Youth Initiative Program

The Lucille & Edward R. Roybal Foundation Youth Initiative is a collaborative project that brings together public policy leaders, schools, law enforcement professionals and most importantly the voices of our youth.

The Roybal Youth Initiative expertly fashions safe spaces for open dialogue, creating an organic community where the voices of our youth are heard, valued, and engaged, in meaningful discourse and interaction.

Congressman Edward R. Roybal co-founded the Community Service Organization (CSO) along with Antonio Rios, and Fred Ross, Sr. in 1947.  It was founded due to police abuse, lack of educational opportunities, and the lack of political voice in the Latino community.

The CSO first and most important agenda was civic engagement through the powerful empowerment tool of voting in ethical and committed candidates in minority areas.  The hard work of CSO paid off when Edward Roybal was elected to the Los Angeles City Council in 1949.  He was the first Latino to service on the Los Angeles City Council.  The CSO trained leaders like Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta to unite people and make great strides and changes in their community.

Today more than ever, the objectives and goals of the CSO model of empowering a new generation of ethical and prepared leaders are relevant and in demand.

Advisory Chair

John J. Kennedy, Esq.
Advisory Chair
Youth Initiative Program

Mr. John J. Kennedy has been appointed the advisory chair of the Roybal Foundation’s Youth Initiative Program. Mr. Kennedy has dedicated his life to serving others. As a current councilmember for the City of Pasadena, he represents the 3rd district while also serving on the Finance Committee, Chair of the Public Safety Committee, and is one of three City representatives to the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority.

Mr. Kennedy is an advocate in building youth leadership. He will be providing guidance and input to the Roybal Foundation Youth Initiative Program to help foster and bring together youth, civic leaders, police, and other people of influence.

Mr. Kennedy received dual degrees in International Relations and Economics. He earned a Juris Doctor Degree from Howard University School of Law and was the youngest person to have served as President of the Pasadena Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

His experience in both the public and private sector give Mr. Kennedy a keen sense of our community needs and how-to bring groups together. Political involvement and extensive world travel have garnered him a keen understanding of local, national and international government practices and procedures.