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The mission of CURYJ is to interrupt the cycles of violence and poverty by motivating and empowering young people that have been impacted by the criminal justice system to make positive changes in their lives and prepare them to become the community leaders of today. CURYJ believes that youth and young adults are the experts on the issues effecting their lives and need to be involved in developing the policies that impact them and is dedicated to providing training and technical assistance to elevate youth voice and power.
CURYJ is a convener of the Alameda County Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, which focuses on building the leadership of under-represented communities in the county’s realignment planning process and advancing community-based alternatives that expand opportunities for these constituencies in setting priorities for how realignment money is spent.
The Aztlan Beautification Movement was started by CURYJ after the implementation of the Fruitvale gang injunction. Murals have been organized with our partners at the Eastside Cultural Center to increase community art projects that bring youth together to learn Indigenous histories and to tell stories.
CURYJ members helped establish the Fruitvale Community Garden alongside community members and the Stop the Injunctions Coalition. CURYJ believes that establishing more spaces for sustainable agriculture in Oakland will support increased self determination in our communities. We also see these spaces as vital to healing young people who are impacted by violence, since they are sites where young people can reconnect with their culture and learn tangible skills for autonomy.
La Cultura Cura Cultural Arts Cafe is a social enterprise of CURYJ that aims to employ systems impacted young adults. We reestablish Indigenous trade routes by purchasing organic coffee beans directly from our Mayan relatives in Chiapas.