Councilmember Richardson and LBUSD Board Member Kerr Join to Establish North Long Beach “Whole Village” Initiative

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Long Beach 9th District City Councilmember Rex Richardson and LBUSD Board Member Megan Kerr

Long Beach 9th District City Councilmember Rex Richardson and LBUSD Board Member Megan Kerr

On October 14th, Long Beach 9th District City Councilmember Rex Richardson and Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) Board Member Megan Kerr announced a collaboration establishing the North Long Beach “Whole Village” Initiative. The Whole Village Initiative is a dual effort to support schools and youth in the North Long Beach area, with a focus on improving conditions and outcomes for boys and young men of color.

The Whole Village Initiative will use best practices to expand opportunity at pivotal moments in the lives of youth and will center on four main areas to help students and families succeed. These four areas are: After-school Programs, Mentoring Opportunities, College Readiness, and Jobs and Internships.

To support this initiative, Richardson and Kerr have partnered to form the North Long Beach Education Foundation. The foundation will raise money to fund programs and activities that directly affect the four focus areas of the Initiative. One hundred percent of the funds raised through the Foundation will directly impact students and families in North Long Beach.

“I’m proud to stand with Board Member Kerr on launching this important initiative,” said Councilmember Rex Richardson. “We have assembled a team of creative and committed partners who are dedicated to making measurable improvements in key areas impacting youth. The formation of an education foundation to support youth and education programs in North Long Beach is not only necessary, but well overdue.”

“I’m excited to partner with Councilmember Richardson on the North Long Beach Whole Village Initiative,” said LBUSD Board Member Kerr. “From the perspective of an education leader, it’s great to feel a sense of shared responsibility and collaboration from our community partners. I look forward to improving access to after-school programs, youth jobs, mentoring opportunities, and college readiness in the years to come.”
Richardson and Kerr have also appointed a Task Force of key stakeholders, clergy, community organizations, and local experts to advise the work of the Initiative. The first responsibility of the Task Force will be to conduct a program, asset, and needs assessment. Based on this assessment, the second responsibility will be to develop recommendations to support positive outcomes for North Long Beach youth, with a specific emphasis on boys and young men of color. To lead this effort, Richardson and Kerr have appointed former Ninth District Councilmember Steve Neal.

“My entire career, I’ve believed that it really does take a whole village to raise a child,” said former Councilmember Steve Neal. “I am proud to be able to continue to give back to my community.”

Other members of the Task Force include:

  • Glenda Williams, Director, Long Beach Public Library
  • Ben Castillo, Assistant Pastor, Light and Life Church
  • Pat Dixon, Executive Director, California Aquatic Therapy and Wellness Center
  • Laverne Duncan, Executive Director, Andy Street Community Association
  • Sean Duren, Assistant Manager, Uptown Property and Community Association
  • Dr. Crystal Howard-Johnson, North Long Beach Resident and Educational Research Analyst
  • Lorena Parker, Manager, Uptown Property and Community Association
  • Dr. Sabrina Sanders, North Long Beach Resident and Education Leader
  • Gregory Sanders, Pastor, The ROCK Christian Fellowship
  • Erick Serrato, Assistant Director, Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network
  • Calvin Tatupu, Pastor, Side by Side Community Church
  • Alexandra Torres Galancid, Director, Women in Non Traditional Employment Roles (WINTER)
  • Michelle Wilson, City of Long Beach Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine
  • Dale Workman, Pastor, Community Grace Brethren Church
  • Doris Robinson, Facilitator, LBUSD and CSULB Urban Math Scholars
  • Teresa Gomez, Coordinator, City of Long Beach Human Dignity Program
  • Tracy Colunga, Coordinator, City of Long Beach Violence Prevention Program
  • Francisco Vargas, Youth Services Officer, Long Beach Public Library

Richardson and Kerr call on the community to support this initiative by making financial contributions to the North Long Beach Education foundation. For more information, visit www.insidedistrict9.com/nlbwholevillage.

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