Nonprofit tech capacity building; our CA road trip dispatch

We had a great time visiting with folks working at social justice nonprofits and organizations in Oakland, Santa Cruz, Watsonville, Fresno, and Los Angeles on several coffee-fueled road trips to inform and help shape our CA Tech Capacity Building program.

We loved hearing about the many organizational and technological projects that people are developing to advance their mission-oriented work. We learned that numerous organizations are focusing on strengthening online communications strategies, better utilizing data management systems, moving toward better information security practices, and overall implementing more effective and sustainable processes.

We are thankful for these conversations that are cultivating the capacity building elements of our program.

Here's a closer look at some of the awesome organizations we visited on the road:

  • Black Organizing Project is a Black member-led community organization working for racial, social, and economic justice through grassroots organizing and community-building in Oakland.

  • Digital NEST (Nurturing Entrepreneurial Skills with Technology) is a non-profit technology center that is breaking down technological barriers that many young people living in under-served agricultural communities face by connecting them to high technology platforms through skills trainings, peer collaboration opportunities, and to local businesses and entrepreneurs looking for a capable local workforce in Watsonville and Salinas.

  • YouthWire, California Next Generation of Community Media, provides a unique lens into the issues that matter most to young people by unifying and showcasing their stories through youth-led journalism and media projects across California. Check out their youth-media network: The kNOw Youth Media in Fresno, VoiceWaves in Long Beach, Coachella Unincorporated in Coachella, and We'Ced Youth Media in Merced.

  • Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE) builds grassroots power to create social and economic justice for low-income, female, immigrant, black, and brown communities in Los Angeles.

  • California Latinas for Reproductive Justice is a statewide organization that is committed to honoring the experiences of Latinas to uphold their dignity, bodies, sexuality, and families. They build Latinas’ power and cultivate leadership through community education, policy advocacy, and community-informed research to achieve reproductive justice.

We are also grateful for the valuable insights from Information Ecology, Save the Waves, Center for Multicultural Cooperation, Central California Environmental Justice Network (CCEJN), Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE), Dr. Pop, Weingart East LA YMCA Youth Institute, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and East LA Community Corporation.

Special thanks to those who joined us on calls, connected us with their networks, and shared their own tech capacity building passions and experiences.

We also spent some time in the Central Valley checking out venues for our next CA Nonprofit Technology Festival for early 2018. We are excited about the possibility of returning to where we held our first ever #CATechFest.

We returned from our road trip inspired by the programs and campaigns that folks are working on to strengthen community leadership and advance social, reproductive, economic, housing, and environmental justice, and look forward to supporting these efforts with our program.

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