Refreshed, Renewed, and Recommitted:

Last week, the Change Consulting team traveled to Atlanta for a team retreat to refocus and regroup. We collectively reviewed our goals and aspirations for the remainder of the year, reflected on what we have accomplished so far, and made plans to better support our clients and our team. We also renewed our spirits and commitment to advancing racial justice and equity by visiting the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

“As we explore expansion to Atlanta, it was especially meaningful to bring the team to a place I consider home. This was our best annual team retreat yet, and I continue to be humbled and grateful to work with such a talented, caring and committed team.” – Bilen Mesfin Packwood, CEO, Change Consulting


Client News:

Black Organizing Project (BOP) has continuously proven that community-led change delivers results. As a result of more than a decade of organizing led by BOP, a group of students, parents, teachers, and allies united to achieve a historic win in Oakland, when the George Floyd Resolution passed in 2020, resulting in the removal of police officers from the Oakland Unified School District. The campaign was meant to redefine school safety after years of unjust treatment toward Black students. Learn how Black youth, parents, and communities got cops out of Oakland schools in this piece from BOP’s Executive Director Malaika Parker in YES!.

Earlier this month, Urban Peace Movement (UPM) showcased Oakland’s outsized influence on pop culture, hosting a free town hall discussion called, “That’s Oakland, Baby.” The event brought together hip-hop icon Too Short, author and pop culture historian Danyel Smith, and legendary musician D’Wayne Wiggins (of Tony! Toni! Toné!) to discuss the longstanding legacy of Oakland, covering the Town’s unique culture, deep musical history, the push toward innovation and the righteous fight for social justice. Read more on KQED.

Expanding voter registration will boost voter diversity since a majority of the state’s 4.7 million residents who are unregistered but eligible to vote are Black, Latino, Asian or younger voters. The California New Motor Voter Program (SB 299) would automatically register individuals to vote at the Department of Motor Vehicles when they apply for a license or ID, or change their address (unless they opt out). According to Sydney Fan, policy director of AAPI Force, “We must ensure that every eligible citizen … can exercise our rights to vote with as few barriers as possible.” Read more in this article from CalMatters.

“Since Proposition 47 passed property crime is down, recidivism is down, and racial disparities in the justice system are down.” Tinisch Hollins, executive director of Californians for Safety and Justice, talked about CSJ’s efforts to push back on efforts to roll back Proposition 47, passed in 2014 to address prison overcrowding by reclassifying low level offenses as misdemeanors instead of felonies, in this piece for the Davis Vanguard. “Buyer beware, the effort to undo these successes is led by special interests that benefit financially from more incarceration–irrespective of whether that improves safety in our neighborhoods.”

This week, the California Black Freedom Fund launched the 2024 Chinedu Valentine Okobi Sabbatical Program. The program was created to honor the legacy of Okobi, a devoted father, poet, brother, son, and Morehouse graduate who was assaulted and beaten to death by San Mateo sheriffs in 2018. The program supports healing, rest, and joy for leaders of Black power-building and racial justice organizations. For more information on the program, and to learn about the inaugural recipients, visit the California Black Freedom Fund website.

The California Legislative Black Caucus recently partnered with the California Black Freedom Fund for the State of Black California tour, a series to raise awareness about the fight for reparations in California and to promote legislation that addresses forced prison labor and efforts to improve health, longevity, and financial equity among Black Californians. The six city tour will run through October and is meant to urge the public to get involved in lobbying lawmakers. Next up on the tour: Santa Barbara on July 13. Learn more at CBFF, CalMatters, and the San Diego Voice here and here.

Welcome to Our Newest Team Member! 

We are thrilled to welcome Lericia Harris to the Change Consulting team! Lericia brings over 10 years of experience in systems advocacy, media, and communications to the new role of Marketing and Business Development Manager.

Lericia is a native of Brunswick, Georgia growing up alongside the vast and beautiful marshlands that line much of the coast. Prior to joining Change Consulting, she served as a reporter for ESPN covering college athletics. She’s also previously worked for JUSTGeorgia, Raycom Sports, Rolling Out Magazine, and Entercom Radio Atlanta. She’s a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., and serves as a board member of the nonprofit The Flourish Foundation, Inc. Lericia is an HBCU graduate earning her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications Broadcasting Journalism from Bethune-Cookman University. She later obtained her master’s in advertising from the University of Florida.

Follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter/X, and on our blog to see Lericia at work, and join us in welcoming her to the Change community!