Our Work

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To truly improve the lives of Black people, deep rooted systemic change is needed in current economic, political, and social structures. The organizing of Black, grassroots residents into a powerful social and political force is a key ingredient in the fight for deep rooted transformation. We are organizing around 4 Pillars of Power: (1) Policy Development & Advocacy; (2) Voter & Civic Engagement; (3) Narrative & Culture; and (4) Protest & Direct Action.

Policy Development & Advocacy

Policy development and advocacy is imperative to creating the structural changes needed to improve the lives of Black Californians. While we must advocate and exert political pressure on lawmakers to inspire political will, courage and accountability, we must also proactively craft policy solutions for elected officials that address the root causes of the issues we face and actually improve the lives of Black folks. We have developed a comprehensive and bold Black Policy Agenda that seeks to drive systemic change in 7 key issues that most impact Black people, and provides a road map to a free, healthy, and thriving Black future. Our agenda and policy priorities are informed by community members with lived experience, Black-led community based organizations with deep roots and extensive track records in Black communities, as well as issue area experts and research. We believe those closest to the pain are also closest to the solutions and must be involved, and centered, as active participants in policy development, advocacy, and implementation

Voter & Civic Engagement

Voter and civic engagement programs increase active participation in decision-making and public policy at the local, regional, and state levels. Democracy requires all of us. We work to ensure our communities not only vote regularly, but also stay engaged with decision makers between elections to make sure our voices are heard, our needs are met, and elected officials are held accountable. Staying civically engaged is crucial to strengthening our political voice and building & maintaining Black power. Not only does Black civic participation impact results on Election Day but it encourages elected officials to be more responsive to the needs of the Black communities.

Narrative & Cultural Power

Narrative and cultural power has always been a strength in Black organizing. Black people have historically been leaders in narrative and cultural movements. These movements have the power to influence & shape public opinion and define what is acceptable socially and politically. With the right messages and cultural influences, we can move whole social sectors into action, fighting systemic, anti-Black racism and supporting systems change.

Protest & Direct Action

Protest and direct action is critical to creating an active and engaged base of community members that are willing and able to strategically exert direct pressure to win social change. Protest and direct action is a key aspect of community organizing that allows us to connect with other like minds while directly challenging the status quo, drawing attention to social injustice, shifting the narrative, and ultimately pressuring decision makers to do better. Through our work together, we will coordinate all of these efforts around a statewide, collective agenda and take action to ensure our community’s voice is heard.

policy-development-advocacy

Policy Development & Advocacy

Policy development and advocacy is imperative to creating the structural changes needed to improve the lives of Black Californians. While we must advocate and exert political pressure on lawmakers to inspire political will, courage and accountability, we must also proactively craft policy solutions for elected officials that address the root causes of the issues we face and actually improve the lives of Black folks.

We have developed a comprehensive and bold Black Policy Agenda that seeks to drive systemic change in 7 key issues that most impact Black people, and provides a road map to a free, healthy, and thriving Black future. 

voter-civic-engagement

Voter & Civic Engagement

Voter and civic engagement programs increase active participation in decision-making and public policy at the local, regional, and state levels. Democracy requires all of us.

We work to ensure our communities not only vote regularly, but also stay engaged with decision makers between elections to make sure our voices are heard, our needs are met, and elected officials are held accountable. Staying civically engaged is crucial to strengthening our political voice and building & maintaining Black power.

narrative-cultural-power-image

Narrative & Cultural Power

Narrative and cultural power has always been a strength in Black organizing. Black people have historically been leaders in narrative and cultural movements.

These movements have the power to influence & shape public opinion and define what is acceptable socially and politically.

protest-direct-action

Protest & Direct Action

Protest and direct action is critical to creating an active and engaged base of community members that are willing and able to strategically exert direct pressure to win social change.

Protest and direct action is a key aspect of community organizing that allows us to connect with other like minds while directly challenging the status quo, drawing attention to social injustice, shifting the narrative, and ultimately pressuring decision makers to do better.

We are driven by a long-term vision and comprehensive agenda to help improve the lives of Black Californians. Our policy work is deeply rooted in 7 key issue areas most impacting Black Californians
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Our Agenda

Housing
The commodification of housing, lack of affordable housing supply, and lack of tenant protections have resulted in housing instability, disparities in home ownership and communities of concentrated poverty.
Quick Facts
  • Despite making up only 5.5% of the state’s population, Black Californians are almost 31% of California’s housing population
  • Landlords are more likely to try to evict Black renters than renters from other racial/ethnic groups
  • Among all racial/ethnic groups, Black households are the least likely to own their homes
HOUSING
Vision
  • Every Black person who lives in California has a permanent, affordable, and sustainable house to call their own.
  • Every Black person who lives in California is welcome to live in any neighborhood, and marginalized members within the Black community, such as those who are low-income, disabled, system impacted, immigrant, unhoused or part of LGBTQ community, do not face discrimination.
  • Black homes and communities are free from environmental hazards, and polluters are held accountable for their impact on neighborhoods and their residents.
  • Black neighborhoods and people are free from harassment, incarceration, detainment (or the threat thereof), and destruction of property.
  • Historical and developing Black communities are protected and free from displacement.
HOUSING
Learn More
Look out for our upcoming webinar with experts, advocates and community leaders, as well as the release of our research digging deeper into how this issue impacts Black people, and our recommendations on potential policy solutions.

Click here to read our Issue Brief on Housing, that highlights the housing inequities facing Black Californians.

You can also access the The Future of Black Californians: Housing, Justice & Liberation for All webinar playback here and webinar slides here.
HOUSING
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Real Safety

Race-neutral policies, racial bias, and inequitable resource allocation have fueled disparate and over incarceration of Black people. This over incarceration impacts the physical and psychological health as well as the financial and economic stability of Black Californians.

The power of law enforcement lobbying and weak accountability systems have resulted in significant abuse and harm of Black people and communities. This over-policing and abuse has impacted the physical and psychological health of Black Californians as well as the financial and economic stability of our communities.

Quick Facts
  • Public funds are used in a manner that inequitably harms Black people.
  • Black people are most likely to be incarcerated among all racial and ethnic groups.
  • Black people are most likely to be subject to uses of force among all racial and ethnic groups.
Real Safety
Vision
  • A government that cares and prioritizes equitable investment in community resources to address the needs of Black people living in poverty and impacted by systemic racism.
  • A justice system that is rooted in restoration, rehabilitation and opportunity, that recognizes the humanity and dignity of Black people, and that holds state actors accountable for their treatment of Black people.
  • A justice system that does not police, surveil, harass, abuse, extort and criminalize residents and does not create pathways that push youth into the system through school disciplinary actions.
  • Redress and amends are made with Black people for the wrongs of the past. Full rights are restored to system impacted people so that they are able to be engaged and involved citizens as they rebuild their lives apart from the justice system.
  • A government that takes accountability for the harm and impact of slavery, long standing anti-Black racism, and is committed to repairing and transforming Black communities.
Real Safety
Learn More
Look out for our upcoming webinar with experts, advocates and community leaders, as well as the release of our research digging deeper into how this issue impacts Black people, and our recommendations on potential policy solutions.

Click here to read our Issue Brief on Crime and Justice that highlights key issues and racial inequities facing Black Californians.

You can also access the The Future of Black Californians: Housing, Justice & Liberation for All webinar playback here and webinar slides here.
Real Safety
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Education

Inequitable funding of public education, lack of teacher diversity and early learning opportunities, and chronic absenteeism have fueled disparities in educational outcomes for Black children.

Educational outcomes interact with other issue areas and impact likelihood of incarceration, employment, economic opportunity and more.

Quick Facts
  • Black students are least likely to become proficient readers by 3rd grade, least likely to master mid-level math, to be placed in college prep courses, or to graduate from high school within 4 years.
  • Black children are under-identified for early intervention services and disproportionately placed in special education categories.
  • Black students are overexposed to exclusionary discipline and more frequently removed from learning environments.
Education
Vision
We are committed to the education of Black students of all ages. Black students will be invested in, cared for, encouraged to learn in safe, nurturing environments, and prepared to thrive with strong, robust support systems to assist their learning, growth, and development.
Education
Learn More
Look out for our upcoming webinar with experts, advocates and community leaders, as well as the release of our research digging deeper into how this issue impacts Black people, and our recommendations on potential policy solutions.

Click here to read our Issue Brief on Education that highlights the key indicators that create the worst disparities in education facing Black Californians.

You can also access the The Future of Black Californians: Education for Liberation & Democracy webinar playback here and webinar slides here.
Education
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Healthy Bodies & Minds

Medical deserts, the burden of healthcare costs, and disparities in employment-based coverage have limited access to adequate healthcare for Black Californians.

Racial bias, culturally incompetent care, lack of workforce diversity and a healthcare model that puts profit over people, have resulted in disparities in healthcare and outcomes.

Quick Facts
  • Black Californians are slightly less likely to have a usual source of healthcare than white Californians, making it harder to manage chronic conditions.
  • Black Californians have the shortest life expectancy among all racial and ethnic groups.
  • Racial biases lead to over or under diagnosis, lack of proper pain management and increased health risks.
Healthy Bodies & Minds
Vision
We are working to ensure all Black Californians have access to adequate, holistic, and culturally competent healthcare from the womb to old age.
Healthy Bodies & Minds
Learn More
Look out for our upcoming webinar with experts, advocates and community leaders, as well as the release of our research digging deeper into how this issue impacts Black people, and our recommendations on potential policy solutions.

Click here to read our Issue Brief on Health Care Access that highlights the key indicators that create the deepest racial disparities in health care access facing Black Californians.

Healthy Bodies & Minds
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Economic Opportunity
As a result of disconnected youth, internet access and affordability, and unemployment disparities, Black Californians are consistently experiencing the lowest levels of economic performance.
Quick Facts
  • Low-income Black Californians are more likely to have higher hospital readmissions, deaths, obesity and chronic illnesses.
  • A household that experiences food insecurity correlates with experiencing unemployment, being low-income and/or living in poverty.
  • Communities without internet access face higher rates of unemployment, low-paying jobs, and lower educational attainment.
Economic Opportunity
Vision
We envision a California where Black people can access tools and resources that eliminate poverty and provide opportunities for prosperity, dignity, and well-being. We imagine a California where Black people have access to safe employment that pays a living wage and access to wealth-building opportunities needed to build up our communities and maintain economic resiliency.
Economic Opportunity
Learn More
Look out for our upcoming webinar with experts, advocates and community leaders, as well as the release of our research digging deeper into how this issue impacts Black people, and our recommendations on potential policy solutions.

Click here to read our Issue Brief on Economic Opportunity that highlights the key indicators that create the deepest racial disparities in economic opportunity facing Black Californians.

You can also access the The Future of Black Californians: Uprooting Poverty & Seeding Abundance webinar playback here and webinar slides here.
Economic Opportunity
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Healthy Neighborhoods

Black Californians’ ability to live in and benefit from healthy built environments is hindered by decades of racially driven federal housing laws, public divestment in urban infrastructure, and California’s fiscal policies.

Black Californians experience some of the worst environmental and neighborhood conditions compared to other racial groups in the state.

Quick Facts
  • Black Californians experience the least access to quality parks, green spaces, and recreation areas directly impacting individual and community health.
  • Black neighborhoods have an overconcentration of toxic hazards which contribute to poor air, water, and soil quality and adverse health outcomes.
  • Systemic disadvantages in the build environment makes it difficult for Black communities to withstand climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Healthy Neighborhoods
Vision
We aspire to see Black neighborhoods with clean air, soil, and water with adequate resources for the development and upkeep of urban infrastructure, community spaces, green spaces, and recreation.
Healthy Neighborhoods
Learn More
Look out for our upcoming webinar with experts, advocates and community leaders, as well as the release of our research digging deeper into how this issue impacts Black people, and our recommendations on potential policy solutions.

Click here to read our Issue Brief on Healthy Built Environments that highlights the key indicators that create the deepest racial disparities in building healthy environments facing Black Californians.

You can also access the The Future of Black Californians: Healing and Liberating the Neighborhood webinar playback here and webinar slides here.
Healthy Neighborhoods
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Democracy
Disparities in the diversity of electeds, Black voter registration and turnout, and interaction with electeds impacts how well Black interest and communities are represented.
Quick Facts
  • Black elected officials represent the interests of the Black community at higher rates than do officials who are non-Black.
  • The continued disparities in the rate of participation in elections and the contact of elected officials by the Black community results in diminished impact in setting the public policy agenda for the state.
Democracy
Vision
We envision a California governed by the people and a fully representative, pro-Black democratic system and governance structure where Black people and their voices are respected, valued, protected, and able to influence policy outcomes.
Democracy
Learn More
Look out for our upcoming webinar with experts, advocates and community leaders, as well as the release of our research digging deeper into how this issue impacts Black people, and our recommendations on potential policy solutions.

Click here to read our Issue Brief on Democracy that highlights the key indicators that create the deepest racial disparities in democratic participation facing Black Californians.

You can also access the The Future of Black Californians: Education for Liberation & Democracy webinar playback here and webinar slides here.
Democracy
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Policy Development & Advocacy

Policy development and advocacy is imperative to creating the structural changes needed to improve the lives of Black Californians. While we must advocate and exert political pressure on lawmakers to inspire political will, courage and accountability, we must also proactively craft policy solutions for elected officials that address the root causes of the issues we face and actually improve the lives of Black folks.

We have developed a comprehensive and bold Black Policy Agenda that seeks to drive systemic change in 7 key issues that most impact Black people, and provides a road map to a free, healthy, and thriving Black future. Our agenda and policy priorities are informed by community members with lived experience, Black-led community based organizations with deep roots and extensive track records in Black communities, as well as issue area experts and research.

We believe those closest to the pain are also closest to the solutions and must be involved, and centered, as active participants in policy development, advocacy, and implementation

Voter & Civic Engagement

Voter and civic engagement programs increase active participation in decision-making and public policy at the local, regional, and state levels. Democracy requires all of us.

We work to ensure our communities not only vote regularly, but also stay engaged with decision makers between elections to make sure our voices are heard, our needs are met, and elected officials are held accountable.

Staying civically engaged is crucial to strengthening our political voice and building & maintaining Black power. Not only does Black civic participation impact results on Election Day but it encourages elected officials to be more responsive to the needs of the Black communities.

Narrative & Cultural Power

Narrative and cultural power has always been a strength in Black organizing. Black people have historically been leaders in narrative and cultural movements. These movements have the power to influence & shape public opinion and define what is acceptable socially and politically.

With the right messages and cultural influences, we can move whole social sectors into action, fighting systemic, anti-Black racism and supporting systems change.

Protest & Direct Action

Protest and direct action is critical to creating an active and engaged base of community members that are willing and able to strategically exert direct pressure to win social change. Protest and direct action is a key aspect of community organizing that allows us to connect with other like minds while directly challenging the status quo, drawing attention to social injustice, shifting the narrative, and ultimately pressuring decision makers to do better.

Through our work together, we will coordinate all of these efforts around a statewide, collective agenda and take action to ensure our community’s voice is heard.