Our Journey

1976: Creating an Affirming Space

EBAYC was founded in 1976 in Berkeley as the Asian Drop-In Center by Asian American high school youth who were the sons and daughters of Japanese, Chinese and Pilipino immigrants. Feeling invisible within the Berkeley community’s white/black social paradigm, these youth sought to build a place where Asian American youth could connect with caring and understanding adults who would affirm their cultural identity and guide their personal growth. In 1979, the Asian Drop-In Center becomes the Berkeley Asian Youth Center (BAYC).

1981: Reflecting Community Needs

The growing refugee and human rights crisis in Southeast Asia spurs the second wave of Vietnamese and Southeast Asian refugees, also known as the “boat people,” to the Bay Area.  BAYC starts programs and services to support newly arrived children, youth and families to respond to the changing demographics and needs of our community.

1988: Engaging Youth Impacted by Gangs and the Justice System

BAYC launches outreach, case management, group work and summer employment services to engage gang-impacted youth on juvenile probation and stem the rapidly rising population of Southeast Asian youth involved in the juvenile justice system. BAYC sought to guide these youth away from gang involvement and court oversight by engaging them and their families in supportive and mutually accountable relationships with our staff. In 1993, BAYC becomes the East Bay Asian Youth Center (EBAYC).

1996: Kids First! Oakland

EBAYC, in partnership with PUEBLO, West Oakland Violence Prevention Project, Centro de Juventud and Youth Alive, organized the “Kids First Coalition,” and won a ballot measure that required the City of Oakland to set aside 2.5% of its unrestricted revenue to support services and programs for children and youth. Known today as the Oakland Fund for Children and Youth, this measure provides over $14 million each year for kids.  EBAYC permanently relocates our home office to Oakland in 1997.

1998: From Race-Based to Place-Based

EBAYC, in partnership with Oakland Community Organizations, Urban Strategies Council and Roosevelt Junior High School, opened the “Roosevelt Village Center,” a comprehensive parent-driven community/school partnership providing expanded learning programs, medical and mental health services, alternatives-to-suspension practices and parent leadership development. EBAYC moves from being “race-based” (working solely with Asian youth) to “place-based” (working with all youth within a neighborhood) and begins to build community school partnerships with every public school within Oakland’s San Antonio and Eastlake neighborhoods.

2012: EBAYC and OASES Merge

EBAYC and Oakland Asian Student Educational Services (OASES) merge to become a bigger and better youth development organization also serving Oakland’s Chinatown neighborhood.

2014: Central Valley Growth

EBAYC begins work in Sacramento and Fresno, expanding our case management and parent advocacy work.

2016: Expanding our Reach

EBAYC launches new expanded learning partnerships with Edna Brewer Middle School, Urban Promise Academy, Frick Impact Academy, Westlake Middle School and Manzanita SEED Elementary School. EBAYC works in partnership with 14 Oakland public schools.