Transforming the Youth Justice System in California
Thanks to the tireless work of our community partners and commitment from network members, we witnessed tremendous progress in the fight for youth justice in California.
In Los Angeles, we celebrated a historic win for youth justice in Los Angeles County. For more than 15 years, youth organizers and Liberty Hill community partners have been advocating to end youth incarceration as we know it, and, instead, build the largest youth development system in the country. As a result of their advocacy, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed a motion that calls for an end to the Probation Department’s supervision of youth, and moves that responsibility to a newly created Department of Youth Development focused on care, not punishment. This landmark transformation will impact the overwhelmingly Black, Indigenous youth and youth of color who are disproportionately represented in Los Angeles County’s legal system, and keep young people closer to their communities and support systems. Los Angeles County has already closed nine youth prisons, realigning and reimagining those government dollars to alternatives to incarceration, with upwards of $200 million already earmarked for building out the infrastructure for community programs. In 2018, the Southern California Regional Action Committee, headed by Liberty Hill Foundation was also able to partner with Los Angeles County to create a new Division of Youth Diversion and Development, making a bold statement in support of community care, not incarceration.
Additionally, the RAC has been making strides on fundraising to support the youth justice work across the county. The SoCal RAC exceeded its three-year fundraising goals by raising $9 million in pooled and aligned funding; approximately $4 million of these funds already distributed to community organizing groups working across the County through a participatory grantmaking process, taking the lead from existing grantees on where and how the funds should be spent.
About California Funders for Boys and Men of Color
Launched in 2014, the California Funders for Boys and Men of Color (CFBMoC) brings together CEOs from the state’s leading philanthropic institutions to shape a better future for boys and men of color—and for California. We are guided by the life course framework, which means we seek to improve the health, educational and economic opportunities for boys and men of color over the course of their lives. CFBMoC aligns the resources, networks and voices of California’s foundations—from family and private foundations to corporate and community funders—with the goal of improving opportunities for African American, Latino, Asian Pacific Islander and Native American boys and young men.
Members and Backbone Team:
Castle Redmond, The California Endowment
Ray Colmenar, The California Endowment
Fatima Angeles, The California Wellness Foundation
Bilen Mesfin Packwood, Change Consulting
Debrah Giles, East Bay Community Foundation
Greg Hodge, Khepera Consulting
Julio Marcial, Liberty Hill Foundation
Matt Cervantes, Sierra Health Foundation and The Center
Carmen Ross, Sacramento Region Community Foundation
Niva Flor, Sacramento Region Community Foundation
Sergio Cuellar, Sierra Health Foundation and The Center
Brandi Howard, San Francisco Foundation
Demitrius Burnett, San Francisco Foundation
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Join us be part of supporting the youth of color who are shaping a state where we all belong. Get in touch with Sergio Cuellar with any questions about our network.