Advancement Project California
Advancement Project California is a next generation, multiracial civil rights organization working on systems change in education, equitable community investments, and inclusive democracy.
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3 Submitted Ideas
- CONNECT ·2019 Grants Challenge
No place in the U.S. is harder to count in the census than L.A. County — period. Undercounting our residents means losing billions of dollars in federal funds for schools, housing and other vital community services. The Los Angeles Regional Census Table is a group of nonprofits mobilizing north from the Antelope Valley, all the way south to Long Beach, to ensure every Angeleno — including immigrants, children and youth, people experiencing homelessness, and the LGBTQ community — is counted.
- PLAY ·2014 Grants Challenge
#DisruptViolence in L.A.’s gang hot zones! @AP_California trains disruptors to break the deadly cycle and keep youth safe.
- 2013 Grants Challenge
Advancement Project’s Urban Peace program believes that all children have the right to walk to and from school without the fear of gang intimidation or violence. However, in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, families and students are fearful to travel outside of their homes to attend school, play in the local parks, and frequent neighborhood stores. Children living in public housing developments are unable walk to and from school safely because of harassment and intimidation by competing gangs who are actively recruiting in and near schools. Local parks and gyms are usually unsafe and often claimed by local gangs, so some of the few recreational spaces for low-income families to engage in physical activity are not being utilized. Urban Peace’s Community Safety Scorecard: City of Los Angeles 2011 reveals that the Watts community ranks as one of the top 10 most dangerous zip codes in Los Angeles with an “F” ranking for safety. Thankfully, Urban Peace is now turning the tide in Watts, creating a safe environment for children to walk to school, ride their bikes, and for families to visit local parks. Our Safe Routes to School initiative will use innovative strategies to reduce crime, violence, and bullying along popular school travel routes. This initiative will unite community member volunteers, educators, local law enforcement officials and public housing officials to ensure that students can walk safely to school. The goal of our Safe Routes to School effort will be that students and families will be safe traveling to school, in school, and home from school. Through Safe Routes to School, our initiative will reduce chronic absenteeism that results from safety concerns and improve student access to safe after school alternatives. As part of Urban Peace’s comprehensive violence reduction strategy in Watts, the Safe Routes to School initiative will build on Urban Peace’s leadership of the Community Safety Partnership, a historic joint effort that has created unprecedented partnerships between public housing officials, law enforcement officers, and community members around a comprehensive violence reduction strategy. Our efforts will directly improve student safety, as well as increase opportunities for children and families to safely travel through their neighborhood. Take Blanca, a gifted science student living in Watts public housing who hopes to become a doctor one day. She has supportive parents and works diligently to complete her homework each night. However, as soon as she steps out of her front door to travel to school, she remembers the gang shootings she witnessed last year on her block. Many of her friends suffer PTSD symptoms from witnessing chronic violence. Blanca is halfway through eighth grade, and she is already intimidated by the gang members that try to recruit her at the park, and is even more fearful to face them on a daily basis on her walk to school. The school Blanca needs to pursue her dreams seems simply too risky and too dangerous for her to attend. However, the Safe Routes to School initiative envisions eliminating the fear and intimidation that students like Blanca, and 3,000 like her in Watts face. When the Safe Routes to School initiative is implemented during the 2013-14 school year, Blanca’s walk to school will be transformed. Instead of having to avoid gang violence, Blanca will see a friendly neighborhood mother asking her how her test went last week. On a corner that she was once too afraid to cross, Blanca will instead pass a familiar police officer working with a trusted community gang intervention worker, both working to ensure students' safety. Upon arriving at school, Blanca will be greeted by a trained teacher and gang intervention worker who have taught her strategies to avoid joining a gang and encouraged her to pursue her dreams to become a doctor. Her teachers will have received violence prevention training and will listen and respond to her campus safety concerns including bullying and intimidation from her peers with appropriate and timely interventions. Because of the support of so many community members, Blanca will now have the confidence to stay after school to attend a study group and her family will feel safe when playing a soccer game at a local park in the evening. As a result of our efforts, children like Blanca will not only have the freedom to attend and succeed in school without fears of gang intimidation and violence, but the entire safety of their community will also be improved. Leveraging our ongoing efforts to improve community safety through our leadership of the Watts Community Safety Partnership, we are confident that the integration of a Safe Routes to School initiative will reduce violent crimes to historically low levels in the Watts community and create safe public spaces for Watts families to engage in physical activities.