CURYJ’s Young People Are Leading the Movement to Reimagine Public Safety
CURYJ youth are organizing for a future free from policing and incarceration. Xochtil Larios, our Youth Justice Program Associate and former CURYJ program participant, is continuing the work she started as a 2020 Soros Justice Fellow. Xochtil designed and led the implementation of a peer-to-peer educational program for youth held in the Alameda County Juvenile Hall—the same facility where she was incarcerated just three years ago.
We also recently graduated the 3rd Dream Beyond Bars cohort, a paid fellowship where formerly incarcerated transitional age youth work closely with CURYJ Policy, Campaigns & Organizing staff on abolitionist legislation.
The DBB Fellowship is one of our youth development programs that stabilizes and builds power among the young people in our community. We lace up our youth with culturally-rooted organizing & advocacy training and dedicate a third of our annual operating budget to compensating them for their expertise as systems-impacted change makers.
Last year, these Fellows helped us co-sponsor two hard-earned wins in police accountability—the Police Decertification Act and the CRISES Act. These pieces of legislation will get abusive cops off the streets and start dismantling the state’s over-reliance on police for community emergencies.
In the upcoming year, the recent grads will be staying with CURYJ as Senior Fellows with increased salaries and even more intensive advocacy work. You can visit curyj.org/programs/dream-beyond-bars to learn more about each fellow and the specific legislation they’re pushing forward.
HOW YOU CAN HELP!
CURYJ has launched a capital campaign to raise $10 million over the next three years to build out the Oscar Grant Youth Empowerment Zone. So far, the organization has raised roughly $1.2 million.
It is looking for supporters to donate to funding building costs, scaling up operations, expanding staff, and having a stronger cash reserve. Investing in the Oscar Grant Youth Empowerment Zone presents a unique opportunity to work in solidarity with local communities and state organizations in order to ensure that the cultural heritage, activism, and diversity of Fruitvale are protected and preserved.
“CURYJ works on the issues that its members identify as important in their lives and centers the young people as activist change-makers. I support CURYJ because I see that this approach is the only way to make true change and grow community power,” says Quinn Delaney, a CURYJ supporter.
Thanks to Delaney’s generosity, all gifts will be matched up to $85,000.
Director of Development: Jessica Miller
CURYJ was born when our co-founders set out to defeat the Fruitvale gang injunction, a pre-emptive “restraining order” that gave cops the right to harass young people of color and strip them of their civil liberties. In the years since defeating the injunction, CURYJ has worked nonstop in coalitions and partnerships to fight against policies that criminalize youth and to craft policy that invests in our communities.
Begin to Build a Relationship
We know you care about where your money goes and how it is used. Connect with this organization’s leadership in order to begin to build this important relationship. Your email will be sent directly to this organization’s Director of Development and/or Executive Director.
[As youth] we skipped school because we didn’t like it, we don’t like the system, then we go outside, we get tickets, citations, we go in and out of juvenile hall, it’s always that system. We can’t ever level up… OGYPZ will be a safe place where youth can go, they’ll be actually provided resources. For example, the OGYPZ will have a café that will be a place for youth to work, it will show youth how to run a business; it’s a start, it’s a café, but you have an idea of how to start a business.
Help Build the Community Infrastructure to End Youth Incarceration
Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ) is seeking $1 million to complete fundraising for the first phase of its Oscar Grant Youth Power Zone, which is slated to open in May 2024 at Fruitvale Station. The project will serve as a larger home base for CURYJ and the formerly incarcerated young people they serve, wrapping them with a continuum of care through a mix of in-house programming and strategic partnerships.
“It’s really just about having a place where they feel loved, supported, and safe,” says CURYJ Executive Director George Galvis. “It’s a home away from home.”
Aleah Bacquie Vaughn
Andrus Family Fund
Sierra Health Foundation
The California Endowment
The San Francisco Foundation
Zellerbach Family Foundation