Center for Lao Studies


Amount: $15,000

Contact: Vinya Sysamouth, 415-874-5578,

Program Abstract: The Center for Lao Studies' Traditions, Language & Culture (TLC) program will provide multi-ethnic Lao youth in the San Pablo community, ranging from 13 to 18 years old, with ongoing traditional dance and music lessons and Lao and Khmu language classes (the Khmu are an ethnic minority group from Laos). Additionally, Dr. Vinya Sysamouth, Executive Director of the Center for Lao Studies, will lead workshops on the Lao (including minority ethnic groups) refugee experience and what it means to be Lao growing up in America. The program will culminate with final performances and a closing ceremony at a conference at Contra Costa College, hosted by the Center for Lao Studies (CLS) and the Khmu National Federation.

TLC will help to connect the first generation of Lao refugees (parents) with the second and third generation of Lao (youth). Youth will engage in learning about their heritage through the classes outlined above. Parents will participate in the process in various ways – they will assist with the preparation of traditional dance costumes, for example, and be interviewed by their children as part of the language classes. Engaging with their parents through the arts will help youth to gain deeper insights into Lao traditional elements (arts and language) so important to the Laos-born older generations, and connect with their parents at a more intimate level. The Contra Costa conference will include a special session on inter-generational communication, focusing on the role of the TLC program in parent-youth relationships.


Cinco De Mayo Parade Committee

Amount: $5,000

Contact: Genoveva Calloway, 510-384-6555,

Program Abstract:  The project includes student and parent participation through a process whereby students and parents learn about the historical event of Cinco de Mayo and why communities of San Pablo and Richmond celebrate it. Key elements of this project encourage and facilitate the growth of community members, teach the historical and cultural significance of Cinco de Mayo, strengthen the esteem of all and at the same time build a strong civic foundation for the future. The project focuses on two classes of 15 youth (13-18) each accompanied by their parents and taught by professional artists from the Richmond Arts Center.  These bilingual classes will address the historical and cultural significance of Cinco de Mayo and will culminate in co-designing a float for the San Pablo Cinco de Mayo parade.  Participants learn the planning skills to carry out the task of budgeting for and building a project, such as a float. By participating in this project, youth and parents will increase communication and transfer what they’ve learned to their family, co-workers and the community in general.


Girls, Inc - West Contra Costa County


Amount: $13,000

Contact: Tiffany Harris, 510-232-5440,

Program Abstract: Building Better Citizen (BBC), a program that builds Youth-Adult Partnership (YAP) to enhance civic engagement and deepen relationships between girls and their parents/guardians

BBC will serve 13-15 years old girls who live in San Pablo and attend Middle College High School, Helms Middle School or Richmond High School and their parents/guardians.

During the eight weeks series two-hour civic engagement and community activism workshops, girls and their parents/guardians will participate in a wide variety of activities, including video journalism, photography, journaling, drawing, role playing, social media training, reading and discussing relevant books and articles, and using software such as Simcity. The program will also host prominent community and political leaders as guest speakers.  

BBC program will empower girls and their families to make a difference by building their confidence and capacity to improve the future of women’s rights, education, economic status and leadership.  BBC will offer participants the opportunity to address violence and other critical issues in a collective and inter-generational settings. BBC will train participants to build the skills needed to meaningfully advocate for and implement change.


The Latina Center


Amount: $15,000

Contact: Miriam Wong, 510-233-8595,

Program Abstract: The Latina Center (TLC) will expand Young Latinas, Future Leaders (YLFL), a youth leadership program designed to increase self-esteem and self-confidence among Latina girls while developing leadership, fostering responsibility, and providing opportunities for service and accomplishment.  TLC will expand the YLFL program to Helms Middle School in San Pablo to reach 25-35 low-income, immigrant and first generation Latina girls and their families with weekly support information, and skill building activities designed to support decisionmaking about how to be healthy and successful at school, among their peers, and at home.  Through evidence-based curricula that incorporates topics such as communication, conflict resolution, anger management, goal setting and life skills while modeling pro-social behavior and providing opportunities to help young Latinas incorporate caring, helpfulness, understanding and cooperation into their lives.  Working with their parents, these young leaders will develop a community -or school-based activity to respond to a need they identify while practicing skills, working collaboratively and building leadership.

AuthorSP Koshland