Oakland Residents Speak Truth to Mayor Schaaf

“We are an oak tree with deep roots, we do not move with the breeze even when the earth quakes; we still stand strong with battle scars,” said James, a 14-year-old East Oakland resident leader to Mayor Libby Schaaf. On May 19th in the old Eastmont Mall, resident leaders met with Mayor Libby Schaaf to express years of frustrations and negative impacts they have personally experienced while living in East Oakland. Each resident leader began their statements to Mayor Schaaf with “I am Oakland Community Neighborhood Voices.” They were in full force, donning black t-shirts with a hashtag on the front that read: #Health4all.... Read more »

CATEGORIES: Blog, Economic Opportunity, Food Access, Health Access, Health Happens in Neighborhoods, Housing, In Focus, Land Use, Peace Promotion, People Power, Transportation

#RIPJacka: Oakland at a Crossroads

Our Progressive Movement here in the Bay Area is made up of some of the most courageous and compassionate people I have ever met.  And even yet, I believe that we are struggling to fully comprehend the depth of what’s happening right now in the Oakland Streets. The tragic shooting of the Jacka, a Pittsburg CA resident and one of the Bay Area’s most beloved rappers, on 94th Avenue in East Oakland came as a huge shock last Monday night – a shock from which many have not yet recovered.   For some of my friends who knew him well, his passing means an agonizing loss of camaraderie and brotherhood.  ... Read more »

CATEGORIES: Blog, Health Happens in Neighborhoods, Peace Promotion

Healing the Healers Kicks Off with Launch Ceremony

The comforting smell of burning copal and sage filled every inch of a 6th floor office space as the soft sounds of West African drumming resonated throughout the room. These elements created a spiritual mood upon which an afternoon of learning, reflection, and healing would be built. A group of Oakland youth organizers, direct service workers, and teachers gathered on January 23rd for the launch of the Healing the Healers Project designed to give support to youth workers so that they can, in turn, better support Oakland youth who are in crisis or who have been exposed to trauma.... Read more »

CATEGORIES: Blog, Peace Promotion, Youth Work

A Few Words on Ferguson, Cleveland + NY (A Letter from Our Leadership)

The recent events in Ferguson, Cleveland and New York – the heartbreaking loss of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice, three unarmed black males (two of whom were children, Rice just 12 years old), at the hands of police officers and the strong displays of public outrage that have followed – resonate deeply with us here in Oakland. As a community that has also suffered great loss, we stand with these cities in mourning, in solidarity, and in an effort to organize for change. In the face of these unspeakable injustices, we are called on to find meaning and, despite how difficult it may be, a way forward.... Read more »

CATEGORIES: Blog, Peace Promotion, Sons & Brothers, Youth Work