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Power, Systems, and Narratives: Community-centered Investment in East Contra Costa County

Advancing racial equity and economic justice in regions that low-income people of color increasingly call home requires long-term investments in community-centered leadership, along with systems and narrative change. Rising housing prices and displacement pressures are continuing to push low-income people of color in the Bay Area out of central cities to suburban areas, deepening the suburbanization of poverty.

East Contra Costa County’s population has grown as people moved to the region in search of a safe and affordable place to call home, shifting from a majority white population in 1990 to a majority people of color population in 2020. The region, which includes the cities of Antioch, Brentwood, Oakley, Pittsburg, and unincorporated communities of Baypoint, Bethel Island, Byron, Discovery Bay, and Knightsen, has seen deepening racial and economic inequities following the wave of foreclosures in the Great Recession of 2008, an increase in corporate landlords, and the impact of the ongoing pandemic.

East Contra Costa County’s close-knit community networks, civic and political leaders of color, community organizers, and coalitions of service providers and advocates are countering the challenges facing their under-invested suburban and geographically isolated rural communities. They are fighting to build power, shift systems and change narratives. Since 2015, the East Contra Costa STRONG Collaborative Fund (STRONG Fund) has partnered with these community leaders to increase racial equity and economic justice by strengthening the capacity of nonprofits, supporting leadership development, and building community voice and power.

Join community, philanthropic, and public sector changemakers in a discussion about the racial and economic justice opportunities in East Contra Costa County and a community-centered philanthropic collaborative activating leadership development, narrative change, and public and philanthropic investment in the region.

Speakers 

  • Arielle Deseré, Poet
  • Brandon Johns, Senior Program Officer, San Francisco Foundation
  • Susun Kim, Executive Director, Family Justice Center
  • Rhea Elina Laughlin, Program Officer, First 5 Contra Costa

Solomon Belette

Director, Sanford Institute of Philanthropy

Allison Magee

She/Hers
Executive Director
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