Mission: Train the next generation of community organizers and educate the public about health, housing, environmental and social justice issues.
Programs: Tola is an intensive fulltime 4-month organizer training program that recruits and trains individuals who will develop the discipline and skills necessary to become effective organizers to empower and improve local communities. In the first tola program outside the bay area, nine fellows were accepted and received a living stipend of $2,500 each month for 4 months to engage the community of stockton, ca. , around the negative health effects associated with the over consumption of sugary sweetened beverages. The program, in stockton, ca. , will continue through 2018 and program coordinators were able to secure and negotiate a reduced rate for the continued rent of office space. Tola organizers developed relationships with local organizations including food banks, schools, colleges, residential housing associations and community based organizations, where they presented information to children and families about the dangers of sugary sweetened beverages. Fellows conducted over 15,000 one on one conversations and collected 6,332 surveys. They developed an internship program targeting high school and community college students. A total of 56 students were recruited and trained and a total of 45 volunteers joined the fellows for daily and weekend canvassing. On november 1, 2017, the day of the dead, a candlelight eventthemed death and diabetes, marched through downtown stockton and concluded with the tola organizers presenting their survey findings to the community. Materials necessary for this program include flyers, handouts, brochures, surveys, banners, and phone scripts.