CEO and Founder, André Chapman is a national presenter on creating effective and efficient culturally relevant services for communities of color. He is currently a member of the Santa Clara County Social Services Advisory Commission where he has served for the past decade. In 2004, Mr. Chapman created the Unified Children of Color Task Force and he serves as Co-Chair of the Juvenile Hall Advisory Board (JHAB) which provides oversight of the Probation Department in how it manages Juvenile Hall and the County Ranches. Mr. Chapman has dedicated his career to challenging the status quo of the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice System.
In 2003, San Jose State University released “An Evaluation of Factors Related to the Disproportionate Representation of Children of Color in Santa Clara County Child Welfare,” which was an alarming reflection of how African American and Latino children’s families were impacted by the Child Welfare System.
UCG leadership invited a number of community based agencies and organizations to analyze and address the issue of the disproportionate representation of children of color in Santa Clara County’s Child Welfare system, since 13% of the children are African American (kidsdata.org).
As a result of these grassroots efforts, the Children of Color Task Force was created in partnership with the Department of Social Services for the purpose of reducing the over-representation of children of color as well as to pioneer a systematic platform of change in how African American and Latino Communities are engaged by the Child Welfare System.
In 2005, after several years of analyzing data and recognizing other significant issues impacting the causes of the over-representation of African American youth in both Santa Clara County Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Systems, members of the Children of Color Task Force committee created the Black Leadership Kitchen Cabinet (BLKC). The Cabinet consists of community-based agencies (including UCG), churches, businesses, sororities, fraternities, social groups and community members.
The vision of the Black Leadership Kitchen Cabinet is to address the social ills that are currently negatively impacting the African American Community by addressing the historical and systemic racial biases that exist within public service systems (Social Services, Probation, Mental Health, Police and Education and etc.) as well as engage, educate and empower our community to create systemic change.
UCG representatives serve as committee/team members on various task forces regarding cultural issues, as well as local community teams such as: