41 Enrichment Activities & Centers by and for Black Families - 510 Families
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41 Enrichment Activities & Centers by and for Black Families

We asked our 510families Facebook community for some favorite East Bay organizations that support black youth. I want to thank the people who helped compile this list for their generosity. Please note that some of these organizations have paused programming during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

black girls code
With the goal of training one million African-American girls by 2040. | Photo: Black Girls Code blog

Favorite East Bay Organizations that Support Black Youth & Families

A few of the recommended classes, schools, and programs that help grow our community and specifically support Black youth were mentioned a bunch of times:

Acta Non Verba (ANV) is a working and teaching urban farm in East Oakland. ANV engages and strengthens young people’s understanding of nutrition, food production, and healthy living as well as strengthens their ties to the community. Thank you, Jenne K. & Esperanza M.

Black Girls Code Black Girls Code aims to increase the number of women of color in the digital space by empowering girls of color ages 7 to 17 to become innovators in STEM fields, leaders in their communities, and builders of their own futures through exposure to computer science and technology. UC Berkeley works with the Bay Area Chapter of Black Girls Code to host their Annual Robot Expo. Thank you, Puja D. and Lauren A.

Destiny Arts Center, Oakland. Destiny Arts Center is a youth development non profit organization in Oakland that is igniting change through the arts by delivering dance and martials arts classes and programming. Thank you, Diana R.

RYSE Center, Richmond. RYSE creates safe spaces grounded in social justice for young people to love, learn, educate, heal, and transform lives and communities with specific classes in organizing, arts, and lots more. Thank you, Kristin L. and Maya W.

destiny arts kids
Connection, community, and creativity through dance and martial arts | Photo: destinyarts.org

Lots More Organizations that Support Black Youth in the East Bay

I attempted to separate out the various organizations first by kids’ age and then into the arts, community, academic, technology, legal, but quickly realized that many of these groups transcend tidy categorization and so I present them alphabetically along with a brief description. I hope you find one or more that speaks to you.

Abundant Beginnings is a collectively run, black-led community education and empowerment initiative that is re-imagining how communities can grow learners who think critically, live responsibly, and create meaningful change. Ingrid M.

BAYCAT exists to end racism and sexism through storytelling with representation in media creation. Thank you, Tara B.

Berkeley Youth Alternatives BYA aims to help children, youth, and their families address issues and problems via Prevention by reaching youth before their problems become crises, and via Intervention through the provision of support services to youth entangled in the juvenile justice system. Find BYA on Facebook Thank you, Mae R.

California Youth Connection California Youth Connection (CYC) is a youth-led organization that develops leaders who empower each other and their communities to transform the foster care system through legislative, policy, and practice change. Thank you, Jade C.

Center for Youth Development through Law CYDL’s programs immerse East Bay youth, who are first-generation and/or from marginalized communities, in environments that might otherwise seem inaccessible: classes and activities on the U.C. Berkeley campus and internships in law, government and social justice offices. Thank you, Su-Jin L.

Centro De Juventud serves Black and Latino youth in the Fruitvale area of Oakland. They provide after school tutoring, recreation and snacks to students of the community. They also have other programs to help youth get rid of gang tattoos, community service programs and rehabilitation programs. Thank you, Daniel G.

Chapter 510 & the Dept. of Make Believe Chapter 510 is a made-in-Oakland youth writing & publishing center where teaching artists and volunteers work side-by-side with educators to provide a safe space and supportive community for young people ages 6-18 to bravely write. Thank you, Mae R.

East Bay Center for the Performing Arts in Richmond encourages the active creation of original music, film, theater, and dance, coupled with self-determined community projects, to further the cause of social justice, the hard work needed to prepare, the skills to create, and the courage to perform. Website. Michelle C.

East Oakland Youth Development Center (EOYDC) EOYDC develops the social and leadership capacities of youth and young adults (ages 6 – 24) so that they are prepared for employment, higher education, and leadership opportunities. Thank you, Carla T.

First Place for Youth, Oakland helps foster kids build the skills they need to make a successful transition to self-sufficiency and responsible adulthood. Website. Thank you, Jade C.

FLY! Fresh Lifelines for Youth. They provide leadership development and youth law education. FLY works with youth in the juvenile justice system and those at risk of entering the system in Alameda County to get kids out of the pipeline to prison and onto a brand new path. Website. Thank you, Elizabeth T.

Girls Inc. of Alameda County inspires girls to be strong, smart, and bold through its many programs for girls entering grades 1 to 12. Website. Thank you, Cindy D.

Hack the Hood At hack the hood, youth learn tech skills by helping small businesses. Thank you, Michelle S.

Hard Knox Bikes is a bike shop specializing in interactive cycling education for underrepresented folx. Hard Knox Bikes was originally created to offer hands-on workshops to teach about bicycles in a comfortable environment and they’ve been expanding to representative bicycle education videos. Thank you, Rebecca W.

Hidden Genius Project The Hidden Genius Project trains and mentors black male youth in technology creation, entrepreneurship, and leadership skills to transform their lives and communities. Thank you, Carol T. and Tamar C.

Lotus Bloom is a network of family resource centers rooted in ​Oakland as a safe, welcoming and inclusive space for traditionally underserved populations to come together as a community to provide children with a rich learning foundation. Website. Thank you, Kelli R.

Oakland Kids First (OKF) works to increase youth voice, leadership, and power and create engaging and equitable public schools where all students learn and achieve. They offer programs that include leadership development, peer academic mentoring, enrichment, wellness, restorative justice, and youth organizing. Website. Thank you, Pecolia M.

OK Program for OAK is a mentor program, that empowers Black men and boys to transform their communities. Thank you, Carla T. and Lenisha W.

100 Black Men of the Bay Area 100 Black Men is a national organization with a strong local presence. Successful businessmen from a variety of social, educational and economic sectors came together for the common purpose of making a difference in the lives of African American youth. Thank you, Lenisha W.

100 Black Women of Oakland/Bay Area The Oakland/Bay Area Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women is committed to providing programs that increase the participation of African American women in economic, civic, entrepreneurial, and human service arenas of their respective communities through education, scholarship, and collaboration. Website

The Oral Lee Brown Foundation is a non-profit corporation with the specific purpose of providing education assistance and scholarships to underprivileged children in the Oakland area. Website. Thank you, Samantha O.

Pear Tree Community School, Oakland: All of the teachers are people of color and their curriculum is taught from a social justice perspective! Michele Hamilton is the inspiring founder/director/principal! Website > Thank you, Chandra B.

The People’s Conservatory trains young art explorers to envision and create a humane and just world through their art. They strive to channel arts creation and performance into artistic endeavors that can promote positive social change. Website. Thank you, NiQueen J.

Pogo Park transforms broken and little-used city parks in Richmond’s “Iron Triangle” into safe, green, beautiful public spaces for children to play. Website. Thank you, Sadie.

Project Level expands and builds upon the typical music program, founded by Richard “Big Rich” Bougere and Danielle Banks. Thank you, Puja D.

Rich City Rides, Richmond.  Rich City Rides is a bike shop with a mission to help create a healthier city with programs focused on creating opportunities to improve health and economics by promoting cycling as a social, sustainable and green mode of transportation.

Richmond Art Center. Richmond Art Center is the largest visual arts center in the East Bay, delivering arts experiences to people of all ages who reflect the diverse richness of the community through onsite studio classes and exhibitions, and offsite art in the community. Thank you, Jan S.

Safe Passages disrupts the cycle of poverty by engaging youth and families to build and drive a continuum of services that supports student success and community development. Thank you, Juliet L.

SPEARITWURX Center for Culture and Wellness is in a Oakland-based organization that inspires intergenerational wellness and does excellent work for youth and families. Website. NiQueen J.

SWE Get Set is a hands-on engineering and technology program for high school girls of underrepresented groups to show them that engineering is fun, creative, improves lives, and is an exciting career option.

We Wield the Hammer offers metalsmithing courses for women and girls of African descent because access, opportunity, and creativity changes lives. Website. Thank you, Nicole T.

YES Nature to Neighborhoods has the goal for Richmond youth, adults and families to lead healthy, connected lives; motivate change in their neighborhoods; and inspire a safe, thriving community. Website Thank you, Carol T.

Young Gifted and Black teaches Black History through historic poetry, contemporary rap, and liberation songs. They are currently welcoming new members grades 2 – 8. Website >

YR Media Youth Radio is now YR Media — a dynamic national network of young journalists, artists and innovators. Thank you, Maya W.

Youth Speaks Youth Speaks exists to shift the perceptions of youth by combating illiteracy, isolation, alienation, and silence, creating a global movement of brave new voices bringing the noise from the margins to the core. Thank you, Mae R.

Youth Spirit Artworks (YSA) is an interfaith art jobs and job training program located in Berkeley, California which is committed to empowering homeless and low-income San Francisco Bay Area young people, ages 16-25. Website. Thank you, Mae R. and Kim C.

Youth Together was founded to address the root causes of educational inequities by developing multiracial youth leaders and engaging school community allies to promote positive school change. Website. Thank you, Pecolia M.

Youth UpRising (AKA Youth Rising), aims to transform East Oakland into a healthy and economically robust community by developing the leadership of youth and young adults and improving the systems that impact them. Website. Thank you, Mae R. and Maya W.

Thanks again to the generosity of the 510families Facebook community for sharing their favorite East Bay organizations that support black youth. Please donate to these non-profit groups if you are able.

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