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Because of the East Bay Community Foundation’s long-time involvement in issues relating to men and boys of color, we recently hosted U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro in our Oakland conference center for two roundtable discussions in connection with the White House initiative on the topic, “My Brother’s Keeper.”

James Head, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and HUD Secretary Castro

EBCF CEO James Head, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and HUD Secretary Julián Castro

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and HUD Secretary Julián Castro

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and HUD Secretary Julián Castro

With news accounts in The Contra Costa Times, The San Jose Mercury News and The Vallejo Times Herald, the first session, chaired by EBCF President & CEO James W. Head, included Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Oakland City Council President Lynette Gibson McElheney, Oakland School Superintendent Antwan Wilson, HUD Region IX Administrator Ophelia Basgal, and representatives from Kaiser Permanente, Kapor Center for Social Impact, The California Endowment, The Unity Council, The East Oakland Youth Development Center, Youth Uprising, Urban Strategies Council, The Office of African-American Male Achievement, and Allen Temple Baptist Church.

Castro heard of our experience and learnings thus far, and offered ideas on how HUD could support this work. Here is the Secretary’s own account of the meeting.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and Oakland City Council President Lynette Gibson McElheney

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and Oakland City Council President Lynette Gibson McElheney

EBCF CEO James Head presents the Secretary with an Oaklandish T-shirt

EBCF CEO James Head presents the Secretary with an Oaklandish T-shirt

The Secretary also got a chance to visit with a number of young Oakland residents in a separate discussion facilitated by Chris Chatmon, Executive Director of the Office of African-American Male Achievement with the Oakland Unified School District. This intimate discussion allowed participants to talk about local challenges and best practices for young men of color and for the Secretary to share his story as a Latino growing up in Texas.

Secretary Castro with  HUD Region IX Administrator Ophelia Basgal

Secretary Castro with HUD Region IX Administrator Ophelia Basgal and Junious WIlliams of Urban Strategies

Chris Chatmon with Mayor Schaaf and Cedric Brown of the Kapor Center

Chris Chatmon with Mayor Schaaf and Cedric Brown of the Kapor Center

The Foundation’s involvement in issues relating to men and boys of color dates back to 1998 and especially to its 2002 efforts strengthening its ability to lead on issues relating to racial equity and inclusion. See more here on our accomplishments for men and boys of color.