October 30, 2015
Dear Safe Passages Supporters,
Safe Passages, now in its twentieth year, remains first and foremost a community organization. Our mission is far reaching: to disrupt the cycle of poverty by engaging youth and families to build and drive a continuum of services that supports student success and community development. We envision a community where all young people have the opportunity to realize their full potential. Safe Passages’ work is based on the premises that access to educational opportunity, health services, and family support should not be dictated by race or socio-economic status, and that healthy and supported young people are better prepared to learn and succeed.
We measure our success by looking to the families and youth we serve, examining how well the needs of our families are being met, and looking for ways to help strengthen our communities. Engagement with the community, then, is a core tenet of our work.
Our mission is bigger than us. For that reason, I am starting this blog series in hopes that it will allow Oakland residents to become more involved and aware of the work we do, as well as create a space to learn about the history of the issues that challenge our community and discover potential opportunities to become involved in creating positive change.
My colleagues and I have a unique perspective into Oakland. I grew up in Oakland, reside in Oakland and am raising with three children with my husband in this community. I strive to offer a perspective into the daily struggles, the hard-fought victories, and the unspoken needs that exist and persist throughout the area.
Through this blog, I want to share the lessons learned from this work in the hopes that they can inform the larger, structural questions that activists and social justice advocates grapple with today. Our work occurs at the ground-level, person to person. But these efforts, when done at a critical mass, are what create the necessary shifts at the larger level.
So, with this blog, I welcome any and all to become involved in this organization and the forward march towards progress: the march towards a brighter Oakland. Please join our mailing list, like us on Facebook, and leave your thoughts in the comment section.
Josefina Alvarado Mena, Esq.
Chief Executive Officer