The longstanding mental health crisis in our schools has deep roots in systemic trauma and inequities that disproportionately impact BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) students. This crisis is even more acute as the health and economic impacts of COVID-19 continue to unfold and school districts face significant budget cuts. In response to growing local and national pressure, many school districts are also revisiting the role and necessity of school police, which shines a light on longstanding school climate and culture issues and the allocation of district resources. Amidst all of this, there is an opportunity to reimagine schools as a place of healing and to access additional resources for the range of social, emotional and behavioral health supports needed to support that paradigm shift.
Presenters will discuss what is needed to make this shift at the district level, potential public funding mechanisms to finance the resources needed for this approach, and how funders can support these efforts. The webinar is designed for a cross-sector audience, including funders from health, education, racial justice, criminal justice reform, and youth development, all of whom have a role to play.
Alex Briscoe was appointed director of the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency in 2009 where he led one of the state’s largest public health systems, overseeing health and hospital systems, public health, behavioral health, and environmental health departments with an annual budget of $700 million and 6,200 FTE contracted and civil service staff. Before joining the county, he was the director of the Chappell Hayes Health Center at McClymonds High School in West Oakland, a satellite outpatient center of Children’s Hospital and Research Center. Mr. Briscoe’s work has helped design the nexus of public health and public education. He has designed and administered a number of mental health and physical health programs and services in child serving systems, including home visiting programs, programs for medically fragile children, and clinical and development programs in child welfare, juvenile justice, and early childhood settings. Mr. Briscoe has served on the Alameda County First Five Commission, The Alameda Alliance, and The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and The Uninsured, as well as a number of other public and private boards and commissions. Mr. Briscoe is a mental health practitioner specializing in adolescent services and youth development. He has advised or collaborated with a number of local and national foundations including The Atlantic Philanthropies, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, The California Endowment, and most recently with Tipping Point Community. He has specialized in Medicaid policy and administration, emergency medical services, youth voice and crisis counseling, and safety net design and administration.
Shawn Ginwright, PhD. is one of the nation’s leading innovators, provocateurs, and thought leaders on African American youth, youth activism, and youth development. He is Professor of Education in the Africana Studies Department and a Senior Research Associate at San Francisco State University. His research examines the ways in which youth in urban communities navigate through the constraints of poverty and struggle to create equality and justice in their schools and communities. Dr. Ginwright is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Flourish Agenda, Inc., a national nonprofit consulting firm, whose mission is to design strategies that unlock the power of healing and engage youth of color and adult allies in transforming their schools and communities.
In 2011, he was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Senior Specialist award from the State Department for his outstanding research and work with urban youth. Dr. Ginwright is the author of “Hope and Healing in Urban Education: How Activists and Teachers are Reclaiming Matters of the Heart,”, “Black Youth Rising, Activism and Radical Healing in Urban America.” “Black in School- Afrocentric Reform, Black Youth and the Promise of Hip-Hop Culture,” and co-editor of “Beyond Resistance!: Youth Resistance and Community Change: New Democratic Possibilities for Practice and Policy for America's Youth.”
Dr. Ginwright currently serves as Chairman of the Board for the California Endowment, with oversight of a $3 billion endowment to improve the health of California’s underserved communities. He also serves on the Advisory Board for the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning at the Jonathan Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tuffs University. Dr, Ginwright lives in Oakland, CA with his lovely wife and is currently an empty-nester—both children are in college.
Dr. Kyla Johnson-Trammell has served as Superintendent of Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) since 2017. She stepped into the role at a time when the District faced numerous challenges. In the three years she has been at the helm, Dr. Johnson-Trammell has provided steadfast leadership navigating the district through a fiscal crisis, a seven day teachers strike, and the abrupt closure of schools and district offices this spring due the coronavirus pandemic. Even amidst these challenges, Dr. Johnson-Trammell has remained relentless in her focus and commitment to Oakland students as evidenced by the increasing district graduation rates and the continued decline of suspension rates under her tenure as Superintendent.
An Oakland native and alum of OUSD schools, Dr. Johnson-Trammell has spent over two decades serving Oakland students, rising through the ranks from school site to district leadership. She has served as a teacher, teacher coach, principal, associate superintendent, network superintendent and interim deputy superintendent prior to her current position. She is also a parent and proud mom of two OUSD students.
Dr, Johnson-Trammell wants for all Oakland students what she wants for her own children: welcoming, caring and supportive school environments that hold all students and staff to high standards, and where all students graduate prepared for college, career and community success. She leads with the heart of a mother, and the intelligence, courage and determination of an Oakland-grown superintendent.
Ms. Shiels proudly serves as the Superintendent of the Sonoma Valley Unified School District (SVUSD). SVUSD serves the city of Sonoma and the unincorporated Valley area between Glen Ellen and the Napa County border. She works alongside the proud and hardworking staff over 600 employees who educate and nurture nearly 4000 students across five elementary schools, two middle schools, and both a comprehensive and continuation high school.
Previously, Ms. Shiels served a statewide organization as the Director of Education for the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE), where she worked closely with districts. As a Sonoma County resident, she traveled the state to support and champion districts seeking to improve outcomes for those historically underserved. Post-fire, it was clear it was time to reinvest personal effort and attention to the local community Ms. Shiels values so much. She feels privileged to be able to serve students and families of the Valley.
She has nearly 30 years of public education experience at the administrative and classroom level. She also had the opportunity to serve as the Superintendent of Santa Rosa City School (SRCS) District for four years. Her proudest career highlights include empowering district culture shift to restorative justice for the entire school community and intentionally creating an inclusive community and organizational cultures.
As a Santa Rosa resident for nearly a decade, she has been a strong supporter and partner of a community working together. She believes that public-private partnerships across the county to ensure community health, economic vitality, and educational attainment at all organizational levels. She is a proud member of the Valley community and looks forward to working together on behalf of each and every student. The future of the Valley is in SVUSD classrooms right now.
About the FNTR
Launched in 2018, the vision of the FNTR is to foster a vibrant, engaging funder learning community that meaningfully increases the impact of individual and collective efforts to address adversity and build resilience in the San Francisco Bay Area. To help accomplish this, the FNTR hosts various learning and networking opportunities designed to share ideas and build meaningful relationships.
& the San Francisco Education Funders Collaborative