Seven Days Later: A Note From Alan

“When individuals in our society speak or act out of hatred against a whole group of people based solely on superficial appearance, it is a reflection of the mental state of our whole society. We don’t escape because we are not the ones hating.”
– Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, The Way of Tenderness

Dear Friends of Civicorps,

This has been a horrible week for the nation as the President endorsed white supremacist and racist actions. It is not enough to condemn the President and those who seek to violently promote a deluded version of race, ethnicity, and gender. It continues to be a call to action for us to work to create an equitable, just and honorable society. However, even here in Oakland we are forced to look at hard questions – how is it that generations of predominantly young boys and girls of color only have access to sub-standard, under-resourced schools, are criminalized due to poverty, and are targeted by the criminal justice system?

At Civicorps, we strive to disrupt the cycle of racism, violence, and poverty that prevent young people from getting a high school education and moving on to college and careers. To do this, we are creating new academic and job training models to compensate for the failed education and social welfare systems which force our young people to go out to the streets to make their way in the world alone – often in dangerous situations.

As our supporters, volunteers, and community members, you are joining the staff at Civicorps and our Corpsmembers in saying, “Our goal at Civicorps is to create a safe space where young people are provided a quality education by a community who believes in them as individuals and supports them in setting and achieving their personal goals and dreams.”

Civicorps transforms lives—those of our Corpsmembers, staff members, volunteers, and donors. This transformation is changing our community and will ripple out to change our society. We have much to do and the road is long. I am heartened to know you are on the path with us.

In gratitude,


Alan Lessik

Filed under: Notes from Alan