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  National PromiseNet Conference at UC Berkeley to gather hundreds of education and civic leaders to inspire conversation and innovation to close the post-secondary degree divide
November 2, 2019

RP.png Contra-Costa-Community-College-District.jpgUCB.png

October 31, 2019

Media Contact:
Jessie Stewart, Executive Director
Richmond Promise

National PromiseNet Conference at UC Berkeley 11/4-11/5 to gather hundreds of education and civic leaders to inspire conversation and innovation to close the post-secondary degree divide

Berkeley, CA -- UC Berkeley Division of Equity & Inclusion, in partnership with Richmond Promise and Contra Costa Community College District will host the national PromiseNet Conference on November 4th and 5th, 2019 at UC Berkeley. The two day conference - Bridges to Opportunity - will bring together hundreds of innovative education, civic, and philanthropy leaders, policy makers and practitioners from across the country to spark inspiration and share evidence-based interventions, policy strategies, and financing models, and behavioral incentives to raise America’s high school and college graduation rates. Since the first PromiseNet was held in Kalamazoo in 2008, these gatherings have sparked ideas, energy and action to strengthen and build the Promise movement.

The full schedule can be found on the PromiseNet website and will involve a combination of keynotes, plenaries, and a total of 24 content-specific break-out sessions. Press passes are available for interested members of the media. Please contact

Highlighted keynotes and leaders of note who will be in attendance and contributors throughout the conference include Executive Director Dr. Martha Kanter of the College Promise Campaign and former Undersecretary of Education during the Obama Administration; California State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond; President Janet Napolitano, University of California System; Chancellor Timothy P. White, The California State University; Dr. Larry Galizio, President and CEO, Community College League of California; Chancellor Carol Christ, UC Berkeley; Dr. Prudence L. Carter, Dean of the Graduate School of Education at UC Berkeley; Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley, Chancellor, California Community Colleges; Jennifer Granholm, Former Governor of Michigan; Richmond Mayor Tom Butt; Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf; Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin; and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.

Caption: Crystal Carter, a Richmond Promise Scholar, is graduating early from UC Berkeley this winter with two degrees in African American Studies and Sociology. She hopes to get her Masters in Social Work and give back to her home community of Richmond, California. 

More on PromiseNet 2019: 
Promise initiatives are place-based programs that share a common strategy of cross-sector collaboration, P-20 institutional alignment, and wraparound programming with the goal to close the opportunity gap and remove barriers/create pathways to higher education and degree attainment for underrepresented students. The PromiseNet conference is an opportunity for Promise community stakeholders to come together and share best practices around designing, implementing, and sustaining place-based student success and economic development initiatives.

Conference Sponsors: Conference sponsors include ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning, John F. Kennedy University, Holy Names University (HNU), Ascendium Education, Chevron, The College Promise Campaign, CoPilot, The Ed Fund, Kaiser Permanente, The Kalamazoo Promise, MDRC’s College Promise Success Initiative (CPSI), Mechanics Bank, The Michigan Promise Zones Association, Contra Costa College Foundation, Mogli SMS, Reinvent Stockton Foundation, Scholarship America, SmarterSelect, College Possible, Wells Fargo, and The W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

Local Hosts: The Richmond Promise, University of California at Berkeley Division of Equity and Inclusion, and the Contra Costa Community College District are co-hosting the conference in partnership with the College Promise Campaign and a national steering committee that includes representatives from other various local promise initiatives, researchers, and policymakers from across the country, including the Stockton Promise, Oakland Promise, Tennessee Achieves, El Dorado Promise, Upjohn Institute, WestEd, the College Promise Campaign, and the Kalamazoo Promise.


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2019 Local Host Committee

  • Richmond Promise
  • UC Berkeley Division of Equity & Inclusion
  • Contra Costa Community College District

2019 Steering Committee:

  • Berkeley City College & Peralta Community College District
  • The College Promise Campaign
  • El Dorado Promise
  • Kalamazoo Promise
  • Oakland Promise
  • Pittsburgh Promise
  • Michigan Promise Zones
  • The W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research
  • San Jose Promise

Press passes are available for interested members of the media. Please contact

Promise Scholars at Cal: We have students available to who have benefited from regional Promise programs. We will send a follow up email with a snapshot of brief stories and method of contact for a deeper story if interested.

Jessie Stewart, MCRP |  Executive Director
Richmond Promise, Inc
Direct cell: 269-720-5247 
Direct work: 510-620-6570 
Student hotline: 510-230-0422

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Join Us at PromiseNet 2019 on November 4 & 5th!

PromiseNet 2019 Steering Committee

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