Urban Justice Design
cities that practice racial, economic, and environmental justice (just cities) are
the roadmap to human sustainability
Our work advancing social justice is focused on cities because they are the places where different peoples, histories, and ingenuity collide to enable great advancements for humanity. Our cities, unfortunately, also reflect today’s growing trends of racial and socio-economic inequality. This is why we plant our hearts in cities to design justice for people and community, beginning with our beloved community of Oakland, California and its neighbors.
“In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger, and homelessness will not exist…because human decency will not tolerate it.”
-Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change
Dr. King laid out a roadmap for us on how to achieve racial justice and human fulfillment. 50 years later, while many advancements have been made, our world has also become more segregated, unequal, and divided.
“The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace, and brotherhood.”
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
We harness lessons from our social justice history and organize platforms to realize
Dr. King’s Beloved Community
The difference between a movement and a moment is perseverance.
The Dellums Institute for Social Justice brings together social justice elders, like Ron Dellums, Bobby Seale, and Phil Hutchings, who have led historic justice movements including the Anti-Vietnam War, South Africa Anti-Apartheid, the Black Panther Party, and SNCC, with young activists to change the world, together.
We organize non-traditional coalitions to advance comprehensive solutions.
For example, we convene the Our Beloved Community Action Network and the Local Strategy Coalition for the repeal of Costa Hawkins which bring together activists and leaders from the worlds of community organizing, direct service, faith, political, tech and business, labor, health, and environmental movements to advance local, regional, and statewide anti-displacement solutions.
We design innovative solutions to urban development and racial injustice.
For example, we recently designed and secured funds for a $45 million Homeownership Preservation Fund to address the roots of displacement and racial wealth-stripping of elderly, predominately African American, low-income homeowners in Alameda County. We also recently developed and successfully advocated for anti-displacement strategies as part of new $680 million regional and local housing bond measures. To combat persistent redlining of East Oakland neighborhoods, we are working with the East Oakland Black Culture Zone Collaborative to design a new community-led approach to community development and ownership for the Black Culture Zone Hub.
We secure new resources for community justice.
For example, we recently organized the Our Beloved Community Action Network and together secured over $65 million for the Anti-Displacement Safety Net in Alameda County, Berkeley, and Oakland for legal eviction defense and emergency housing assistance for low-income tenants and elderly homeowners, as well as a Homeownership Preservation Fund.
We create inter-generational change platforms to inspire hope & impactful action.
To catalyze the structural changes needed today to address the roots of persistent racial and economic injustice requires intentional support, mentoring, and resources. We envision that every major city around the world should have a social justice incubator hub to support young people's social change visions that are grounded in understanding the structural roots of injustice and the principles of nonviolence and love. We start in Oakland, California, with the creation of the Dellums Center for Activism & Innovation.