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51 Sherbrooke W., Montreal, QC. Canada, H5Z 4T9.

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Building Bridges for Youth

Building Bridges for Youth works to develop young people’s (ages 12 – 25) knowledge of inequities in their families, schools and communities, so they can begin practicing, by themselves and with others, ways to challenge and transform those inequities.

Building Bridges for Youth offers structured opportunities for young people to engage in dialogue across differences so they can build the authentic bonds necessary to create real alliances for justice in Southern California’s communities.

Fueled by community volunteers, our programs connect youth to a wide range of well-trained adults passionate about helping youth become empowered advocates for justice.

With over 30 years of experience, Building Bridges for Youth has served over 14,000 young people across Southern California.

Building Bridges in the era of COVID-19

During social distancing measures due to Coronavirus, CCEJ continues to offer online trainings, workshops, and dialogue opportunities for youth and adults to raise awareness, heal conflicts, and bridge differences.  Click here to see a list of our online program offerings. 

We can also tailor specific online workshops and trainings for your youth group, school class, parent group, workplace, faith community, and more. We are committed to supporting youth, their families and our school partners during this challenging time. Click here for more information.

To schedule a free consultation with CCEJ, please contact Daniel Solis, Associate Executive Director at dsolis@cacej.org or 562.435.8184.

Our Programs

Building Bridges Camp: A 3-day, overnight program for high school students focused on exploring issues of oppression, justice and the impact those forces have on their daily life.  Students also learn concrete strategies for advocating for justice in their schools and communities. We host five camps per school year. Click here to learn about our upcoming camp in March 2022.

Building Bridges Network: Over the past 30 years, Building Bridges Camp has provided life-changing experiences for Southern California youth. Those experiences continue to guide many past program participants in their everyday lives, helping them take big and small actions for justice. If you are a Camper or Volunteer as early as 1987 please consider joining the Building Bridges Network for alumni!

Building Bridges Youth Council: A leadership development program open to all high school students. This program offers exploration of issues of inequity and justice present in their communities through field trips, speakers, and hands-on workshops. Past topics have included homophobia, reproductive justice, environmental racism, criminalization of young people of color, relations with police, art for social justice, navigating relationships, code-switching, and discrimination against immigrants. The Council meets every month between October – May.

Conscious Classrooms: An in-school program for middle or high school youth focused on building the awareness, knowledge, and skills students need to promote respect, advocate for social justice, and strengthen the learning environment in classrooms and schools. This program utilizes a Common Core- and California standards-aligned, critical thinking-focused curriculum that immerses students in a variety of human relations topics. Conscious Classrooms provides students with opportunities to learn healthy forms of communication, build community among themselves, and alter school culture in a positive way.

Building Bridges Clubs Alliance: A leadership development program for school-based clubs led by past camp participants. This program provides tailored curricula, packaged resources, training, and networking opportunities with other school clubs. Club support is designed to maximize impact of Building Bridges clubs on social justice issues in schools.

Summer Youth Leadership Institute: This institute offers an intensive training for students becoming Youth Leader staff at Building Bridges Camp. Participating students must have previously attended Building Bridges Camp. This program  focuses on developing facilitation skills, dialogue immersions, and deeper exploration of historical and contemporary forms of oppression and movements for justice.  A 3-day retreat and 3-4 weekly sessions are required from June to August. The application for the 2021 Summer Youth Leadership Institute will be available in the Spring.

Building Bridges Leadership Academy: This is a training program for volunteer facilitators for Building Bridges Youth programs. Facilitated by CCEJ staff and experienced volunteer facilitators, the program prepares new and returning volunteers to facilitate youth programs.

Building Bridges Advisory Committee: This Advisory Committee provides on-going support and feedback to CCEJ staff about the direction and management of Building Bridges Youth Programs. The Advisory Committee is a way for volunteers to share their feedback with CCEJ staff in a clear and accessible way.

REAL (Redefining Empowerment through Accountability and Learning) Resiliency: A skills and knowledge building program for middle and high school youth. CCEJ offers workshops that support young people to handle challenges in their lives, families, schools, and communities. REAL Resiliency is focused on equipping young people with tools to navigate systems which perpetuate structural inequities in our society (such as the criminal justice system), by building community, developing critical thinking, and visioning for a healthier and successful future. Click here to sign up.

For more information on Building Bridges Youth Programs, please contact Kathleah Pagdilao, Director of Building Bridges, at kpagdilao@cacej.org or 562-435-8184.

Key Team Members:

Student Testimonials

8“This camp gave me a lot of trust and belief in myself. I learned more about what other people and races go through in their lives. Some of it is not good at all, but it’s the truth.”

“I really enjoyed meeting in the bi-racial group. I finally felt like I fit in. I felt secure for the first time in my life. I was so grateful that I wasn’t forced to choose one side of my culture over the other. Being in this group brought me closer with other bi-racial students.”

“It was an eye-opener to me how I can be offensive to other races. I am now familiar with my race and I learned many things about other’s races. These three days have had a major impact on me. I have feelings that I want things to change: I want to be more respectful and honest in all of my relationships. I say this camp is well worth it.”

Purchase Tickets Now!

Fill out the form below to purchase your tickets for the 25th Annual Interfaith Intercultural Breakfast!

Building Bridges Clubs Alliance

Please fill out the form below to register your school’s club as part of the Building Bridges Clubs Alliance.

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Purchase Tickets Now!

Fill out the form below to purchase your tickets for the Humanitarian Awards Dinner!

Purchase Tickets Now!

Fill out the form below to purchase your tickets for the 42nd Annual Food and Beverages Humanitarian Awards Dinner!

Purchase Tribute Journal Ad Now!

Fill out the form below to purchase your Tribute Journal ad for the 53rd Annual Humanitarian Awards Dinner

Purchase Tribute Journal Ad Now!

Fill out the form below to purchase your Tribute Journal ad for the 42nd Annual Food and Beverage Industries Humanitarian Awards Dinner

Gene Lentzner Nomination Application

Nomination Application

Please make sure to tell us about your nominee in your 1-2 pages by including the following:

1) Significant contributions to the Greater Los Angeles or Long Beach Community in the area of social justice/human relations
2) How they promote respect and justice among all people regardless of differences in race, religion, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity
3) How they demonstrate commitment to social justice and human relations by way of service (if it’s at work, then above and beyond their paid scope of work)
4) Ways they foster inter-group, inter-faith cooperation
5) How they are connected to the Greater Los Angeles or Long Beach area