By: The Hidden Genius Project, PRNewswire
Date: Thursday, November 17, 2022

 Black-led nonprofit deepens commitment to empower Black male youth
and builds upon community impact with purchase of 21,000 sq. ft. building


(Oakland, CA) Bay Area non-profit organization The Hidden Genius Project has acquired a 21,000+ sq. ft. commercial building in Oakland, CA, deepening their commitment as a community anchor for the last 10 years, and laying the foundation to support their continued growth and impact. In addition to serving as headquarters, The Hidden Genius Project’s new building will house offices for Black-led organizations, such as TEAM Inc., RepresentEd Leadership, and Oakland Natives Give Back. The second floor of the four-story building will make way for local community organization workspaces, and the Ubuntu Center, an innovative community hub for youth in partnership with Best Buy, Salesforce, and The Clubhouse Network.

The Hidden Genius Project is in the middle of a five-year, $30 million growth campaign, which has already been successful enough to propel them to launch in Detroit, Atlanta, and Chicago, and they pursued the opportunity to acquire 1441 Franklin Street. Through a generous donation from the CesTRA Butner Family Foundation (established by Oakland-based businessman and philanthropist Ces Butner) and a host of other supporters, The Hidden Genius Project was able to secure the initial equity necessary to finance the remaining cost of the $8.82 million building. The purchase of the building was finalized in September 2021, and renovations are on track, with their official opening set for December 2, 2022. The Hidden Genius Project continues to welcome new partners to invest in their growth towards affecting even greater impact and opportunities for young people and community partners doing the work.

“I am a proud supporter of The Hidden Genius Project. We are aligned in our collective mission to provide resources to youth of color with the goal of preparing them for success to advance and excel in tech and entrepreneurship,” said businessman and philanthropist Ces Butner.

The CesTRA Butner Family Foundation’s generous donation contributed to the purchase and redesign of the office building that will serve as an anchor site for The Hidden Genius Project, as well as collaborate to host other community organizations that focus on youth development, offering them a safe and dynamic atmosphere at a below-market rent.

“We are grateful to the CesTRA Butner Family Foundation for their donation and their commitment to support nonprofit organizations that provide meaningful services and programming to the communities of Oakland. As we celebrate our 10th anniversary, the opportunity to establish a permanent headquarters in Oakland speaks volumes to our commitment to Oakland and the young Geniuses that come through our program. We look forward to a long term relationship with the CesTRA Butner Family Foundation as we partner to provide affordable space for other Black-led nonprofits and community organizations,” said Biff Clark, Board Chair of The Hidden Genius Project.

Additionally, Best Buy, in partnership with Salesforce and The Clubhouse Network, has partnered with The Hidden Genius Project to establish the Ubuntu Center at their Oakland headquarters. Best Buy’s vision is that demography should not define destiny: We see a future in which every young person has the technology, training and mentorship needed to achieve their potential and pursue their dreams.

“We are extremely excited and grateful to open this dynamic home for not only The Hidden Genius Project, but our community partners as well. Moreover, we hope this space becomes a beacon and resource for our entire ecosystem of stakeholders working for the wellbeing and empowerment of our communities, and our young people within them. We are grateful to all the individuals and entities who continue to invest in a better future for our Geniuses by supporting
his project. We cannot wait to see what impact might lie ahead as a result of this tremendous undertaking,” said Dr. Brandon Nicholson, Executive Director of The Hidden Genius Project.

Read the original announcement HERE.