Our community is committed to being culturally responsive, but many organizations cited lacking tangible tools to make that happen. 68 systems leaders came together to gain better understanding as to how to shift their organizations to be more equitable and culturally responsive. Workshop participants grappled with developing Equity Teams, strategies for Board engagement, shifting hiring practices & staff development, ways to increase community voice in decision-making and how to use data in a meaningful way.
Acknowledging that youth of color experience disparate outcomes in every-youth serving system including, law enforcement due to implicit bias, YVPN hosted a training to combat implicit bias. Co-Sponsored by the Watsonville Police Department, this event allowed attendees to identify the impacts that implicit bias has on decision making within the organizations. Participants also developed action plans for how to counter implicit bias within their work, as it relates the outcomes for young men of color and their families.  
Restorative Justice Forum: In November 2018, partnership with Smart on Crime, YVPN co-hosted a community forum, which brought some of the nation’s foremost experts on restorative justice to Santa Cruz to raise awareness about the advantages of this approach to criminal justice decision-making and to stimulate discussion about whether and how to implement restorative justice practices at the local level. More than 175 community members attended the event, and over 50 community leaders representing community, education, government, health, and justice sectors attended the pre-event reception. From this event, Santa Cruz County applied for Proposition 47 funding to support the development of the new Neighborhood Courts Model. We have also seen a building momentum to increase restorative practices through out the justice and educational systems.