Band students at Edna Brewer Middle School at a practice session on a Monday afternoon.

Through adversity, music programs in OUSD fight to grow

Cal’Vion Evans, an eighth grader at Roots International Academy, begins slowly, tapping the cymbals and toms with two wooden drumsticks. The drum set rests on a mini-stage, a short platform covered by a rug and...
Paula Beal's seven children have all moved out of Oakland as the city has become more unaffordable

As rents rise, tenants confront Oakland’s perfect housing storm

Median rents across Oakland are at an all-time high, pushing low-income families into motels or family members’ homes, pricing working-class households out of their neighborhoods and creating fierce competition for available housing at all income...
Claremont Canyon eucalyptus

Will a controversial FEMA plan to cut eucalyptus reduce the danger of another hills firestorm?

In over 40 years working at the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Mike Martin, now Alameda County battalion chief, has never seen anything like October 20, 1991 in the hills east of Oakland...
After 49 years doing drugs, including crystal meth and crack cocaine, Robin Davis is sober for the first time. Photos by Luisa Conlon.

Sixty, sober, and starting over

It’s 6 am on a Sunday, and a group of men are sitting in a parking lot in the dark. They’re half of the Teen Challenge Choir—two dozen men and women in treatment for “life...
Video produced by Katherine Rose and Erika Alvero

Oakland school district approves new kitchen to create fresher meals

The school district’s recently-approved Central Kitchen, Instructional Farm and Education Center Project is an effort to improve the quality of school meals in Oakland by creating a modern facility equipped to prepare thousands of nutritious...
Refugees in the U.S.: The National Dialogue Continues

Refugees reflect on past lives and new beginnings

Interactive Map: follow Jeremías’ journey as an unaccompanied minor, from his neighborhood in El Salvador, to resettlement in Oakland, here. In the shadow of the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris and the ongoing strife...
This mural was painted in Richmond, by the Community Rejuvenation Project.

Searching for the middle: the disappearance of the black middle class

Earlier this month the Institute for Policy Studies, a Washington, D.C. think tank, reported that the average white family today has net assets of $141,900, compared with the $11,000 for African American families. This hollowing...