On December 15th the Oakland Police Department released a dangerous statement to create fear and vilify Oakland youth. Using dehumanizing language like “juveniles” and “underaged suspects,” Interim Police Chief Susan E. Manheimer stated that her purpose is to create “alarm” without addressing the causes or offering any solutions.

“We remember this language from the 90’s, it created the hysteria that allowed so many Black and Brown lives to be cut short by mass incarceration,” said George Galvis, Executive Director of Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice — CURYJ. “Police Chief Manheimer the Oakland Police Department are afraid right now. …

CURYJ and BOP young leaders organized the Black and Brown Unity Rally during the George Floyd Uprising; Photo by Brooke Anderson

2020 has been a difficult year physically and spiritually. It has exposed many of the injustices Black and Brown people face. It has forced us to step up and find new ways to love and support our community. Despite the challenges we at CURYJ have a lot to feel grateful for.

We are grateful that we were able to quickly adapt virtual strategies and continue all of our important work in program, policy, life coaching, participatory defense, and community healing. We leaned into supporting our current and former participants and their families this year including:

  • Distributing weekly grocery and cooked…

By J. Vasquez, Participatory Defense & Policy Coordinator

Peace & blessings and happy holidays!

2020 was a year filled with unprecedented events, including a devastating pandemic, high unemployment, and a global movement for racial justice and police accountability. In the midst of it all, CURYJ is hard at work advocating for local and statewide policy changes that primarily affect Black and Brown communities. We’ve won some amazing battles and we’ll continue the fight in 2021 and beyond.

A big Thanks to everyone who helped us fight against state-sanctioned terrorism, racism, and oppression. Whether you attended a protest, participated in a caravan, gave public comment, phone banked…

By Hayden A. Beaulieu

Hayden Beaulieu visits the California State Capitol for the first time to share his #MeToo regarding his support for SB284

Sacramento is the capital of the world’s 5th largest economy. Things happen in that city that affect everyone- not just Californians. We have the power to set a positive example for other states and nations. The power of the people to invest in youth and their growth and development is the greatest power we have. …

By CURYJ Staff

Video by Manuel Ortiz

On February 23, 2019 the Dream Beyond Bars Fellows came together for what marked the 2019 Dream Beyond Bars Summit: A Youth Vision for Alameda County’s Justice System.

The event was the culmination of over a year’s worth of work by the the Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ) and Urban Peace Movement fellows. This process included multiple focus groups and discussions, over 200 surveys, and community town halls. All of the data collected has pointed to the fact that there is unanimous support for community-based solutions over incarceration.

After finalizing the…

By Xochtil Larios, CURYJ’s Youth Justice Program Associate

This is a piece I did for Hayward High School’s Puente program. During this time in my life I would get kicked out of school for not having outstanding grades in the rest of my classes. It was 2013, and I was 13 years-old.


Purpose is the reason you want to be here! I ask why people, places, or things belong. My specific purpose in this shady ass life is to never change and always stay the same, do everything I can to be happy, but mainly to be me. In my life I want to be somebody better, maybe…

By Daniel Mendoza, CURYJ Community Organizer

I am a young voter who has never felt like the democratic system benefited people like me, or my community, due to issues with the government both locally and nationally. In this day and age I feel like it is important for communities of color to exercise their right to vote, with the help and service of the our local government to pass legislation that benefits the needs of the people. This year there are important potential laws both locally and statewide that will affect people already struggling with expensive rent and divested communities…

By Erin Talbert-Brust

By Homies 4 Justice Intern Cristina Flores

CURYJ’s Aztlán Beautification Movement (ABM) aims to beautify Oakland through murals that depict a strong sense of pride in the indigenous culture. Often times in street art the indigenous storyline is forgotten to glorify the culture that Oakland has become known for, however, ABM has brought a positive light to young people who now walk the streets and are reminded that they are descendants of kings, queens, warriors, and above all can Dream Beyond Bars.


CURYJ unlocks the leadership of young people to dream beyond bars.

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