National Impact Community: Oakland, CA

Urban Strategies Council


About the Applicant

Urban Strategies Council’s mission is to eliminate persistent poverty in the Bay Area by working with partners to transform low-income neighborhoods into vibrant, healthy communities. The Council, founded in 1987, provides research, advocacy and implements collective action strategies to build partnerships, share knowledge and innovate for equity and opportunity. The Council participated in the design and implementation of Oakland’s MBK initiative.

About the Project

The two-part proposal will scale evidence-based, East-Bay-tailored programming offered by The Mentoring Center for the benefit of local Oakland-Alameda Alliance for Boys and Men of Color and the City of Oakland’s newly created Department of Violence Prevention. Members of the Alliance will nominate and select a cohort of young men of color from their respective programs to participate in the Center’s Transformative Mentoring program, in addition to participating in community-based participatory research, leadership development, community organizing, and peer mentoring training.

Once trained, the young men will conduct interviews with Oakland residents to advise the city’s new Department of Violence Prevention. They will also design and implement a community service project aligned with their organization’s violence prevention goals and will engage in peer mentoring activities with middle school youth.

Evaluations of the Center’s programming have found that recidivism rates have decreased by 28 percent among program participants. Additionally, the Center’s youth are more likely to complete the terms of their probation successfully, which has a significant impact on their chances of other positive achievements including graduation.

Key Implementation Partners

  • MBK Oakland
  • The Mentoring Center
  • The City of Oakland
  • The Oakland/­Alameda County Alliance for Boys and Men Of Color