Our weekly digest of client news and events.
Dr. Monique Morris, executive director of Grantmakers for Girls of Color, was recently named a USA Today Leader of Change, joining more than “30 national and local activists, business leaders, artists, politicians and public figures who encapsulate some aspect of the modern-day push for awareness and change” and embody the late John Lewis’s dynamism and sense of hope. USA Today.
Anthony Smith, executive director of Cities United, calls on cities and mayors to “listen to the demands of people across the country who are calling on governments to divert dollars from the current public safety structures and invest in proven solutions to keep communities safe” as they respond to budget cuts caused by the pandemic. The Hill.
Over the past few weeks, California Funders for Boys and Men of Color and their members worked to amplify the demands of youth justice advocates to close DJJ the right way and ensure a new path for youth justice that is grounded in healing-centered, trauma-informed practices and positive youth development. See here for a joint letter, an op-ed by Daniel Mendoza and two op-eds in CalMatters and WitnessLA by CFBMoC members Chet P. Hewitt and Shane Murphy Goldsmith. They also published a blog post by Dr. Robert K. Ross and Chet P. Hewitt and Israel Villa, Deputy Director of the California Alliance for Youth and Community Justice.
Thanks to the tireless work of this network, the State Legislature took a significant step this week by voting to close the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). SB 823 is now on its way to Governor Newsom’s Desk. While there is still work to be done, this is a momentous victory as a result of advocacy by community leaders and directly impacted youth. For more updates on this important moment for juvenile justice reform, follow the network on social media with the hashtag: #CloseDJJtheRightWay.
Thanks to fierce advocacy from organizations including Food Policy Advocates, the USDA recently announced it will extend its free grab-and-go school meal program in the face of the backlash faced when they announced that the program would expire in September. This secures an important lifeline for low-income families hit hard by the pandemic. KTVU.
Change we applaud:
"Police do not equal safety….we don't pay firefighters to sit on the corner to wait for a fire. We invest in smoke alarms." Jasmine Williams, communications and development manager for the Black Organizing Project, who led the push for Oakland to eliminate its school police force, on how their network got police out of OUSD and why it matters. Mashable.
“Despite the vetting and votes of confidence that establishes us as safe to respond to emergencies, the same logic isn’t applied to us as individuals. In other words, if we’re safe to serve our community, how can we not be safe to live there?” Amika Mota, statewide policy director for the Young Women’s Freedom Center, was a firefighter while she was incarcerated. Now, in the face of an unprecedented fire season in California, she is calling on lawmakers to end the exploitation of this unjust source of cheap labor. The Verge. The Guardian.
Welcoming a new team member:
We are thrilled to announce a new member has joined the Change Consulting team. Nesima Aberra started this week as Change Consulting’s newest Senior Communications Manager.
In her new role, she will lead social and digital media efforts for our clients. Nesima comes to Change Consulting after serving as audience engagement editor with The Atlantic and as a freelance writer. She is passionate about storytelling to help people understand the world and shape it for the better.
Last weekend, Gameheads gathered hundreds of people for a virtual celebration of the best of 2020: the technical skills, creativity and passion of diverse young people from across the world. Congratulations on the 6th Annual Gameheads Student Showcase -- one for the books!