Just Communities CLI 2016

**Press Release**
For Immediate Release

Elizabeth Hahn, Development and Communications Manager,, 805-966-2063
August 5th, 2016 – Just Communities’ CommUnity Leadership Institute 2016 Student Presentations
As our nation continues to struggle with issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic class, violence and inequality, local youth are coming together to talk and take action to improve their communities.

Every summer Just Communities holds an 8-day summer leadership program called the Community Leadership Institute (CLI). CLI is an 8-day residential leadership program that helps about 40 youth per year better understand issues of injustice in the world and implement their learning through concrete school and community-based action. Students come to CLI in teams representing their high school, organization, or local community and each leaves CLI with a plan for action that they will implement upon returning to school. Students in the past have implemented plans to create more culturally relevant curriculum and advocated for gender neutral restrooms in their schools, have started farmer’s markets in their local areas, and as adults, are leading many efforts towards social change today. This year students will be participating from the following schools and organizations: The Endowment for Youth Committee in Lompoc, The One Community Action Coalition of the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District, Dos Pueblos High School, Santa Barbara High School, San Marcos High School, La Cuesta Continuation High School, One Step A La Vez, and The Westminster Free Clinic. Following the 8-day summer program, Just Communities provides year-round support to the students as they work to turn their learning into action through CAN DO (Change Agent Network for Dismantling Oppression).

On the last full day of CLI, the participants will present their action plans and ideas for a more just society to key leaders in their organizations, schools, and home communities. Community members and leaders from the broader Central Coast Community are invited to come hear what they have to say. The presentations will take place Friday, August 5, 2016 at Cate High School in Carpinteria. It is important for community members to be able to witness first-hand the passion and strength of the youth that come out of CLI. This is also a great opportunity for you to offer to the youth any support, advice, or connections you may have that might help them accomplish their goals.

The program will be as follows:
2:30-3:00pm - Guest Arrival and Orientation
3:00-4:30pm - Student presentations

If you are interested in attending or would like to learn more please RSVP to Elizabeth Hahn at

I’ve learned that despite our differences we can come together as a community and fight for social justice. In fact, it’s our differences that make us more powerful.” CLI Grad 2015
Just Communities was established in Santa Barbara in 2001 as a chapter of The National Conference for Community and Justice (founded in 1927). While Just Communities Central Coast has been a fully independent local organization since 2007, CLI’s roots trace back to 1950. The history and current relevance and impact of CLI will be the subject of a documentary that will be filmed during this year’s institute. Student stories, community action plans and much of the CLI program will be highlighted in the film. Those in attendance of the presentations will be asked to sign an appearance release form should they be filmed. We will also provide a “no filming” section for guests who wish to be excluded from filming.
We would like to extend our most sincere gratitude to our programs sponsors: Deckers Outdoor Corporation, The McCune Foundation, The Newhall Foundation, Southern California Edison, as well as many individual donations from folks like you!

Just Communities is currently running a CrowdRise campaign to raise the much needed funds to support this year’s group of students. While CLI seeks to serve youth who represent the diversity of California’s Central Coast, the majority of those who attend cannot afford the $1,750 annual cost and can only participate with significant scholarship support. One hundred percent of the youth that attended CLI in August of 2015 applied for some level of financial aid.
You can help support this year’s institute and its’ year-round follow-up by donating to Just Communities’ Crowdrise campaign:
More about Just Communities
Just Communities works to ensure Central Coast schools, organizations, and communities are places of opportunity, not places of limitation. Just Communities operates at both the grassroots and grass–tops levels, providing people with the knowledge, skills, and support to identify social issues that impact them, develop concrete solutions, and implement those

solutions in ways that create long-term and sustainable social change through education, organization development, and coaching. Our programs address the lack of cultural proficiency and the persistent opportunity and achievement gaps in our educational system and work to create equity and success for all.
For more information about Just Communities or how to get involved please call 805-966-2063 or

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