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BlackThe Students Initiative

Our Black Students Initiative, launched in fall 2020, seeks to create new opportunities to specifically support Black students in our programs.

The Black Students Initiative aims to
  • 1

    Increase the number of Black students 826 Valencia serves in our in-depth programs by 25%.

  • 2

    Hold intentional space for Black students to tell their own stories in their most truthful forms.

  • 3

    Improve the academic success and social and emotional confidence of our Black students.

  • 4

    Amplify Black student voices through publishing opportunities within and outside. 826 Valencia

Read on to learn more about the different components in this initiative, which will grow and evolve throughout the year.

The Black Literary Achievement Club

In this new workshop, students will be supported to embrace a positive outlook on their Black identity through writing, the exploration of Black literary icons and leaders, Black history, community and leadership building. Club meetings will also provide time for academic support and mentorship by Black professionals.

Students will receive participation stipends, publishing opportunities, academic support, mentorship, and space for creative expression. 

This program is currently seeking Black professionals to serve as mentors! To get involved, contact volunteer@826valencia.org.

In-School Support

In our in-school programs, we are focusing on an intentional approach to serving Black students in new ways. We’re working with our close partner schools, including Mission High School, Tenderloin Community School, Downtown High School, Bret Harte Elementary, Malcolm X Elementary and Starr King Elementary and others to better support Black student affinity groups and classes with a large percentage of Black youth. 

We also have an exciting Young Authors’ Book Project in the works, in partnership with SFUSD’s African American Achievement & Leadership Initiative. We’ll be working with multiple SFUSD classes on an anthology of writing about the Black youth experience, for publication in spring 2021. Stay tuned for details!

Black Volunteer Recruitment, Placement, and Retention

Black community members, our students need you to support this initiative!

We know that students benefit in unique ways from having individualized support from adults who share their cultural background. In response to the question “What could we do to improve our programs?” students and teachers have consistently requested “more tutors of color.”

In response to this call, we are intentionally seeking Black volunteers to support our Black Students Initiative. There are many ways to volunteer, for all age groups and at various times of day. Volunteers can also serve as observers in our online programs, which is a great way to learn about how they work and support our students from anywhere. 

We are also continuing to focus on training all of our tutors to meaningfully support all of our students, and in particular to support our Black youth. We expect acceptance and celebration of our Black students, their agency, and the unique experiences they hold in our world. Together, we’re committed to doing the work to deepen our anti-racist practices and better support all our students. 

To get involved and help us find the right fit for you, please fill out this form

Support Our Black Students