Creating Healthy, Safe Communities

At the Koshland Program, it’s all about solutions that begin at the local level, with deep local understanding. That’s why we’re elated when we learn of community leaders like West Berkeley Koshland Fellow, Reverend Michael McBride, was among the 12 faith leaders who met with Vice President Biden last month to give recommendations for his comprehensive plan to lower gun violence. We know that our deep investment in enhancing leadership, and building neighborhood solutions, is strengthening not only our region, but the good of our entire country.

For Michael, running the Lifelines to Healing Campaign is organic, coming out of his many years of work in West Berkeley as Pastor of the Way Christian Center, and Executive Director of BOCA-Berkeley Organizing Communities to Action ( an affiliate of PICO), and now in leading Lifelines, a national movement of the PICO network of faith-based organizations and congregations committed to addressing the causes of pervasive violence and crime in our communities, and advocating for policies and resources that contribute to the healing of our communities.

From becoming a pastor at a church, to running a local nonprofit, to now leading a national campaign, we’ve watched Michael’s passion and leadership continue to soar. The Koshland Program’s support, capacity building, training, and access to philanthropic success, have been part this recipe for success.

Today, Michael is among several of our Koshland fellows in the Bay Area region who are working together on alternative and innovative solutions to reduce violence in low income communities. From Old Skool Café in Bay View to Dig Deep Farms in Ashland/Cherryland, fellows are coming together to share strategies, approaches, and best practices on violence prevention and to describe their “recipe” for success.

Through their work, the hope is to inspire other communities to act.  That’s why we will be sponsoring an event that will highlight Koshland Fellows’ “recipe” for creating safe and healthy communities, focusing on their place-based work, including strategic partnerships created to address violence, mass incarceration and lack of job opportunities for people living in San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Look out for more information in the coming months.