Our Community, Our Children – African American Collaborative

A Strategic Initiative to Reduce the Disproportionate Number of African American Children Growing Up in Foster Care in Sacramento County

Our Community, Our Children is a community collaborative comprised of public and private organizations, as well as individual advocates who have assembled together for one goal: to reduce the disproportionate amount of African American children who are growing up in foster care without finding a forever family.

The statistics are staggering. A significant amount of African American children are growing up in foster care with multiple moves, which lead to multiple losses and trauma. If we don’t address this crisis immediately, over 50% of these youth will be homeless, in prison or dead by the age of 22.

African American children are disproportionately growing up in the child welfare system and are the least likely to attain legal permanence. We believe that no child is unlovable or unadoptable and that foster care was never meant to be a permanent solution

Our vision is for every child to have a safe, loving home where they are allowed to make mistakes, learn from them, grow and thrive without fear of rejection or continual displacement.

Program Goal
The goal of the program is that all African American children living in foster care will find permanency (reunification, adoption or legal guardianship), in a safe, loving home, with unconditional love, commitment, and support.

This is a true collaborative. This is a community-led initiative and is about the collective effort of all affecting change in their immediate communities and spheres of influence.

Every day in Sacramento more than 200 African American children live with uncertainty. Check out our latest video, created by Dr. Shinshuri, to recruit African American families for our kids.

Join Us in Finding Safe, Loving, Forever Families

  • Become a parent or mentor

Recruit and Advocate

  • Spread the word among your personal and professional networks


  • Become an individual, corporate sponsor or community partner
Donate Now

Thank you on behalf of the African American Advisory Board 2017

Berry Accius
Founder, Voice of Youth



Malaki-Seku Amen
Founder, California Urban Partnership

MALAKI SEKU AMEN (pronounced “mal-luck-eye / say-coo awe-men”) has been in the vanguard of community economic development for 25 years.

He currently serves as President and CEO of the California Urban Partnership (CUP) – an organization promoting economic empowerment in local communities of color through technology, collaborative initiatives and public policy support.  Under Malaki’s leadership, the CUP developed ARIZE.org, an online platform promoting diversity and inclusion in business, culture, and community at a local level.

I am a part of this initiative because I believe that the collective power of a village can help children reach their greatest potential.  I’m passionate about building economic security in communities of color and finding healthy families and homes for displaced children is critical to that vision.”



Captain Bobby Davis
Sacramento Sheriff’s Department
Sacramento native, Captain Robert L. Davis started his career with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department in May of 1996.

In 2014, he was promoted to the rank of Captain and has held commands in two divisions; the Professional Standards Division and the Central Division. Captain Davis is dedicated to serving the community by participating on many community advocacy boards, volunteering for community events, and by being involved with community neighborhood watch meetings.

I am part of the Our Community, Our Children initiative to help improve the lives of all children in Sacramento County.”



Joel Dieffenbacher

Office Staff Supervisor, California Department of Industrial Relations

Joel Diefenbacher is the Office Staff Supervisor for the California Department of Industrial Relations by day.  He has been married to his beautiful wife Nadine for 34 years, and they are the proud parents of 3 adopted children.  Also, he is currently an Emancipation Program Instructor with The Parent Cooperative Community.

I am involved with this initiative to help bridge the gap with prospective families and children that need homes.”




Dr. Eric Gravenberg
President and CEO, The Hawk Institute

Dr. Eric V. Gravenberg is the former Deputy Chancellor/COO for the Peralta Community College District in Oakland, California.  In July 2013, he was appointed the President of the College of Alameda. He has had a distinguished 43-year career in education having served in several senior leadership positions at major universities, both public and private.  He is a seasoned administrator with a successful track record in building consensus and optimizing team performance.  He is currently President and CEO of The HAWK Institute, a leadership development program for African American young men.

I am involved with this initiative because of my deep desire and unwavering commitment to rebuild, inspire, support and educate the African American community.  This means that we must take an active role to ensure our children are protected, nurtured and loved.”



Dr. Tecoy Porter
Pastor, Genesis Missionary Baptist Church

Dr. Tecoy Porter, Sr. is the lead Senior Pastor of the Genesis Church in Sacramento, CA, where he has served faithfully since 1999. He holds a Doctorate of Strategic Leadership degree from Regent University’s School of Business and Leadership, and an MBA from California State University, Sacramento. Dr. Porter is also an Adjunct Professor at William Jessup University and Epic Bible College.

Dr. Porter is blessed to share his life with his wife, Karlette Porter and his three children: sons Tecoy Jr., Kamarion, and daughter, Kara.

I am a part of this initiative because saving our children is key to saving our future. The best way to save them is to ensure them the opportunity to be a part of a loving family. There is no greater gift we can give to a child than the love and stability of a family.”



Pastor Donnell Riggins
Del Paso Union Baptist Church

Donnell Riggins, hails from Cleveland Ohio and moved to Sacramento in 1976 to attend California State University, Sacramento, where he studied Business Administration and Computer Information Systems.

Pastor Riggins began his career in I.T. working for Electronic Data Systems and in 1997, Pastor Riggins accepted his calling to the ministry.  In January of 2001, he became Pastor of Del Paso Union Baptist Church, in Sacramento, California.  Donnell has been married to Natalie Noble Riggins for 34 years and has two adult children.  Pastor Riggins’ passion is helping people live out their God-given potential.

Children are our nation’s greatest natural resource.  We must help as many as we can for the sake of their future and our own.”


Pleshette Robertson
Founder, Sac Cultural Hub Media


Dr Shinshuri

Dr. Tammè ShinShuri
Founder and CEO, Shinshuri Foundation

Dr. Shinshuri is the founder of Shinshuri Foundation and The Oracles of Truth Academy, an online, zero-debt college for communities of color.  She is a Business Philanthropist devoted to human evolution.

Dr. Shinshuri’s vision and mission is to ensure that people are empowered through authentic living, and vocational and leadership development.   Her goal is to help eliminate the social and economic barriers, as well as the personal excuses that get in the way of human evolution and personal abundance and prosperity.

“I joined the African American Advisory Council to support the Our Community, Our Children Initiative so that I can help change the lives of African American youth growing up in the Sacramento Foster Care system, and for the betterment of our community.”

Learn more about our training and workshop opportunities.