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Mount Tamalpais College Awarded one of 2021 California Nonprofits of the Year

By Mount Tamalpais College | June 25, 2021

Mount Tamalpais College honored by Assemblymember Marc Levine

San Rafael, June 25, 2021 – Mount Tamalpais College is proud to announce its selection as a 2021 California Nonprofit of the Year by Assemblymember Marc Levine. Mount Tamalpais College is one of more than one hundred nonprofits that will be honored by their state senators and assemblymembers for their tremendous contributions to the communities they serve.

Mount Tamalpais College (formerly the Prison University Project) provides an intellectually rigorous, inclusive Associate of Arts degree program and college preparatory program, free of charge, to people at San Quentin State Prison. It strives to expand access to quality higher education for incarcerated people; and to foster the values of equity, civic engagement, independence of thought, and freedom of expression. For over twenty years, the College Program at San Quentin has been the site of a unique educational enterprise for one of our country’s most vulnerable populations. More than 4,500 students have participated in the program since its founding. Hundreds of alumni are now living, working and/or continuing their studies throughout the state of California.

From Jody Lewen, President of Mount Tamalpais College: “We are overjoyed and deeply grateful to receive this recognition from Assemblymember Levine, especially at such a special moment in the life of our new academic institution. We hope that the community of Marin County, and the state as a whole, will recognize and embrace the transformative and groundbreaking work being done by Mount Tamalpais College, and join us in lifting up the community of San Quentin Prison, and the larger incarcerated population, for the betterment of all.”

“The pandemic and shelter-in-place orders of the past year and a half have put nonprofits – usually hidden in plain sight – in the spotlight,” explains Jan Masaoka, CEO of the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits). “California Nonprofit of the Year is an opportunity for our elected officials to celebrate the good work they see nonprofits doing in their districts, and for everyone to appreciate the collective impact of nonprofits in our communities.”

Additional Background

California Nonprofits Day, now in its sixth year, was formally recognized by 2021 Assembly Concurrent Resolution 80, authored by Assemblymember Luz Rivas, and co-authored by Senator Monique Limón. Each year legislators from across California have chosen a Nonprofit of the Year in their district.

Traditionally, honorees and legislators are invited by CalNonprofits, Chair of the Senate Select Committee on the Nonprofit Sector Senator Monique Limón (Santa Barbara), and Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on the Nonprofit Sector Assemblymember Luz Rivas to a celebratory luncheon on California Nonprofits Day. This year, like 2020, the luncheon was canceled in response to pandemic restrictions, but legislators moved forward with honoring nonprofits doing great work in their districts.

According to “Causes Count,” a 2019 report commissioned by CalNonprofits, the nonprofit sector is the 4 th largest industry in the state, employing more than 1.2 million people. Each year, California nonprofits generate more than $273 billion in revenue and bring in $40 billion in revenue from outside of California. The unpaid labor contributed by volunteers at nonprofits is equivalent to 330,000 full-time jobs every year.