Bay Area Black Worker Center has launched a program called Northstar that supports black workers by providing vital services to help them navigate through the re-entry process. We observed that mentorship and court advocacy were missing pieces as folks struggled to re-acclimate back into society. Although our organization primarily focuses on grassroots organizing, we believe that providing these services will help to support our efforts.
“Northstar” the name comes from Harriet Tubman's mission to take folks from slavery to freedom. The analogy fits because we help guide folks through a seemingly impossible system to finally being free from the system and able to sustain themselves.
Northstar consists of a 12 week Pre-Apprenticeship program that launched in the summer of 2018. With 6 formerly incarcerated workers graduated and employed we are that much closer to reaching our goal of 1400 workers the the next cycle will begin in January 2019 with the goal to graduate and employ 20 new workers. In addition to the 12 week program, Northstar provides critical mentorship and court advocacy necessary as folks struggle to re-acclimate back into society.