Prostate Cancer Dream Theft

Prostate Cancer Death Rates

  Aren’t all men in America entitled to a life full of hopes and dreams? Unfortunately, prostate cancer kills many more African-American men than other ethnic groups in that pursuit.  It is a disturbing reality facing Oakland and other cities with sizable African-American populations. In an atmosphere of high African-American men mortality rate, the Prostate […]

Advocacy Days

LahoudSisters & Brothers Capitol Rally - Sacramento

In California there are 14 cities with high poverty rates and the related problems, including  high rates of violence, homicides, suspension rates, high pregnancy rates, gang affiliation, drug abuse, STDs, and the poor support from the city council. Oakland is one of the 14 and was one of the cities that was represented at Sisters […]

Flowers of East Oakland


If one judges by simple appearances, the neighborhoods which comprise East Oakland seem to teem with problems. The murder rate, though down from years past, is still unacceptably high. The frequency of crimes like assault, burglary and drug-dealing contribute to the war-zone like appearance of the neighborhood, with tall wrought-iron fences and barking dogs all […]

Where the Kids Are

Jumping in at San Antonio Park

A few months ago, I took a group of neighborhood kids up to the end of our block to a big old oak tree. We slung a rope over a low-hanging branch, tied it, and I watched the kids swing and tussle for a turn as the day wound down. The scene was like something […]

First LGBTQ Gym in the Nation provides Safe Space for All

Natalie Huerta, founder, owner and trainer at the Perfect Sidekick

I take my “Hard Core Homo” class in a space the size of a one- bedroom San Francisco loft , with equipment that looks like scaffolding with olympic rings hanging from it and a blackboard with the list of exercises for the class.  Above the list are the motivational words: “Sweat is just fat crying”. […]

Turn Right for TRIO: Academic Outreach Continues to Help Oakland Youth

Sign on Mills Campus points to TRIO offices

It was a sunny Thursday afternoon when my convoluted search for a news story at Mills College turned into a reflection of my own college-preparatory experience. It also brought into light the TRIO programs that have helped me and many of my East Oakland peers in that time-consuming, often nerve-racking process of graduating high school […]

Community Change Agents

Graduation Day at Bay Area Parent Leadership Action Network

On a Thursday in August,  I heard English and Spanish as I watched African- American and Latino families share a pot-luck dinner in honor of mothers graduating from the Bay Area Parent Leadership Action Network’s (PLAN) intensive five-week summer leadership program. There were a sprinkling of black and brown fathers in the audience, with a […]

Oakland Voices on Ferguson

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Some of the Oakland Voices correspondents decided to share their thoughts and reactions to the events in Ferguson following the police fatal shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager. Did they see similarities to Oakland in terms of the tensions between police officers and communities of color? Did they have experiences, good or bad, with police […]

My Reactions to the Ferguson Madness? Promote Peace and Reconciliation.

I am deeply saddened by this happening in this country but it doesn’t surprise me. I’ve lived long enough to know that these injustices occur even in this country and I’m still young enough to not lose hope that maybe this time our country, our people, the American people will learn a lesson that will […]

Status Quo

Ferguson’s policing paradigm percolates in too many American cities with aggressive use of deadly force: A force similar to cancerous tumors before they metastasize and kill the body. Unfortunately watchdog agencies− immune system−in those cities have been compromised by latent racism. Oncologists study tumors’ size, location, type, and stage of growth, before exercising options, like […]

Oaktown and Ferguson – are they similar?

Photo by Oakland Voices contributor Sultanah Corbett

  I have been reflecting on the situation in Ferguson, Missouri regarding the shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager. It is difficult not to. I see it in the morning and evening news, hear people talking about it in public and it is all over my social media sites. The social unrest in response to […]

National Night Out: A Photo Essay

Skater kids enjoy Bella Vista park early in the evening.

National Night Out, what a turnout this year! There were so many in the Clinton/ Bella Vista area I barely scratched the surface going to the three you see here. I started at Bella Vista Park, which featured a jumper, a book giveaway, and a potluck. Later on, my family joined me at the 11th […]

A Farm in East Oakland? Full Harvest explores the possibilities.

Full Harvest Urban Farm, Health, Spiritual, Emotional Healing and Liberation

  One fleeting glance at the three-storied rain cloud painted house on 39th  Avenue in Oakland’s Laurel District, and you would never know. The possibilities. The possibility of “Full Harvest Urban Farm”, an acre farm in East Oakland that is home to  an army of chickens, 15 waddling ducks, three African milk goats by the […]

Cesar Chavez Park Suffers from Neglect

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Cesar Chavez must be turning in his grave. A little over a year ago, Cesar Chavez Park in the Fruitvale District was formally rededicated and renovated with a California State grant ( The grass area was swapped with turf, the basketball court was resurfaced, exercise equipment was installed and the play structure and bathrooms were […]

Friday Night Family Events Bring Neighbors Together

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  Stop the Violence is the message at two local parks in East Oakland. Community Engagement Coordinator Jennifer Argueta is the Director of Messengers 4 Change (a project of Oakland Unite), and manages these Friday night family events at Willie Wilkins Park located 1100 98th Avenue and Carter Gilmore Park located on 1390 66th Avenue. […]