Q1 2019 Newsletter

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Letter from the Executive Director

Dear Friends,

I had the honor of serving as the keynote speaker at Contra Costa County’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. The theme for the event was the “Dream Starts with Me.” In reflecting on this theme, I shared the following: “Are we elevating our own dreams, the dreams of those we love, especially our babies, our youth, and are we living in the dreams of those who came before us?” “We cannot remain on the sidelines as we seek to expand opportunities for everyone to realize their dreams especially our children.”

I’m reminded of what Dr. King wrote in his Letter from Birmingham City Jail: 

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.”

I dare all of us in 2019 to get to work on eradicating injustice as well as to dream big, bold, and audacious dreams for Contra Costa County, for California, our nation, and our world.

Yours Truly,                                                          

Sherly Lane

Sparking Joy of Discovery at Lincoln Elementary

BBK is thrilled to have launched our STEM and Coding Club after-school program at Lincoln Elementary School. Students are applying chemical engineering skills to create their own special recipes for the best bouncy balls, the slimiest of slime, and the biggest of bubbles. Students have also learned coding concepts and will soon delve into structural engineering. And while the thrills of a messy experiment are always inviting, students are also learning that finding success is a practice of patience and ingenuity.  

A new year offers an opportunity to reflect on the previous 12 months. In the coming months, BBK will finalize a strategic plan that will allow us to have a greater impact this year and beyond. In the meantime, we are honored to have had another successful year in 2018 of programming and services. To read more about what we accomplished as an organization, check out our BBK 2018 Impact Report here. 

Introducing New Steering Committee Members

At the end of 2018, BBK welcomed Jasmine Jones and Angie Godinez to our BBK Steering Committee. 

As a Richmond native and a mother, Jasmine Jones believes in good work and supporting the leadership of Black women. These values are exemplified in the many roles she has played in over ten years of demonstrated success supporting organizations. 

Jasmine holds experience as a lead community organizer, program director, trainer on civic leadership, public official, social impact consultant, and a movement grantmaker. Wow!

As a founding member and lead organizer at the Black Organizing Project based in Oakland, she helped usher the passage of parent-student informed policies within the Oakland Unified School District. 

Her trailblazing story does not end here. Jasmine was recently named the Executive Director at the West Contra Costa Public Education Fund in January. BBK staff wishes her the best of luck!

Angie Godinez is a Latinx Richmond native that grew up utilizing the many youth programs available and accessible to her during her formative years. Years later, she is still grateful for those experiences and has remained committed to connecting and serving the very community that served her. 

Angie’s passion for community work includes participating in the establishment of the RYSE Center and later serving on their Board of Trustees (2010 – 2011). Another noted achievement includes being a founding member of the non-profit Amauta Foundation, which is dedicated to exposing low-income students to mathematics and computer programming. 

Angie is currently completing her Ph.D. studies at UC Berkeley in Vision Science and gaining experience as a researcher in the field. We are so proud of you Angie!

BBK looking to further expand Steering Committee


BBK is currently in search of other committed individuals who are interested in serving and empowering Richmond families.

The Building Blocks for Kids Steering Committee is a small, committed group of volunteers who collectively function as an advisory board to BBK. Specifically, they work in partnership with the Executive Director to support the work and mission of the organization. 

To find out more about this opportunity, please check out our onboarding materials here.

Announcing New BBK Deputy Director

Formerly the Director of Health and Wellness (H&W), Saray Rios-Hacegaba is finding new strides as the newly appointed Deputy Director of BBK!

In her new role, Saray looks forward to developing successful systems within BBK and strengthening our ability to positively impact the community. She is anticipating that the process will teach her many things and exciting new challenges


Hiring for Health & Wellness and CEAT Assistant Coordinators

BBK is searching for caring and passionate individuals interested in equipping Richmond families with the tools and resources needed to live fulfilling lives! 
To learn more or share the news, please check out our linked job descriptions below! 

Health & Wellness Assistant Coordinator (Regular, Part-time)

The Health & Wellness Assistant Coordinator will focus on instilling physical, mental, and spiritual wellness with families, developing curriculum and fostering community relationships.

CEAT Assistant Coordinator (Temp-to-Hire, Part-time)

The CEAT Assistant Coordinator will support BBK with building and sustaining community relationships, developing leadership skills for community members and coordinating parent and resident engagement activities. 

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