California’s Comeback Must Center Communities of Color
As the state gears up for reopening, and the Governor pushes forward an ambitious agenda as part of the May Revision of the state’s 2021-2022 budget, California’s plans to build back boldly must center communities of color.
The pandemic has hit our state, and particularly communities of color, extremely hard in this last year. This budget revision is a reminder that, if we are to strive to achieve health, education, economic and racial equity, we must address the very systems that contributed to widening these gaps in the first place.
California Funders for Boys and Men of Color (CFBMoC) commends the tangible proposals that the Governor is taking to ensure that California recovers in an equitable manner, such as proposing to expand stimulus to all undocumented Californians or covering back rent for working-class families to prevent an eviction tsunami. We must do what we can to address the needs of our communities now while looking ahead to the well-being of our state in the future. Funders, policymakers, and other stakeholders must partner with those most impacted to ensure that our communities have what they need to not only survive through this time but thrive. Here is what CFBMoC is doing in our three priority regions:
In Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley, we continue to support approaches that move the State towards educational equity, including investing in community partners to create a blueprint to increase access to and completion of post-secondary opportunities for boys and men of color. We are also focused on supporting programs that support system-impacted and involved students to make a successful transition back into education and will be supporting parents and students to build their leadership capacity to make their voices heard at the local and regional level.
In Northern California, CFBMoC members continue to invest in developing pathways to high-quality careers for boys and men of color with a range of lived experiences, including community partners’ efforts to support systems-impacted individuals. We are also focusing on supporting the intersection of justice reform and workforce development to ensure that as we move away from harmful and punitive systems, and are ramping up efforts to support more opportunities for boys and men of color.
In Southern California (Los Angeles County) and statewide, our focus is on transforming the youth justice system to focus on healing and not punishment. Last year, CFBMoC supported community partners as they successfully worked with the Legislature and the Governor’s Office to realign the Division of Juvenile Justice and establish a health-centered approach in its place (SB 823, 2020), with implementation ongoing. With a $100 billion surplus due to state and federal funds, we can’t afford to short-change young people out of the support and care that they need.
As the process to revise and finalize this budget of opportunity moves forward, CFBMoC will continue to follow the lead of its community and policy partners — California Alliance for Youth and Community Justice, the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, and the Assembly and Senate Select Committees on the Status of Boys and Men of Color and other legislative champions — to keep our members updated on opportunities to be engaged. If you have any questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the proposed budget:
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