Meeting the Moment
Our Story

Located in West Oakland, Civicorps was founded in 1983 as one of the first certified local conservation corps, based on the Civilian Conservation Corps model of land conservation work and education. Against a Bay Area backdrop of increasing income disparity, widespread social injustice and alarming climate change, our work is critical.

We cannot separate the work we do from the moment we are in. In 2020, Civicorps has confronted crisis after crisis: A global pandemic. An eruption over racial injustice. A wildfire season greater than any in our state’s history. These threats disproportionately impact our Corpsmembers and the communities they call home. We are challenged to innovate new ways of serving and supporting our participants and our community. We are called upon to meet the moment.

Meeting the moment is what being a Corpsmember is about. It is about leadership. It is about understanding how what we do today influences who we will be tomorrow. It is about service. During the spring, Civicorps’ Environmental Management and Recycling social enterprises strengthened safety protocols and continued to fulfill our commitments to the community. Corpsmembers answered Governor Newsom’s call to action by supporting the Alameda County Community Food Bank. Our Academy moved to Distance Learning, and eight students earned their high school diploma in June. When an early wildfire season kicked off, Corpsmembers kept up their fire mitigation and conservation work, knowing that our projects hold significance in the fight to combat the disastrous effects of climate change.

This moment requires perseverance. It requires us to invest in our Corpsmembers with even more vigor. For decades, the movement for racial and environmental justice has shaped our work. The movement persists today and so do we. Long after the spotlight on 2020 has dimmed, we will continue to ask: how can we best meet this moment? How will we fulfill our commitment to creating a world where all youth have the education and resources they need to succeed despite external factors we cannot control? Together with your partnership, we will continue to advance our vision.

Corpsmembers Shaniya, Kiara, and Lily meeting the moment in 2020.
Corpsmembers in Action

Recycling: Lily Nguyen and Kiara Alexis are breaking through economic and social barriers. After graduating from Civicorps Academy, Lily progressed from Conservation Intern to Recycling Intern, earning her Class B License to drive trucks. This July, amid a pandemic that has disproportionately impacted women of color, Lily followed in the footsteps of Kiara, becoming one of few women accepted into Waste Management’s union apprenticeship. At Civicorps, Lily and Kiara were determined that nothing could limit their potential. Today, they are trailblazing a path for women in the competitive recycling field.

Environmental Management: It was March 17 when Shaniya Burks, at the age of 21, learned she would be leading Conservation crews during the mandated shutdown. While working as a Conservation Intern, Shaniya had been promoted to Crew Leader II, responsible for leading fire prevention, waterway protection, and trail maintenance projects throughout the East Bay. She had no way of knowing how profoundly she would be tested after the shelter-in-place was declared. Meeting the moment requires leadership, and Shaniya Burks is a leader our community needs.

Read more about their Civicorps journeys by clicking the links below.

2020 Civicorps Corpsmember Certifications:
41 brushcutter
35 chainsaw
20 class B & C permit or licenses
18 e-waste
9 forklift
Kiara & Lily

Social Enterprises
Land management and recycling social enterprises:
398 tons of CRV material collected
156 tons of E-waste collected
119 used oil centers visited
5,967 abandoned tires collected
103 miles of trail construction and maintenance
34 miles of shoreline and waterway improvement
579 acres of wildland fire mitigation
23 acres of habitat restoration
54,121 hours of paid conservation training.

Our Corpsmembers work on significant projects for major local organizations, gaining paid job training and experience with potential future employers. By focusing on conservation career pathways, Civicorps is working to create opportunities for a diverse group of young  people to have a voice and impact within  the environmental movement.

This map depicts a sampling of our projects around the East Bay. To see a full list of our longtime contract partners, please click here.

Civicorps at a Glance


58% Men
42% Women

98% Live below the poverty line
23% Documented learning disability
19% Experienced housing instability
16% Justice involved
47% Victims of violence
22% Parents of young children
16% English language learners
11% Former foster youth

100% Powerful

Revenue & Expenses
Community Partners and Our Supporters

All we do is made possible by the tireless efforts of our staff, the enduring partnership of community agencies, the hundreds of conservation and recycling contracts we service around the entire Bay Area, and because of YOUR support. As you scroll through our FY2020 report, we hope you take great pride in knowing that your generosity has fostered great potential and lifted up many young people. THANK YOU to all of Civicorps’ incredibly generous donors.

At Civicorps, we believe in the power of community partnerships. Together, we are creating opportunities for young conservation workers of color to become the next generation of environmental stewards, diversifying and strengthening the environmental movement and providing leadership in the struggle for a more equitable Bay Area.

To see our full list of supporters, please click here

Meet the Moment with Us

Help us create a legacy of achievement that spans generations. Click here to donate now. 

Find out how you can partner with Civicorps to make a difference in the lives of resilient young adults. Contact Joseph Billingsley, Support Services Manager, or visit our Volunteer page to learn about volunteer opportunities!  

Civicorps’ Career Counselor works with local businesses to place our graduates in internships, pre-apprenticeships, apprenticeships, or jobs.  Are you looking for talented, skilled employees? Please contact our Career Counselor, Eli Fujita.  

Learn more about our program and contact our Support Services Manager, Joseph Billingsley, to find out how you can advocate for a brighter future for Oakland young adults and their families.

You can help us create a world where all youth have the education and resources needed for college and career success.  Join us in our bold mission!