RYSE Center's Listening Campaign: Young people in Richmond, CA, help adults understand trauma, violence, coping, and healing


"My experience with violence is very brutal...I grew up with violence as if it were my sibling." - LC participant (youth)

"We know we can't run the city- it's too complex- but our experience and our voices should count, especially because we're the most effected." - LC participant (youth)

"Our city's problems are shared by us all; we are all part of the problem AND the solution. Listening is a key component to healing." - LC Share Out participant (adult)

Three years ago, RYSE Center in Richmond, CA embarked on a mission to listen. With our hearts and ears directed toward young people, RYSE launched the Listening Campaign (LC).

Our Community Health Department, with consult from UC Berkeley School of Public Health, steered the campaign through thick formative processes, group discussions, surveys, and data scraping. The goals? To hear and amplify youth voices in Richmond, to cultivate shared values, language, and strategies to help young people heal and thrive, and in doing so create mutual accountability and support across organizations and systems responsible for young people. The LC marks nearly eight years of RYSE's as a trauma-informed and trauma-response space where healing, learning, and listening can be experienced in every room, conversation, and connection we strive to make.

This past week, RYSE shared the LC Report with almost 100 stakeholders at our 3rd Annual Trauma & Healing Learning Series. Civil servants, funders, service providers, counselors, researchers, teachers, youth advocates-- the series brings together a wide swathe of adult stakeholders who insist on addressing the inequities faced by youth of color in order to secure and sustain young people's well-being.

As part of the Learning Series, the release of this report is a primer for continued events in the months to come, including Dr. Vincent Felliti of the ACEs Study and Dr. Kenneth Hardy, whose work on racial trauma spans over two decades .

The LC reflects RYSE's insistence on engaging in inquiry and ongoing learning in order to stay relevant, adaptive, and attuned to young people's priorities. That we do this in partnership across sectors and fields is a testament to our belief that everyone has a role in achieving a better future for young people. The report is an invitation to join us in working to ensure health, healing, and justice for Richmond and West Contra Costa youth.

For more information, contact Kanwarpal Dhaliwal, Director of Community Health and Integrative Practice at kanwarpal@rysecenter.org.





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