In Memoriam: Oakland Voices Alumnus Tom Webb

Oakland Voices is sad to share the news that one of our alumni members, Tom Webb, has passed away.

“We were so saddened to hear of Tom’s passing,” said Martin Reynolds, Oakland Voices Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of the Maynard Institute, of which Oakland Voices is a program. “We just saw him at a recent Oakland Voices gathering.”

Reynolds added that Tom had a passion for telling stories of hope. “Tom was a solid correspondent and a very decent and thoughtful person. He brought an empathy to the stories he wrote and the way he engaged his fellow Oakland Voices correspondents. He did important work on behalf of the program and in service of East Oakland. He will be missed and we send along our deepest condolences to his family and those who loved him.”

Oakland Voices correspondent Tom Webb is photographed at the Oakland Tribune studio in Oakland, Calif., on Saturday, June 21, 2014. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

Oakland Voices alumnus Bill Joyce, who attended Webb’s memorial on December 28, 2019, said that the Oakland Voices program was an important part of his life. At the memorial, his article titles were read out loud. “Tom found much impetus and joy in his writing thanks to Oakland Voices,” Joyce said.

Tom Webb was born on August 5, 1955 and raised in Santa Rosa, CA . Since 1980, he pursued graduate studies at the University of San Francisco (Theology, 1982), Duquesne University (Formative Spirituality 1994) and Catholic Theological Union (Pastoral Studies 2003). Webb spent nearly 20 years living and working in the San Francisco Bay area as a Catholic high school teacher, lay pastoral associate and non-profit administrator. He was involved in faith-based justice and peace and reconciliation efforts, including serving on the national council of Pax Christi USA. After spending nearly 13 years outside the Bay Area, he returned and served on the staff of the Oakland Catholic Worker. (Read more about Webb here).1

“Among his many pursuits, Oakland Voices was one he cherished,” Joyce said. “His OV training served as a springboard to writing regularly on themes of social justice for several publications right up to his death.”

Here is a selection of Tom Webb’s articles, published through Oakland Voices:

The Greening of Brookfield Elementary School (co-written with Oakland Voices alumnus Howard Dykoff) – Oakland Voices website

The Lights of East Oakland – Oakland Voices website

Ms. Lola’s Place – Oakland Voices website

East Oakland barber Tyrone Burns offers more than trims: hope, inspiration and challenge – Oakland Tribune (now East Bay Times), in partnership with Oakland Voices

Presidential elections in Guatemala a cause for hope and skepticism for local immigrants – Oakland Tribune (now East Bay Times), in partnership with Oakland Voices

The ‘Deep East’ blossoms – Oakland Tribune (now East Bay Times), in partnership with Oakland Voices

About Momo Chang

Momo Chang is a freelance journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the Oakland Voices Alumni Coordinator. Her work focuses on healthcare, immigration, education, Asian American communities, food and culture. She is a former staff writer at the Oakland Tribune. Momo has received journalism awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for investigative reporting and the Asian American Journalists Association, among others. Her work has appeared in the East Bay Express, San Francisco Chronicle, Wired, and The New York Times. Momo is primarily a print journalist who also produces audio and visual stories for documentary film and radio. She is a Senior Contributing Editor for Hyphen and formerly the Content Manager at the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). View all posts by Momo Chang →


  1. Eric Christian

    I knew Tom only a short while during his respite after working in the Oakland Catholic Worker. He was working on his next assignment, not knowing where it would be. He was totally devoted to serving the poor, the downtrodden, and the oppressed. Tom’s presence shall live on in our hearts and his voice in the internet archives of his published writings. The world has lost a true servant.

  2. Gerard Webb

    Thank you so very much for the kind words of my brother. I will enjoy reading these articles and any more you might be able to provide.
    Thank you
    Gerard Webb

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