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BUILDING BLOCKS FOR KIDS
RICHMOND

Q3 2020 Newsletter


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Letter from the Executive Director

Dear Friends:

It’s incredible all that we’ve had to endure in 2020. When we think things are getting better, something else seems to dampen our spirits. As I lean into optimism, hope, and our collective resilience, I trust that we will get through these times. However, we must do more than simply just get through. We must do the things that are needed to personally be well and find restoration and as a community collectively create change so that all are afforded equitable opportunities and the dignity to thrive.

The start of a new school year with distance learning is underway and as the mom of a 4th grader, I can attest to the struggle. During this time, I’ve seen innovation and opportunities to more fully engage our students and parents that I hope will continue far into the future.  In this newsletter, you’ll learn more about Transformative Family Engagement Standards and how they are especially relevant now and how BBK seeks to move them forward beyond this moment in time.

I’m very excited to share with you BBK’s new Community-Based Doula Program that will focus on Black Women’s maternal health and job training to lift up our vision for practices and programs that are centered on healing centered care and wellness.

Lastly, if you are someone that wants to champion multigenerational wellness, community leadership development, and a quality and enriching education for all youth, please consider applying to serve on our Steering Committee or making a donation of any size.

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                                        

BBK to Launch Community-Based
Doula Program

Starting and expanding a family should be an exciting and joyous time but this is not always the case due to a multitude of reasons, including racism, poverty, stress, poor nutrition, and lack of access to quality health care. 

Did you know that?

  • Black mothers are nearly 4 times more likely than White mothers to die from pregnancy-related causes. 
  • Black babies are 2 times more likely than White babies to die before their first birthday. 
  • Black women are at a 1.7 times higher risk of having a preterm birth when compared to White women.  

These statistics are alarming and tragically impact too many Black women, Black families, and Black babies. 

It is for these reasons that BBK is excited to launch a new community-based Doula program in collaboration with Contra Costa Health Services and HealthConnect One to support Black moms throughout Contra Costa County.

BBK will train women to become employed doulas and serve Black birthing women throughout the County. A doula is a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to a mother before, during, and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible.

We look forward to sharing more information, once our program fully launches. 

The Time is Now for Meaningful
Family Engagement

We shared with you recently about our work to develop Transformative Family Engagement Standards (TFES) in collaboration with the Bay Area Family Engagement Work Group. We are excited to share that the new TFES website is live and we are now ready for schools and districts to explore how they can implement TFES!
This work is both a labor of love and an urgent call to action. As families across the Bay Area are impacted by COVID-19, schools and districts must change their mindset on family engagement. This is the time to deepen our collective investments in listening to the needs of families who are most impacted by COVID-19- Black, Latino, Indigenous, Immigrant and Undocumented families. We must work together to co-design a new public school system that works for our communities trying to survive COVID-19.
We are so proud to work with Bay Area Parent Leadership Action Network and Coleman Advocates to complete the assessment that schools and districts can use to help them co-design with families the urgent supports we all need to keep our communities safe during COVID-19 and beyond. Stay tuned for more information.

R3F: Leading with Love

BBK is grateful to have distributed funds from the Richmond Rapid Response Fund (R3F) to our program participants in financial need. R3F was launched in May 2020 by a collective of community and government leaders including BBK, City of Richmond, The RYSE Center, EdFUND West, and Richmond Promise in response to the ongoing needs of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now 90-organizations strong, R3F has raised over $375,000 towards its Phase One goal of $1 million for direct community assistance. Leading from a place of love, R3F seeks to become a resource for the ongoing equitable recovery of a thriving Richmond.  We are proud to be a part of the broader CARES coalition that seeks to find and direct resources to the residents and organizations of Richmond now and beyond the ongoing public health crisis.

Join us in supporting the community. To learn more about R3F and to make a donation, please visit richmondresponsefund.org.

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