Oaklandish is excited to announce that the November Nonprofit of the Month is Level Playing Field Institute, an Oakland-based organization working to eliminate the barriers that underrepresented people of color face in the STEM field.
Founded in Oakland in 2001, Level Playing Field Institute (LPFI) envisions a world where the playing field is truly equitable and everyone, especially the historically disenfranchised, have access to the opportunities they seek. To do so, LPFI provides STEM education and support programs to students in middle school, high school, and college. One example of such programs is the SMASH, or Summer Math and Science Honors, Academy. Launched in 2004 at UC Berkeley, SMASH Academy is a rigorous and residential summer enrichment program providing students of color with access to STEM coursework, mentors, role models, and support networks. Since 2004, the SMASH Academy has expanded to include numerous California universities and, in 2017, Morehouse College in Atlanta. LPFI also boasts a research program focused on examining inequity for under-represented students in STEM as well as computer science initiatives. They serve more than 600 Bay Area students every year.
Oaklandish is hosting an in-store event to recognize and support the Level Playing Field Institute's work. Stopy by the Dimond shop (3419 Fruitvale Ave.) on November 18th from 12 to 4 pm to learn more about this local nonprofit. By shopping Oaklandish you can also support LPFI! 10% of proceeds from the day's event will go to the Level Playing Field Institute.