Breathless in the 94621

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Children growing up with asthma are a reality for families living in the 94621. “The most polluted zip code in Oakland,” said Nehanda  Imara, an organizer with Communities for a Better Environment (CBE). “We need to know what we’re breathing, what’s in our environment!” reads the CBE publication, announcing the Latino East Oakland Resident Leaders, […]

Her Resilience: From a Seed to a Flower


  When I first spoke with Hazel Streete of the “Her Resilience: a Mural for Women Affected by Violence” project in the late fall of 2014, her team had just found a home for their project at Park Avenue Garden after a long search. Saturday, March 21st, the Park Garden was lined with colorfully painted […]

A Ride through a Neighborhood

Close up of church compressed

  I could hear, “We’re tired of this,” echoing off the walls of First Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church. Brenda Payton, Oakland Voices coordinator, told correspondents  from Sacramento and Oakland Voices how members from this seemingly small East Oakland Church walk the streets in their neighborhoods.  We took in the church’s smallness as we listened […]

Sharing Oakland

The Oakland Tribune building

  Oakland greeted the Sacramento Voices with sunshine and cool bay breezes on Saturday, March 14. Oakland Voices and Sacramento Voices correspondents boarded a bus that would take us through the heart of Oakland. Our first stop was a step back into the history of our journalistic lineage. At the Tribune building,  Martin Reynolds, senior […]

Two Journalistic communities tour Oakland

Oakland Voices show Sacramento Voices their town

Being the first newspaper in the country to have an African-American editor, The Oakland Tribune carries a tradition of diversity. Today we see this tradition continued through the Oakland Voices program it started a few years ago. Oakland Voices is a community journalism project that seeks to report the rich stories that often go unnoticed […]

There’s so much more to Oakland


Taking a tour of my own city isn’t something I’ve done before, but something everyone should do once in their life. I’m slowly piecing together the places, the people, the history of this fascinating city as time goes on, but it became clear as the Voices tour traveled down International Boulevard that my cohorts at […]

Oakland: Through a Tourist’s Lens


On March 14, the correspondents of Oakland Voices and Sacramento Voices came together in Oakland to meet and discover the city.  While driving through Oakland, we stopped at historic  places that contributed to the evolution of what we now know as Oakland. We saw where the Black Panther’s started the free breakfast program for school […]

This is Why I Hella Love Oakland


It’s not often that I play tour guide in my hometown of Oakland. Usually when family or friends visit they want to see iconic places like the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower and Fisherman’s Wharf, all which are across the bay in San Francisco. March 14,  our community journalist colleagues from Sacramento Voices drove over […]

Festival Food Favorite Finds a Home in Fruitvale


Gone are the days of waiting patiently for the next Pacific Islander family event, Pacific Islander festival or outdoor Reggae concert to enjoy Polynesian comfort food at its finest. Mo’s Hut opened its doors in the Fruitvale District, a neighborhood already well recognized among Bay Area foodie circles and beyond for its Latin American cuisine. […]

Oakland School Board Meeting 101


Oakland Education Association (OEA) and their supporters’ communication tactic of choice, repetitive loudness, met its  match at the February 25th Oakland School Board meeting, when pre-kindergarteners  paraded hand-in-hand while John Lennon song’s, “All the People,” played. Smiles filled the room and civility reigned-in disgruntled discourse for most of the six-hour meeting. Mothers and fathers […]



  The disproportionate number of Trans non-White women who have been killed was on the mind of Aubrey Mariko, 22, on February 24th as she published her last Facebook update, a photograph of her knee over the red railing of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay waters below with a caption that read, “Being […]

The InterTribal Friendship House: A Tradition of Growing

Tobacco leaves dry in the sun as people gather to ready the garden for spring at IFH

It’s a sunny and clear Valentine’s Day morning, and young and old arrive at the InterTribal Friendship House (or IFH) to ready the community garden for spring. There are trays of seedlings that need to be transplanted, dried herbs and corn that need to be cleaned and bagged, and after the rains earlier in the […]

A Faith That Bears Good Fruit

Josefina Lopez in the doorway of Corazon del Pueblo

  Josefina Lopez, the co-founder and proprietor of Corazon del Pueblo on East Oakland’s International Boulevard, may seem an unlikely social activist,  Her mild demeanor and warmth hide a warrior with a  passion for social justice. Her passion was shaped by a childhood where her family’s comparatively poor circumstances, coupled with her lack of mastery […]

Oakland talks ABC’s Asian-American Family Sitcom: “Fresh off the Boat”

Photo Credit: ABC

Fresh off the boat? No, actually, my mom hopped off a plane with me and my brother  clinging to her legs. Perhaps it was her lack of English, America’s lack of Tagalog,  and the resulting cultural miscues that explain why we wound up at San Francisco International Airport instead of LAX. My dad, who is […]

Healing from the scars and sin of racism is ongoing

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  When Illinois Senator Barack Hussein Obama was elected president of the United States in 2008 to great fanfare, it was popularly believed the United States had exorcized the demons of racism from its national character. To be sure, Obama’s election was a step forward and most fair-minded people would probably acknowledge this.  The percentage […]

The Spirit of MLK’s Dream Alive in East Oakland

Urban Releaf volunteers prepare to plant trees

  Celebrating the 86th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birth, East Oakland residents of District 7 organized an annual street clean-up and tree-planting.  More than 150 people from the neighborhood, East Oakland and neighborhoods beyond gathered to help organizer Mary Forte and friends beautify G Street between 92nd and 86th Avenues on a cool […]

Arnold Perkins, Community Change Agent in Transition

Arnold Perkins listens

After attending a Seventh-day Adventist National Conference in Oakland, the Perkins’ family in 1954 relocated from segregated Miami Florida to Oakland. Their eighth-grader son, Arnold, attended Golden Gate Academy, where white students teased him about his stuttering. “I kicked their asses and they expelled me, but I didn’t care. I continued fighting at Berkeley High,” […]

Ericka Huggins: a Life in Learning


Ericka Huggins, the activist, educator, and poet, begins her class at Merritt College “The Black Panther Party: Strategies for Organizing the People” by having students gather their desks around in a circle. She reminds them to turn in their extra credit on this final day of lecture. Though review of course material was on the […]