Isaiah Polite

In a city of immigrants, three men share their stories

Oakland is a city of immigrants. According to information provided by, in 2018, Oakland had a population of about 429,000 people, with about a third of the population being from another country. But those census figures may not be accurate. “I think the challenge is that many of them are living in the shadows, so it is really hard to know how many [immigrants] are here,” said Lisa Hoffman, development director for the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, an organization…

Oaklanders celebrate local talent at SwayFest

Amidst pounding basslines, Oaklanders gathered downtown last Friday on the streets below Pandora’s Oakland headquarters to celebrate SwayFest. The event was held to commemorate the new partnership between SiriusXM, a satellite radio company, and Pandora, an automated music streaming service, and it was an opportunity for Sway Calloway, a musician, journalist, and radio host, to come back to his hometown. The block party featured performances from Bay Area legends like percussionist and singer Sheila E. to rappers Mistah Fab, Kamaiyah and…

Documentary screening and gallery exhibition highlight border towns, draw somber crowd

Amidst chilly Friday night winds, people gathered at Lake Merritt Tower to watch Undeterred, a film highlighting the effect that the increased militarization of border towns has on surrounding communities. The event included a screening of the film and a gallery exhibition titled “Recognition: Labor Meets Art in Explorations of Social Justice and Identity,” which was open for its last night of public viewing. The event was organized by National Nurses United union and featured talks by members of the…

Ismaail Abdullah Mohammad

Isrnail Abdullah Mohammad is a Sudanese man that came to the United States when he was 8 years old. Over the years Mohammad has adapted to living here in the United States and carries out his day to day activities in the city of Oakland.

Imam Ali Ahmed Mukasa

Imam Ali Ahmed Mukasa, an immigrant from Uganda, has been head of Lighthouse Mosque in Oakland for the last eight years, although for six of those years he has been on a visitation visa. Though he has applied for adjustment of status through a family petition with his wife, his future is uncertain as he waits for an interview that will determine whether he can stay in the country.

Pastor Wilber Kigundu

Pastor Wilber Kigundu immigrated from Uganda almost 18 years ago. He is currently the senior pastor of Abba Church Ministries in Berkeley, where he preaches every Wednesday night with the intention of both spreading his love for Christianity and providing guidance to those that attend.