National Impact Community: Los Angeles, CA
About the Applicant
For more than 40 years, Liberty Hill Foundation has been Los Angeles' epicenter for social justice, incubating cutting-edge social movements, transforming neighborhoods, and empowering the leaders of tomorrow. Liberty Hill is committed to racial equity, LBGTQ rights, economic opportunity, and environmental justice.
About the Project
Liberty Hill will serve as the backbone of the Unlock Justice Initiative, which will power youth organizing in Los Angeles County to end youth incarceration and expand successful youth-violence reduction programs. With the support of LA County's MBK program, the cross-sector initiative includes the California Community Foundation and their BLOOM program, the LA County Department of Mental Health, and the Center for Strategic Public-Private Partnerships.
The partnership will support youth advocacy organizations fighting to close youth prisons and create alternative juvenile justice pathways. BLOOM, an evidence-based intervention, combines mentorship, character development and specially-tailored programming to help young men succeed. BLOOM has engaged more than 500 youth and resulted in 100 percent high school graduation rates for participants. Nearly 100 percent of participants also upheld the terms of their probation.
Finally, the partnership will scale efforts to expand alternatives for youth who are diverted from the juvenile justice system. The diversion work will seek to improve outcomes throughout LA County.
With the support of the MBK Impact grant, Liberty Hill is seeing progress in its efforts to improve outcomes for boys and men of color, as well as decrease violence and youth incarceration.
The BLOOM program, which provides mentoring to high-need students, has expanded, and MBK-LA partners have successfully advocated for the expansion of youth diversion programs—with the first cohort of ten programs launched in June 2019.
Liberty Hill, in partnership with LA County’s Department of Probation and the California Community Foundation, also launched the groundbreaking Public/Private Partnership. The P/PP is designed to quickly move funds from the County to nonprofits, making a difference in the lives of youth of color in communities hit hardest by persistent poverty. While California Community Foundation awards $2.3 million in grants to nonprofits, Liberty Hill will provide responsive capacity-building assistance to the selected organizations to ensure that they have the organizational skills and capacity needed to succeed at providing innovative, community-based services to youth.
And to align all LA County efforts, MBK-LA partners created a blueprint—including short and long-term goals—for ending youth incarceration and replacing that punitive system with a youth development system that regards all of our young people as assets, not deficits, and affords them opportunities to thrive, learn, and grow.