Our Success

Roy's Living Legends award. The City Council resolution celebrates black history and the future month of February 2024 by honoring black changemakers in Oakland who are working towards dismantling oppressive systems and advancing true liberation, safety, and opportunities in the community.

“When you meet a young person from the Freedom Center, you know it. They look you in the eyes, shake your hand, and you can rely on them to have something inspiring or deep, to say.”


The Freedom Center collaborates with educational, faith-based and community–based initiatives to advance youth and family civic engagement, ethical leadership, and economic and educational equity through personal transformation and direct action in the East Bay.

Door-to-door voter registration and voter education throughout the East Bay and Central Valley, 100,000+ doors knocked.

Tables and presence at scores of events, parades, rallies, and community gatherings registering voters and carrying out voter education.

Speakers Bureau of youth and staff featured at national, state-wide and regional events including rallies, demonstrations, full-school assemblies, conferences, faith-based gatherings and public and private sector special events

Convening of candidate forums, speakers and seminars to advance policy and legislation in four primary issue areas:  Human Right to Water, Ending Childhood Poverty, Civics classes in all California high schools and community directed policing.

Advocacy with elected officials at regional, state and federal level.

Production of the Barbara Lee and Elihu Harris Lecture Series organized by staff and young people, bringing Civil Rights icons to diverse audiences throughout the East Bay.

Program impacts are documented in short and long term research studies and include:

  • 95% of the Oakland youth participants demonstrate increased grade point averages, decreased absenteeism and decreases in disciplinary referrals.
  • 75% of the students assume leadership roles in the fall proceeding program participation, with improved academic grade point averages (average 1.2 gpa) and 100% high school graduation rate (or equivalent).
  • 94% college entrance rate and 87% rate of conferred degrees.
  • With only one year of programming, 94% demonstrate improved writing skills, 93% increase homework completion, 90% improve respect for peers, and 100% increase concern for community issues and engagement in meaningful civic activities.

Link to agency 15-year Longitudinal Research here


Awards and Recognitions

  • City of Oakland Resolution presented by Councilmember Kevin Jenkins – February 23, 2024
  • Living Legends Award honoring Roy Wilson – February 18, 2024
  • California Legislature Assembly Resolution  honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center with Youth Leadership Award, June 2022
  • United States Census Bureau Recognition as an invaluable member of the 2020 Census Community Partnership and Engagement Program
  • Allen Temple Health and Social Service Ministry, Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Award, January 2020
  • Alameda County Board of Supervisors, County of Alameda, Commendation for Community Service on the 91st birthday of Dr. martin Luther King, Jr., January, 2020
  • Congressional Recognition, Certificate for Service, The Honorable Barbara Lee, January 2020
  • Alameda County Human Rights Commission, Certificate of Appreciation, April 2018
  • Mildred Parish Massey Legacy Award, May 12, 2018
  • Alameda County Board of Supervisors Commendation for receiving Youth Ambassador Scholarship & Civic Award, 2017
  • Civic Pride Inc Civic Award of Distinguished Community Service, October 19, 2017
  • League of Women Voters, Making Democracy Work Award, April 2017
  • California Legislative Assembly, Civic Pride Recognition, October, 2017
  • California Legislative Assembly, Resolution honoring the contributions of the Freedom Center, August 2016
  • Alameda County Board of Supervisors Commendation for promoting youth leadership and community leadership development, August 2016
  • Congressional Recognition Certificate, Office of Congresswoman Barbara Lee, August 2016
  • City of Oakland, Resolution of Congratulatory Recognition, Mayor Libby Schaaf, August, 2016
  • Delegation participation on the 150th Anniversary of the Ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, President Barack Obama presiding, Washington DC, December, 2015
  • Merritt College President’s Excellence Award, 2014
  • City of Oakland City Council Proclamation for producing City of Oakland’s Summer Youth Program, Summer 2009
  • California Legislative Assembly Certificate of Recognition honoring Freedom Center’s work producing Oakland’s Summer Youth Program, October 2009
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