Just Communities Receives $5,000 from Southern California Edison
Cecilia Tavera, left, and Patricia Bartoli-Wible, second from left, of Southern California Edison present a $5,000 check to Elizabeth Weinstein and Jarrod Schwartz of Just Communities. Santa Barbara High School senior Ivette Gil, back left, and junior Olivia Ranson are participants in Just Communities and the Community Leadership Institute. (Just Communities photo)
By Kelly Kapaun for Just Communities | Published on 12.19.2012 1:20 p.m.
Southern California Edison has presented a $5,000 donation to the Santa Barbara-based nonprofit Just Communities for its Adopt-a-School program for Community Leadership Institute scholarships.
CLI is a unique summer program for Central Coast high school youths that aims to build leadership skills and social awareness. At CLI, students from diverse backgrounds explore their multifaceted identities, learn how to recognize and counter bias, and gain advocacy skills and tools to bring back to their schools and communities.
Southern California Edison donated $5,000 to support general scholarships for any Santa Barbara-area students wishing to attend the program but needing financial assistance.
“Southern California Edison’s gift is an investment in our community’s young people and, through them, in our collective future,” Just Communities Executive Director Jarrod Schwartz. “We hope this gift represents the start of a long relationship between them and Just Communities/CLI.”
Just Communities is a Santa Barbara-based nonprofit organization that works to bring together diverse groups of people to build leadership and develop joint solutions for our communities’ challenges. For more information, click here or call 805.966.2063.
— Kelly Kapaun is a publicist representing Just Communities.
Just Communities Executive Director Jarrod Schwartz presents THRIVE Santa Barbara County Executive Director Anita Ferguson with a plaque for the scholarships that sent San Marcos High School students, from left, Benjamin Magdaleno, Samantha Hurd, Joanna Alvarez and Joshua Beasley to the CommUnity Leadership Institute camp this summer. (Giana Magnoli / Noozhawk photo)
THRIVE Westside Pays the Way for Students to Attend Leadership Institute
Just Communities, which organizes the summer camp, honors San Marcos High School and THRIVE Westside with plaques
By Giana Magnoli, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @magnoli | Published on 09.17.2012 6:27 p.m.
Schools from all over Santa Barbara and Ventura counties participate in the Central Coast CommUnity Leadership Institute each summer, which is put on by Just Communities as a social leadership camp for young people.
Eight students from San Marcos andSanta Barbara high schools attended the camp and have been working on action plans in groups. Just Communities honored San Marcos High School and THRIVE Westside with plaques on Monday.
For their project, San Marcos juniors Joanna Alvarez, Joshua Beasley and Samantha Hurd are trying to raise funds for SAT and ACT test prep materials for low-income students and families, an effort they said has been supported by Principal Ed Behrens and staff members.
“They want to be allies to us so we can achieve the goals that we have,” Alvarez said.
She added that the eight-day camp was a liberating experience.
Hurd had heard how good the camp was and said she was worried she wouldn’t be able to go.
“I knew it was something I really wanted to do — the scholarship was really great,” Hurd said.
There are other groups with similar goals, and the students want to collaborate with past CLI students and other high schools to get fundraising off the ground.
Other students worked with the nonprofit organization PALABRA on a project examining racial profiling and harassment issues, according to Just Communities Executive Director Jarrod Schwartz.
San Marcos students Elias Estrada, Jesse de Jesus, Jesus Molina and Benjamin Magdaleno and Santa Barbara High School student Lauren Carlos also attended CLI this summer.
THRIVE Westside provides resources for families in Santa Barbara and coordinates with schools in the area, including Harding University Partnership School,McKinley Elementary School, La Cumbre Junior High School and San Marcos High School.
Community Leadership Institute Receives Sponsorship
THRIVE Westside has pledged to sponsor 6 local San Marcos High School students in order for them to attend Just Communities’ Community Leadership Institute (CLI) program.
THRIVE Westside is a partnership between Harding University Partnership School, McKinley Elementary School, La Cumbre Junior High and San Marcos High School which ensures a coordinated effort of resources for children and families living in Santa Barbara’s Westside neighborhood,
The Community Leadership Institute (CLI) is an 8-day residential summer program that trains youth from the Central Coast to be leaders in issues of diversity and justice within their schools and communities. The camp takes place in Ojai during the month of August. Students are selected based on their leadership skills and/or potential and receive 48 hours of community service credit.CLI increases students’ ability to stand up to social pressures and to become positive role models with an appreciation for diversity and justice.
THRIVE Westside is continuously working to ensure that local residents are provided with the resources necessary to succeed, which is part of the reason they have committed to sponsor this team of hardworking students to attend the CLI camp.
“THRIVE Westside is dedicated to supporting the academic and leadership growth of students at San Marcos High,” says Patricia Madrigal, Ph.D., Director of THRIVE Westside. “We are delighted that our local students will benefit greatly from participation at CLI.”
Just Communities is still looking for the ideal business/corporate or individual sponsors in Santa Barbara County to provide scholarships for students from Santa Barbara County High Schools – La Cuesta High School, Dos Pueblos High School, and Santa Barbara High School.
A $5,000 sponsorship will cover 50% of the scholarship money for students at each individual High School. Local foundations have committed to covering the other half of the cost. Just Communities has engaged a professional public relations firm to ensure your financial support receives the attention it deserves. Sponsors will receive the following recognition: official press release creation and distribution throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties; media interview opportunities; online recognition on Just Communities website, and associated social media; photo/media opportunity with representatives from your organization and scholarship recipients; official plaques for your office as well as school administrative building; personal letters from the students who received scholarships.
Contact Just Communities at (805) 966-2063 to become a sponsor or for further information on CLI or other programs offered by Just Communities.
About THRIVE Westside
THRIVE Westside is a partnership between Harding University Partnership School, McKinley Elementary School, La Cumbre Junior High and San Marcos High School to ensure a coordinated effort of resources for children and families living in Santa Barbara’s Westside neighborhood. The goal of the project is to ensure that all children are healthy and safe, prepared for kindergarten through high school graduation, and on to college and career. THRIVEWestside is supported by an education initiative sponsored byTHRIVE Santa Barbara County.
About Just Communities
Just Communities is a Santa Barbara-based nonprofit organization that works to bring together diverse groups of people to build leadership and develop joint solutions our communities’ challenges. Just Communities’ programs help build trust across historic divides, foster relationships between diverse community members, and leverage the trust and relationships towards joint action to produce positive social change.
Community Leadership Institute trains high school students to be leaders in issues of diversity and justice in schools, communities
From left, Juan Daniel Muñoz, Hailey Goodner, Allan Arena Rodriguez and Just Communities staff member Daniel Elenes practice leadership skills at the Community Leadership Institute at Ojai Valley School. The group was role playing a scenario in which they witnessed inappropriate behavior at school and was practicing different techniques for appropriately intervening in the situation. (Just Communities Central Coast photo)
By Amanda Garcia, Noozhawk Intern | @NoozhawkNews | Published on 08.10.2012 5:43 p.m.
Family, friends, educators and community members gathered at Ojai Valley Schoolon Friday afternoon to hear how the next generation of Central Coast student activists and volunteers plans to increase social justice and advocacy within their local schools and communities.
Each summer, Santa Barbara and Ventura county high school students who display leadership skills or potential are selected to participate in the Community Leadership Institute. The eight-day residential program was created by the nonprofit Just Communities Central Coast to train local youth to become leaders in issues of diversity and justice, while granting them 48 hours of community service.
“It’s a chance for high school youth to explore and discuss issues of social justice, ranging from issues involving race, gender and sexual orientation, to social and economic class,” explained Alan Goff, a Just Communities program manager. “We teach them how to be positive change agents within their communities.”
After completing seven days of the program, student participants present pre-action plans and proposed projects to their group members as well as to other members of their community. The intent is to demonstrate their skills and capabilities as newly created social justice leaders interacting with their local communities as student leaders and role models.
“They have developed the social awareness and vocabulary necessary for generating a discussion about issues of justice on a global scale, as well as within their local communities,” Goff added.
Jarrod Schwartz, executive director of Just Communities, also described how students who have completed the CLI program have created similar student programs and organizations involving social justice and providing their peers with an alternative to gang life.
“We are really helping to make communities and schools the best places possible for students and educators,” said Schwartz. “We provide a variety of trainings that are helping communities and neighborhoods become more equitable and inclusive for all members.”
Jorge Flores, a current youth leader volunteer for the CLI program and past participant, said his personal learning experience with Just Communities helped him develop the skills necessary for becoming a better change agent. Within his alma mater, San Marcos High School, Flores helped create a Peace SPEAK week focused on peace education and awareness for oppressed communities, as well as frequent workshops and training aimed at increasing understanding and advocacy in schools.
“It helped me become a better public speaker and really opened my eyes to a lot of different issues I’ve become passionate about,” Flores said. “The social justice issue aspect really stuck with me.”
Established in 2001 as the National Conference for Community and Justice for California’s Central Coast, Just Communities became its own community-based organization and founding member of the National Federation for Just Communities in 2007 under the direction of Schwartz.
According to Schwartz, Just Communities hosts many workshops for local school districts, teachers and parents aimed at addressing academic achievement gaps between students of color and Caucasian students, as well as developing strategies for all students to achieve at the highest possible levels.
“We also have a Safe Schools program, which helps create safer learning environments for students who come from, or identify with, historically oppressed communities,” added Schwartz. “And Just Communities just completed a series of trainings with the Santa Barbara Police Department aimed at creating better police relations with gay and transgender communities in the local area.”
From youth activism and community fundraising efforts, to scholarship programs and student organizations, Just Communities, along with the CLI program, have helped foster a new wave of social justice leadership and volunteerism among high school students.
Bill Macfadyen: Let’s Talk Westside, Where THRIVE Is Alive
Best of Noozhawk 01.20.12 also features bells tolling for SOPA and PIPA, alarms sounding for scams, and a boarding call for Portland
By William M. Macfadyen, Noozhawk Publisher | @noozhawk | Published on 01.20.2012
Late last year, the nonprofit Just Communities invited Noozhawk to partner up on an online public-engagement project for THRIVE Westside, a foundation-led initiative aimed at identifying community-building improvements for Santa Barbara’s Westside. We leaped at the opportunity.
Thanks to Noozhawk’s own partner, MindMixer, we were able to quickly put together Let’s Talk Westside, a virtual town hall that enabled Noozhawk readers and Internet users to join the conversations that were occurring in small, face-to-face meetings over about a two-month period. If you couldn’t be there in person, Let’s Talk Westside offered a pathway to participation that expanded the universe by more than 1,500 people.
Your time is almost up if you haven’t yet gotten involved. Just Communities and the THRIVE organizers are holding the final wrap-up session Saturday and the public is invited to join the summit from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Westside Boys & Girls Club, 602 W. Anapamu St. All of the groups — along with Let’s Talk Westside participants — will be discussing the suggestions, choosing strategies to pursue and creating action plans to turn the ideas into reality.
Among the more popular ideas:
» Improving police-community relations through dialogue and collaboration
» Creating a Westside zócalo or town plaza where the neighborhood’s diverse residents can come together
» Establishing a women’s resource center at which women can talk about the joys and challenges of motherhood and receive advice about professional services, career training and other topics
» Improving lighting
» Strengthening businesses and economic development
» Improving Bohnett Neighborhood Park
» Improving youth services
» Building a community swimming pool
» Addressing gangs and bullying
» Developing a per-to-peer mentoring program through which college students mentor high school students and high school students mentor junior high students
Noozhawk intern Daniel Langhorne will have a follow-up story Saturday night, but please try to attend the meeting if you can.
Additional Let’s Talk Westside sponsors include the Academy of Koei-Kan Karate-Do, Business First Bank, El Zarape Mexican Food, Griffith & Thornburgh LLP, Meridian Group, Paper Moon Printing, ParentClick.com,Presidio Sports, Santa Barbara Community Housing Corp., Santa Barbara Home Improvement Center and the South Coast Community Youth Cultural Center.
THRIVE Westside is a partnership ofHarding University Partnership School, McKinley School, La Cumbre Junior High School, San Marcos High School, the Santa Barbara Unified School District, theJames S. Bower Foundation, Just Communities, One Nation Foundation, theOrfalea Foundations and the Santa Barbara Foundation.
Last weekend, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its evil twin, the Protect IP Act (PIPA), ran into a snag when the Obama administration and a top House leader, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., blasted the more extreme aspects of the highly dubious copyright protection legislation.
By the end of the week, the whole effort had unraveled when Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, SOPA’s lead sponsor in the House of Representatives, announced he would pull the bill until the quite legitimate concerns of the World Wide Web could be properly considered and heeded. Even PIPA champion and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., had backed away from forcing a vote in the Senate.
Censorship opponents can breathe a sigh of relief but vigilance is required. This battle has demonstrated that most of our politicians are clueless about the genius of the Internet and its freedoms and they’re stuck in a time warp, trying to prop up the fossilized entertainment and legacy media industries. Sorry, dudes, you’re betting on the wrong horses.
Speaking of con jobs, authorities say scams are on the rise locally with an array of fraudulent tricks that involves money orders, online sales and even “law enforcement.” In an interview with Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli, Santa Barbara police Sgt. Dan McGrew’s advice was about as simple as it gets: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. So beware, and don’t give out your personal information, no matter how politely and convincingly that beleaguered scion of Nigerian royalty asks.
Alaska Airlines will begin daily $99 flights between Santa Barbara and Portland,Santa Barbara Airport officials announced Jan. 19. The flights don’t start until June but the news was flying around the Internet as Noozhawk readers made it the week’s most forwarded story.
Planes leaving from Santa Barbara may not know the way to San Jose and the Silicon Valley any longer but we can get to Portland in two hours and Oregon’s coolest city, Eugene, in about four.
Speaking of Eugene, I know “It never rains in Autzen Stadium,” but, man, is it raining in the rest of the Willamette Valley! Best of luck to all of my Duck friends threatened by flooding. Stay high and dry!
Santa Barbara County officials say the local poverty rate has increased 52 percent since 2007 and the Board of Supervisors voted Jan. 17 to accept a public/private partnership proposal from the Santa Barbara Foundation to try to figure out what to do about it.
Foundations have been pouring more and more money into social services functions over the last few years as government agencies claim destitution. I trust the Santa Barbara Foundation’s involvement will ensure that this research and the expected report will find meaningful implementation.
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