Advocating for Change: YCD
September 27, 2017
Posted by: Adi Alouf, Intern
This post is the second in our “Racial Justice: Advocating for Change” series in support of the JCRC Consensus Policy Statement on Racial Justice. We are highlighting different organizations doing phenomenal work in racial justice and the ways that the community can support their efforts.
Economic and racial justice must be pursued together, hand in hand, for the systemic economic and racial injustices and oppressions themselves are deeply entangled. There is a severe, cyclical racial wealth gap in this country, evidenced in lack of homeownership and income, poor education and healthcare, as well as disability, immigration, and incarceration statuses. In the United States in 2011, the median wealth of a white household was 20 times that of a black household and 18 times that of a Latino household. There is racial discrimination in hiring, pay and promotions.
The Young Community Developers, Inc. (YCD) was established in 1973 as a community based organization to serve and empower the residents of Bayview Hunters Point and the Southeast Sector San Francisco through a variety of educational and employment based training and support opportunities. There is the proverb, “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime,” which at its core highlights the principle of self-empowerment. This is exactly what YCD is all about - equalizing access and opportunity to the workforce.
YCD works to dismantle employment and education barriers for residents who are disenfranchised by providing innovative, high-quality, comprehensive trainings and services. YCD offers the following programs and services to empower residents to engage in employment and educational opportunities: GED/H.S. Diploma, CityBuild recruitment and referral, job placement assistance, Youth Employment Programs, Summer Work Experience Program, Mayor's Youth Employment & Education Program, community participation, employment opportunities, career training and certification, clean streets, job readiness training, and the D-10 Summer Academic Program.
This diverse set of services enhance workforce readiness and personal and professional development, which in turn promotes the economic development of entire families and neighborhoods. Such readiness programs and support services facilitate job placement and advancement, as well as the preservation of individuals in the jobs they secure. YCD is proud to serve and provide employment and training related services to some 1,800 people a year.
Two alumna of YCD’s Job Readiness Training reflect on where they were in life prior to their participation, and share the program’s personal impact:
“I was just living life day by day. It was just death around me. I wanted a change for myself because I feel like I wasn’t progressing. This program was a step in the right direction. I received a lot of certifications that can’t be taken from me. The knowledge I received will be with me forever. I’m ready to get into the job force and put in some good work until I retire. I feel now I have the skills to maintain a job. ” - Andre Hines
“Prior to attending the Job Readiness Training (JRT), I felt like I was working a dead end job for a little bit of nothing. I wanted to better myself and try to make a change in a positive way. I’ve learned how to communicate better, as well as conflict management. My outlook has changed because I know I have a brighter future. I’m a step closer to bettering myself career wise. I feel a sense of accomplishment. “ - Tommie Barnett
Black to the Future, a call-to-action for African American community empowerment in San Francisco.