November 12, 2019
African American Male Achievement Program
By Gisele C. Shorter
Program Officer, Education

The American public education system has largely failed to foster environments where the innate greatness of Black boys is even acknowledged, much less fully expressed or realized. They are often viewed as problems to be contained, which is evident in the criminalization of their behavior. Black boys are suspended and expelled at three times the rate of white students. They are overrepresented in special education and underrepresented in challenging course work like Advanced Placement (AP) classes, a disparity owed to implicit biases carried by educators and others who assume Black boys aren’t ‘college material.’

That’s why the work happening in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) is so exciting. OUSD knew it was failing Black boys, so it turned to Chris Chatmon, who had nearly ten years of experience successfully removing barriers to success and closing opportunity gaps that prevent Black boys from reaching their full potential, and the district’s Office of African American Male Achievement (AAMA) was born.

Read More

Tags Education
August 30, 2019
Mockingbird Youth Summit
By Paula Carvalho
Program Officer, Youth Homelessness

One of the most important aspects of creating transformative change is making sure that those most impacted by problems are meaningfully involved in the development and implementation of solutions.

And while centering those most impacted by a problem might seem like common sense, impacted-communities and people are often the last folks to be consulted by would-be problem solvers. Fortunately, that’s starting to change, but as more and more philanthropists and nonprofit leaders wake up to the need for authentic engagement with impacted-communities, they’re running into a new problem.


How do you engage people with lived-experience in change? How do traditional decision makers meaningfully share power?

I feel very fortunate to have been a part of an organization that’s been focused on answering that question for more than a decade. As the former Director of Youth Programs at The Mockingbird Society, I saw firsthand the incredible change that can happen when young people from across Washington state have the opportunity to meaningfully shape the foster care and homelessness systems for themselves and for those who will come after them.

Read More

August 12, 2019

We’re excited to announce the newest member of the Raikes Foundation youth homelessness team, Paula Carvalho. Paula was the Director of Youth Programs at The Mockingbird Society, where she oversaw the organization’s statewide dual focus on youth development and systems reform.

Paula will help lead the Foundation’s work to support coordinated community efforts to address youth homelessness. Having both lived experience in foster care and youth homelessness, she balances deep professional experience with compassion and perspective to policy analysis, leadership across the sector, and collaboration with youth. 

“Paula is the leader we need in youth homelessness,” says Casey Trupin, director of youth homelessness at the foundation. “Her deep commitment to authentically engaging young people in the decisions and programs that impact their lives will be an invaluable asset to our work moving forward.” 

Read More

June 20, 2019
Community to Community Development, Social Justice Fund

Social Justice Fund Northwest (NW) is building relationships across race and class through philanthropy.

You might have heard of giving circles before. Giving circles are a form of philanthropy where groups of individuals donate money or time to a communal fund in order to raise awareness and engagement in a certain issue.

Social Justice Fund NW developed a new form of collaborative philanthropy, the Giving Project model, which it is now helping expand to other funds across the country, thanks in part to support from the Raikes Foundation. The goal of a Giving Project is to share giving power across race and class in order to fund grassroots movements for social change, facilitating an inclusive process where people of all economic classes and income levels offer their knowledge, life experience, and financial contributions. Partly through a partnership with Resource Generation, it has brought into these circles inheritors of significant wealth who want to give in ways more likely to make a difference.

Read More