Our Story

We founded Civil Labs in response to the economic shifts occurring in the San Francisco Bay Area, and the disproportionately negative effects of these changes on long-time residents of color. We wondered: how might communities of color better benefit from the upside of economic growth? We believe one answer lies in the inherent creative potential of young people. Civil Labs works to amplify the potential of young people to change their communities by giving them the resources to do so: educational opportunities to learn about entrepreneurship and craft; places where youth of color feel welcomed and can put their creative potential to work; good jobs that pay well and expose young people to the design and operation of a community business.

We are proudly based in Oakland. We believe in an Oakland where youth of color are increasingly recognized as social and cultural innovators and as leaders of change. We believe this vision for Oakland can become an inspiration for cities across the country.