Positive Youth Justice Initiative

Since 2012, Sierra Health Foundation’s Positive Youth Justice Initiative has set a new standard of positive youth development and trauma-informed policies and practices within the youth justice system, which historically is known for harsh punishment and racial disparities in the treatment of youth of color. The Positive Youth Justice Initiative was the first philanthropic initiative in the country grounded in positive youth development to address these disparities.

Learn about the Positive Youth Justice Initiative phases and funded partners on our Initiative Background page.

Moving Forward with Increased Focus on Leadership Development

We are excited to launch the Positive Youth Justice Initiative’s fourth phase, Organizing for Youth Power, Healing and Justice. During this phase, we will continue to invest in community-based organizations that are advocating for a healthy justice system. We also will deepen the integration of the Healthy Youth Justice System Framework in the leadership development of youth advocates and organizers.

We seek to:

  • Increase the influence of youth organizers
  • Strengthen the youth advocacy capacity of community-based organizations
  • Expand our youth-driven storytelling campaign
  • Organize funders to invest in the initiative

Our Grantee Partner Organizations

Alameda Contra Costa Fresno Los Angeles Orange Riverside Sacramento San Diego San Francisco San Joaquin Santa Clara

Information and Resources


Initiative Background


Youth Organizer Leadership Program

The Positive Youth Justice Initiative is funded by Sierra Health Foundation, The California Endowment and The California Wellness Foundation, and is managed by The Center. The National Center for Youth Law and the W. Haywood Burns Institute provide technical assistance.