Heal the Streets Basics

Heal the Streets was launched in 2009 to help the Ella Baker Center achieve its goal of training a new generation of social change leaders.

Our approach to youth leadership development starts with the youth. Like Miss Baker, we believe that when youth have the knowledge, inspiration and solutions they need to address the challenges they face, they can make a difference.

During the fellowship, they get to be the leaders of a movement of their own design. We help them build their skills, learn about politics, and apply what they've learned through community organizing.

Heal the Streets Fellows

  • Advocate for public policies that benefit youth
  • Gain hands-on skills to support their leadership
  • Receive one-on-one mentorships with community leaders and Ella Baker Center staff
  • Plan events to bring awareness to the issues that contribute to violence
  • Work with community members to find solutions to urban violence
  • Design their own project to promote change

2010 - 2011: Focus on Racial Profiling

Our second cohort set out to answer: What are the causes and effects of racial profiling? What can we do to prevent it?

The fellows spent ten months collecting data from focus groups, interviews, and Participatory Action Research. From there they released a report with their recommendations about addressing racial profiling in Oakland. Download a PDF copy of the report.

The also worked with United Roots to develop and record two public service announcements based on their project. Listen to their PSAs below.

Unite as One

Don't Lose Hope

2009 - 2010: Focus on Teen Joblessness

Our first group of Heal the Streets fellows identified teen joblessness as a cause for violence in the community. They explored the question: How can an increase in teen jobs decrease violence in Oakland?

The fellows collected nearly 300 surveys from local youth and business owners. They interviewed City Council members Rebecca Kaplan, Nancy Nadel and School Board Member Jody London and worked with organizations such as Youth Alive, Movimiento, Youth in Focus, MISSSEY and Scotland Youth Center. At the end of the project, the fellows created a policy paper to present to policy makers and practitioners.

In its first year, Heal the Streets also worked with organizations in Oakland, Richmond and Alameda to help create a violence prevention certificate program at the College of Alameda. This is a partnership with community-based organizations and the College of Alameda.