Commemorating Juneteenth

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Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19, commemorates June 19, 1865, when all previously enslaved African-American people in Texas learned they were free more than two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This day serves as a celebration and honors the lives lost due to slavery and racism. It also serves as a day of reflection and reminder that we must continue to right the systems that allow racism and inequities to exist today. 

Our country is standing at the precipice of an opportunity to rebuild and act on our ideals. Daily at Braven, we are working to ensure the American Promise stays alive for underrepresented young people. So, on this Juneteeth, we are celebrating by acting. One tangible action we can all take is to support Black-led nonprofits that are working to create systemic change. We hope you’ll consider learning about and supporting – whether through your time, talent, or treasure – the incredible leaders and work of these organizations who were some of our earliest champions and partners: 

Beyond 12

Meet Alexandra Bernadotte, Founder & CEO of Beyond 12

Through a longitudinal student tracking platform and a personalized student coaching service, Beyond 12 helps high schools, college access programs, and colleges provide their students with the academic, social, and emotional support they need to succeed in higher education. By collecting and sharing longitudinal data that crosses K-12 and higher education, Beyond 12 not only provides students with differentiated coaching that ensures they earn a college degree, but also provides actionable feedback to high schools and programs about their college preparatory efforts, improves the retention work of colleges and universities by sharing data-driven insights gained from supporting students, and influences the national conversation about student success.

Camelback Ventures

Meet Aaron Walker, Founder & CEO of Camelback Ventures

Camelback Ventures is an accelerator that identifies, develops, and promotes early-stage underrepresented entrepreneurs with the aim to increase individual and community education, and generational wealth. The organization aims to create a more diverse social innovation ecosystem that leverages the genius of all people. Camelback Ventures identifies local leaders with promising ideas, and empowers them to enact change within their communities through its initiatives where they provide an intentional blend of coaching, capital, connections, community, and curriculum.


Meet Melissa Connelly, Chief Executive Officer of OneGoal

OneGoal is a leading college access and success organization that works to close the degree divide and create a more equitable future. OneGoal partners with schools in low-income communities across the country to ensure postsecondary planning, preparation, and support are no longer extracurricular luxuries but integral components of the high school experience. OneGoal is a three-year program that starts as a class in students’ junior and senior years of high school and continues during the critical transitional period through their first year of college or other postsecondary path.

Surge Institute

Meet Carmita Semaan, Founder & President of the Surge Institute

The Surge Institute is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to the empowerment, advancement, growth, and achievement of youth and communities of color. The Surge Institute achieves this by educating and elevating leaders of color, preparing them to transform urban education and expand the opportunities for our youth. The Surge Fellowship is the signature program of the Surge Institute and serves as a best-in-class, cohort-based experience that unites, accelerates and empowers 20-25 emerging leaders of color in education.

The Cleveland Avenue Foundation for Education (The CAFE)

Meet Liz Thompson, Founder & President of The CAFE

The CAFE invests in organizations that are aligned with its mission and values and have demonstrated significant impact in both the college access, persistence and success space as well as in the career readiness and attainment space. 

Investing in and supporting these organizations and their leaders is one of many ways we can help shift our country’s reality and live up to our ideals of justice and equality for opportunity—for all.