About Brandon Harrison
On October 15, 2017, Brandon Harrison’s life was tragically taken by gun violence, at only 20 years old. He was a beloved son, grandson, brother, father, nephew, friend and community leader. Brandon was, and always will be, a rising star with a deep love of learning and passion for social justice. He not only dreamed of creating a safer community and better future for his sons Noah and Adrian, he was actively working to improve conditions for young people of color in his hometown of Stockton and throughout California.
Brandon believed that “self-love heals all wounds” and he fought tirelessly for equity, racial justice, and more opportunities for young people to heal. He was a community organizer and policy advocate who promoted health, healing justice, unity, education, and restorative practices. He was deeply committed to ending the school-to-prison pipeline; his legacy will live on through Be Smooth, Inc. and the statewide movement for youth justice.
Brandon was proud of his growth over the last several years from a youth participant, to a Fellow, to a Youth Movement Builder at Fathers & Families of San Joaquin in Stockton. He was also a student at San Joaquin Delta College. He was a member of The California Endowment President’s Youth Council, National Youth Transition Funders Group – Youth Justice Work Group, and the Statewide #FreeOurDreams Youth Policy Team. He was involved in the California Alliance for Youth & Community Justice, Alliance for Boys & Men of Color, Positive Youth Justice Initiative, Central Valley Movement Building, California Equity Leaders Network, Movement Warriors, Neighborhoods Owning Power Action & Leadership, Sons & Brothers, YO! Cali, and #SchoolsNotPrisons. To honor his life, several awards have recently been created in his name, including the Brandon Harrison Youth Leader/Youth Organizer Award from the UC Davis Equity Summit and the Brandon Harrison Visionary Award from The California Endowment.
His brilliant mind and genuine ability to connect with people of all ages, experiences, and walks of life, will be remembered by everyone he met. When he spoke, he moved people, often to both tears and laughter, with his unapologetic honesty, depth of knowledge and wisdom, fierce love, heartfelt connections to systemic injustice, and bold visions for the future he believed in. Above all, Brandon loved deeply and was deeply loved in return, by his family, friends, and countless people whose lives he touched.
The above description is from Be Smooth which is a non-profit organization founded in Brandon’s honor by his mother.
How to Nominate
Are you self-nominating or peer-nominating?
If you are a youth leader, determining whether you will self-nominate or have a peer nominate you. Also consider whether you’d like to write a short personal statement if a peer, adult ally, or family member is nominating you. If you are a peer nominator, determining whether you’d like to ask your nominee to write a short statement.
Read the Rules & FAQs
Per the nomination rules, please keep in mind that a nominator may not dual nominate the same youth leader for both the Voices for Change Award and the Brandon Harrison Award.
Things to Consider
- Consider the diverse ways in which the nominee has engaged in the political process, showed up in a volunteer capacity, acted as an advocate, trained others, or encouraged engagement on an important issue.
- Think deeply about the ways in which the nominee has taken brave action when faced with deep-rooted systemic barriers and injustice.
- Determine how the nominee has shown up as an agent of change.
- Gauge the impact the nominee has already made in their community, and how you envision their leadership evolving in the years ahead.
- Self-nominations AND peer nominations completed by a mentor, friend, classmate, or colleague of a youth leader or organization are both allowed.
- The 2022 TCE Youth Awards nominations portal is open for submissions from December 1, 2021 – January 28, 2022 (5pm PST). No late submissions will be accepted.
- To submit your nomination be sure to read each prompt in its entirety and answer each question to the best of your ability. Be sure to adhere to the word limit of each prompt!
- Nominators may nominate as many young leaders as they wish. However, nominators may only nominate each youth once (i.e. nominators may not submit multiple entry forms on behalf of the same youth).
- A nominator may not dual nominate the same youth leader for both the Voices for Change Award and the Brandon Harrison Youth Visionary Award.
- The nominated young leaders must be between the ages of 16 and 26 by December 31, 2021.
- All submitted entry forms are final and may not be changed or updated after submission.
- All content may be used by The California Endowment video production team for event production purposes, event marketing, and communications purposes.
- Previous Youth Awards winners are not eligible for the 2022 Youth Awards. For a list of previous winners, click here.
- Individuals and organizations that have previously submitted applications for the Youth Awards but were not selected as winners are welcome to apply again.
What are The California Endowment Youth Awards?
The California Endowment (TCE) Youth Awards were created to celebrate the long-standing efforts and achievements of youth leaders and youth-allied non-profit organizations that are advancing health and racial equity. These California youth inspire their peers and communities while embodying the values of The California Endowment.
When will the nomination window for the 2022 Youth Awards close?
The nomination window will close on January 28, 2022 (5pm PST).
When will the 2022 Youth Award winners be announced?
The winners for the 2022 Youth Awards will be announced in June 2022.
When will winners convene for an in-person event?
Great news! The 2022 TCE Youth Awards is scheduled to take place in-person in Oakland, CA. We will celebrate the leadership of youth from throughout California who are advancing health and racial equity in their communities and take all precautions in place for COVID-19.
How were the award categories determined?
The three TCE Youth Award categories were created to honor the achievements that young individuals and non-profits have made in the journey toward better health for their local communities and, in some cases, across the state.
- The Brandon Harrison Youth Visionary award recognizes an exceptional youth who has overcome challenges and obstacles to battle back from trauma and place themselves and their community on a path toward success. Brandon Harrison was a youth activist from Stockton, California who was a member of TCE’s President’s Youth Council. In his memory and legacy, this award celebrates young activists who are carrying on the fight for health and racial justice. One award recipient will receive $10,000.
- The Youth Power Partner award celebrates non-profit organizations who are cultivating pathways for youth power. The organization selected can be a youth-led advocacy organization or an adult ally-led organization supporting youth voice and power. Four non-profit organizations will each receive $10,000.
- The Voices for Change award celebrates the transformative leadership of youth who are achieving racial and health equity through people power. One youth per region who has done exceptional work in the area of health, justice reform, schools, and inclusive community development will be selected as a recipient. Four award recipients will receive $3,000 each. 1 awardee per region (North, South, Central, and Los Angeles).
What if my nominee for the Voices for Change (Award) doesn’t fit into any of the outlined issue areas?
We acknowledge that many youth advocates work in multiple issue spaces and that our issue categories for the Voices for Change (Award) may not include your nominee’s focus. If your nominee’s work doesn’t fit into any of the outlined issue areas, choose the option closest to your nominee’s work. If your nominee works in more than one issue space, please select all that apply.
Should I nominate my nominee for a Voices for Change Award or the Brandon Harrison Award?
If your nominee has done extensive work in one of the listed categories for the Voices for Change Award, you should nominate them for that. We are excited to focus on and amplify work in issue areas that are important to the President’s Youth Council and The California Endowment. The Brandon Harrison Award is intended for nominees, regardless of issue areas, who have overcome overwhelming obstacles to battle back from trauma and place themselves and their community on a path toward success.
What will the Youth Award winners win?
Each of the four Voices for Change (Award) recipients will receive $3,000. The four Youth Power Partner (Award) recipients and the Brandon Harrison Youth Visionary Award recipient will each receive $10,000.
How can a young person be nominated for the TCE Youth Awards?
Do you know a young person between the ages of 16 and 26 who is doing remarkable things for their community? If so, regardless of whether you are a proud mom, an impressed teacher, an enthused administrator – you name it – if you want to nominate someone, you can. Youth leaders can also nominate themselves for a Youth Award. The nomination window for the 2022 Youth Awards runs from December 1, 2021 (9am PST) – January 28, 2022 (5pm PST).
Who is on the selection committee?
The selection committee will comprise of a diverse set of 10-15 individuals who are either PYC members, youth leaders, advocacy leaders, or nonprofit leaders.
Thank you for all of your inspiring nominations!
Submissions are now closed. The final day to submit a nomination was on January 28, 2022 at 5 pm PST, and no late submissions are accepted.
Mark your calendars – winners will be announced in June 2022 and the 2022 TCE Youth Awards are scheduled to take place in person in Oakland, CA on July 23rd, 2022. Details will follow after winners are announced.