The Ella Baker Center staff is leading the nation with equitable ideas and actions. As the former founder, Van Jones, has moved to Washington to serve in the Obama Administration. They have continued to carry the torch for green jobs funding, deployment (Oakland Green Jobs Corp) and now are building a powerful alliances with the Green Stimulus coalition. That is just one aspect of what this organization does. They are also active in violence prevention, education vs. incarceration work and youth leadership development. Innovative, effective and consciously creating an equitable green economy that works for all.
My time at the center was a poweful experience in learning and working with some of the most important causes we face today. There are many great work oppurtunities and the staff is always helpful and encouraging. I was able to gain a lot of experience in and out of the office through the many events the center is involved with. The center is full of hard working and incredible individuals and anyone looking to be part of an effective team working for positive change should definately consider volunteering here.
The Ella Baker Center is an awesome organization with an inspiring commitment to community empowerment. It assesses the challenges facing the city of Oakland, and provide people with the skills and support to build the community and world that they want to live in, in a effective way. The Ella Baker Center combats problems in not a reactionary way, but rather approaches problems such as violence and poverty from their structural root causes.
The Ella Baker Center is a fabulous place to work. The staff are all passionate about their campaigns, and make it their goal for interns to get the most out of working at the Center. In my time working on the Green Collar Jobs Campaign, I have been given much responsibility and asked to take on many tasks, but the staff are always there to answer any questions, and offer me support whenever needed. Since the Center has been around for 11 years, and is established as an organization, I have found that they know how to make the most of my time, as well as to facilitate my learning in the process.
Working with the Ella Baker Center changed my life. As a freshman in college, I knew that I was interested in policies about youth incarceration and the juvenile justice system, but I didn't know what to do with that interest. I started volunteering with the Ella Baker Center and met three incredible women doing extremely important work. Each of them worked or volunteered with the Ella Baker Center, and each of them were mothers of young men who had been incarcerated in the California Youth Authority. They found the strength to turn the tragedy of their sons' incarceration into a passion for change. They are only three out of many talented people who work with the EBC, but their passion and life experiences really pushed me to start trying to make a real difference in the issues I cared about. I haven't had as much time as I would like to volunteer with the Center in the last year, but because of these three women, I secured a grant to study innovative juvenile justice policies abroad, and then brought that knowledge back to my community to work with the Alameda County Juvenile Hall to start implementing changes. The point of this story is that the Ella Baker Center not only does powerful and important work in its own right, it also inspires and enables volunteers like me to take the responsibility of making change into our own hands.
The Ella Baker Center is the best place I've volunteered at, and that's because I learned so much. I got to help do research for their campaign against Prop 6, and in doing so I learned a lot about California politics, the prison-industrial complex, and issues facing families of incarcerated youth. I also got to meet awesome people from the very diverse coalition building against this proposition- labor leaders, school teachers, prison abolition activists, youth activists and other volunteers like myself. All in all, working there made me feel important and helpful and taught me a ton.