Braid Mission

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Braid Goes to the Capitol

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Last month we received a wonderful honor on the steps of California’s State Capitol building.

We were in Sacramento to join our colleagues and friends from California Youth Connection (CYC) for their annual Day at the Capitol (DAC) event.

CYC was founded almost 40 years ago by foster youth who wanted to take advocate for the unique issues they faced. Ever since, CYC has been training foster youth to have a voice in advocating for legislation and policies that affect their lives.

Every summer, foster youth from CYC’s chapters all over California gather for their Summer Leadership and Policy Institute to discuss the most important¬†issues are affecting them and brainstorm solutions. Throughout the year,¬†CYC’s chapters and youth-led legislative committees start to work on crafting legislation that will address these issues.

Day at the Capitol is the culmination of these efforts, as youth gather again from all over the state to rally for the¬†legislation that has emerged. This year CYC was rallying for Senate Bill 1060, which will place more emphasis on visitation rights with siblings after youth are adopted. You’ll hear more from us in coming weeks about S.B. 1060 and how you can support it.

We were excited to be able to join this year’s DAC. Neither of us had been to Sacramento before, let alone to rally on the steps of the Capitol.

It was a real thrill to be surrounded by foster youth, all dressed to the nines in suits and business attire, who had spent the weekend in Sacramento learning about the legislative process and how to lobby for their bill with lawmakers. All of us chanted and cheered as we heard more about S.B. 1060, including an appearance from the bill’s sponsor, Senator Mark Leno.

CYC smallCYC also presented awards to some of its key partners, and we were honored (and surprised) to be one of the recipients. The award reads:

“Presented to Braid Mission
In gratitude for your outstanding dedication to all members of the California Youth Connection and your commitment to foster youth past, present, and future
The Members of CYC”

This cheerful little plaque will serve as a constant reminder for us of what an honor it is to partner with such a wonderful organization. CYC has empowered hundreds of foster youth over the years, and they have empowered us at Braid as well to make a difference for foster youth and honor their voices.

Below is the text of what was read for the presentation of the award:

“In September 2014, The Reverends Christopher Chase and Rebecca Edwards launched Braid Mission, a new ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of California. Inspired by stories of the unique challenges facing foster youth, Rebecca and Chris set out to create a new church built around mission to the foster system. What resulted is Braid Mission, a spiritual community that weaves together people of all backgrounds, united by shared vision and grounded in Love.¬† They have a brilliant multi-generational mentor program, a program that supports individuals to write and send cards to youth in group and foster homes, a blog, a podcast and numerous other projects.

In the last year and a half BRAID has participated in many events, including last year’s Day at the Capitol, supporting the grand family style dinner for the Y.O.U.T.H. Training Project’s annual Winter Leadership Institute (2 years in a row), co-presenting on faith based collaborations with foster youth leadership development programs, supporting the development of Foster Youth Museum’s Homeless exhibit and most impressively, funding the Foster Youth Museum to exhibit at the breathtaking Grace Cathedral to more than 8,000 people.

Hard to believe that most of this work is done by two people only, Chris Chase and Rebecca Edwards.¬† We are deeply lucky to have them with us today.”

We are the lucky ones. Thank you, CYC!