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BUILDING BLOCKS FOR KIDS
RICHMOND

Q2 2020 Newsletter





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Letter from the Executive Director

Dear Friends: 

In the midst of COVID-19 a first-time experience for all of us and the continued racial brutality against Black people, I recognize that if we are to realize transformation in our lifetimes, there is no going back to normal.

The pre-pandemic realities of structural discrimination and disinvestment have exacerbated and illuminated among other things the impact of limited access to health and wealth for people of color. Black and Latinx communities are becoming infected and dying at two and three times more than their percentage of the population. Financial insecurity that has been ever-present, has now gone beyond barely getting by, to becoming an emergency for many households. 

It is scary and stressful to live in a time of unknown. What does school look like for students in the fall? Is it safe to do the things we did for fun prior to the pandemic? What will the job landscape look like in the short and long term? Are the calls for social justice a moment or a movement? 

These questions are indeed overwhelming. [I just took a deep breath.] As we surface the many problems, I am hopeful because there already exists ideas, innovations, solutions, and practices which may have seemed radical a few months ago but set against our current realities, when fully adopted and implemented, can move us beyond a moment and on a path forward. 

BBK will continue to seek systemic change in education and health and wellness and deliver community services that go beyond moments. In the near future,  I look forward to sharing with you some of our exciting new programs. 

As always, if you have any questions, please send me an email at slane@bbk-richmond.org or give me a call at 510-230-5812.

In Community,    

Sheryl Lane
Executive Director                                        

COVID19: Collaboration and Adaptation

In so many ways, COVID-19 has and continues to change our way of life. For many, it has been a drastic change resulting in job loss, grieving the loss of loved ones, and the disruption of learning and education for children and youth. 

Like many organizations, BBK has adapted our programs and services to support individuals and families in West Contra Costa County. 

  • BBK’s Black and Latina Sanctuary are spaces for women to build emotional and mental well-being with others and are now hosted online twice a month. Black Women’s Sanctuary is now hosted online on the second and fourth Wednesdays. Latina Sanctuary is now hosted online on the second and fourth Friday. To access Sanctuary online, contact Brenda Romero at bromero@bbk-richmond.org or 510.232.5812 ext.406.
  • BBK alongside Richmond Promise, RYSE, Ed Fund West and The City of Richmond launched the Richmond Rapid Response Fund (R3F). R3F is a wraparound initiative that will meet the immediate and ongoing needs of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. If you can, please donate to R3F and help more Richmond families receive emergency financial support. 
  • Looking for fun summer family engagement activities? BBK will host free summer programming online and via Facebook Live. Receive updates about these activities on our Facebook and Instagram pages and contact Marisol at mromero-frias@bbk-richmond.org

During this pandemic, West Contra Costa County has been an exemplar in moving towards action and community-based organizations are leading the way. We appreciate Ed Fund West and Urban Tilth for helping us to connect BBK participants with financial support and fresh food and produce.

 

Congrats to BBK’s First CELI Graduates

We are excited that in February, we hosted our first graduation ceremony for BBK’s inaugural Community Educational Leadership Institute (CELI) cohort of 6 women of color. Launched last fall, CELI builds a powerful and highly engaged network of parent leaders and advocates to serve on local and regional boards, commissions, and committees and bring race, class, and social equity to the forefront of education and health policy decisions.

We look forward to launching our next community sessions and cohort in 2021 and elevating parent voices like CELI alum Lauren McCollins who was recently appointed to the Rodeo Municipal Advisory Committee. 

Creating Transformative Family Engagement 

During this time of emergency distance learning, now more than ever is the moment to have in place baseline standards to meaningfully engage students and families in school and district transformation. BBK in collaboration with community organizations, parents, families, and youth, has created, Transformative Family Engagement (TFE) Standards. We look forward to ensuring that these standards reflect our current moment and are adopted in school districts throughout the Bay Area. Read the TFE Standards and stay tuned for more information. 
 

Serve on BBK’s Steering Committee 

Are you looking to support individual and community transformation? BBK’s Steering Committee may be the place. BBK’s steering committee works in partnership to support the work and mission of the organization as well as the Executive Director. If you have experience with fundraising that would be a plus but it’s not a requirement. We’d love to hear from you. Learn more and apply here.

 

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