Youth violence continues to be a huge issue in our community, and especially in Hayward, CA. Newly elected County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer wanted to put her uncanny ability to bring disparate forces together to better serve the community she represents. In her district there are over one hundred non-profits dedicated to solving the youth violence epidemic. In mid February, Nadia and her staff reach out to TOLA to employ our help to coordinate a town hall called ‘Plan of Action: Youth Violence Prevention’ on June 15th with CBOs, police, probation, Hayward Unified School District, the courts, clergy and other county service providers working on the issue of youth gang violence.
In addition to organizing and planning this event, two TOLA Fellows developed a comprehensive resource guide of area agencies to be distributed at event and in the future to educate the area’s youth of the resources they have at their disposal. To create this resource guide, TOLA met with over 75 providers in the area to survey their facilities and the services they provide.
By the end of the Fellows’ time in Supervisor Lockyer’s office, they provided the staff with a holistic review of the County Violence Prevention Initiative and offered recommendations for making this program more efficient and focused.
After weeks of meeting with community leaders and partners, days of research and a flurry of auxiliary organizing activities, on June 15th, the Fellows put on a hugely successful event where service providers, county officials and youth leaders spoke to an audience of over 75 service provider non-profits. As of now we cannot quantify the impact of these efforts, but from the success of the event, we can only expect to see the service providers working more in unison and less at-odds with each other. This work benefits everyone’s ultimate goal of eradicating gang related violence that currently plagues south Alameda County.