Oakland Voices is recruiting for the 2015-16 Class


By Brenda Payton oaklandvoices5@gmail.com EAST OAKLAND — One of the 2014 Oakland Voices correspondents reminded me that, as coordinator, I looked at the first gathering of our community correspondents and said, “This is how newsrooms should look.” The group represented Oakland in all of its diversity: African-American, Polynesian, Latino, Caucasian, straight, gay, lesbian, religious, undocumented, […]

Community, not gentrification, on Adeline

Dorothy Paynes

A warm and secure feeling of community continues to thrive in the neighborhood along Adeline Street. The street that stretches from Berkeley to the Port of Oakland holds memories of the past and looks forward to the future, but it’s the memories that keep it “community strong.” What is surprising is that with the influx […]

Out on the streets with Street Level

don francisco day laborers high street

Don Francisco, a Street Level outreach worker who delivers breakfast to day laborers, is a little worried. Forty containers aren’t sufficient for the number of workers that he will see in the next couple of hours. “At least we have enough cold drinks and apples,” he says as he begins the drive along E. 12th […]

Hope Collaborative

hope collaborative story

Hope Collaborative is a collective of Bay Area organizations and community residents that works to help families and youth work towards healthy living in East and West Oakland.  Officially, it has been around for 7 years, but the community had begun the planning process for the organization before then. The Collaborative focuses on three major programs: […]

East Bay Housing Organizations works for Affordable Housing


Charlotte Rosen is the Membership and Communications Associate for East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO). Some of her many duties are fundraising, event organizing and coming up with strategic communications to improve EBHO’s campaigns and programs. EBHO focuses on advocating for and spreading the word about affordable housing for low-income people, including seniors, people with disabilities, […]

Restorative Justice for Youth Oakland Seeks Healing Justice

Kat Culberg,RJOY Project Dir. Aqueila M. Lewis and Neely  Upamaka, RJOY Project Associate

Twenty weeks ago, if you had approached 16-year- old Jerome Traylor and asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, he probably wouldn’t have an answer for you. “I had been to jail four times. There was never anyone there for me,” said Traylor. Traylor met Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY) […]

Street Level – a safety net of the safety net

food distribution street level

Health clinic volunteer Hermalinda Aguiar leaned forward and said, “We have a saying: ‘Panza llena, corazón contento; Full belly, a happy heart.’” In a phrase, the recent San Francisco State alumna captures the mission of the Street Level Health Project, or Street Level as its known locally. Whether in the neighboring streets or in its […]

Intertribal Friendship House

Intertribal Frienship House

Intertribal Friendship House (IFH) is a special place. We call it our “Urban Rez” and it is a vital part of the Bay Area Native American Community. It is one of the first urban Native American Community Centers in the nation, established in 1955 with the help of the American Friends Service Committee. Currently IFH […]

On a mission: Kelly Carlisle and Acta Non Verba

Kelly Carlisle at Acta Non Verba's farm

I called Acta Non Verba (“ANV”) to see if I could stop by for a tour of the farm and to interview Kelly Carlisle, the founder and executive director of the organization. Little did I know that the phone call would lead me directly to her. Carlisle answered the phone. I briefly introduced myself and […]

Community Wish List for Lake Merritt land

Comedian Sampson McCormick

At the East 12th Street Wish List planning forum last week, affordable housing activists and community members gathered under tents to exchange ideas, listen to music, and brainstorm about their community vision for a hotly contested small parcel of land at the southwest corner of Lake Merritt– the E. 12th Street parcel. From a stage, […]

Pedal Fest takes flight in Jack London Square


Caption: Members of the BMX Pros Trick Team came up from Southern California to show their high flying bike tricks. In August, thousands of Oaklanders flocked to the Jack London Square area to learn about about the cycling life at the annual PedalFest. The celebration was open to everyone, from families with recreational riders to more seasoned cyclists, showcasing […]

Where We Live

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The Oakland Voices correspondents went out into their neighborhoods to survey what was there and what wasn’t — grocery stores, liquor stores, churches, parks. They came back with some insightful observations about community and belonging and some discoveries about places they thought they knew. Read their stories below.

Home in the Fruitvale

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A video walk through my neighborhood I frequented Oakland’s Fruitvale District before I called it home. When I walked along International Boulevard from the Fruitvale BART station, I used to sneak a curious look at the smaller neighborhood streets, the pale rows of Victorian houses, the corroded high fences. I’d look around and think, “Yeah, maybe, […]

Seminary Gas & Food

Seminary Gas & Food

Sitting outside our local gas station Seminary Gas & Food, I realize that this is probably the busiest spot in our neighborhood. There are lots of customers stopping for gas, cigarettes, coffee, snacks, alcohol and other goodies. The store also carries the essentials that you need when you don’t want to go to the grocery […]