Press Room

About the Ella Baker Center

To interview our staff, or learn more about our work, contact:
Terence Long

Our namesake Ella Baker was a hero of the civil rights movement and like her, we believe in the power of everyday people to win change. The Ella Baker Center organizes with Black, Brown, and low-income people to shift resources away from prisons and punishment and towards opportunities that make our communities safe, healthy, and strong.

  • For more information read our About Us page
  • For analysis, updates, and action please visit our blog, Ella's Voice
  • For the latest news articles on our work, visit In the News


Press Releases:

Oakland Prepares for Annual City-Wide Service Day and Festival

Contact Media Relations Manager Abel Habtegeorgis (510) 910 - 2672 (Oakland, CA)- On July 28, 2012, the City of Oakland will have its 2nd Annual Service Festival organized by the award winning Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. Over 30 service projects throughout Oakland and more than 300... Read More

Controversial Youth Prison Practice to End

Contact Media Relations Manager Abel Habtegeorgis (510) 910 - 2672 Dangerous Time Adds Provision No Longer Allowed in California Youth Prisons, Impacting 1,000 Youth After many years, guards at the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) will no longer be able to impose time adds on youths’... Read More

Supreme Court rejects mandatory life-without-parole for youth

Contact Media Relations Manager Abel Habtegeorgis (510) 910 - 2672 On June 25th, 2012 the United States Supreme Court held that mandatory sentences of life without the possibility of parole (“LWOP”) for youth are unconstitutional. In Miller v. Alabama, the Court found that such extreme... Read More

Statement: State Senate Votes Against Lowering Penalty For Drug Possession

Contact Media Relations Manager Abel Habtegeorgis (510) 910 - 2672 The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights is disappointed with the State Senate’s failure to pass common-sense drug reform on May 31, 2012. Senator Mark Leno’s historic bill to make felony drug possession a misdemeanor, co-... Read More

New Poll Confirms 70% Support for Revising CA’S Drug Laws, Across Party and Geographic Lines

Senate Bill 1506 will be voted upon in state senate before the end of the month Voters overwhelmingly believe that California’s prisons and jails are overcrowded and want more alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders, according to new poll released today. Support for the shift... Read More

Division of Juvenile Justice to Remain Open, Costing State Over $100 million in Potential Savings

Contact Media Relations Manager Abel Habtegeorgis (510) 910 - 2672 Prisons Spared While Higher Education and Health Services Suffer Further Cuts (Oakland, CA) Despite ongoing failures and shocking abuse , the Governor once again backed down on his budget proposal to close California’s state... Read More

Highly Acclaimed Documentary “HEIST” Debuting in Oakland at the Historic Grand Lake Theater

Contact Media Relations Manager Abel Habtegeorgis (510) 910 - 2672 Film highlights the roots of of the American economic crisis, struggles of millions of middle class Americans, nationwide occupy movement. (Oakland,CA) - Producers of the explosive new documentary “Heist” join community... Read More

California Youth Prison Agrees to Improve Inmate Living Conditions Following Online Campaign

Contact - Media Relations Manager: Abel Habtegorgis (510) 910 - 2672 CAMARILLO, CA – Over 10,000 people joined a popular campaign on in partnership with the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, demanding improved living conditions at a California youth prison. As a result, the... Read More

Civil-rights leaders committed to bill that makes drug possession a misdemeanor

For Immediate Release: 2/27/2012 Contact: Abel Habtegeorgis Media Relations Manager (510) 428-3939 x232 (Oakland, CA) – Civil rights activists responded favorably today to the introduction of legislation in California that would make the maximum penalty for possession... Read More

Legislation would Limit Use of Solitary Confinement at Juvenile Facilities

Human Rights Advocates, Elected Officials declare that Solitary confinement increases rates of recidivism, mental illness and suicide For Immediate Release: 2/24/2012 Contact: Abel Habtegeorgis Media Relations Manager (510) 428-3939 x232 SACRAMENTO – On 2/24/12,... Read More