Remember what it was like to be a kid? What would you have done, at 12 years old, if you couldn’t breathe because of the oil drilling site next door? What if, at 16 you were sent to jail for being late to school? What would you do today if you lost your home because the landlord increased your rent beyond your means?
Would you be paralyzed by fear or would you fight back?
These days the news can be overwhelming. Stories of violence, injustice and oppression fill our feeds almost daily. Meanwhile, hateful ideas are being given an increasingly visible platform at the national level. These problems can be daunting, and sometimes it’s hard to even know where to start. But the worst thing we can do in a time of so much need is become overwhelmed.
In February 2018, Liberty Hill partnered with the Genders and Sexualities Alliance (GSA) Network of Southern California—one of our grantees fighting to empower and train young LGBTQ leaders—to call on Los Angeles County elected officials to address issues of disproportionate criminalization and abusive treatment of LGBTQ youth of color.
If someone offered you $100,000 and two years to think deeply about how to solve a big problem, what problem would you tackle? As a recipient of the 2018 Stanton Fellowship, I have just that opportunity. For me, that big question is how we create a youth development system that gives our kids a chance to lead productive lives, and to be the brothers, the fathers, the friends, the leaders they were meant to be.
Save the Date for Liberty Hill’s Upton Sinclair Awards Dinner on April 19 at The Beverly Hilton and stand with grassroots organizers and donor-activists who are leading the movement for social justice. Honorees include Congressman John Lewis and Elizabeth Levitt Hirsch.
When Liberty Hill launched the Brothers, Sons, Selves Coalition in 2011, in partnership with The California Endowment and 12 grassroots community groups, there was a problem we could not ignore: L.A.’s boys and young men of color were in crisis.
For too many, school was a pathway to prison and not college. Graduation rates for our young men of color were significantly lower than their white counterparts. Unemployment was high and life expectancy was low.
When I share what we do in Brothers Sons Selves Coalition I can see hope in my friends and family. They believe that it is possible to make change because of my involvement.
Here are Liberty Hill's progressive partners and L.A.'s progressive leaders: