Three Ways Berkeley Connects with the Community
By Will Kane
29 September, 2017
Photo courtesy of Keegan Houser
Image: Chancellor Carol Christ poses with group of YPLAN students, professors and mentors.
On Friday, September 29, Chancellor Christ recognized three Bay Area programs at the 8th Annual Chancellor's Community Leaders Breakfast for their efforts to connect the UC Berkeley campus with the wider East Bay communities of Oakland, Richmond and Berkeley, giving special recognition to the Center for Cities + Schools (CC+S) and its award-winning educational program Y-PLAN for its strong social justice and health equity focus.
Deborah McCoy, Executive Director of CC+S, created the program to help Bay Area youths plan for their future. Y-PLAN -- which stands for Youth-Plan, Learn, Act, Now -- is a comprehensive educational and actionable strategy that empowers young people to tackle real-world problems in their communities through project-based civic learning experiences. Created through a partnership between CC+S and CED’s Institute for Urban and Regional Development (IURD), the program has gone on to implement learning tools in schools in the Bay Area, Sacramento New York City, and even in Tohoku, Japan.
“We call Y-PLAN the heartbeat of our work to unite and look at the intersection of cities and schools, because it keeps us very humble and keeps us very focused on the lives and realities of our young people, and how city policies have to change to structure success,” McKoy said.
Y-PLAN encourages students to become “agents of change in their communities” by involving themselves in projects that improve public transportation, access to green space, public art and civil space, healthy eating and active living.
Y-PLAN is currently in collaboration with the Oakland School District’s African American Male Achievement Initiative. Due to this partnership, Makale Bradley, a senior at Skyline High School, received a unique opportunity to intern with BART. “It really taught me how to hold myself in a business setting,” Bradley said.
To learn more about the Y-PLAN program, click here.
To read more about other programs and individuals that received recognition, click here.