2012 East Oakland Project Blogs

The Stonehurst Edible Garden

By Debora Gordon Through the entrance to the Korematsu Discovery Academy and Esperanza Elementary School, and just off to the right, is the Stonehurst Edible Schoolyard. Suzanne Ludlum developed the project, and today she is the Garden […]

2012 East Oakland Project Blogs

‘Want to spend the rest of your life in prison?’: A Judge’s Advice & Some Murky Testimony

“You’re only 19 or so,” Lam’s judge said to him at the hearing. “I’m sure it’s difficult to conceive or imagine that many years in custody. But I think that leads some people to go to trial and after they get a sentence with life, then think, ‘what did I do? I’m here for the rest of my life, most likely.’ There’s not a huge difference, I don’t see, between 20 years and 25 years, when it means you get out. You can have a life. And quite frankly, for a fleeting moment, I thought, ‘Oh you want a trial? You want to spend the rest of your life in prison?’’’ […]

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2012 East Oakland Project Blogs

Education is My Weapon of Choice

One of the great challenges educators always face is how to fix the problems of the now while creating solutions for the long-term. As shocking as the Newtown shootings have been, I remain unshaken in my absolute conviction that the only way to stop all shooters, is through love, education, understanding, and compassion. I know that some will dismiss this as unrealistic, but it seems to me no less realistic than continuing to build up an armed society, to the point where everyone is prepared to shoot and every misunderstanding becomes potentially explosive. […]

2012 East Oakland Project Blogs

Oakland Teacher Brings Class, Comfort to Sick Students in Homes & Hospitals

Some of Jill’s students have terminal conditions, which affects her deeply. “I get incredibly emotional,” she said. “There is often all sorts of other things going on in the family. You’re in their house. You get very involved with these kids. I had a student who was getting dialysis six days a week, and there were four other sons. I couldn’t help but try to do all sorts of things. I bought groceries, helped with their other kids.”

Jill often finds herself offering comfort to the family. “The mothers cry, and I cry. A lot of students are dealing not only with being ill, they feel like they’re being punished. And the parents often feel so guilty, feeling ‘how come I, as a mother, couldn’t have prevented this?’” […]