Northern California College Promise Coalition Celebrates Collective Impact with Local Mayors
OAKLAND, CA – On Monday, November 14, the Northern California College Promise Coalition (NCCPC), joined by city, state, and national leaders, assembled at Uptown Square in Oakland, CA for the NCCPC Mayors’ Circle – a convening of elected and public officials committed to strengthening education equity for local students. A wide array of community and civic leaders discussed education as a pathway to economic mobility and ending poverty in California along with postsecondary leaders, employers, funders, and NCCPC’s coalition members.
City of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, City of San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, City of Hayward Mayor Barbara Halliday, and Mayor-Elect Mark Salinas shared the impact of their cities’ membership in the coalition, encouraging other cities and counties to participate in NCCPC’s collective impact effort.
In all, the hybrid event was attended in-person at the Uptown Square Community Event Space in Oakland, CA, and via Zoom by 102 people from across the state and country.
Michael Tubbs, Founder of End Poverty in CA (EPIC) and NCCPC Advisory Council member gave the first keynote. “The tools you gain in college can also be used to dismantle, to create, to recreate, to reinvent, if you will, our society. That’s what this work is about. It’s about seeding not in the answers but in the young people who provide many of the answers that we need,” said Michael Tubbs.
Ben Chida, Chief Deputy Cabinet Secretary for the Office of Governor Newsom, and Mary Ann Bates, Executive Director of the Cradle to Career Data System provided calls to action for increased cross-sector collaboration to implement the state’s new data system. “The spirit behind the data system is that systemic problems require systemic solutions. We can’t continue to rely on individual heroic work throughout our schools and colleges and universities. Rather, we need to make sure our systems are set up for success for the students and the staff working to support those students and families,” said Ben Chida.
“California’s Cradle-to-Career Data System is proud to partner with the Northern California College Promise Coalition, ensuring in-depth engagement with students, families, and communities is embedded in our work as we build what is envisioned to be the most inclusive data system of its kind,” said Mary Ann Bates.
This event brought current and newly elected leaders of local cities together in the spirit of collaboration and unifying efforts and resources to strengthen the conditions for students to succeed in college, career, and life. It was also an opportunity for the coalition and supporters to celebrate the passage of AB 288 The CA Ban on Scholarship Displacement Act of 2021. The 5th state to ban scholarship displacement, California’s new law will take effect in the 2023-2024 academic year benefitting over a million students each year who would have been at risk of losing critical scholarship support they need to complete their degrees. “Let us all celebrate this incredible victory, 3 years of work, that wouldn’t have happened without this coalition. Now, let’s look ahead. What do we want over the next 3 years? I’m going to talk about Partnerships, Pennies, and Power.” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.
The speakers and audience members at the Mayors’ Circle discussed the importance of multi-sector public-private partnerships. “We are proud to have strong relationships with mayors and non-profits. And look around the room – you see not only those leaders, but also critical leaders and partners from Cal State, UC, Community Colleges, the Governor’s office, the CA Assembly, the CA Department of Education, philanthropy and workforce. That is what makes our coalition so powerful and effective,” said David Silver, Director of Education for the Oakland Mayor’s Office and Chair of NCCPC’s Steering Committee.
“Strategic collaboration between cities, employers, higher education institutions and funders is vital for the success of our students, the majority who identify as BIPOC, marginalized, underrepresented and underserved,” said Janae Aptaker, Vice Chair of NCCPC’s Steering Committee and DEI University & Early Career Partnerships Manager for Blue Shield of California, a major sponsor of the event.
Among the attendees were state leaders that shared the value of their partnerships with NCCPC and advocated for increased coordination. “Really proud of what you’ve accomplished. This coalition is extremely important for what we’re trying to do to make our kids successful. We have massive investments in education but it’s still not enough to get our kids through college,” said Mary Nicely, Chief Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction at the California Department of Education.
The continued commitment of multi-sector leaders is critical across all areas of a student’s cradle-to-career journey. From opening a college savings account to completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to attaining a postsecondary degree to launching a career with a livable wage — it is thanks to the collective impact of NCCPC’s 30+ members with the support of our partners that have allowed our coalition to reach and serve over 150,000 students across 12 counties.
You can learn more about the event and how to get involved with NCCPC at norcalpromisecoalition.org/nccpcs-2nd-mayors-circle/.
About the Northern California College Promise Coalition
The Northern California College Promise Coalition (NCCPC)’s vision is to change policies, systems, and practices so that multiply marginalized and underserved students in 12 Northern California counties complete postsecondary credentials, attain livable wages, and build wealth at higher rates than baseline and at rates comparable to groups not traditionally underserved. “Multiply marginalized and underserved” refers to individuals who have multiple, intersecting identities that are confined or relegated by social processes to the outer edge of mainstream society, preventing these individuals from full participation in cultural, social, economic and political life enjoyed by dominant society resulting in insufficient representation. NCCPC was formed to solve the problem of a lack of efficacy that individual organizations and agencies, who are committed to supporting underrepresented youth to postsecondary and career access and success, were observing when working alone.
To partner with NCCPC and join the movement to increase educational equity in Northern California, please visit norcalpromisecoalition.org for more information.
About the Uptown Square Community Event Space
Square launched the Community Space on the first floor of the Uptown Station building as a resource for the community in the Summer of 2022. This space is free and reservable for 501(c)(3) community organizations to gather. The space can accommodate 15 to 300 people, and is outfitted with the latest audio & video conference equipment to host hybrid events.
To learn more about the Community Space, check out Uptown Square Community Event Space.