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BLU NOTE NEWSLETTER: SPOTLIGHT ON CIVIC ENGAGEMENT


MESSAGE FROM THE CEO

Dina Walker

BLU Educational Foundation is committed to civic engagement and voter participation is one of the key ways people can have their voices heard. While it seems like sometimes our voices are not heard because we are just one of millions across the nation, here locally it is one of the most important ways we can enact the change we want to see. Another important part of civic engagement is to make sure we have diverse representation in our elected and appointed leaders. This quarter's BLU Note puts a spotlight on some of our Civic Engagement & Leadership Development Programming including our voter engagement efforts in the March Primary, our Public Policy internship, and our Black Public Officials Leadership Training program. These programs, and others, play an important role in the future civic engagement in the Inland Empire.


 
PROGRAM SPOTLIGHTS

PUBLIC POLICY INTERNSHIP

BLU is a proud member of the Cal Grant Reform Coalition and is actively engaging student leaders in our Public Policy Internship! Throughout this internship our goal is to educate our 19 student participants on the specifics of Cal Grant Reform and how much this would benefit students not only in the IE but across the state of CA. Our hope is that they take the knowledge that they gain and meet with our local Assemblymembers to garner enough support to encourage the legislature to include Cal Grant Reform in the state's upcoming budget.


BLACK PUBLIC OFFICIALS LEADERSHIP TRAINING

The Black Public Official Leadership Training is a 6 session training is designed to support NEW & EMERGING Black leaders interested in running for public office or appointment to a public commission or board.Centering race, this Institute seeks to address a diversity of issues relevant for thriving Black communities; however, it will also integrate topics including: Power Analysis, Public Speaking, Personal Branding & Messaging and so much more! 12 participants will be exposed to five major policy areas impacting the Inland Empire as a foundation to their public leadership and how information learned could inform campaigns.


VOTER ENGAGEMENT PROJECT

Our voter engagement efforts were carried out by ten civic engagement canvassers, led by Olani LaBeaud. Throughout the project, our team was able to contact over 500 community members from varying regions within California. Additionally, we identified 490 supporters of our campaign which elevated the issues of corporate accountability and unfair housing practices within the state. Lastly, over 100 individuals opted in to stay connected with our organizations and in how they can take action to elevate their voices, concerns, and opportunities for change.



ARTS & CULTURE FIELD TRIPS

As a part of BLU’s expanding Arts focus area, students in our College Exodus Project (CEP) had the opportunity to engage in two field trips so far in 2024. In February, 23 students experienced the immersive Hip Hop til Infinity exhibition, celebrating 50 years of Hip Hop music. Not only did this provide an opportunity for students to appreciate music, but also the art and fashion associated with the industry. In March, 30 students and family members attended the world-famous Alvin Ailey Dance Theater performance in Downtown, LA.

 
MEMORABLE MOMENTS


A. Superintendents from Rialto Unified, San Bernardino City Unified, & Fontana Unified School Districts sign-on to the IE Black Education Agenda

B. Members of BLU's staff pose with CA Assemblymember James Ramos at the Time for Change Gala

C. Public Policy interns speak with CA Assemblymember Corey Jackson about supporting Cal Grant Reform

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