Concrete Development was first known as the Stockton Concrete Team, and is composed of formerly incarcerated, inactive gang members who are system-impacted seeking to influence positive change within their communities. We began meeting on a weekly basis in 2017 as a Local Organizing Committee within Faith in the Valley, working on Restorative Justice Issues such as Gun Violence and Police Accountability.
A year into our organizing efforts, we began working with PICO California and Faith in Action National as part of the Peacemakers Fellowship (a nine-month fellowship program for individuals engaged in gun and/or gang violence). The Stockton Concrete Team soon became the key leaders of the Peacemakers Fellowship taking on the roles of Mentor, Administrative Assistant, Trainer, and Group Facilitator.
As the size of our team grew, so did our organizing skills. The Fellowship program became the vehicle we used to onboard impacted individuals into our work.
The Concrete Team learned to use their voice and transferable skills to educate, organize and advocate for local, state, and federal policy change. In their community listening and relational organizing they began to see that there were very few services that were actually serving at-risk communities.
This led the Concrete Team on the journey of understanding racial inequity and learning how to bridge across differences to ensure service providers connected authentically and comprehensively/deeply with communities of color. We officially launched Concrete Development Inc. in January, 2023.