2016 Rising Stars Awards


Despite an electrical outage, this year’s event was fantastic. In fact, the dim lights during the first half of the show created the perfect ambiance for the Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble, our spoken word performer, Jada Imani, and our Alumna speaker, Lia Lacy at the 3rd Annual Rising Stars Youth Awards. This is a BOSS Program you should know about — the full event video tells the story…

We had several surprise cash gifts for our Youth Awardees, a trend set off by our keynote speaker, Peralta Community College District Chancellor, Dr. Jowel C. Laquerre, who pledged $500 on the spot for whoever raised their hand first to attend his college. And of course, there was plenty of love and recognition. Continue reading

Rising Stars 2015 Presents the All Stars Cohort June 4th


You’re invited, so come on out and join the celebration on June 4th at 6pm at the Northbrae Community Church in Berkeley. Tickets at BOSS at https://self-sufficiency.org

The Berkeley High Jazz Ensemble will perform, along with other entertainment, Leslie Stoval, from KPFA will MC, BETV, Berkeley’s local TV station will cover the event, Mayor Bates and Kyle Evans of the 2014 Rising Stars Cohort are expected to speak, and Café Rouge, Cake4kids.org and other great local eateries will keep you happy all evening long. And some great items have been rounded up for our silent auction. Thanks to everyone who has donated to the event and Awardee gifts, and to our wonderful sponsors, The Tileshop, Mechanics Bank, Kaiser Permanente, Comerica Bank, Jonathan K. DeYoe, and many others who make the event and scholarships possible.


Each year BOSS, through the Rising Stars program, provides scholarships to selected awardees at the Annual Rising Stars Celebration event. Scholarships are announced at the event.

It’s tough enough to get through the teenage years and graduate high school. Doing it while you’re dealing with homelessness, caring for family members, or other major difficulties seems impossible. Yet these 20 youth have made it and they deserve our appreciation and support as they move on toward college or career.

As we know, some of the most famous and successful people in the world had rough starts. The traits that got them through the rough patches are the same traits that took them to the stars. If you’re a business leader, hire or mentor a young person who has met the challenge. They are likely to do it again. And again.

If you don’t know about BOSS, find out more about the organization, and all the programs you can support, county-wide (Alameda County).

Thank you! See you among the stars on June 4th! -Malaga Smith, BOSS Board Member and proud sponsor


Judge Tauber – Vision 1: Integrating Traditional Community Justice Into Penal Systems

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Judge Tauber Looking Foward

The experience of Judge Tauber at work – solutions for changing our broken prison system.

“…Making offenders accountable and responsible for each others conduct and behavoir is very close to what is done in traditional societies that control misbehavior with community based responses. There are courts across the country that are experimenting with offender communities making criminal justice decisions. …”

Vision 1: Integrating Traditional Community Justice Into Penal Systems | Reentry Court Solutions | Reentry Court Solutions – http://bit.ly/1lYeOO8

Judge Tauber reflects on visits to the UN, Australia, and the Asian Pacific Islands

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Judge Tauber Looking Foward

“As the newly elected President of NADCP, I presented at the United Nations Headquarters as well as the U.N. Campus in Vienna on several occasions in the 1990′s (publishing a manual on International Drug Courts, distributed by my U.N. hosts, “The International Drug Court Handbook”). I had the good fortune to be invited to a Conference in New Delhi, where U.N. policy was to be drafted for the year 2000 “United Nations Conference on the Global Drug problem”. Though the drafting of the resolution was difficult, it ultimately included a section in the policy statement approving court-ordered treatment as an alternative to incarceration (including drug court like structures).” …more

Latest Short from Judge Tauber – No. 7 in a Series: Accomplishing Drug Court Reform without Drug Courts

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Judge Tauber Looking Foward

‘…In the 1990’s, one of my priorities as NADCP’s founding President, was to see that the nascent drug court field did not collapse into a more punitive and destructive system than that which had existed before. At the time I was painfully aware of the shortcoming of some of our drug courts. Jurisdictions created drug courts for small numbers of offenders, with minimal or nonexistent drug dependence, and an over-reliance on non-therapeutic custodial sanctions. It was a direction that I strongly opposed a…more

Good Read Coming – 1963: The Year of Hope and Hostility


This Will be a good read:

‘In the early morning hours of June 12, 1963, NAACP Field Secretary for Mississippi, Medgar Wiley Evers, pulled into his driveway, having just met with NAACP attorneys developing strategies to deconstruct the state’s Jim Crow laws.As he emerged from his car, carrying t-shirts that read “Jim Crow Must Go,” white supremacist, Byron De La Beckwith fired a bullet from an Enfield 1917 rifle into Evers back that ricocheted into the house.Evers died 50 minutes later at a local hospital. This tragic event culminated what was one of the most event-filled 24 hours in American history.

Byron Williams is a columnist, author, and pastor, his forthcoming book “1963: The Year of Hope and Hostility” will be released July 16.’