Our story is one about respect, dignity, trust and love. In a society that teaches us to hate ourselves, learning to love and heal ourselves and our community is a revolutionary act. At Fathers & Families of San Joaquin, we welcome everyone with open arms— especially those who have been forgotten. We give folks a reason to live, and lead with purpose.
When Sammy Nunez returned to Stockton after surviving the trauma of gun violence and incarceration, he knew he wanted to be an active parent and role model for his children. Yet he returned to a community that was under siege. Years of policies targeting and criminalizing the poor had harmed and dehumanized entire families and neighborhoods.
Sammy realized that our people needed to come together to reweave the connections that had been severed by violence, walls and cages. He founded Fathers & Families of San Joaquin to make sure that love, culture and healing would begin to eradicate the poverty, violence and despair in Stockton and throughout the San Joaquin Valley. By building authentic community relationships, organizing and learning from both the elders and the youth, Sammy envisioned a transformation in his city and his soul. Since 2003, he has been unyielding in his pursuit to create a home for all who seek opportunity and redemption.
For more than fifteen years of leadership, Fathers & Families of San Joaquin has welcomed the brilliance and diversity of Stockton, and has helped to collectively reclaim our destiny and build the healthy, loving thriving city that our children deserve. We know that all life is sacred, everyone has intrinsic worth and together we can be instruments of peace. That belief fuels our work every single day to heal through culture, organize with hope and build our power to transform our communities. Join us!
Today, Fathers & Families of San Joaquin (FFSJ) is a progressive, solution oriented community organization working on the front lines of racial justice, community healing, trauma-informed care, community re-entry, and education equity in the City of Stockton, the surrounding San Joaquin Valley and throughout California. FFSJ provides socially- and culturally-relevant opportunities that help build a foundation for intergenerational healing and leadership. FFSJ mentors community members to work in unity with other organizational partners to end widespread poverty, employment disparities, inadequate access to public health services, and high rates of incarceration in communities of color.
Fathers & Families of San Joaquin has been recognized as a leader in alternative interventions and programs to reduce recidivism among formerly incarcerated men of color, and for innovative youth development approaches focused on healing, culture and community leadership. In 2016, FFSJ expanded its work to open a historic Trauma Recovery Center in the heart of Stockton. It is one of 11 in California and a model for the nation.