In the News

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For press inquires please email: mbare@curyj.org

📰 Press Coverage

  •  Interview, Malcolm Marshall | April 26th | Read more

    The Pulse sat down with Ricardo Garcia-Acosta, CURYJ’s director of community peace, to discuss the group’s work with California’s Stop the Hate initiative. This conversation has been edited.

    CC Pulse: What kind of services do you offer for victims of hate crimes and incidents?

    Ricardo Garcia-Acosta: Because of the work we do, we are in a unique position to be a strong partner within the Stop the Hate cohort to work with young people that are at the center of violence.

    There’s a spectrum of how marginalized communities experience victimization, everywhere from the bigoted, racist, pure hate crimes to people victimized because they’re easy targets in a marginalized population: our AAPI community and the immigrant newcomer Latino community and Indigenous community — Central American Mam that don’t speak English or Spanish, they often get victimized, robbed and taken advantage of on the streets of Oakland. Not necessarily because people hate them for being Indigenous or hate them because they’re Latin-speaking or resemble that culture but more so because they’re easy targets. They’re easily marginalized. They don’t report crimes, and because they’re undocumented most of the time, it’s well-known they carry a lot of cash.

  •  Henry Lee & Jana Katsuyama | April 19th | Read more

    The annual vigil in Alameda took on a different tone Friday, as dozens of people gathered for the third anniversary of the death of Mario Gonzalez in Alameda police custody, just a day after Alameda County prosecutors announced criminal charges against three officers.

    “When I first heard the news, just yesterday…I was actually in tears,” said Amanda Majail-Blanco with the group Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice. Majail-Blanco says she lost her own family member in an incident with the CHP. “I think it’s important for all families. We need to stay united as a front because we’re the voiceless community.”

  •  Davis Vanguard | March 31 | Read more

    Davis Vanguard published “Community Advocates Stand in Solidarity with District Attorney Pamela Price’s Decision Not to Charge Children as Adults” covering the “Dozens of community advocates stood on the steps of the René C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland last Tuesday to show support for District Attorney Pamela Price’s campaign promise to not charge juveniles as adults. This press conference followed in the wake of the “tragic killing” of Jazy and Angel Garcia in 2022 by a 17-year-old who has since remained in the juvenile justice system.”

    Members of the CURYJ team, Executive Director George Galvis and Policy & Legal Services Manager, J. Vasquez spoke about their own experiences, J. Being tried as an adult at 16 and serving 25 years, especially about the positive impacts they’ve made since returning home.

  • CBS News | March 30, 2024 | Read more

    This article discusses views of those in favor and opposed to “the installation of roughly 500 new cameras in Oakland and along East Bay freeways to monitor and record criminal activity.”
    Community activists sounded out against community surveillance which inevitably leads to a return of over-policing of Black and Brown communities.

    CURYJ Executive Director George Galvis said: “What it will potentially do is create privacy abuses. I think that it can also open up the opportunity for these cameras to be misused,” pointing instead to the need to invest the money in youth programs, mental health and affordable housing. “The safest communities don’t have the most police, the most surveillance or the most jails. They have the most resources,” Galvis said.

  • CBS News | March 25, 2024 | Read more

    In a recent article titled “Alameda County DA declines to charge youth accused of killing teen brothers as adult”, published by CBS News. The article discusses the decision made by Alameda County DA Pamela Price to refrain from charging a juvenile as an adult who is accused of the killings of two teenage brothers in Oakland, California. Despite the tragic incident in November where the victims, the decision was made on the basis that the suspect was 17 years old at the time of the crime.

    Our Executive Director, George Galvis said, “You cannot hold someone to the same standards when they’re a teenagers as you would an adult. Prisons are not the answer. The safest communities don’t have the most police, they don’t have the most prisons. They have the most resources.”

    An estimated 76,000 children are prosecuted, sentenced, or incarcerated as adults annually. Each time a prosecutor charges a child as an adult, or opposes transferring a child’s case back to juvenile court, prosecutors fail not only the child, but entire communities by undermining public safety and creating barriers to rehabilitation.

    As part of DA Price’s 10-point Campaign Platform, she was elected under a commitment to stop over criminalizing our youth. Which stated to stop over-criminalizing our youth, stop charging and/or incarcerating youths under the age of 18 as adults, and establish age-appropriate programs to address criminal violations by youths between 18 and 25.

  • The Davis Vanguard | March 20, 2024 | Read more

    The “Protect The Win” campaign, which supports sitting Alameda District Attorney Pamela Price, held a news conference to address concerns about widespread signature gathering fraud. The campaign called for U.S. Attorney Ismail Ramsey to look into the investigation of signature fraud, after repeated calls for action to Attorney General Rob Bonta, the campaign said, have gone unanswered. The campaign presented evidence of fraudulent activities during the signature collection phase aimed at removing Price from her position. Allegations include coordinated efforts to deceive individuals into signing petitions under false pretenses. Consequently, the campaign is urging U.S. Attorney Ismail Ramsey to investigate thoroughly. Civil rights advocates express concerns about regressive motives, emphasizing the importance of criminal justice reform.

    Our Executive Director, George Galvis said, “My fear is we’ll go back to a system that’s devastated our communities. Crime went up under the previous DA, we didn’t not see these players who use the language of law and order when crime went up under the previous DA. Yet from when we elected DA Price there was almost immediately an effort to recall her. This is not about public safety.”

  • The Mercury News | February 6, 2024 | Read more

    Governor Gavin Newsom has taken action to address rising crime levels in Oakland and the East Bay by deploying 120 additional California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers. This surge, one of the largest in recent memory, aims to combat various criminal activities such as vehicle theft, retail theft, cargo theft, and violent crime. The CHP officers, equipped with specialized units and advanced investigative technology, will collaborate with local agencies.

    This influx represents a significant increase in law enforcement presence in Oakland and Alameda County, prompted by persistent high crime rates and a surge in business closures attributed to robberies and car break-ins. Despite the pandemic’s impact, crime rates in Oakland have yet to return to pre-pandemic levels.

    However, the deployment raises concerns among community violence prevention nonprofits and police accountability groups. Some question the sudden increase in officers and the lack of transparency in the decision-making process. Our Director of Community Peace, Ricardo Garcia-Acosta, expressed frustration at being uninformed about the surge until learning about it through media reports, highlighting the need for community involvement and transparency in such initiatives. Ricardo said, “we as a community-based provider are in the dark.

  • 94.1 KPFA Radio | January 25, 2024 | Listen here

    On January 25, George Galvis and Deputy Director for the Anti Police-Terror Project, James Burch, sat down with Cat Brooks on KPFA Radio’s Law and Disorder to discuss and re-examine Operation Ceasefire.

    In Oakland, there’s an ongoing examination of the potential reintroduction of a former police program called Operation Ceasefire. This program employs a combination of incentives and consequences where the police department identifies individuals deemed to be violent. They offer these individuals social services and support structures while also threatening them with significant criminal enhancements like state and federal charges in the case that they are arrested for any crime. But have the incentives of Operation Ceasefire had a positive impact?

  • East Bay Express | January 23, 2024 | Read more

    On January 23, the East Bay Express published “Reimagining Public Safety in Oakland.” The publication interviewed George Galvis about how struggles within various and intricate systems contribute directly to California’s high incarceration rates, which are surpassed only by Texas.

    Almost 100,000 Californians are currently behind bars, with around 39,000 on parole. George emphasized that police, prisons, and the threat of incarceration aren’t effective solutions for crime prevention. The safest communities do not have the most police — they have the most resources.

    “We’ve strategically named our space the Oscar Grant Youth Power Zone at Fruitvale Station because he represents the people that we work with. He was a 22-year-old youth and they tried to weaponize the fact that he had previously been incarcerated to rationalize the irrational and defend the indefensible. We say, ‘Never forget,’ and ‘Never again.” — George Galvis, Executive Director, CURYJ

  • SF Foundation | December 28, 2023 | Read more

    On December 28, the San Francisco Foundation published “Fifteen Years After Oscar Grant’s Death, a Center Near the Site of the Killing Focuses on Youth Empowerment,” written by Charity Whyte. Whyte mentions that as an Oakland resident, she’s witnessed the impact of CURYJ’s vital work. 

    The Oscar Grant Youth Power Zone, a transformative space in Fruitvale, will be a beacon for community-led public safety, violence prevention, and youth leadership. The San Francisco Foundation is proud to support CURYJ in empowering young people, preventing incarceration, keeping them safe, and creating economic opportunities for them. By investing in safe spaces for young leaders to thrive, the Oscar Grant Youth Power Zone aims to move our society away from youth incarceration.

  • The Oakland North News | December 13, 2023 | Read more

    On December 13,  The Oakland North News, published an article titled Change could be coming for future Alameda County recall elections, where our Participatory Defense Coordinator, Rocky Hunt, was quoted saying, “With all these crimes going on, people want to arrest their way out of it. We know that doesn’t work. When you try to arrest your way out of it, you don’t make it safer. We all want people to be safe, and putting programs in place, teaching people, and helping people will get to the root of the problem.” Rocky also added that recalling Price would not reduce crime rates effectively.

    It’s expected that Alameda County voters will get a chance to change recall election rules in March, which is causing concern among those supporting and opposing a recall campaign. Fewer than a year into Price’s tenure, residents and business owners started a recall campaign, citing her soft stance on violent crime. Since then, that effort has intensified. Those behind the recall, Save Alameda for Everyone, or SAFE, claim that Price’s progressive policies contributed to a spike in crime and that she failed to address crime victims’ needs. In Alameda County, the recall process may now be changed.

  • 94.1 KPFA | December 4, 2023 | Listen here

    On December 4, 2023 our Executive Director George Galvis was on KPFA’s Hard Knock Radio to discuss Kali Akuno’s book Jackson Redux and its upcoming event. Other topics addressed were Fred Hampton’s legacy and commitment to building bridges and fostering solidarity.

  • California Healthline | November 28, 2023 | Read article

    On November 28, 2023, California Healthline published an article titled ‘Everybody in This Community Has a Gun’: How Oakland Lost Its Grip on Gun Violence. In this article, the author examines how Oakland is dealing with spikes in gun violence following the COVID-19 pandemic, the murder of George Floyd, and a spike in gun sales. Also, our School Site Violence Interrupter, Francisco Cisneros, speaking on confronting gun violence, was quoted saying:

    “Students are hard-wired not to share information, not to be a “snitch” or open up about themselves or their home life, especially to an adult. And they don’t want to talk to fellow students from another network, group, or gang. If we catch them at an early age, right now, we can change that mindset.”

  • 941.1 KPFA | November 9, 2023 | Listen here

    Today, our Executive Director, George Galvis, along with Morning Star Gali  went on 94.1 KPFA radio to speak on the upcoming Indigenous Solidarity with Palestine Rally that’s happening Thursday, November 9th from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Oakland’s Federal Building located at 1301 Clay Street, Oakland, CA.

    George mentions, “there’s a common pain, and there’s a common oppression, and there’s a common struggle. There’s also a common humanity and spirit. U.S. policies towards indigenous people has been used as a framework. It’s the same settler colonizer playbook that Israel has used against our Palestinian relatives.”

    To listen to this segment, visit the link here: https://shorturl.at/suA18

  • ABC 7 NEWS | October 26, 2023 | Read article

    Yesterday, our Executive Director, George Galvis, and HEAL Program Manager, Michael Little Bear, were interviewed by ABC 7 on the opening of the Bikes 4 Life bike shop.

    George mentioned, “When formerly incarcerated people, who are coming home, between a Clipper card and a bicycle, they should be able to get anywhere in the Bay Area they need to go for jobs, opportunities, services.”

    As the shop grows, so will the number of job opportunities. Michael Little Bear, program manager for HEAL, or Healthy Eating, Active Living, has already launched a food pantry as part of Bikes 4 Life. He also runs the bike shop. He also once served time behind bars.

    “This program will help formerly incarcerated people get back on their feet. It will show them dignity and show them that somebody does care out there for them,” said Little Bear.

  • The Oaklandside | October 18, 2023 | Read article

    Last Tuesday, as part of her first State of the City address, Mayor Thao outlined her vision for investing in violence prevention, public safety, and economic development. However, Public safety is once again a top issue for Oaklanders. According to recent OPD data, crime has been up 21%; there have been 104 homicides, roughly the same as last year, while robberies are up 35% and motor vehicle thefts are up 51%.

    As a result of Thao’s leadership, Oakland recently increased its foot patrol from 6 to 12 officers and deployed them throughout the city. A power outage this summer caused brief service disruptions to the 911 system, which was funded with an additional $2.5 million. Moreover, the funds will be used to hire more police dispatchers.

    CURYJ’s Director of Community Peace, Ricardo Garcia-Acosta, said it’s short-sighted to scapegoat a new mayor for longstanding public safety problems. The OPD is overspending at a time when other safety net services are underfunded. For the mayor and other stakeholders to achieve permanent change, he stressed that social inequities must be addressed.

    “Oakland is hurting,” Garcia-Acosta said. “We all need to heal in so many ways, and no one administration is going to do that for us.”

  • FOX 2 KTVU | October 4, 2023 | Read article 

    As a result of police shooting and killing Erik Salgado and injuring his pregnant girlfriend, the California Highway Patrol has settled a lawsuit for $7 million, renewing calls for criminal charges to be brought by the newly elected Alameda County District Attorney.  Salgado was shot 40 times by officers, 24 of which struck him directly. The majority of the shots were fired from behind. Brianna Colombo, his girlfriend, was injured in the car accident. Sadly, her unborn child did not survive. 

    In an article published yesterday by FOX2 KTVU, Amanda Majail-Blanco, sister of Erik Salgado, and Organizer Associate for CURYJ said: “Why is it that police cases get settled with money and never criminal charges? This settlement will not bring my brother back, and our tax money will continue to be funneled to the same institution that caused us harm.”

    Erik’s family has asked Pamela Price to reexamine the case and file criminal charges against the CHP officers. As of now, she has not done so or indicated that she will. 

  • Local News Matters | September 6, 2023 | Read article 

    In the last year, the public furor surrounding the murder of George Floyd and other police killings has subsided, and in recent years, calls to defund the police have diminished. In contrast, support for police has grown, or at least become more vocal. 

    As a result of the pandemic, some organizations, including traditionally progressive civil rights groups, are noticing an increase in certain types of crime. In any event, advocates of police reform and police abolition both agree that we must change how our society views law enforcement and how we hold it accountable.

    Police use of unwarranted force is cited as one of the main reasons for their calls for reform or abolition.  Our Organizer Associate, Amanda Majail-Blanco, and sister of Erik Salgado, who California Highway Patrol officers killed during a traffic stop in Oakland in June of 2020, says  “Just because the police shot them doesn’t mean that it’s justified.”

    Since the killing of her brother, she has been on the front lines of several community-led organizing efforts, including the Justice in July Block party held in Oakland that called for all officers responsible for killings in Alameda County to be charged with murder.

    Advocates for abolishing police forces as they currently exist argue for law enforcement to be created and controlled by local communities. 

  • The Davis Vanguard | September 2, 2023 | Read article 

    According to the Alameda County DA Accountability Table (ACDAAT), a coalition of community groups, the District Attorney has prioritized youth rehabilitation by pledging to keep as many juveniles as possible within the juvenile justice system rather than transferring them to adult court. But studies have shown that juveniles in juvenile facilities are more likely to receive “age-appropriate rehabilitation opportunities” that foster their ability to contribute to society, such as biannual progress checks, educational opportunities, certification programs, and restorative justice programs.

    Our Policy & Legal Services Manager, J Vasquez, said, “All youth are sacred, and young people should be seen for more than their worst mistakes. We should instead invest finite county resources into community-driven solutions that hold youth accountable without causing them, their families, and our communities long-term harm. Our government structures and investments must provide wraparound services for everyone affected by harm.”

  • Witness L.A. | August 31, 2023 | Read article

    In an article written by Taylor Walker from Witness L.A. titled “CA Bill Would Shift Restitution From Juveniles To State”, our Youth Justice Coordinator, Xochtil Larios, was quoted saying, “I can’t worry about who I am becoming because I still have to fix my past.” After years in foster care and juvenile justice, our Youth Justice Coordinator, Xochtil Larios, entered adulthood with $3,500 in restitution debt. Despite her determination to move forward, the restitution debt she owed from a teen crime felt overwhelming.

    The article discusses Assembly Bill 1186, which proposes ending youth being charged restitution fines. Restitution fines are amounts owed to victims by those who commit crimes and are found guilty. #AB1186 suggests that the California Victim Compensation Board, rather than charging youth, pay restitution directly and immediately to crime victims. The bill is on the suspense file in the Senate Appropriations Committee and is expected to be heard in September.

  • EdSource | August 23, 2023 | Read article 

    In an article by EdSource titled “New bill would shift restitution from juveniles to State.” our Youth Justice Coordinator, Xochtil Larios, was quoted extensively. The article discusses Assembly Bill 1186, which proposes ending youth restitution fines, which are amounts owed by those found guilty of crimes and paid to victims. In contrast to charging youths, AB 1186 proposes paying the restitution directly to crime victims. By September, the Senate Appropriations Committee will address the bill on the suspense file.

    If the bill passes this fall, it would only end the restitution that youths have paid. Future legislative cycles will determine how to fund the bill, which is estimated to cost about $12 million annually in restitution amounts plus additional staffing costs.

    “Juveniles are set off to be pioneers, leaders, start joining the workforce, education, but the justice system doesn’t think about the weight, the heavy stuff that we’re carrying,”

    As a result of CURYJ’s help, Xochtil has managed to stay on track after her release. In Alameda County, she learned about CURYJ while being detained and applied for a job once she was released. She’s now worked in CURYJ for five years, supporting research development and leading training on youth rights, among other things.

  • YouthToday.org | August 18, 2023 | Read article 

    our Youth Justice Coordinator, Xochtil Larios, was featured in Youth Today news. During an interview with journalist Brian Rinker, she discussed how her experiences in the juvenile justice system and working with CURYJ shaped her advocacy for reforms.

    “At some point in jail, I met advocates with the Oakland-based Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, CURYJ. They encouraged me to get involved in youth leadership and activism. In addition to helping me with transportation and housing, they told me they would assist me when I got out.”

  • YouthToday.org | August 17, 2023 | Read article 

    In yesterday’s article titled “Are California counties ready to handle juvenile offenders now that state youth prisons are shuttered?” from Youth Today our Executive Director, George Galvis, was quoted saying, “The state opened up Pandora’s box, and now we’re trying to manage this disaster”

    In 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a shutdown of the state’s youth prison system, which would trim juvenile justice budgets. He and state analysts assume that the move might improve a young person’s chances of being redirected onto a more beneficial life path by giving them more access to their families.

    Many agree that Newsom’s intentions are good. But, they argue, the transfer of those youth from state to county custody has not been well-timed or well-planned. 

  • KTVU FOX 2 | July 18, 2023 | Read article  

    A total of 45 unarmed people across California were shot by law enforcement officers in the last two years, and California’s Attorney General is charged with investigating whether those killings were justified. 

    But the pace of AG Rob Bonta’s inquiries has upset victims’ families, criminal justice activists and those in uniform alike.

    AB 1506 went into effect in 2021, a bill that’s changed the dynamics of how police-involved shooting investigations are handled by eliminating the influence of local law enforcement agencies and district attorneys in 58 counties. At the time, progressives and police unions both opposed it. And they still do.

    CURYJ’s main opposition is that the AG’s office is still too close to police to fairly determine whether an officer-involved shooting is justified.

    “It’s not going to be a perfect system by any means, but we believe it will be a more meaningful and more productive system to hold officers accountable.” – J Vaquez 

  • Open Vallejo | July 11, 2023 | Read article

    In a statement to Open Vallejo Friday, California Senate Bill 1421’s author said withholding police records violated the bill’s intent. 

    “California’s police transparency laws, SB 1421 and SB 16, guarantee public access to records related to a range of law enforcement misconduct, including cases involving death, excessive use of force, and sexual assault,” wrote Skinner, who authored both laws. “Those laws do not contain any exemption for records when a victim or witness is a minor.”

    Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, which helped write SB 1421, co-founded by George Galvis, told Open Vallejo last month that legislators would need to clarify the law by passing a trailer bill clarifying the need to disclose records of police violence against juveniles. 

  • Open Vallejo | June 28, 2023 | Read article 

    Due to state and federal laws, government agencies have long been prohibited from publicly disclosing information about juveniles’ interactions with the legal system. In addition to reducing barriers to employment, housing, and higher education, these laws aim to protect justice-impacted youth from social stigma. However, the police have exploited these laws to evade transparency when they use force against children.

    “It’s very clear to me that this is an abuse. It’s really concerning that they’re abusing the spirit and intent of SB 1421 in this way…I can tell you that, as one of the sponsors: that was not the intent. We would never have ever allowed that.” – George Galvis

  • AP New | June 17, 2023 | View article 

    To cover an estimated $31.5 billion budget deficit, the Newsom administration has proposed ending public disclosure of investigations into abusive and corrupt police officers.

    An organization that spent years advocating for the disclosure rules that were part of the landmark law Newsom signed in 2021, a coalition of criminal justice and press freedom groups, have strongly criticized the proposal, part of the governor’s budget package he is still negotiating with the Legislature.

     

    “It’s a slap in the face to the family members who have had their loved ones stolen from them that … a key provision of the decertification process is not being honored,” J Vasquez, of social justice group Communities United For Restorative Justice, said at a news conference last week.

     

  • By Out Of The Margins. Shared by Andrus Family Fund  | June 16, 2023 | View article

    Organizing for Abolition. Envisioning Liberation. Hosted by AFF Director Mishi Faruqee, each episode in this limited series will feature grantee partners, youth leaders and/or allies who share their visions for community-centered approaches that support youth and families.   
     
    In this first episode, we hear from Brenda Gomez and Xochtil Larios of Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ) in Oakland, CA. They discuss their journey from being incarcerated as teenagers and being empowered by CURYJ to their continued evolution as youth leaders in the abolition movement and how CURYJ continues to support young people to #DreamBeyondBars. 

    Learn more about CURYJ:
    curyj.org
    Twitter
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    Music by Bre Stoves, “Untold Story” from Care, Not Control (The Album)

    Learn more about AFF:
    affund.org
    LinkedIn
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    This podcast is produced by Sol Design.

  • KQED | June, 16 2023 | View article 

    It will take creative thinking to solve this problem in Oakland, according to community groups and the city’s Department of Violence Prevention (DVP). From Friday and through July, DVP will bring back Town Nights, an arts and culture series aimed at providing resources and positive social outlets. So why do some of the city’s leading gun violence prevention groups say this programming effectively stops gun violence? A KQED associate editor of arts and culture, Nastia Voynovskaya, addresses this question in a Bay episode. 

    Listen here

  • The Oakland Side | June 15, 2023 | View article 


    Oakland’s Department of Violence Prevention is getting some bridge money to carry it through the summer, but the department’s community-based contractors, who do much of its work on the streets, fear the added funds won’t save them from the chopping block when the council finalizes the city’s next two-year budget before the end of June.

    “That’s just throwing a Band-Aid on a broken bone,” said Alex Toris, a cultural activist for Communities United For Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ), which is one of the recipients of department grants. 

    “What we’re asking for is not for City Council to put the money where their mouth is, but to keep it there,” Joseph Griffin, executive director of Youth ALIVE! Said during a press conference on May 30. “That’s really what we need to keep our programs going.”  

  • ABC 7 News | June 14, 2023 | View Story 

    At a rally in front of Oakland City Hall, community groups demanded no cuts to city funding for many of their programs — ahead of Wednesday’s city council budget meeting.




  • SF Chronicle | June 9, 2023 | View article 

    One of the biggest differences between Oakland teens and those nationally was witnessing violence: Nearly one in three Oakland teens reported having seen someone assaulted, stabbed, or shot, compared with one in five nationally.

    36% of Oakland high school students said they witnessed someone in their neighborhood get shot, stabbed or beaten, outpacing their peers in California and around the country. In the United States, 20% of students agreed.

    “A majority of the kids I deal with have been victims of violence, have perpetrated violence, have seen people get hurt or shot,” said Francisco Cisneros, a violence interrupter from Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice at Fremont High School in East Oakland. “They’re living in an environment that resorts to violence. It makes them feel like violence is almost the first thing they should resort to solve their problems.”

  • SF Gate | June 6, 2023 | View article 

    Three years have passed since Erik Salgado was shot, killed, and lost his baby at the hands of California Highway Patrol officers in Oakland on June 6, 2023.

    The family of Erik Salgado, CURYJ, the Anti Police-Terror, and Addie Kitchen, a grandmother of Steven Taylor, who was killed by law enforcement, gathered outside Rene C. Davidson’s Oakland courthouse yesterday morning to make their case.

    As a result of the shooting and death of Erik Salgado and the loss of his baby, a new district attorney has been elected, Pamela Price, who has vowed to file charges against killer cops and reopen the case closed by her predecessor Nancy O’Malley to charge the officer involved in Erik Salgado’s murder. The family awaits justice and accountability despite ample evidence against Sgt. Richard Henderson.

    “It really makes me upset that these police officers have this immunity and these bills of rights that protect them,” said Amanda Majail-Blanco, Salgado’s sister.

  • SF Chronicle | June 4, 2023 | View article 

    Over the next two years, Mayor Thao proposes reducing funding for the Department of Violence Prevention from $48 million to $41 million. Clearly, Thao’s campaign promise to double violence prevention funding would be reversed by these cuts.

    Swai Lakai says she’s benefited from violence prevention services. After serving time in prison, the 21-year-old now works for CURYJ, which organizes Town Nights for the city, an event that brings young people off the streets into spaces where they can interact with mentors and life coaches in order to prevent them from engaging in criminal activity.

    Swai says, “Young people need the services, they need the mentors, they need the things these organizations offer to keep them out of trouble”

  • Fox KTVU 2 | May 30, 2023 | View article 

    Dozens of community leaders rallied outside Oakland City Hall on Tuesday, urging city officials not to slash the city’s Department of Violence Prevention budget.

    proposed budget released by Mayor Sheng Thao calls for a reduction in contracts between the violence-prevention department and community-based groups that reach out to those at risk.

    Ricardo Garcia of Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice said, “What we’re demanding the city is to equally invest in our frontline people, our folks who are putting their lives literally on the ground, to be able to make sure they’re supporting families.”

    Swai Lakai told the crowd, “The police do not keep us safe, we keep us safe.” Lakai told KTVU she’s a beneficiary of community-based programs.

    “I’m a formerly incarcerated student, and it helped me because I used to be in a lot of trouble, and me being able to go to these programs have helped me,” Lakai said.

  • SF Chronicle | May 28, 2023 | View article 

    George Floyd’s murder sparked calls to end police brutality and racism. California has experienced a decline in overall police killings three years later, while the U.S. has increased.

    Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice executive director George Galvis says these problems stem from racism in policing in America.

    “When you think about the problems with policing in this country, you think of the system’s roots, which go back to slavery and slave patrols, police violence, police terrorism, has always been a part of policing and that won’t change overnight.”

  • ABC 7 News | May 24, 2023 | View Story 

    “Instead of reigning in police spending, the city is considering defunding vital services for violence prevention, jobs, shelter for the unhoused.”

  • Ms. Magazine | May 15, 2023 | View article

    Imagine how happy you would feel after being told you can finally go home to your family and friends after spending your 18th birthday and over 200 days in juvenile hall. This was the case for Xochtil, who was eager to start a new life and never return. She was ecstatic—that is, until she was given a $3,000 bill upon her release.

    She was relieved to be back with her community, but was working tirelessly to make ends meet while simultaneously juggling a full-time course load at a community college. The carceral debt loomed over, leaving her too stressed on money to focus on the far more important issues of her re-integration, two jobs or education.

     

  • Alamedasun | April 24, 2023 | View article

    “I don’t think the city has done a lot,” Majail-Blanco said. “They barely do anything and community members sometimes trash the site. If anything, the city has procrastinated in trying to hold cops accountable and no justice has been served.”

     

  • Oaklandside | April 18, 2023 | View article

    Youth members of CURYJ said they don’t want policing to be the solution to the neighborhood’s systemic problems. “We want this police money to go back into the community,” one young person said. “Why are you talking about public safety when police murder our brothers and sisters?”

     

  • SF Chronicle | April 18, 2023 | View article

    “If you have the power and funds to open a substation, you should use that power to keep working with organizations like (Communities) United for Restorative Youth Justice that are run by people in the community,” a speaker said, “since those who are closer to the problem are also closer to the solution.”

     

  • Hard Knock Radio | April 27, 2023 | View article

    Geroge Galvis, Executive Director shared, “Belafonte’s significant impact on his activism and the work he and others were doing to end mass incarceration, provide support for those returning home, and offer resources for marginalized individuals. His conversations and work with Mr B encouraged him to double his efforts. The jewels of wisdom he received from Harry Belafonte made him a better organizer”.

     

  • 94.1 KPFA | April 19, 2023 | View article

    Dr. Frankie Ramos, Director of Campaigns and Organizing, was featured in a live radio interview in a discussion about closing youth prisons  to talk about CURYJ’s latest efforts with the grassroots Dreams Beyond Bars campaign and the legislative effort of the PROMYSE Act. 

     

  • Andrus Family Fund | March 30, 2023 | View Story 

    AFF is launching a new video and podcast series that centers youth in the movement to abolish harmful systems and who are envisioning community-centered approaches to supporting youth and families. Watch now to get a sneak peek of the topics we’ll address.

    Youth organizers featured in this video include:
    Meyiya Coleman, Communities United
    Xochtil Larios, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ)
    Anahi Figueroa-Martinez, Juvenile Law Center
    Laura Rosado, Visionary Freedom Fund
    Jemima Abalogu, Visionary Freedom Fund
    Bre Stoves, Care Not Control (Original song – Untold Story)

  • The Sacramento Bee | February 24, 2023 | View article

    George Galvis, founder and executive director of Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, said Armstrong’s firing was a first step “in holding OPD accountable for years of abuse and scandals.”

     

  • Post News Group | February 16, 2023 | View article

    “I think it’s important to think that there are many Tyre Nichols’ and while in this particular moment there is righteous outrage, as there should be for the blatant and egregious murder of a young Black man for a fraudulent traffic stop, we have many, many cases here in the Bay Area that we perhaps have more agency over as Oaklanders.” George Galvis, CURYJ Executive Director and Co-Founder. 

     

  • Oakland North | February 6, 2023 | View article

    Ray’Von Jones, a former Oakland Tech teacher who now is a program manager at Communities United for Restorative Justice or CURYJ, heard of Zamudio’s plan to organize a vigil and block party for Nichols, she gave her full support.

    “It’s not easy as a student to organize something like this, so we’re really just here in solidarity, supporting with whatever they need,” Jones said. “But they’re running the show.”

    Jones said the students meant for the action to be disruptive, noting, “The point of an act of civil disobedience is to disobey a rule which is like being in school.”

     

  • SF Chronicle | January 26, 2023 | View article

  • “We understand that she has to maintain a delicate balance as DA, but her life experience could set her up to do some amazing things, especially if she gets the support,“ said Rocky Hunt, our Participatory Defense Coordinator in The Imprint | January 10, 2023 | View article

  • “During the first 100 days of DA Price’s tenure, our coalition of advocates will hold her administration accountable to commitments made during the campaign, including community calls for decarceration, decriminalization, and accountability. Only then will voters and systems-impacted folks know that DA Price is the change we’ve been waiting for.” in the article by Ella Baker Center | January 3, 2023 | View article

DO NOT DELETE –  THESE POST BELOW ARE FROM PREVIOUS YEARS

  •  “We send our children to schools so that they are cared for and protected and they receive an education and not bullets,” says Mario Juarez in Telemundo | September 30, 2022 | View article

  •  “The safest communities do not have the most police. They have the most resources,” says Galvis of CURYJ in KQED | September 12, 2022 | View article

  • Article written by Shwanika Narayan. San Francisco Chronicle | July 8, 2022 | View article

  • Article written by Eduardo Gonzales. San Francisco Foundation | April 26, 2022 | View article

  • Op-ed written by Katarina Sayally, CURYJ DBB fellow. The Imprint | June 21, 2021 | View article

  • “Mario’s life was ended, he was murdered by the police. It was unnecessary, it was result of white supremacy it’s a result of the culture of policing and once again we don’t need police protection, we need protection from the police,” Galvis said.

    ABC 10| April 28, 2021 | View article

  • “How do you take a healthy person in custody who has no health problems and then they mysteriously die? There’s not an uncanny correlation. It’s obvious he was murdered by Alameda police,” George Galvis said.

    KQED| April 22, 2021 | View article

  • Black, Latino, Asian Americans are raising money and helping to escort senior citizens who might not feel safe.

    NBC News | February 19, 2021 | View article

  • Evelyn Canal, Dream Beyond Bars fellow and advocate for incarcerated youth, recounts what it was like wearing a monitor and now fights for young people’s rights while in the system.



    NBC News | July 25, 2021 | View article

  • Protesters call for early release for some inmates; vaccine distribution clouds debate

    East Bay Times | January 31, 2021 | View article

  • Panel discussion moderated by Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow, with Xochtil Larios of CURYJ, Pastor Mike McBride of Live Free, and Zach Norris of the Ella Baker Center.

    Alameda County Library | January 27,2021 | View panel discussion

  • “Growing up in elementary school and middle school, as we were taught about Dr. King, we were taught this co-opted, sanitized, whitewashed version of Dr. King that was really meant about social control, it was about behaving well, it was about assimilation,” Galvis said.

    San Francisco Public Press | January 18, 2021 | View article

  • Interview with former Dream Beyond Bars Coordinator, Daniel Mendoza

    Bioneers | View article

  • Oakland activists and advocates compare today’s treatment of pro-Trump insurrectionists with what they’ve witnessed at local protests.

    The Oaklandside | January 6, 2021 | View article

  • Editorial by Hayden Renato

    Evident Change | December 9, 2020 | View editorial

  • Editorial by Tom Steyer and George Galvis

    Sacramento Bee | September 12, 2020 | View editorial

  • In a three year span, Latinos in California represented 46% of deadly police shootings – second to the rates for African Americans

    The Guardian | June 12, 2020 | View article

📃  Blog

Read blogs written by CURYJ staff and young leaders. Swipe to see more entries or visit our Medium page.

🎬 Videos

I MADE THIS AS AN EXTRA SECTION _ YOU CAN DELETE

  • Open Vallejo | June 28, 2023 | Read article 

    Due to state and federal laws, government agencies have long been prohibited from publicly disclosing information about juveniles’ interactions with the legal system. In addition to reducing barriers to employment, housing, and higher education, these laws aim to protect justice-impacted youth from social stigma. However, the police have exploited these laws to evade transparency when they use force against children.

    “It’s very clear to me that this is an abuse. It’s really concerning that they’re abusing the spirit and intent of SB 1421 in this way…I can tell you that, as one of the sponsors: that was not the intent. We would never have ever allowed that.” – George Galvis

  • AP New | June 17, 2023 | View article 

    To cover an estimated $31.5 billion budget deficit, the Newsom administration has proposed ending public disclosure of investigations into abusive and corrupt police officers.

    An organization that spent years advocating for the disclosure rules that were part of the landmark law Newsom signed in 2021, a coalition of criminal justice and press freedom groups, have strongly criticized the proposal, part of the governor’s budget package he is still negotiating with the Legislature.

     

    “It’s a slap in the face to the family members who have had their loved ones stolen from them that … a key provision of the decertification process is not being honored,” J Vasquez, of social justice group Communities United For Restorative Justice, said at a news conference last week.

     

  • By Out Of The Margins. Shared by Andrus Family Fund  | June 16, 2023 | View article

    Organizing for Abolition. Envisioning Liberation. Hosted by AFF Director Mishi Faruqee, each episode in this limited series will feature grantee partners, youth leaders and/or allies who share their visions for community-centered approaches that support youth and families.   
     
    In this first episode, we hear from Brenda Gomez and Xochtil Larios of Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ) in Oakland, CA. They discuss their journey from being incarcerated as teenagers and being empowered by CURYJ to their continued evolution as youth leaders in the abolition movement and how CURYJ continues to support young people to #DreamBeyondBars. 

    Learn more about CURYJ:
    curyj.org
    Twitter
    Facebook
    Instagram

    Music by Bre Stoves, “Untold Story” from Care, Not Control (The Album)

    Learn more about AFF:
    affund.org
    LinkedIn
    Instagram
    Facebook

    This podcast is produced by Sol Design.

  • KQED | June, 16 2023 | View article 

    It will take creative thinking to solve this problem in Oakland, according to community groups and the city’s Department of Violence Prevention (DVP). From Friday and through July, DVP will bring back Town Nights, an arts and culture series aimed at providing resources and positive social outlets. So why do some of the city’s leading gun violence prevention groups say this programming effectively stops gun violence? A KQED associate editor of arts and culture, Nastia Voynovskaya, addresses this question in a Bay episode. 

    Listen here

  • The Oakland Side | June 15, 2023 | View article 


    Oakland’s Department of Violence Prevention is getting some bridge money to carry it through the summer, but the department’s community-based contractors, who do much of its work on the streets, fear the added funds won’t save them from the chopping block when the council finalizes the city’s next two-year budget before the end of June.

    “That’s just throwing a Band-Aid on a broken bone,” said Alex Toris, a cultural activist for Communities United For Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ), which is one of the recipients of department grants. 

    “What we’re asking for is not for City Council to put the money where their mouth is, but to keep it there,” Joseph Griffin, executive director of Youth ALIVE! Said during a press conference on May 30. “That’s really what we need to keep our programs going.”  

  • ABC 7 News | June 14, 2023 | View Story 

    At a rally in front of Oakland City Hall, community groups demanded no cuts to city funding for many of their programs — ahead of Wednesday’s city council budget meeting.




  • SF Chronicle | June 9, 2023 | View article 

    One of the biggest differences between Oakland teens and those nationally was witnessing violence: Nearly one in three Oakland teens reported having seen someone assaulted, stabbed, or shot, compared with one in five nationally.

    36% of Oakland high school students said they witnessed someone in their neighborhood get shot, stabbed or beaten, outpacing their peers in California and around the country. In the United States, 20% of students agreed.

    “A majority of the kids I deal with have been victims of violence, have perpetrated violence, have seen people get hurt or shot,” said Francisco Cisneros, a violence interrupter from Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice at Fremont High School in East Oakland. “They’re living in an environment that resorts to violence. It makes them feel like violence is almost the first thing they should resort to solve their problems.”

  • SF Gate | June 6, 2023 | View article 

    Three years have passed since Erik Salgado was shot, killed, and lost his baby at the hands of California Highway Patrol officers in Oakland on June 6, 2023.

    The family of Erik Salgado, CURYJ, the Anti Police-Terror, and Addie Kitchen, a grandmother of Steven Taylor, who was killed by law enforcement, gathered outside Rene C. Davidson’s Oakland courthouse yesterday morning to make their case.

    As a result of the shooting and death of Erik Salgado and the loss of his baby, a new district attorney has been elected, Pamela Price, who has vowed to file charges against killer cops and reopen the case closed by her predecessor Nancy O’Malley to charge the officer involved in Erik Salgado’s murder. The family awaits justice and accountability despite ample evidence against Sgt. Richard Henderson.

    “It really makes me upset that these police officers have this immunity and these bills of rights that protect them,” said Amanda Majail-Blanco, Salgado’s sister.

  • SF Chronicle | June 4, 2023 | View article 

    Over the next two years, Mayor Thao proposes reducing funding for the Department of Violence Prevention from $48 million to $41 million. Clearly, Thao’s campaign promise to double violence prevention funding would be reversed by these cuts.

    Swai Lakai says she’s benefited from violence prevention services. After serving time in prison, the 21-year-old now works for CURYJ, which organizes Town Nights for the city, an event that brings young people off the streets into spaces where they can interact with mentors and life coaches in order to prevent them from engaging in criminal activity.

    Swai says, “Young people need the services, they need the mentors, they need the things these organizations offer to keep them out of trouble”

  • Fox KTVU 2 | May 30, 2023 | View article 

    Dozens of community leaders rallied outside Oakland City Hall on Tuesday, urging city officials not to slash the city’s Department of Violence Prevention budget.

    proposed budget released by Mayor Sheng Thao calls for a reduction in contracts between the violence-prevention department and community-based groups that reach out to those at risk.

    Ricardo Garcia of Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice said, “What we’re demanding the city is to equally invest in our frontline people, our folks who are putting their lives literally on the ground, to be able to make sure they’re supporting families.”

    Swai Lakai told the crowd, “The police do not keep us safe, we keep us safe.” Lakai told KTVU she’s a beneficiary of community-based programs.

    “I’m a formerly incarcerated student, and it helped me because I used to be in a lot of trouble, and me being able to go to these programs have helped me,” Lakai said.

  • SF Chronicle | May 28, 2023 | View article 

    George Floyd’s murder sparked calls to end police brutality and racism. California has experienced a decline in overall police killings three years later, while the U.S. has increased.

    Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice executive director George Galvis says these problems stem from racism in policing in America.

    “When you think about the problems with policing in this country, you think of the system’s roots, which go back to slavery and slave patrols, police violence, police terrorism, has always been a part of policing and that won’t change overnight.”

  • ABC 7 News | May 24, 2023 | View Story 

    “Instead of reigning in police spending, the city is considering defunding vital services for violence prevention, jobs, shelter for the unhoused.”

  • Ms. Magazine | May 15, 2023 | View article

    Imagine how happy you would feel after being told you can finally go home to your family and friends after spending your 18th birthday and over 200 days in juvenile hall. This was the case for Xochtil, who was eager to start a new life and never return. She was ecstatic—that is, until she was given a $3,000 bill upon her release.

    She was relieved to be back with her community, but was working tirelessly to make ends meet while simultaneously juggling a full-time course load at a community college. The carceral debt loomed over, leaving her too stressed on money to focus on the far more important issues of her re-integration, two jobs or education.

     

  • Alamedasun | April 24, 2023 | View article

    “I don’t think the city has done a lot,” Majail-Blanco said. “They barely do anything and community members sometimes trash the site. If anything, the city has procrastinated in trying to hold cops accountable and no justice has been served.”

     

  • Oaklandside | April 18, 2023 | View article

    Youth members of CURYJ said they don’t want policing to be the solution to the neighborhood’s systemic problems. “We want this police money to go back into the community,” one young person said. “Why are you talking about public safety when police murder our brothers and sisters?”

     

  • SF Chronicle | April 18, 2023 | View article

    “If you have the power and funds to open a substation, you should use that power to keep working with organizations like (Communities) United for Restorative Youth Justice that are run by people in the community,” a speaker said, “since those who are closer to the problem are also closer to the solution.”

     

  • Hard Knock Radio | April 27, 2023 | View article

    Geroge Galvis, Executive Director shared, “Belafonte’s significant impact on his activism and the work he and others were doing to end mass incarceration, provide support for those returning home, and offer resources for marginalized individuals. His conversations and work with Mr B encouraged him to double his efforts. The jewels of wisdom he received from Harry Belafonte made him a better organizer”.

     

  • 94.1 KPFA | April 19, 2023 | View article

    Dr. Frankie Ramos, Director of Campaigns and Organizing, was featured in a live radio interview in a discussion about closing youth prisons  to talk about CURYJ’s latest efforts with the grassroots Dreams Beyond Bars campaign and the legislative effort of the PROMYSE Act. 

     

  • Andrus Family Fund | March 30, 2023 | View Story 

    AFF is launching a new video and podcast series that centers youth in the movement to abolish harmful systems and who are envisioning community-centered approaches to supporting youth and families. Watch now to get a sneak peek of the topics we’ll address.

    Youth organizers featured in this video include:
    Meyiya Coleman, Communities United
    Xochtil Larios, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ)
    Anahi Figueroa-Martinez, Juvenile Law Center
    Laura Rosado, Visionary Freedom Fund
    Jemima Abalogu, Visionary Freedom Fund
    Bre Stoves, Care Not Control (Original song – Untold Story)

  • The Sacramento Bee | February 24, 2023 | View article

    George Galvis, founder and executive director of Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, said Armstrong’s firing was a first step “in holding OPD accountable for years of abuse and scandals.”

     

  • Post News Group | February 16, 2023 | View article

    “I think it’s important to think that there are many Tyre Nichols’ and while in this particular moment there is righteous outrage, as there should be for the blatant and egregious murder of a young Black man for a fraudulent traffic stop, we have many, many cases here in the Bay Area that we perhaps have more agency over as Oaklanders.” George Galvis, CURYJ Executive Director and Co-Founder. 

     

  • Oakland North | February 6, 2023 | View article

    Ray’Von Jones, a former Oakland Tech teacher who now is a program manager at Communities United for Restorative Justice or CURYJ, heard of Zamudio’s plan to organize a vigil and block party for Nichols, she gave her full support.

    “It’s not easy as a student to organize something like this, so we’re really just here in solidarity, supporting with whatever they need,” Jones said. “But they’re running the show.”

    Jones said the students meant for the action to be disruptive, noting, “The point of an act of civil disobedience is to disobey a rule which is like being in school.”

     

  • SF Chronicle | January 26, 2023 | View article

  • “We understand that she has to maintain a delicate balance as DA, but her life experience could set her up to do some amazing things, especially if she gets the support,“ said Rocky Hunt, our Participatory Defense Coordinator in The Imprint | January 10, 2023 | View article

  • “During the first 100 days of DA Price’s tenure, our coalition of advocates will hold her administration accountable to commitments made during the campaign, including community calls for decarceration, decriminalization, and accountability. Only then will voters and systems-impacted folks know that DA Price is the change we’ve been waiting for.” in the article by Ella Baker Center | January 3, 2023 | View article

  • “How do you take a healthy person in custody who has no health problems and then they mysteriously die? There’s not an uncanny correlation. It’s obvious he was murdered by Alameda police,” George Galvis said.

    KQED| April 22, 2021 | View article

  • Black, Latino, Asian Americans are raising money and helping to escort senior citizens who might not feel safe.

    NBC News | February 19, 2021 | View article

  • Evelyn Canal, Dream Beyond Bars fellow and advocate for incarcerated youth, recounts what it was like wearing a monitor and now fights for young people’s rights while in the system.



    NBC News | July 25, 2021 | View article

  • Protesters call for early release for some inmates; vaccine distribution clouds debate

    East Bay Times | January 31, 2021 | View article

  • Panel discussion moderated by Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow, with Xochtil Larios of CURYJ, Pastor Mike McBride of Live Free, and Zach Norris of the Ella Baker Center.

    Alameda County Library | January 27,2021 | View panel discussion

  • “Growing up in elementary school and middle school, as we were taught about Dr. King, we were taught this co-opted, sanitized, whitewashed version of Dr. King that was really meant about social control, it was about behaving well, it was about assimilation,” Galvis said.

    San Francisco Public Press | January 18, 2021 | View article

  • Interview with former Dream Beyond Bars Coordinator, Daniel Mendoza

    Bioneers | View article

  • Oakland activists and advocates compare today’s treatment of pro-Trump insurrectionists with what they’ve witnessed at local protests.

    The Oaklandside | January 6, 2021 | View article

  • Editorial by Hayden Renato

    Evident Change | December 9, 2020 | View editorial

  • Editorial by Tom Steyer and George Galvis

    Sacramento Bee | September 12, 2020 | View editorial

  • In a three year span, Latinos in California represented 46% of deadly police shootings – second to the rates for African Americans

    The Guardian | June 12, 2020 | View article

📖 Culture of Storytelling

Our stories are sacred. In every story there is a teaching. Stories are part of the vehicles of how we can transform our communities and make social change.

George Galvis, Executive Director

Xochtil Storytelling
Dream Beyond Bars filming

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