Thursday, March 20, 2014


Recipients given $125,000 award to fund expansion of program and will receive additional support to help share approach with policymakers and practitioners

Sacramento, CA – Today, the James Irvine Foundation announced that Charisse Bremond Weaver and George Weaver of the Brotherhood Crusade in Los Angeles are recipients of The James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award. In their ninth year, the awards recognize and support individuals who are advancing innovative and effective solutions to significant challenges in California. The Weavers are being recognized for substantially improving the academic achievement and health of South Los Angeles youth through a set of tailored programs provided with business and community partners.  

“Our youth development plan helps young people through a social innovation process that spans health and wellness, mental health, academics and social activities to really help them become the best leaders that they can be,” said Charisse Bremond Weaver.

“We have shown that we can change the life of a young person who is involved in a gang or other problems at school, at home or with the law — for a fraction of the cost of incarceration,” added George Weaver.

In South Los Angeles, more than a million people live in poverty, and children growing up in this area often face numerous obstacles that diminish their chances to grow into healthy, educated adults. The Brotherhood Crusade addresses these challenges by performing a comprehensive individual assessments and developing personalized plans to help foster personal growth and development. Programs include mentoring, remedial academics, hands-on science and technology training, theater, soccer and golf. Brotherhood Crusade also collaborates with local community groups, major foundations, Hollywood celebrities and corporate partners to expand opportunities for program participants. Results include three-fold improvements in math, English language arts and science scores on California Standardized Tests among participants. The programs often have additional health benefits. 

“The individuals we honor this year are improving the lives of thousands of Californians through strategies that are responsive, collaborative and forward-looking,” said Don Howard, Interim President and CEO of The James Irvine Foundation. “These leaders advance effective solutions to some of California’s most difficult problems. They do this by listening to the people they serve, working with the community, maximizing every dollar they use, and then sharing what they learn. We are thrilled to help their work progress.”

To learn more about this year’s award recipients, please visit:     

Article  featured onThe James Irvine Foundation

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