Statement of Possibility
Youth are valued and empowered as decision makers in the City of Long Beach to lead long-term change and solutions for the betterment of youth now and future generations.
Long Beach Strategic Plan for Youth and Emerging Adults
The Long Beach Youth and Young Adults Strategic Plan (YSP) is the result of community engagement efforts of the Invest in Youth Campaign. This coalition led by Building Healthy Communities Long Beach, united various community-based organizations, along with support from the Advancement Project and California State University, Long Beach to develop the Invest in Youth Campaign Report. The report was informed by responses from 750 area residents and youth engagement efforts. In 2019, the Long Beach City Council authorized a $200,000 expenditure to develop a plan that would “...serve as the guiding vision and a framework for responding to the needs of the City’s youth and their families...” over a three-to-five-year period. The vision of the Youth Strategic Plan (YSP) is to ensure youth and emerging adults between the ages of 10-24 are healthy, productive and engaged leaders with the necessary resources to develop their talents, skills and competencies to excel and contribute to their communities.
With the allocation of funds to develop the city’s first youth strategic plan, a core team of City of Long Beach and several consultants discussed the framing for this effort. Early on, this team recognized the importance of maintaining the voices and leadership of youth at the forefront of this work. Hence, the YSP Youth Ambassador role was created. Youth Ambassadors (YAs) are representatives from throughout the city and are actively engaged in the development of the YSP. They represent the diverse cultural, social-economic, race/ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation, system impacted perspectives from throughout Long Beach. Their ages range between 16-24 and all either attend and/or completed their high education in Long Beach.
The 16 YAs participated in several strategic planning trainings, facilitated the community forums, co-designed the online and key informant survey instruments, and outreached and engaged to ensure survey data were collected from throughout the city. During the data collection period of January 26, 2020-April 24, 2020, the country experienced an unprecedented pandemic, COVID-19, and a cultural reckoning on racial injustice. The pandemic did limit face-to-face data collection engagement. All key informant interviews and survey collection efforts were conducted either via teleconferencing or online platforms. Nevertheless, 757 online surveys were collected, more than 30-key informant interviews were conducted and all city council members were interviewed as part of the data collection efforts. Prior to the Health Orders, the YA were able to complete 5 community forums, engaging nearly 300 local area residents in the development of the plan.
The plan was presented and accepted by City Council on Tuesday, February 9, 2021. To view the plan, please click here.
In February 2014, President Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) initiative, issuing a challenge across the country for communities to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color. On April 7, 2016, the City of Long Beach launched the My Brother's Keeper (MBK) Local Action Plan, a significant endeavor to establish and implement new approaches to address the needs and priorities of boys and young men of color. The MBK Local Action Plan included a call to action encouraging the execution of “cradle to college and career” plans around six crucial milestones to promote social emotional wellbeing and academic success. Those milestones include:
- Enter School Ready to Learn
- Read at Grade Level by Third Grade
- Graduate from High School Ready for College and Career
- Complete Post-Secondary Education or Training
- Successfully Enter the Workforce
- Safe from Violence and Provided Second Chances
My Brother’s Keeper Long Beach Health Equity & Violence Prevention Youth Leadership Program (Video): https://youtu.be/6nP5r5EmZgs
My Brother’s Keeper Long Beach Virtual Youth Town Hall Series
- Town Hall 1: Youth at the Intersection of COVID-19 and Social Reform: https://youtu.be/bJ63kMcSH8s
- Town Hall 2: Best Practices to Sustain Youth Development and Social Reform: https://youtu.be/aqNdgcKjymo
- Town Hall 3: Toward a New Generation of Hope: Presentation of the Long Beach Strategic Plan for Youth and Young Adults: https://youtu.be/mzOBWmKFA1Y
- Town Hall 4: Implementation of the Long Beach Strategic Plan for Youth & Emerging Adults & Promising Practices for Serving Black Youth. Scheduled for Wednesday, February 24, 2021 via YouTube.
For more information about the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance through the Obama Foundation, visit https://www.obama.org/mbka/
Promising Youth Development Practices: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1nwNvIPhnbSxO1OEZV0xzVmj-gH-vXhru92aYBuDREA8/edit?usp=sharing