$100,000 Matching Donation to Close the Opportunity Gap for Justice System Impacted Youth of Color
All donations are tax deductible through New Earth 501 (c)(3). Tax ID: 33-0705045
Message From Aubrey Marcus
I have been searching for a way to make the biggest impact possible for the underserved communities of our nation. When I met Dr. Grammer and learned about his program, I knew I had found it. His sustainable, holistic approach I am convinced is the future of restoring justice, nutritional resources, and awareness where it is needed most. I was so moved by what he is doing, I decided to pledge a $100,000 matching donation. It is my deepest wish that we max out the capacity of that donation, and I thank you from my heart for your attention and consideration.
Use of Proceeds
The proceeds of this fundraiser will be used for the following purposes:
1. Fund a New Community Center as a Working Model for Sustainable Community Support and Youth Development.
New Earth is actively working to expand its operation to reach more youth in the community. It is imagining a new 18,000 sq. ft. multi-faceted campus to include all of its original trauma-informed programs, and will add an auditorium for community town halls, dinners, fitness, and sports. New Earth is also adding a new social enterprise to provide fresh organic produce to low-income families and this endeavor will generate more jobs for youth. This enterprise will be an organic market onsite that will be stocked with locally sourced produce and groceries from Southern California farms. For every box of produce bought at the store one free box of produce will be given to a family in need and delivered to their homes by the youth employees (one-for-one model). The store will generate youth jobs, fund New Earth programs, and provide free food support to families living in the food deserts of Los Angeles. Once the operation is completed, this model will be open sourced for other communities in every major metropolitan area across the country to access.
Trauma informed care is grounded in and directed by a thorough understanding of the neurological, biological, psychological, and social effects of trauma and the prevalence of these experiences in youth who experience the justice and foster care systems. It considers knowledge about trauma — its impact, interpersonal dynamic, and paths to recovery and incorporates this knowledge into all aspects of service delivery. Trauma informed care also recognizes that traditional service approaches can re-traumatize individuals and family members. Additionally, trauma informed care is a person-centered response focused on improving an individuals’ all- around wellness rather than simply treating symptoms of trauma.
New Earth programming plan core elements: promote, support and teach:
• Passion, perseverance and grit
• Cultural competence
• Self-worth and positive ethnic self- concept
• Self-regulation and distress tolerance
• Emotional and practical intelligence
• Problem solving and decision-making
• Interpersonal skills
• Career readiness and vocational skill-building
• Relationships and relationship skills – with family, peers, and adults
• Leadership and communication skills
• Gratitude and behaviors that help society as a whole, i.e. giving back to the community
2. Lobby for the reform of criminal justice policy reform.
Criminal justice in our country has become something of an oxymoron. It is often unjust, and responsible for creating more ‘criminals’ than it rehabilitates. As an example of this over up to 70% of youth locked up, are in prison for technical violations of their probation, not actually committing any new crime.
There are a staggering 2.2 million people in the nation’s prisons and jails—a 500% increase over the last 40 years. Changes in law and policy, not changes in crime rates, explain most of this increase.
Overall, African Americans are more likely than white Americans to be arrested. Once arrested, they are more likely to be convicted; and once convicted, they are more likely to face stiff sentences. So we need to start...
• Eliminating mandatory minimum sentences and cutting back on excessively lengthy sentences; for example, by imposing a 20-year maximum on most prison terms.
• Shifting resources to community-based prevention and treatment for substance abuse.
• Investing in interventions that promote strong youth development and respond to delinquency in age-appropriate and evidence-based ways.
• Examining and addressing the policies and practices, conscious or not, that contribute to racial inequity at every stage of the justice system.
• Removing barriers that make it harder for individuals with criminal records to turn their lives around.
3. Create media to share the stories of the youth of color and create universal awareness that highlights the shared humanity of us all.
One of the biggest challenges we face right now is that people don’t understand each other. We are not taking the time to listen to each other’s stories and identify the humanity beneath all of the labels. Marginalized youth do not have a voice that is being represented. We are looking to change that, by starting a podcast that features members of our community and sharing videos of the impact our work is having.
4. Campaign for access to healthier nutrition across all of America’s “food deserts."
A study published in 2002 showed that an intervention with parolees that included access to basic vitamins, minerals and fatty acids reduced the rate of repeat offenses by 35%. This number is staggering. If you consider the cost of imprisoning an individual and compare it to the cost of supplying basic nutrition, the opportunity is powerful. We are looking to show the impact that serving an underserved community with healthy food will have, and how valuable it is to enroll members of the community as a part of the food supply.
Research has also found that wealthy districts have three times as many supermarkets as poor ones do, that white neighborhoods contain an average of four times as many supermarkets as predominantly black ones do, and that grocery stores in Black communities are usually smaller with less selection.
People living in food deserts may also find it difficult to locate foods that are culturally appropriate for them, and dietary restrictions, such as lactose intolerance, gluten allergies, etc., also limit the food choices of those who do not have access to larger chain stores that have more selection.
About New Earth
New Earth supports youth that have been weighed down by the juvenile justice and foster care systems to help them reimagine their worlds by providing critical trauma-informed care and unlimited opportunities to succeed. Specifically, New Earth provides mentor-based arts, educational, and vocational programs that empower juvenile justice and system-involved youth ages 13-25 to transform their lives, move toward positive, healthier life choices, and realize their full potential as contributing members of our community.
Since 2004, New Earth has provided programs, services, and opportunities to over 20,000 youth involved in the justice system in Los Angeles. Based in Culver City, New Earth currently operates their 8,000 sq. ft. “one-stop-shop” youth arts and leadership center since 2015. Activities at the center include: a charter high school, job training and job placement, arts/music programs, counseling, therapy, case management, mentorship, wilderness programs, meals, transportation, justice advocacy training, and so much more.
About Harry Grammer
Dr. Harry Grammer is a nationwide activist and educator. He founded the community-based organization New Earth in 2004 and is instrumental in reforming the justice system in Los Angeles County. In 2017, Harry was honored as a CNN Hero, and in 2018 was selected as one of twenty inaugural Obama Foundation Fellows from over 20,000 applicants in 191 countries. Harry brings leadership and lived experience, with a background in teaching arts and advocacy to incarcerated and at-promise youth. In addition to New Earth’s arts and reentry programs and services, New Earth operates the New Earth Arts and Leadership Center in Culver City, CA, where they house their education, job placement, arts, and case management programs. Harry has a Ph.D. in Community, Liberation, and Eco-Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute and serves as the President of the Pacifica Graduate Institute’s Alumni Association (PGIAA).
To learn more about New Earth, please visit http://www.NewEarthLife.org.
For Aubrey Marcus, please visit http://www.AubreyMarcus.com.