Creation of Brown Issues
In 2007, a group of Brown students in Sacramento City College sparked a series of critical conversations around the trials and tribulations of the Brown community. The discussions generated concrete actions for students to set in motion to begin the healing process and activate the next generation of leaders. Thirteen years later, Brown Issues has a statewide advocacy presence, a middle school to college educational leadership pipeline, and a digital organizing platform that reaches 210K followers.
State of Latino Youth
According to the Pew Research Center, every 30 seconds, a U.S. born Latino turns 18, becoming an eligible voter; that’s approximately 66,000 every month, or 800,000 every year. Young Latinos are one of the nation’s fastest-growing populations.
Brown youth are the driving force in California’s future, economy, and our electorate; their civic engagement will be long-term, making them the electorate that improves the conditions of our families, neighborhoods, and schools.
Despite the Brown community’s resilience, several inequities exist.
Latinos are among the most impoverished communities, have poor educational attainment outcomes, health disparities, and lack of civic engagement.
Latino students are the most socioeconomically disadvantaged student group in California. This is measured by students who neither of their parents received a high school diploma or those eligible for free and reduced-price meals programs. Latinos are more highly concentrated in high-poverty schools than any other student group.
When it comes to educational attainment outcomes, Brown youth represent 54% of our students in the California K-12 system and are vastly underrepresented at decision making tables. According to the Majority Report: Supporting the Success of Latino Students in California, Latino students continue to face troubling inequities from early learning through higher education. Students attend the nation’s most segregated schools, are often tracked away from college-preparatory coursework, and have insufficient early childhood education access.
Students are less likely to feel connected to the school environment and are more likely to take remedial courses at colleges and universities. The school health climate indicators that negatively impact our youth, such as over-policing students and an over-reliance on detention and suspension for behavior issues, go unaddressed due to the lack of investment students receive.
Brown people are the most likely to be denied health care coverage due to citizenship status. They have the highest rates of diabetes and projected diabetes due to uninformed consumer health choices, such as the overconsumption of sugar-sweetened beverages that can lead to type 2 diabetes.
Lastly, Brown people have the lowest voter turnout rates than any other ethnic group.
Brown Issues tackles these inequities through our school-based, community level, and statewide programming which create an ecosystem for youth leadership development and civic engagement to cultivate young people’s role as change agents, storytellers, active, responsible, and informed citizens in a democracy.
We create a culture of belonging where students are strongly connected through shared values, collective consciousness, and are equipped and empowered to exercise their agency.
Our Brown Issues expansive peer-to-peer network and widely popular social media platform enable us to promote public education campaigns about issues that impact the Latino community activating over 210,000 followers to take action.
Our Three Pillars
Brown Issues is a youth-centered, leadership-based organization devoted to the advancement of our underserved Brown communities. We encourage these values through three fundamental pillars:
Brown Issues advocates for the institutional and non-institutional advancement of education. Along with the concrete goals for working to increase high school and college graduation rates, we also value educational objectives that result in the alleviation of the social ills we currently face.
Brown Issues understands that a patriarchal value structure exists within the Latino community. This value system is damaging to the women and men within our community and cannot coincide with the advancement of us, as a people. We actively resist patriarchy within our community and encourage women and men to grow into their full capacity
Brown Issues rejects the self-inflicted genocidal practices of street gang culture. While we understand street violence is a present reality, we work towards the elimination of it as a future reality. We reject violence and criminality on behalf of the mothers, fathers, and children that hope and expect more from our men and women.