Reinvesting in Black Communities
Seeded by a generous grant from Gilead Sciences, the Black/African American Leadership Council (BAALC) launched in August 2019 to sharpen focus on addressing disparities impacting the African-American community in San Francisco. PRC expected a year-long quiet phase for the collective of 47 (and counting) cross-sector African American leaders before publicizing the BAALC. However, urgency surrounding both the pandemic and Black Lives Matter propelled BAALC into early public action.
In addition to working closely with city officials, community residents, and community-based organizations on developing long-term policy recommendations to redress systemic racism across its five focus areas—Criminal Justice, Culture & Community, Education, Health, and Wealth/Home Ownership/Housing—the BAALC has been actively involved in current events. In May, the BAALC advocated with Mayor Breed and partnered with District 10 Supervisor Shamann Walton to secure free COVID-19 testing in San Francisco’s Black communities. In June, based on the latest research on reducing negative youth interactions with police, we advocated with Mayor Breed to direct at least 50% of all police budget cuts to fund improved early education and Black youth development outcomes. Most recently, on the steering committee of an emerging coalition of residents and leaders from across the city now known as MegaBlackSF, PRC helped develop a policy agenda for police reform – specific ideas on how to reallocate funds away from police and into various Black community supports – that culminated in a published letter to Mayor Breed.
Our clients represent communities that have long faced cyclical poverty and structural inequity. We keenly recognize that social and behavioral health services, while essential, can only go so far. To move our clients forward, PRC is duty-bound to join forces with those who seek to fix our broken systems that sustain poverty, racism, and inequality.
We look forward to sharing more as the Black/African American Leadership Council pushes on and keeping you informed.