications] Students Shine at Festival
Jan 30, 2015 |

[Eastern Group Publications] Students Shine at Festival

An initiative to promote health and wellness in eastside area neighborhoods and schools, celebrated its 5th anniversary Saturday with a festival at Wellness Center in the Historic General Hospital. The $1 billion, 10-year Building Healthy Communities-Boyle Heights initiative is a community collaboration of over 36 community-based non-profit organizations, residents, and public agencies, that is funded by The California Endowment Saturday’s “IluminArte” was an effort to bring the initiative goals to area youth, using music, song, and carnival-style workshops to expose students to ways they can better their physical, mental and emotional wellness. They also learned how to request more funding for their schools.
[The kNOw Youth Media ] 'When my brother comes' - New regs could discourage prison visits
Jan 30, 2015 |

[The kNOw Youth Media ] 'When my brother comes' - New regs could discourage prison visits

My brother is the only one in our family who visited. My dad and another brother couldn’t come because they have records and so failed the background check. With my dad it would be a lot of awkward silence anyway. We never talked much. My brother’s visits allowed me to feel connected to the outside. I know lots of guys get visits every month and a few every weekend. I know there are guys who don’t get any visits. It’s a lonely and pathetic place to be when people just forget you and you’re left to rot away without anyone caring. I’m glad I got to see my brother. It really helped me feel a part of society.
[Youth Media for Building Healthy Communities] A path to college in City Heights
Jan 29, 2015 |

[Youth Media for Building Healthy Communities] A path to college in City Heights

Reality Changers is a program for youth from the inner city to work their way into a good college. Inspiration comes in the form of college graduates who tell their young counterparts to aim high, and who can relate to the life situations of under-resourced kids who might not have the support they need at home to navigate the higher education system.
[KION-TV] Salinas Looks to Residents for Goal-Setting Ideas
Jan 27, 2015 |

[KION-TV] Salinas Looks to Residents for Goal-Setting Ideas

Taking back our teens by taking them off the streets-that's the message from a group of people who spoke up at Salinas City Hall on Monday night. Salinas residents are getting a chance to share their opinions on what the city should focus on, to make improvements down the line.
[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.
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