On October 5th, 2019 the Social Justice Fund for Ventura County (SJFVC) convened with friends, supporters and grantees for an evening of food, drinks and art for our 2019 Celebration of Activism event. As many of you know, our theme this year was Vulnerable Children of Ventura County. Thanks to contributions from so many, we were pleased to be able to provide $30,000 among six nonprofits who are helping vulnerable children throughout the county.
Congratulations to the six 2019 Grantees (with link to websites and summary of how they will use their grant):
- Padres Juntos Promoviendo la Educación with Ventura County LULAC
Padres Juntos is under the umbrella of LULAC, and they are requesting support to cover direct costs of their year-round program. Padres Juntos aims to educate English-language learning families through personal and informative trainings in an effort to raise authentic voices of disenfranchised sectors of the community and advocate for systemic changes in the Ventura County School Districts. They work by linking parents to administrators so that parents become effective advocates of their children’s education. Focus is in Oxnard, where 93% of students in k-8 are Latino.
- New West Symphony
NWS symphony intends to use their grant for their Lady Harmony Project, which provides Ventura Unified School District low-income students with music training and performance opportunities in year-round programs, allowing them to pursue their education and thrive in school settings. Children in grades three and up receive free instruments on loan and a minimum of four hours per week in music training. Benefits include neurological changes, which help address the barriers often seen in low SES youth. Objectives are also measured via improvement of grades, test scores, and attendance.
- Friends of Fieldworkers Inc,
Friends of Fieldworkers is requested the funding of the CSUCI Encampment scholarship for a fieldworker’s child, in addition to the funding of water filters for approximately 50 farm working families living in poverty. These are 50 fieldworker families living in garages or single rented rooms and the request is to meet basic needs of clean and accessible water.
- Just Communities Central Coast
Emphasis for Just Communities will be on their Talking In Class program, focusing on children in grades 6th-12, addressing stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination before they lead to hate and violence, by facilitating peer-to-peer training, which they state is one of the most effective strategies for impacting student awareness and behavior. Last year they focused on the African American Talking in Class and Talking in Class for undocumented students. These programs will be repeated, in addition to Talking in Class aimed at foster students and homeless, IEP students, and underserved groups.
- CASA of Ventura County
Casa VC will use its grant to enhance the support of foster youth as they become adults, (ages 18-21) and also for advocacy work for their volunteer Advocates. Measurable goals include: safety, reliable transportation with insurance, success in college/employment, live within budget, and helping them make responsible choices. Additionally, a goal is maintaining volunteer Advocate relationships with foster youth to ensure they are taking the steps needed to continue into Extended Foster Care, medical care, etc.
- Future Leaders of America
FLA requested support of the Non-citizens initiative where funds are aimed at training and empowering Latino youth. They define vulnerable children as those children who reside in underserved immigrant communities, who lack parental involvement due to language, income, immigration status, and resources. There has been further marginalization of these Latino youth given post 2016 policy changes in our country. FLA hopes to continue to help youth and staff to advocate for green card holders and undocumented to have a stronger voice with local school boards.
We want to thank:
- The Port of Hueneme for sponsoring this event,
- Studio Channel Islands for partnering with SJFVC by providing the site for the event, connecting us with artists and their friends and particularly those artists who provided art pieces for our auction and overall support,
- and of course our donors that funded these grants.
SJFVC chair Michael Teasdale with artists Omar d'Leon and Andrea Yomtob in front of the painting titled "The Kiss".