Throughout its 55 year history, The Unity Council has never left the side of communities it serves. We have marched with our communities through recessions, crises, and cruel verbal attacks from national politicians. We amplify the voices of our community members and demand equitable investment in health, education, and economic vibrancy. We continue to adapt and step up to any challenge our community faces.

Now we face the biggest challenge yet. In response to COVID-19:

  • We are providing direct cash assistance to low-income families who have lost their income to pay for rent, food, and other essential needs.
  • Our career, housing access, and financial services Coaches are helping people file for unemployment, apply for jobs, and access other public benefits remotely.
  • Youth Achievement mentors are providing middle and high-school youth a point of stability in an uncertain time through virtual check-ins.
  • We increased staffing in our Fruitvale Business Improvement District program so that we can help more small business owners in Fruitvale apply to loan and grant programs and get set up with online ordering.
  • And our Senior services and Head Start staff now distribute meals and groceries to more than 1,200 low-income senior citizens and families with children under 5.

Although this wasn’t part of our plan for 2020, we were able to nimbly adapt to community needs without missing a beat. And that would not have been possible without the support of all of our partners in 2019. We were able to rise to the challenge presented by the current Covid-19 crisis because of our solid foundation – which you helped build. Thank you.

Generous individuals like you have helped advance The Unity Council’s mission and vision for the future: to build vibrant communities where everyone can work, learn, and thrive.

In solidarity,

Chris Iglesias, Chief Executive Officer

Chris Iglesias, CEO




Programs for Children, Parents & Seniors

700+ children served yearly in early childhood education

38 expectant mothers received prenatal services

4,232 hours of recreational activities offered to low-income seniors

132,718 nutritious meals served to children and seniors

$130,000 in training and technical assistance for head start teachers and parents

Youth Empowerment & Achievement

$127,052.38 paid to youth though youth employment programs 

201 young men and women of color that received mentoring and academic support (LMB/LMA)

100% of youth seeking career counseling enrolled in an education or training program

Small Business, Housing & Neighborhood Services

$14M refinanced of the Fruitvale Village with help from our CDFI partners to ensure our flagship property

$225,711.28 invested in cultural events 

110,000 people attended cultural events in Fruitvale

194 units of affordable housing under construction

390 small businesses served through the Fruitvale business improvement District

465 units of affordable housing units in the pipeline

Career and Financial Empowerment

$1,537,000 returned directly to the community through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program 

73% of clients received services in a language other than English, including Spanish, Khemer, and Cantonese

1,650 hours of GED, ESL, and computer literacy instruction

Your gifts gave 200 adults the training, education, and support needed to get back to work.

Our Year-Round Career Center offers essential skills training, connections to employers, and creates career and education pathways. With career opportunities in high-growth industries, adults are better able to retain their housing, move out of poverty, and support their families.

Medical Assistant Program: Last year, we hosted the second six-month cohort of our Medical Assistant program in partnership with the Alameda County Social Services Agency. This 6-month program increases the economic stability of low-income families by placing CalWORKs job seekers in temporary Medical Assistants and Medical Administrative Assistant positions with a local medical employer partner. Eligible participants receive help paying for their classes, childcare, transportation, and uniforms. Participants also receive job search support and interview skills and can participate in a paid internship to gain experience once they receive their certificate.

Talent Development Academy: The six-week intensive program provides life skills and job readiness training to prepare potential Bus Operators for a satisfying, long-term career at A.C. Transit (or other transportation employers). Completion of the programs prepares participants to successfully obtain their Class B Commercial Driver’s Permit with Passenger Endorsement; to meet all employment requirements for a career at A.C. Transit, and to have the skills and capabilities to retain employment successfully.

Your gifts prepare children and families to succeed in school.

The Head Start and Early Head Start program reaches over 700 families across Oakland and Concord every day. Our early child-development play-based curriculum is designed to meet each family where it’s at on the path to school readiness and fulfilling each child’s full potential. We make every effort to speak with children and their parents in their home language, and we offer services in at least eight languages.

Your gifts equip teens for academic and career success.

In-school youth programs: The Latino Men & Boys (LMB) and the Latina Mentoring & Achievement (LMA) program are school-based, culturally-rooted programs located in selected schools in the Oakland Unified School District. LMA is the expansion of the successful Latino Men and Boys (LMB) program, nationally recognized by The Obama Foundation. The programs work with Latinx youth ages 12-18 and their families and schools to improve outcomes in mental and physical health, education, and career planning. The program significantly increases graduation rates for Latinx youth in Oakland schools and promotes healthy lifestyles, academic focus, and leadership development. The program is available for male-identified, female-identified, and non-binary youth. 

Out of school youth programs: The Success, Training, Education, and Planning (STEP) program focuses on professional development and post-secondary opportunities for young adults ages 16 to 24 through workshops, paid work experience, and training/certifications. Every participant receives support with job search, career exploration, resume and cover letter writing, and other career-related services. Regardless of job history or education level, we help young adults achieve their career goals.

Your gifts connect, engage, and support senior citizens.

The Senior Center is an established and thriving recreational community space open to all low-income seniors in Oakland and, in particular, the monolingual Spanish speaking seniors that live in the surrounding Fruitvale and San Antonio neighborhoods. Our staff is dedicated to promoting exercise and health, socialization, and community education for seniors daily by providing a rich array of activities. The Senior Center staff members are culturally and linguistically matched to the clients and can assist with referrals to other community services.


Meet Citlali, Latina Mentorship & Achievement (LMA) Student

In fall 2019, Citlalli joined the pilot cohort of the Latina Mentorship & Achievement (LMA) after hearing from teachers the success of the Latino Men & Boys (LMB), an innovative program devoted to improving academic achievement, health outcomes, leadership development, and socioeconomic learning for young men of color and their families.

Citlalli calls LMA her safe space where she is able to learn about cultural identity, academic achievement, civic engagement and career readiness. In the program, she didn’t have to worry about her peers criticizing her, and the class gave her the confidence to be true to herself and not hold back.

Click here to read more about Citlali->

Meet Taki, Youth Workforce Development Alumni

At the time of his first visit at The Unity Council, 22-year-old Taki had very limited work experience and he was a caregiver for a loved one. Taki needed to earn a livable wage to support himself and his loved one, but he lack experience, job references, and needed support developing vital skills.

After meeting with a Career and Financial Coach, Taki joined the Success, Training, Education, Planning (STEP) program. STEP’s program consists of three phases: a three-week job training, job placement/ internship for 160 hours and hiring completion.

Once his internship ended in February, Taki was offered a contract full-time job with the organization.  He was pleased with the experience through the STEP program; including landing his dream job and providing the skills that will keep him there.

Click here to read Taki’s full story->

Meet Rebeca Orozco, Fruitvale Business Owner

Rebeca Orozco has recently spent sleepless nights thinking about her financial stability. Every hour her beauty salon remains closed, it increases her chances of falling behind on her rent and bills. Rebeca is the proud owner of Ayana’s Beauty Salon in the Fruitvale neighborhood in Oakland. Today, she holds back her tears as she stops by the salon to quickly pick up a few items.  

Since the shelter-in-place began on March 16th as a result of COVID-19, the salon is no longer a place filled with music, great conversations, or the scent of styling products. Instead, she walks into a gloomy room with empty salon chairs and heaps of mail, likely bills near the entrance. 

Rebeca learned through the BID that she was eligible to apply for two small business grants: the City of Oakland Small Business Emergency Grant Program and the LISC/Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund. Through the help of Small Business Improvement Coordinator Regina Moreno Hernandez, Rebeca received translation and assistance applying to these grants and was offered additional community resources to help her cope with the economic hardship caused by the pandemic.

Click here to read Rebeca’s full story!


Over $150 million invested in public benefit development like the Fruitvale Village, the Public Market, Las Bougainvilleas, Casa Velasco, Posada de Colores, and Casa Arabella.


Join us in helping everyone – regardless of immigration status, language, or zip code – get back on their feet during and after this crisis. Together we can build a community where everyone can work, learn, and thrive.

Help us raise $50,000 by May 31st to provide direct assistance to families suffering from this economic and health emergency.


Corporate Giving & Foundations


  • Bank of America Charitable Foundation
  • California Workforce Development Board
  • Crankstart Foundation
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Kenneth Rainin Foundation
  • NeighborWorks America
  • Oakland Workforce Development Board
  • Sunlight Giving
  • The California Endowment


  • Kelson Foundation
  • Loud Hound Foundation
  • MUFG Union Bank
  • Wells Fargo


  • Alameda County Census Outreach
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Comcast Foundation
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E)
  • The San Francisco Foundation
  • U.S. Bank
  • United Way Bay Area
  • The Warriors Foundation
  • Y&H Soda Foundation


  • Akonadi Foundation
  • Archstone Foundation
  • California Health Care Foundation
  • The Clorox Company
  • Cordoba Corporation
  • eBay
  • Enterprise Community Partners
  • First Republic Bank
  • Kapor Center
  • Latino Community Foundation
  • Northern California Carpenters Regional Council
  • Oakland Athletics
  • Oakland Public Education Fund
  • Oakland Roots FC
  • Raza Development Fund
  • Swinerton-Webcor J/V
  • Zellerbach Foundation


  • BART
  • Build Group
  • Der Manouel Insurance Group
  • D-Line Constructors
  • East Bay Community Foundation
  • FivePoint
  • Google
  • Laborer’s Local 304 (LIUNA)
  • McCormack Baron Salazar
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • MUFG Union Bank
  • Piper Jaffray
  • Port of Oakland
  • Silicon Valley Bank*
  • Square
  • The MRKT
  • Turner Construction Company
  • Waste Management


  • A&B Painting, Inc.
  • A2Z Media Group
  • Bay Wheels (Lyft)
  • Blue Shield
  • Build America Mutual Assurance Company
  • California Lottery
  • City of Richmond, Employment & Training Department
  • Clark Construction Group
  • Consolidated Engineering Laboratories
  • Cricket Wireless
  • D&H Construction Inc
  • East West Bank
  • Golden 1 Credit Union
  • Harley-Davidson
  • HNTB
  • Holy Names University
  • J.H. Fitzmaurice
  • Jobs and Housing Coalition
  • John Muir Health
  • Lane Partners
  • Lowney Architecture
  • McGuire & Hester
  • Merriwether & Williams Insurance Services
  • Metropolitan Transportation Commission
  • Mission Neighborhood Centers, Inc.
  • Northern California District Council of Laborers
  • RINA
  • Salesforce
  • T.Y. Lin International*
  • The Vanmark Group
  • Turner Construction Company*
  • UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals*
  • U.S. Army
  • Weingart Foundation

Individual Giving

Thank you to the many individual supporters who made generous gifts in 2019 in honor of our 55th Anniversary! Questions or concerns? Contact development@unitycouncil.org.

  • Annie Abernethy
  • Orson Aguilar
  • Leticia Aguilera
  • Natalie & Solis Aguilera
  • Zenaida Aguilera
  • Aldrich Family Fund
  • Ahmed Ali Bob
  • Jill Allen
  • Gina Altomare
  • April Alvarez
  • Sara Amaral
  • Ryan Ansley
  • Ana Apodaca
  • Lucy Arellano
  • Maria & Robert Arellano
  • Luis Arenas
  • Luz Arrizon
  • Luis Arteaga
  • Arnoldo Avalos
  • Clarence Baker
  • Jennifer Bell
  • Gloria Benavides
  • Janice Berthold
  • Tom Birmingham
  • Michelle Bischoff
  • Ann Blackwell
  • Pauline Blackwell
  • Zaby Bongiovanni
  • Pati Boyle
  • Michelle Brega
  • Markeze Bryant
  • Antony Bugg-Levine
  • Summer Bundy
  • Claudia & Oracio Burgos
  • Lila Carrillo
  • Keith Carson
  • Angel Chavez
  • Victor Flores
  • Molly Friend
  • Alicia Gallo
  • Maria Gallo
  • Garcia Family Fund
  • Rose Garcia Bremond
  • Cathy Garrett
  • Randi Gerson
  • Dahlia Chazan
  • Gena Chen
  • Anagha & Tommy Clifford
  • Helen Clifton
  • Jonathan Coates
  • Zach Cohen
  • Leah A Cole
  • Hector Colina
  • Susan Colson
  • Betsy Cotton
  • Tracy Craig
  • Hilary Crowley
  • Emilio Cruz
  • Rosy Davalos
  • Sarah Davies
  • Robert Davis
  • Elena de la Garza
  • Edward De La Rosa
  • Pamela Dernham
  • Meadow Didier
  • David Douglas
  • Moira Dowell
  • Jacqueline Downing
  • Miguel Duarte
  • Jennifer Easton
  • Salah Elbakri
  • Max England
  • Marianne Etlinger
  • Jack Chin & Brooke Facente Chin
  • Nancy Falk
  • Marty Fatooh
  • Lovon Fausett
  • Amy Ferguson
  • Franco & Michelle Finn
  • Daniel Fishman
  • Thomas R. Flores
  • Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney
  • Elizabeth Glenewinkel
  • Alex Goffey
  • Adrian Gomez
  • Gilda Gonzales & Ken Wysocki
  • Viola Gonzales
  • Mirna Gonzalez
  • Jose Gordon
  • Catalina Govea
  • Surlene Grant
  • Bob Grossman
  • Elvia Guiroga
  • Silvia Guzman
  • Shelley Hara
  • Lisa Hasegawa
  • Cindy Hay
  • James Head
  • Frances Hellman & Warren Breslau
  • Patrick Hermann
  • Armando Hernandez & Luis Rodriguez
  • Nathan & Tiffany Herrero
  • Jason Herrington & Lauren Richardson
  • Christy Hess
  • Charles Higueras
  • Hala Hijazi
  • Guy Hollins
  • Ralph Holmes
  • Ricardo Huerta Niño
  • Flavio Ibarra
  • Chris & Wendy Iglesias
  • Victor Iglesias
  • Amanda Isbell
  • Sean Jeffries
  • Michael Johnson
  • Sheena Johnson
  • Linda & William Kahrs
  • Chris Kent
  • Chris Kiteas
  • Dana Kleinhesselink & André Pinter
  • Candice Knoll
  • Deborah Koski
  • Isaac Kos-Read
  • Karen Kramer
  • Harshit Kumar
  • Eiichiro Kuwana
  • Martha Lackritz-Peltier
  • Mariah & Franquel Lafleur
  • Tami Lau
  • Kristen Law
  • Tim Law
  • Congresswoman Barbara Lee
  • Maurilio Leon
  • Gordon Leung
  • Aubra Levine
  • Henry Levy
  • Janet Liang
  • Lichterman Family Charitable
  • Thomas & Christy Limon
  • Kani Lin
  • Gregory Linden
  • Nima Link
  • Rebecca Longworth
  • Chris Low
  • Ken Lowney
  • Laura Luster
  • Jim & Kris Macias
  • Vicky Maday
  • Andrea Maldonado
  • Jeff & Jackie Mann
  • The Manning Charitable Fund
  • Lilia A. Marquez
  • Martinez and Carlson Fund
  • Steve Martinez
  • David & Sheila Matz
  • Tom McCoy
  • Noemy Mena-Miles & Paul Miles
  • Logan Meyer
  • Jes Montesinos
  • Melanie Moore
  • Ronald Moore
  • Samantha Moore
  • Cynthia & Brian Morton
  • Kimberly Munoz & Kevin Morrell
  • Marsha Murrington
  • Sofia Navarro
  • Evelyn Orantes & Joaquin Newman
  • Van Nicholson
  • Robert Nixon
  • Aaron Ortiz
  • Celso Ortiz
  • Gregory Osorio
  • Susanna Osorno-Crandall
  • Zeke Paradock
  • Joe Partida
  • Erin Patch
  • Alexis & Laurence Pelosi
  • Wayne Perry
  • Pla Family Charitable
  • Eric Pryor
  • Robert Raburn
  • Henry Ramos
  • David Reinertson
  • Thais Rezende & Eduardo Castaneda
  • Cait Reizman
  • Monica Rice
  • Dave Richards
  • Clare Robbins
  • Jack Robertson
  • Lena Robinson
  • Linda Robredo
  • Roderick Roche & Lourdes Lopez-Roche
  • Arturo L. Rodriguez
  • Darian & Becca Rodriguez Heyman
  • Ernesto & Rita Romo
  • Antonio Ruiz
  • Victoria Salinas
  • Irmina Sanchez
  • Natalie Sandoval
  • Virginia Salvatier
  • Cecile Scandone
  • John Scarpulla
  • Rebecca Schaffer
  • Yolanda Schonbrun
  • Sophia Schwartz
  • Patrice Scinta
  • Jonathan Segarra
  • David Silver
  • Jeff Sloan
  • Scott Sollers
  • Jillian Spindle
  • Catherine Stahl
  • David Stein
  • Benjamin Stern
  • David Strom
  • Deborah Strom
  • Lillie Sunday
  • Tim Tabernik
  • Arturo Taboada
  • Joanne Tornatore-Pili
  • Rita Torres
  • Roseann Torres
  • Charles & Patricia Trepinski
  • Frank Tsai
  • Michael Tully-Cintron
  • Sedrick Tydus
  • Veronica Ufoegbune
  • Bob Uyeki
  • Jesus Vargas
  • Trina Villanueva
  • John Weaver
  • Karen Webb
  • Lauran & Jeffrey Weinmann
  • Jean Whittlesey
  • Casey Williams & Susan Strom
  • Deanna Williams
  • Wladimir Wlassowsky
  • Dena Woolwine
  • Eva Yeiser-Garcia
  • Daniel Zamani
  • Zamir Zuraek