News and Events



A fable about confronting the burdens of ones past before you can truly find “home,” this electric epic from one of the shining new voices of American theater comes to the Bruns stage helmed by Cal Shakes Artistic Director Eric Ting.

Last show:      September 3, 2017
Bruns Amphitheater
100 California Shakespeare Theater Way,
Orinda, CA 94563 United States
Phone:   510.548.3422, 510.548.9666      Email:
Website:         Cost:   See event website






Powerful Women of the Bay Awards Luncheon

When: Friday, March 31st, 2017  11am – 1:30 pm
Where: Scott’s Seafood,  2 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607

Celebrating Women’s History Month and the Contributions of Outstanding Women in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Contact:   Phone: (510) 653-4085


The Black & Brown Founders’ Project

When:  Monday, March 20th, 2017  9am
Where: Galvanize San Francisco – Soma, 44 Tehama Street San Francisco, CA

The Black & Brown Founders’ Project is an event aimed to provide Black and Latinx founders with tools and hacks to start companies without relying solely on venture capital.

*For sponsorship opportunities, please email Brady Campbell (


OCCUR & SF Foundation FAITHS Program Workshop Continues March 23 with Focus on Program Impact and Funding

When: Thursday, March 23rd, 2017 9 a.m. – Noon (check in 8:30am)
Where: 360 14th St., Suite 100, Oakland.

Contact: or  call (510) 839-2440.

OCCUR and the San Francisco Foundation FAITHS Program, A Model Built on Faith, will present the second in the 2017 series of free capacity building workshops designed for faith-based organizations and other nonprofits on.


Councilmember Brooks Hosts Green Job Fair for Youth of Color

Ken Epstein |


MobilizeGreen, a nonprofit that seeks to help young people find careers in the green economy, held a job fair last Friday at Oakland City Hall, co-hosted by Councilmember Desley Brooks.

About 150 college-age youth from all over the country, including a number of local residents, attended the three-day conference and job fair organized by MobilizeGreen and Brooks, which is seeking to bring young people of color into the environmental industry.

A number of young people were matched with one-year internships with the U.S. Forest Service, which is co-sponsoring the project with MobilizeGreen.

Kathy Mick of the U.S. Forest Service says that creating opportunities for young people and diversifying the workforce are part of the reason the Forest Service exists.

“Our mission is to care for the land and serve the people,” she said. “We are focusing on expanding our diversity.”

One of the participants at the job fair was Janneice Hines, who was working at Starbucks over a year ago when she found out about the MobilizeGreen conference from Brooks.

Hines applied and had a one-year internship at the Forest Service in Utah and is now in the Vallejo Office. She was hoping to find another internship at the job fair.

“It’s the best experience I’ve had,” she said. “It’s the field work that makes the difference.”


Councilmember Brooks Partners with Legal Firms to Provide Free Legal Help at Eastmont Town Center


Do you have a basic legal question but couldn’t find anyone who could provide an answer? Do you need to talk to an experienced attorney? Do you need straightforward answers to your legal questions?

Councilperson Desley Brooks has partnered with the Charles Houston Bar Association and the Volunteer Legal Services Corporation (VLSC) of the Alameda Bar Association to provide free legal information and referrals at her Eastmont Office starting Saturday, March 18.

Lawyers will be available the third Saturday of the months of March, May, July, September, November, and January at at Councilmember Brooks’ Eastmont Office at 7200 Banccroft Ave. (upper level) from noon to 2 p.m.

The volunteer lawyers from Charles Houston Bar Association will provide free legal help to people living in District 6 who otherwise cannot afford it.

This program matches trained volunteer attorneys with low-income people in need of critical legal services – such as family law, criminal law; landlord tenant issues, or protecting a parent’s right to custody and visitation.

In 1983, the Alameda County Bar Association Volunteer Legal Services Corporation (VLSC) was founded in response to cutbacks in federal funding to the Legal Aid Society and the increasing demand for legal services for the poor. In 1983, the VLSC budget was just $37,800. VLSC mission is to provide free legal assistance to Alameda County’s low income population remains as strong as ever.

During its 30+ years, VLSC has served more than 35,000 clients, providing legal education, advice and counsel and representation to low-income people in the community.

On average, VLSC has supported 300 volunteers annually through training, technical assistance and mentorship. Over the last three decades, VLSC volunteers have logged approximately 60,000 pro bono hours, which ranslates to $18 million worth of free legal services for Alameda County!

The Charles Houston Bar Foundation, Inc. is a charitable organization. Its mission is to provide educational services and programs to improve access to justice; to advance equal protection under the law, by promoting the provision of services to under-served Bay Area communities.

The Charles Houston Bar Association also seeks to advance African American access to justice and the courts and to increase diversity within the legal community and the bench.

Barbara Lee Denounces Republican Attempt to Repeal the Affordable Care Act

Congresswoman Barbara Lee released the following statement after Republicans unveiled their plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday:

Lee-Barb-1-1170x780“Last night, Republicans unveiled their plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act and make hardworking families pay more money for less care. Make no mistake, this plan strips healthcare from millions, defunds Planned Parenthood and rations healthcare for low-income Americans in order to offer handouts to the wealthy and healthcare executives.

“Access to quality affordable healthcare is a basic human right. Millions of Americans have made their voices heard in protests, town halls and in the streets. Their message is clear: repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be deadly for our communities.

“During the writing of the ACA, I worked tirelessly with the Congressional Black Caucus and President Obama to expand access to healthcare for all Americans, especially those in communities of color. I refuse to stand idly by as Republicans unravel the lifesaving reforms we’ve made over the past seven years.

“Today I stand with the American people and my colleagues in Congress to put President Trump and Congressional Republicans on notice. The fight to protect affordable healthcare is on, and we will not rest until Republicans end their coldhearted campaign to kick American families off of healthcare.”





Black History Month Fundraiser 70’s Party

When: Saturday Feb 4th, 2017 8pm – 12am
Where: Everett & Jones BBQ 126 Broadway, Oakland, CA   510-599-6357

The Magic of Mowtown – Black History Celebration

When:  Saturday, February 4 | 8 – 10pm
Where:  Malonga Center  1428 Alice St.

“The Magic of Motown” review show featuring the incredible “Best Intentions”. This show will take you back into time to experience some of the greatest Motown songs ever written and performed. Tickets: $25  Contact: 510-238-7526


All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50

When: Ongoing through February 26, 2017
Where: Oakland Museum of California

On the 50th anniversary of its founding, the exhibition All Power to the People provides a contemporary view of the Party and its aims to serve oppressed people and fight injustice.

>> See more events list here




Oakland School’s Local Business Program Recognized as Best Practice to Stimulate Local Economy

Oaklanders love Oakland and have demonstrated this love to Oakland’s schools by passing bond measures to fund modernization and new construction.

Recently, Measure J passed with 80 percent of the vote, designating $475 million dollars to modernize school facilities.

Well, now Oakland residents have something else to be happy about. Over half of the businesses hired to update and modernize schools for the District are Oakland-based.

The district put “Oakland first” and adopted a “local business utilization” plan in order to maximize community involvement and growth. So far, the results have been good news for schools, small businesses, and the local economy.

“Partnering with local businesses in Oakland is key to building a stronger district and a stronger community,” said Dr. Devin Dillon, Interim Superintendent of Oakland Schools.

“Working together creates opportunity for our diverse populations to unite and benefit each other,” she said. “It also supports our District-wide shared value of cultural responsiveness.”

When the Board of Education passed its first Local Business Policy, after receiving local control back from the state, only 6 percent of the businesses being utilized were local.

Luckily the district had some help to boost that percentage. It partnered with an Oakland-based management firm with an emphasis on building local connections and community. 360 Total Concept is an Oakland-based business headed by Oakland native Shonda Scott.

On this project, Scott helped facilitate Oakland’s plan of “local business utilization,” or “LBU.”

“We have the best interests of the community and the district in mind,” said Scott. “We provide independent support for the programs to help the District meet and exceed its local utilization requirements.”

In order to count as a local business with the district or City of Oakland, a business must first be certified.  360, in partnership with the district and city, tackled this by hosting workshops to guide owners through the process of certification and which documents and requirements were needed.

This advocacy also helped Oakland overall by adding more taxable revenue.

“Prior to local business policy, 94 percent of the businesses doing business with district were from outside of Oakland,” Scott said. “That means all that local voter money was not being recycled back into the community.”

To rectify this, the School Board increased the local business requirement on the district’s Capital Program to a minimum of 50 percent. Now, with the help of 360, the district’s Capital program is exceeding 50 percent LBU, with up to 70 percent on some projects.

“That’s money going back into Oakland and strengthening the community,” Scott said.

This LBU program in Oakland schools has been so successful that a study by the Canadian “Democracy Collaborative” designated it in its “best practices” recommendation for communities seeking similar synergy.

The study found that approaches like the one Oakland Unified is taking helps not only local businesses but also stimulates the local economy.

“It’s a win-win situation,” Scott said.

Oakland Quickly Responds to Tenants’ Rights Issues with Emergency Measures

Councilmember Kaplan promises to address jobs and economic opportunity

The Oakland City Council this week passed an emergency renter protection ordinance and voted to make Dec. 2 an annual Remembrance Day for the victims of the Ghost Ship fire.

The renter protection ordinance, introduced by Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, increases relocation payments for tenants who are displaced as a result of building code compliance repairs, regardless of whether the living space is permitted.

Property owners whose tenants are forced to vacate a unit due to building code renovations are required to pay the tenants the cost of moving based on market rate prices of relocation units.

This rule only applies if the code violations were not caused by the tenant.

“This does not apply only to artists or to warehouses,” said Kaplan on Monday night.

“This is an ordinance that was being worked on before the fire. Communities of color all over Oakland have been displaced due to code enforcement, whether it’s for lead paint or other repairs,” she said.

Tenants rights advocates pointed out, however, that if the city doesn’t allocate money in its budget to implement the law, there may be several scenarios where landlords are unable to pay the relocation fees and the city won’t be able to help.

With available funds from the city, the ordinance has more strength.

Following the Ghost Ship fire, the city’s warehouse residents, Black community leaders and local policymakers quickly began putting together solutions for the housing affordability crisis.

Mayor Libby Schaaf earlier this month issued a temporary executive order that requires property owners to enter into a 60-day compliance plan if their buildings are found to be unpermitted for living.

The city’s move was intended to prevent tenants living in those spaces from being evicted by offering to work with landlords to bring their buildings up to code.

The Post, in conjunction with Councilmember Kaplan, also held a special Town Hall meeting to hear community speakers and offer solutions to the city’s homelessness, housing affordability crisis and joblessness.

At Monday’s City Council meeting, Post publisher Paul Cobb noted that while city officials are quickly addressing renter protection, there has not been the same level of urgency with regards to jobs and the lack of economic opportunities, particularly for the city’s Black residents.

“The quick responses gotten from the city, including an executive action from the mayor, show your attentiveness to the public,” Cobb said to the council.

“We hope that the council will also include emergency response needs to resources for employment because tenants have to be able to afford to live in affordable housing.”

Kaplan assured those at the council meeting that she intends to bring solutions to joblessness to the City Council.

“Tonight is not the end. I intend to work on some of the other issues to promote economic justice and access to jobs in the community,” Kaplan said.

The Oakland Warehouse Coalition and Land Action have drafted an emergency tenant protection ordinance that places a moratorium on evictions from commercially zoned properties, unless there are immediate life-threatening conditions.

The emergency ordinance has not yet been scheduled to come before the City Council but is expected to soon.





Bishop Bob Jackson is Making Affordable Housing happen

A005_C094_1228NOBishop Bob Jackson, pastor of Acts Full Gospel Church of God in Christ, has not given up hope on the Black community’s ability to come together with its own finances and resources to create affordable housing, businesses and jobs.

Bishop Jackson’s vision calls for an all-out effort by churches, community groups and businesses to initiate inspired self-help efforts which will attract additional funding to build on available land especially in the “Africa Town” section from 73rd Ave to the San Leandro border and from International Boulevard to MacArthur Boulevard.

He said Oakland is in the midst of a major gentrification tidal wave of high rents by greedy landlords that is “driving many Black families out of town.”

Citing the prophetic words of fellow pastor J.A. Smith Jr., of Allen Temple Baptist Church, “Within the next decade the Black population could dwindle down to 5 percent.”

“The Acts Full Gospel Development. Corporation will step into the breach and provide affordable housing for those who are stuck,” said Bishop Jackson. “We are not trying to make excessive profits. We want to make sure our people have an opportunity to stay in the city.”

He drew on the historic successes of some of the city’s other Black churches, including Allen Temple Baptist, Evergreen Baptist, Beth Eden Baptist, Taylor Memorial Methodist and Hayward’s Glad Tidings C.O.G.I.C, which have built housing through the years, saying we need to revive those solutions today.

“We must come together economically as Blacks to lead the way in helping to solve our own problems by acquiring the land to build mixed use housing for our seniors, low-income, veterans, formerly incarcerated and our church members,” he said.

“Let’s pool our monies, pledge our land and move out on faith.”

With the help of Councilmemeber Larry Reid and staff, Acts Full Gospel pledged its land valued at $1.3 million, which attracted a city match of $7.7 million, a Housing Authority commitment of $2.6 million, conventional financing of $1.9 million and Tax Credit Equity of $16.6 million.

“We can replicate this approach throughout Oakland on vacant city and county-owned parcels as well as on land owned by churches and other non-profits,” he said. “Let’s step out on faith and work together. Let’s pool our resources and make affordable housing happen.”

Bishop Jackson is already moving on all fronts through dozens of community-outreach programs. He mentioned how his “Men of Valor Program” helps the formerly incarcerated population with housing and employment skills.

“We are removing the stigma of the low-income label, which for some has long meant ‘drug-addicted and/or violence-prone,’” he said.

>> Read full article here

Portland Trailblazer’s Damian Lillard Gives Back to Oakland

portldtrailblzrfrmoakgivsbackPortland Trailblazer’s basketball star Damian Lillard is fiercely proud of his Oakland upbringing and recently returned to his high school to update its gym.

On Friday afternoon Dec. 16, hundreds of students came to Oakland High School to view the improvements to the school’s gym and weight room, as well as the addition of a new recording studio for the music program.

Lillard’s high school jersey was retired, and the students were treated to a surprise performance from Fetty Wap, Lil Uzi Vert and DJ Esco.

The event was part of Lillard’s ongoing All Rise Adidas campaign, which has the goal of supporting communities via basketball and music.

>> Read full article here



Village Project Presents 11th Annual San Francisco Kwanzaa Celebration

By Wade Woods

Young Woman Lighting Menorah CandlesKwanzaa is an African American holiday created By Dr. Maulana Karenga at the Black Youth Conference in Los Angles in 1966.

This year’s celebration will take place in seven different neighborhoods. Each celebration will feature cultural programs designed to entertain and engage the entire family. The pouring of libations and the honoring of ancestors will start each program.The schedule of events is as follows:

UMOJA (Unity) Monday, Dec. 26, noon – Museum of African Diaspora, 7 p.m., African American Art and Culture Complex, 762 Fulton St.

KUJICHAGULIA (self-determination) Tuesday, Dec. 27, noon- City Hall, Rotunda; 2 p.m. Hamilton Recreation Center, 1900 Geary Blvd.; 6 p.m. Bay View YMCA, 1601 Lane.

UJIMA (Collective work and responsibility) Wednesday, Dec 28 1 p.m. Western Addition Senior Center 1390 Turk Street. 4:30 p.m. OMI Family Resource Center. 446 Randolph St.

UJAMMA (cooperative economics) Thursday, Dec. 29, Western Addition Senior Center 1390 Turk St. OMI Family Resource Center, 446 Randolph St.

NIA (purpose) Friday, Dec.30, 1 p.m. Boys and Girls Club, 380 Fulton St.; 4 p.m. Glide Memorial Church, 330 Ellis St.

KUUMBA (Creativity) Saturday, Dec. 1 p.m., Success S.F. Jazz Heritage Center, 1330 Fillmore Center; 4 p.m. Bay View Opera House 4705- 3rd St.

The closing celebration will be Sun. Jan 1 at St. Cyprian Episcopal Street at Lyon and Turk streets, featuring last feast and the lighting of the candles.

For more information, call Adrian Williams at (415) 424-2980.

Coalition Calls on Oakland to Halt Evictions and Find Housing for the Displaced

Civil rights attorney Dan Siegeoakseiglevctnmortrml (speaking) and community members present their demand for an immediate eviction moratorium and to find housing for displaced residents. Photo by Ken Epstein.

The following statement was read at the City Council meeting by the Oakland Justice Coalition and other community members, calling on the city to take immediate action to stop evictions and find housing for Oakland’s displaced residents, including those who are fire victims, live in homeless camps or are losing their homes due to rent increases or building code violations.

“The recent Ghost Ship fire was a wake-up call for those who were not paying attention and a reiteration for those who are, that housing is a matter of life and death for many living in Oakland.

Our neighbors should not have to resort to living in substandard conditions simply to have a roof over their heads, yet this is nothing new to many of the city’s residents.

Ghost Ship just publicized it for the world to see. Many Black and poor folks have been living in jeopardy for decades. This tragedy highlights the need for safe and stable living spaces for all Oakland residents.

At this juncture, it is critical that this tragedy and the safety concerns identified not be weaponized to displace even more residents from their homes.

We’re calling for a moratorium on red-tags and evictions and asking for housing resources to be provided immediately for those already displaced. In addition, we ask that city officials stop using divisive language to pit vulnerable populations against each other.

It is not only inappropriate but a gross failure of leadership for the elected officials and staff who have not only failed to halt the displacement which has created a housing crisis in Oakland, but who have also surrendered to a development driven agenda which has caused the need for these living situations in the first place.

>>Read full article

Source: Post News Group 2016