May 7, 2020
Kingmakers of Oakland
By Gisele C. Shorter
Program Officer, Education

For Teacher Appreciation Week, I interviewed Chris Chatmon, Executive Director of Kingmakers of Oakland. I wanted him to share what makes his program, his Kings and, especially, Black educators special.

Kingmakers’ innovative strategies are improving academic outcomes for Black boys and helping them build a sense of belonging in school and community, and an essential part of what makes Kingmakers work is its unwavering commitment to recruit, train and retain a new generation of Black male teachers.

My interview, lightly edited, is below.


Gisele C. Shorter: Tell me about the origins of the African American Male Achievement Initiative. How did that work eventually evolve into Kingmakers of Oakland?

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Tags Education
April 8, 2020


Building Changes and Raikes Foundation call on donors and philanthropies to support vulnerable communities impacted by pandemic 

Today, Building Changes and the Raikes Foundation launched the Washington State Student and Youth Homelessness COVID-19 Response Fund. With schools now closed through the end of the year, the Fund aims to ensure that communities impacted by COVID-19 are able to respond rapidly to the urgent and growing needs of homeless students and youth across Washington state.

​As many as 50,000 students and unaccompanied youth experience homelessness each year in Washington, and 62 percent of students who experience homelessness are people of color. As COVID-19 threatens to push even more young people into unsafe living situations while potentially causing long-term disruptions to their education, the pandemic is exacerbating an already precarious situation.

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March 26, 2020


To our grantee partners,

Over the past few months, as we’ve watched COVID-19 balloon from a few hundred cases around the world to a full-blown pandemic, we’ve all been struggling to adjust to this new reality. Our team has appreciated being in touch with you, and we’re doing our best to be good partners during this challenging time. Based on the feedback we have received from a number of our grantees, we wanted to provide more clarity and certainty about our ongoing commitment to you.

We have signed the Council on Foundations’ COVID-19 Response Pledge, marking our commitment to be as flexible and responsive as possible with existing and new funding. We know many of our grantee partners are working hard to adapt in this moment, and we want to be as supportive as we can to allow grantees to do what they need to take care of their staff and the communities they serve.

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March 12, 2020

The spread of COVID-19 in Seattle and across the country affects us all, but particularly those who are most vulnerable in our society. That’s why the Raikes Foundation has contributed $50,000 to the Seattle Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund. We encourage foundations, companies and individuals of means in our community to identify what they can do to support others, including contributing to this fund to get much-needed resources into the hands of front line service providers and impacted communities during this time of crisis.

It has never been clearer that our communities are connected and interdependent. That’s why we are so disturbed to hear of rising incidents of xenophobic harassment against Asian-Americans both here in our hometown of Seattle and across the country. We must not allow xenophobia to divide us at such a critical time.

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