92.3 Real featured The Harold Robinson Foundation on its “Real Heroes” initiative.
PUBLISHED BY LIVE MUSIC NEWS AND REVIEW, JANUARY 17, 2020 LINK
“Peace, Love & Funk” is a unique concert taking place on Friday, January 24, at The Mint, that will bring out famed, all-star musicians to jam together for an unforgettable evening of funk. Hosted by “Nikki Glaspie & The Nth Power” with Chali 2na as emcee, the concert will benefit Camp Ubuntu and the Harold Robinson Foundation. “Peace, Love & Funk” embodies funk and soul tune favorites performed by top musicians and surprise guests to create powerhouse collaborations. Doors open at 8:00 p.m., with the show starting at 9:00 p.m. All proceeds from the tickets will go directly to The Harold Robinson Foundation/Camp Ubuntu to raise funds in support of the camp programming for underserved kids in Los Angeles.
The concert will be emceed by hip-hop personality and Los Angeles native, Chali 2na. Chali 2na has established himself as one of hip-hop’s most outstanding and charismatic personalities. Best known for co-founding music groups, Jurassic 5 and Ozomatli, Chali released his debut solo album “Fish Outta Water” in 2009. Since then, he has toured the world ten times over with his three-piece band known as the House Of Vibe. In addition “Nikki Glaspie & The Nth Power” will perform as well as special guest, Ghost-Note. Glaspie has played alongside musical luminaries amid an array of genres and places. As a founding member of The Nth Power, she continues her musical journey, leaving a mark no matter where she goes. Nikki Glaspie is a living legend, and her musical career has been among an impressive array of talent. The extraordinary performers have played with Prince, Snoop Dogg, Erykah Badu, Herbie Hancock, Kendrick Lamar, Ghost-Note, Toto, Justin Timberlake and many more.
Tickets start at $50 for general admission with limited tables available. Ticket sales will go directly to The Harold Robinson Foundation/Camp Ubuntu, providing the funding and resources needed to send Los Angeles’s underserved children to camp away from the stress that most of them face on a daily basis.
About Nikki Glaspie
Nikki Glaspie is among the premier drummers in music today. As a founding member of The Nth Power she’s blazing a path of light, and rolling waves of love in her wake. Nikki Glaspie has been trotting the globe behind the likes of Beyoncé, Maceo Parker, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, GRiZ, and more. For the better part of two decades, Nikki has been in-demand, with a who’s who of the jazz/funk scene. Nikki Glaspie is already a living legend, well before her fortieth birthday. Remarkably, it feels as though she has merely just begun!
About The Mint
Since 1937, The Mint in the heart of Los Angeles has been home to legendary local and national acts. A unique intimate space, affordable full bar & menu, and dedicated staff have made The Mint the #1 spot for live music in Los Angeles.
About The Harold Robinson Foundation
The Harold Robinson Foundation became an official 501©3 in 2009. The flagship program of the Foundation is Camp Ubuntu where underserved children, their families, and their schools are invited to attend, free of charge; an aca accredited overnight camp in the Angeles National Forest just 90 minutes outside of Los Angeles. Many of the kids have never been outside of their neighborhoods, and Camp Ubuntu gives them the opportunity to have a positive experience in a safe and nurturing environment. The retreat packs an incredible amount of fun into a long weekend offering hiking, team building, sports, arts and crafts, music, dance, ropes course, writing workshops, campfires, and more.
By Jessica E. Davis, Patch Staff
Hundreds of Cyclists to Pedal for Charity on the Santa Monica Pier
More than 400 cyclists will descend on the Santa Monica Pier next month for a 100-mile stationary bike ride aimed to raise more than $500,000 for the Harold Robinson Foundation.
The pedaling will get underway at 11 a.m. June 2 at the pier. Nearly all of the proceeds will go toward providing a camp experience at the Canyon Creek Complex for local inner city children.
Jeff Robinson, founder of Harold Robinson Foundation, said this year’s event will be bigger than ever, with double the amount of celebrities and athletes expected to attend. Last year, Hilary and Haylie Duff were among the attendees, he said.
“We currently already have 400 riders and 107 teams,” Robinson said. “We’re anticipating an unbelievable day at the pier.”
The 5-hour Pedal on the Pier event will feature the city’s most popular spin instructors, DJs, vendors, food, drinks and music, according to organizers. The bikes will be provided by L.A.-based Kinetic Cycling.
Robinson began the event several years ago as a 100-mile bike ride, but decided to turn it into a stationary ride in order to build a sense of community among the riders.
“The sense of community that goes on at this event is nothing like I’ve ever experienced,” Robinson said.
Robinson said the funding is crucial to bringing children to the camp, which continues to make a difference.
“The kids, they’ve taken the tools they’ve learned up here and they’ve gone back to schools and communities,” Robinson said. “We found that we were changing the life and path that these kids were on.”
PUBLISHED IN THE LOS ANGELES WAVE, JUNE 19, 2020 LINK
WATTS — Volunteers from several community groups distributed boxes of meat, produce and water to residents of several public housing projects in Watts June 10.
The Above & Beyond Food Distribution, hosted by hometown leaders Top Dawg Entertainment and Think Watts Foundation, was sponsored by Beyond Meat, the Harold Robinson Foundation, the Housing Authority of the city of Los Angeles, Aqua Equity Water, Community Healing Gardens, Godiss Love and Primestor Development.
They distributed the boxes and bags of food to residents of Nickerson Gardens, Jordan Downs, Imperial Courts, Gonzaque Village and Avalon Gardens.
Brandon “Stix” Salaam-Bailey, founder of Think Watts Foundation organized the event in two weeks. He said he wanted to do something special for the city, so he called his partners to help.
“Watts is in my mind and heart, so I have to give back,” Saalam-Bailey said. “I have to give to those in need, and even if they’re not in need I still want to give back to show they’re appreciated.”
The Think Watts Foundation’s primary objective is making a positive difference for adolescents and adults raised in underprivileged communities.
The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles coordinates services for the14 public housing developments.
“It’s essential we do this together,” said Joel Lopez, who represented the housing authority at the event. “We have a large population of seniors, people with disabilities and families with young children.
“Some are unable to leave their home because of COVID-19, whether it be child care or sheltering in place. There’s a scarcity of food for areas like Watts, where you only have one or two supermarkets,” he added.
Top Dawg Entertainment is home to music artists Kendrick Lamar, SZA, ScHoolboy Q, Jay Rock, Ab-Soul, Isaiah Rashad, SiR, Lance SkiiiWalker, Reason and Zacari. Many of its artists are from California and the company also hosts an annual Christmas toy drive.
PUBLISHED IN THE LOS ANGELES WAVE, JUNE 19, 2020 LINK
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
When Joyce Hyser Robinson and her husband, Jeff, launched the Harold Robinson Foundation in 2009, their goal was to open outdoor camps that would give youth in South Los Angeles the same developmental opportunities and fun times they experienced at camp when they were growing up.
The Harold Robinson Foundation has evolved from the simple notion of providing youth with a fun camp experience to improving young lives and creating a positive impact across South L.A. The Robinsons leverage the camp experience as a vehicle for personal empowerment and social change.
Through a diverse set of recreational programs, including arts enrichment and athletics, they give campers powerful lessons in community, character-building, leadership development and healthy living. At the same time campers experience nature or their own neighborhood in a way they never have before.
The foundation’s work is rooted in the South African philosophy of “Ubuntu,” which means, “We rise and fall together as a community.”
As luck would have it, when Joyce Hyser Robinson met the man who would eventually become her husband, he was buying a camp because he wanted to provide a camp for kids who otherwise wouldn’t have that kind of opportunity.
“My husband and I thought that the opportunity we had when we went to camp was life-changing for both of us,” Joyce Robinson said. “I came from a single mom. I was the oldest. I had three brothers.
“I had a lot of responsibilities as a kid. I had to come home from school, do homework, go to dance class then go home and cook dinner. Camp was a way for me to be away from home and be a kid. That’s where I discovered myself. I had a sense of freedom and individuality and space. I got to interact with kids my own age. You can’t bottle that.”
When it first opened, Robinson said the Harold Robinson Foundation, which is designed for fifth-graders, and, depending on the case, for some fourth and sixth graders as well, was only able to give scholarships to a small number of kids to attend summer camp.
After the foundation became a nonprofit, the Robinsons wanted to bring in as many kids as possible from the Watts, Compton and South Los Angeles communities. The kids came from 12 to 16 schools within those three areas.
“The point is to combine schools from different neighborhoods,” Robinson said. “That’s how the transition starts. You are introduced to kids you do not know, who live in a different housing development. The reason we focus on fifth graders and some fourth and some sixth graders is because that transition represents an incredibly difficult time. It’s challenging for everyone, especially kids in Watts in under-resourced communities.”
This year the foundation, whose in-person camp is called Camp Ubuntu Watts, launched ‘CUW 2.0,’ a virtual camp that runs for four weeks, four hours a day, from June 8 to July 6. About 100 kids are participating for free this year.
Although COVID-19 has prevented face-to-face gatherings due to social distancing, the foundation didn’t want to abandon this year’s camp.
According to Robinson, research has proven that children thrive in situations where consistency and set schedules remain in place. It provides safety and comfort in a world of chaos. And while the foundation may not be able to bring the kids to camp, it can bring camp to the kids in the spirit of Ubuntu.
“Although it’s a virtual camp, it is helpful to give them someone to engage with other than their teacher or a parent,” Robinson said.
Since the camp is virtual, the kids who signed up receive a “Camp In The Box,” filled with do-it-yourself projects, exercise equipment and drumsticks. There is also one Zoom session each day where kids can learn dance and yoga.
“The at-home projects are things you can do like an art project, except it’s virtual,” Robinson said. “The virtual camps will be interactive. It’s about the interpersonal experience and being seen, being heard, and feeling cared for.”
The first time they opened the camp, held at Canyon Creek Complex, there were about 250 to 300 participants. Those in attendance participated in arts, crafts, yoga, creative writing and expression, music, athletics, community and character building, leadership development and healthy living.
“The foundation organically evolved into what it is today,” Robinson said. “In 2013, we did a retreat called, Watts United, where we brought five housing developments together for the first time at camp. Kids from all over and some of their parents, teachers, principals, community activists, LAPD, CHP, and an anti-recidivism coalition were involved.
“All came for three days. It was complete insanity. We thought we had made a mistake. There were fights and we were going nuts. But on the last day, it was incredible and everybody was crying because people went back and had a sense of knowing each other.
Cheryl Bonacci is the foundation’s executive director. She also has been a Catholic chaplain with the Los Angeles Archdiocese for 14 years.
Her role is to work with re-entry for kids who are being tried as adults. For 10 years, she has worked with the Anti-recidivism Coalition.
“This work is critical to shifting how they see themselves and their inherent value and goodness,” said Bonacci, who works with 14-18 year-olds and considers the 250 she works with at a time as her adopted children.
Bonacci said it’s between the fifth and seventh grades that kids say they are no longer happy.
“That’s the age they start looking at themselves as a man in the world and start recognizing that the things they are missing are becoming more prevalent,” she said. “It’s a time when kids think things are limited for them.
“You’re in this in-between stage. You have to allow them to be children and learn this new part of themselves they are moving into as a teenager. Kids can’t be kids that long. It’s frustrating for kids across the board. That’s because they don’t have a valuable understanding of themselves.”
Bonacci said at camps, kids are allowed to be who they are.
“We know the underlying impact those activities have,” Bonacci said. “I actually heard from some kids that if they had had a camp to go to, they wouldn’t have ended up where they did.”
The annual budget for the camp is $1 million. To raise that amount, for the last 10 years the foundation has held a fundraiser called, Pedal on the Pier at the Santa Monica Pier. This year’s virtual event is called, Ubuntu in Motion. Ubuntu also translates to, “I am because we are!”
For the event, teams are formed to create peer-to-peer fundraising.
“This year we are launching a virtual fundraiser,” Robinson said. “We want people to create quaran-teams this year. You can bike, walk, or do 100 pushups. Pick your activity.
The intention is to get us out a little bit and get moving. It’s a one of a kind, seven-day event. It’s physical philanthropy that you can do anywhere.”
This year the event is Aug. 9-15.
Harold Robinson was Joyce Robinson’s father-in-law. About 16 years ago, Robinson, now deceased, was instrumental in helping his son obtain the camp’s property.
On its website, Joyce Robinson is quoted as saying, “Working with the Harold Robinson Foundation has been one of the greatest gifts I have ever given to myself. The rewards are infinite and although my work with the foundation exposes me to more poverty, pain, and sadness than I would normally encounter in my daily life, it also exposes me to the positive side of the human spirit and the resilience of people who have so much less than I do. HRF has brought me an abundance of blessings.”
“Making a Difference” is a weekly feature profiling organizations that are serving their communities. To propose a “Making a Difference” profile, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
PUBLISHED BY LA Hip Hop News, JANUARY 15, 2020 LINK
“Peace, Love & Funk” is a unique concert taking place on Friday, January 24, at The Mint that will bring out famed, all-star musicians to jam together for an unforgettable evening of funk. Hosted by “Nikki Glaspie & The Nth Power” with Chali 2na as emcee, the concert will benefit Camp Ubuntu and the Harold Robinson Foundation. “Peace, Love & Funk” embodies funk and soul tune favorites performed by top musicians and surprise guests to create powerhouse collaborations. Doors open at 8:00 p.m., with the show starting at 9:00 p.m. All proceeds from the tickets will go directly to Harold Robinson Foundation/Camp Ubuntu to raise funds in support of the camp programming for underserved kids in Los Angeles.
This is a compilation of the fantastic stories done by KTLA about Pedal on the Pier 2018 and The Harold Robinson Foundation. Thank you KTLA and Gayle Anderson for the wonderful coverage.
Morningside 5 is an ESPN, 30 for 30, directed by Mike Tollin, featuring one of our beloved counselors Dwight Curry. The film is a unique story that chronicles the lives of five men through a 25-year window. It not only depicts the passion they had for the game of basketball, but also documents how they coped with being local celebrities at the tender age of 18 and what came of their lives once the ball stopped rolling. The story is about over- coming adversity and is a message Dwight is able to carry to our students. Morningside 5 also features our foundation and our founder, Jeff Robinson.
Joyce Hyser Robinson, co-founder of the Harold Robinson Foundation, joined us with details on the’The Markham Project’. The project includes hosting a weekend retreat with 100 students from Markham Middle School. Through this project Joyce shares the importance of getting inner city youth out of their negative surroundings, exposing them to nature and to help promote confidence, trust and team building.
If you are interested in getting involved with the Harold Robinson Foundation you can pre-register for their “Pedal On The Pier” event taking place on June 1st, at the Santa Monica Pier.
LAKE HUGHES, Calif. —
What does swimming, rope climbing and camping have to do with fighting gang violence? Everything, according to the owner of a kids camp in Lake Hughes. More than 100 inner city kids are at Canyon Creek Camp in an effort to stop the cycle of gang violence in South Los Angeles. Jeff and Joyce Robinson own the camp.
“They are not having a childhood and they come up here and they have a chance at a childhood,” said Joyce Robinson.
For many of the 118 kids who stepped off a bus Friday morning at the camp, it was their first time away from the housing projects, the gangs and the violence that are too often a part of their daily lives.
“We are working toward something that is really historical,” said Joyce Robinson.
The Robinsons believe nature and love can touch children’s lives to help break the cycle of gang violence and crime in the inner city, one child at a time.
“They have never seen mountains. They’ve never seen deer. They can’t even dream about these things because they don’t even know they exist,” said Jeff Robinson.
“It’s fun and wonderful. You get to go hiking and swimming and all that,” said Toria Weaver, a camp participant.
For four years now, Canyon Creek Camp has hosted more than 3,000 inner city kids throughout Los Angeles. The Harold Robinson Foundation, named in honor of Jeff Robinson’s late father, picks up the more than $250,000 price tag per year to show these kids they are not enemies from rival gang territory, but rather just kids who deserve a better life.
“I grew up like them so I know how hard it is,” said camp counselor Darlene Frontuto. “We were stuck in apartments or having to watch what street we crossed just in case that was an enemy’s territory.”
Camp counselor James Anderson says the camp has a positive effect on the kids.
“Every single time we have a retreat up here, it always ends with these kids having open hearts and their parents crying because they see something they don’t see in their neighborhoods, and that’s love,” said Anderson.
To donate to the Harold Robinson Foundation, visit www.haroldrobinsonfoundation.org.