2020-2021 Report

A New Day for the Nation - and For California

Letter to Members

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.

In our world of philanthropy and the nonprofit sector, we demonstrate our outrage by releasing or signing on to public statements about how outraged we are. We need a national partnership strategy among social justice leaders, advocacy organizations, and progressive philanthropy that centers on organizing, mobilizing, and leadership for a more inclusive and racially equitable America. Cobbling together statements of outrage has value, but the best use of our time is investing in a winning, people power-centered strategy.

– Dr. Robert K. Ross, President & CEO, The California Endowment

Racial Justice is at the Core of Our Work

In 2020, as people across California — and the country — took to the streets, the ballot box and their communities to stand up for Black lives and against white supremacy, we saw a renewed call for solidarity and action to dismantle structural racism and expand the opportunities young people of color need to be successful.

COVID-19 and communities of color

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate our communities. Due to long-standing inequities and health disparities, Black and Latinx people are now four to nine times more likely to be infected by COVID-19 than whites.

Changing the Landscape of Education Equity in Sacramento - San Joaquin Valley Region

As part of our work in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley region, the California Funders for Boys and Men of Color awarded an initial investment of $300,000 to 12 organizations focused on educational equity for boys and men of color. The grants are part of the network’s $1.2 million investment in the region to support greater access to and completion of post-secondary education for boys and men of color.

“This effort by the CFBMoC represents a collective of funders and community based organizations committed to improving the future of our boys and men of color in the region.”Linda Beech Cutler, CEO of Sacramento Region Community Foundation.

Data shows that although boys and men of color in Sacramento and San Joaquin counties are successfully graduating from high school, there is a need to focus on preparing them for college and helping them meet the UC and CSU requirements to apply for a four-year university. Currently, 41% in Sacramento County and 26.9% in San Joaquin County are meeting these requirements. Data also shows that boys and men of color who attend college — especially those entering post-secondary opportunities through local community colleges and California State University systems — are failing to complete their coursework to obtain their degrees, with 37% to 42% completing community college coursework, and 32% to 71% completing CSU and UC coursework.

The awarded organizations in San Joaquin County are Fathers & Families of San Joaquin, Improve Your Tomorrow, Raising Youth Resilience, Reinvent Stockton Foundation, and Little Manila Rising. Sacramento County grantees are Breakthrough Sacramento, Brown Issues, Anti-Recidivism Coalition, My Brother’s Keeper Education Strategy Team, Juma Ventures, Teach for America, and East Bay Area Youth Center (EBAYC).

The grants were made possible thanks to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Regional Action Committee: Sierra Health Foundation, Sacramento Region Community Foundation, The California Wellness Foundation and The California Endowment. College Futures Foundation also served as a key strategic and funding partner.

Over the coming months, grant partners will continue to form the process for the blueprint, define metrics for success and identify opportunities for investment. We will also be gathering stories and case studies to highlight this work.

Here to Lead campaign

Celebrating the Leadership, Power and
Voice of Boys and Men of Color

In 2020, we launched Here to Lead, a storytelling campaign that celebrates the leadership, power and voice of multigenerational, AAPI, African American, Latinx and Native American boys and men of color. Since launch, the campaign has highlighted more than 19 stories, garnering more than 2.6 million impressions, 38,000 engagements and 6,700 clicks in 2020 across its dedicated Twitter, Instagram and Facebook channels. We heard from Tyler Okeke about the power of young people at the ballot box, Eddy Zheng on his vision for the future of philanthropy, Xavier Brown and organizing a 15,000-strong youth protest for racial justice in Oakland, Denzel Tongue on the significance of health equity, David Turner and his work with young people and civic engagement and Isaac Kinney and his fight for climate justice and water preservation for Indigenous communities. Here to Lead and leaders who are part of the initiative were also featured in the SacramentoBee, KQED and the California Health Report.

Take a look at the campaign’s latest video that captures the historic movement for Black lives, youth of color-led civic engagement efforts across the state and the energy of a momentous year.

Sign up to hear more from the remarkable boys and men of color who are fighting for change.

“When we are talking about the youth – youth of any race – we have to remember that they are the future. Young people will be the leaders of our future, so why not start now? Elders always have to pass on the torch. For youth of color, and particularly Black youth, this is our cause. Just like the Black Panthers of Oakland fought for their rights, we have to fight for ours.”

– Xavier Brown

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

Get Involved

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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.