Community

Dozens gather at Lake Merritt to honor those killed at queer club in Colorado

About three dozen people gathered at the Lake Merritt amphitheater on a chilly Friday night to remember the five people who were killed last weekend in a mass shooting at a queer nightclub in Colorado Springs.  During the three-hour vigil, people, mostly wearing black, listened to music — some hugging, others crying, and many laughing together, as they tried to care for one another in the wake of continued brutality against queer people in the United States. “Being queer and…

Oakland is losing more trees than it is planting, leaving some neighborhoods more exposed to pollution

On his birthday in 2020, Walter Hood planted six trees in front of his house. That same year, he tore out the concrete parking strip and planted a dozen more. Now children come by to pick his lemons. It’s not much, he says, but it’s an investment in Oakland’s future.  Hood, a UC Berkeley professor and the creative director of Hood Design Studio, has lived for 25 years in West Oakland, where tree canopy coverage is a mere 5% —…

HEAR/HERE truck delivers history and reconnects neighbors in a changing Oakland

Terri Woodfolk-Nelson wants to give back to the neighborhood she grew up in.  It’s why she’s hosting a picnic and story share at Dover Park on a Saturday in October, talking to 50 or so of her neighbors. A third-generation North Oaklander, she points to the nearby potluck table and says she’s brought figs from her tree because she always had them as a kid. “The neighborhood was really connected. There was a strong sense of community and people really…

‘We need to be celebrated’: Joy takes center stage at trans queer Diwali event

Anjali Rimi is unapologetic about stepping into the light. And as the co-founder of Parivar Bay Area — a transgender-led, transgender-centering South Asian organization — she makes space for others to join her. On Saturday evening, Parivar hosted a joyous and informative Diwali celebration at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center. Rooted in India but widely celebrated in the diaspora around the world, Diwali symbolizes the victory of light over darkness. Diwali’s significance was not lost on the audience of about 80,…

Who will be Oakland’s next mayor? Candidates talk public safety and other issues at forum

Nine candidates who want to be Oakland’s next mayor answered questions about gun violence, the environment and quality of life before an audience of about 50 voters Thursday at St. Columba Catholic Church​ in northwest Oakland.  The forum ​was sponsored by Faith in Action East Bay, the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, the Alpha Nu Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the Oakland chapter of the NAACP. The Rev. Ken Hamilton moderated, giving each candidate two…

Living in a ‘Disneyland of disasters,’ Oaklanders show up at Chabot to prepare for emergencies

For many, getting prepared for emergencies is a daunting task, leading them to procrastinate from taking simple preemptive steps to manage critical situations for themselves, their families, and their communities. About 500 people set those fears aside last Saturday to participate in an Emergency Preparedness Day at Chabot Elementary School in Oakland, where they had fun while learning practical steps to take in planning for emergencies.  The event normally is held every other year, and last week’s was the first…

Oakland offering grants for programs that help in wake of violence: ‘Healing growth happens best when community leads the way.’

When Oakland resident LeJon Loggins lost his cousin to gun violence in 2006, he designed the obituary as he would a piece of artwork. It was an eight-page, double-sided pamphlet full of colors, images, quotes, and memories. “Kind of like a school yearbook,” Loggins said.  “I wanted people in the community to know that his life was more than a number discussed on the news. When you look at the obituary and start smiling and remembering, you start the healing…

Rallying in Oakland to add abortion rights to the state constitution: ‘We absolutely need to send a message to the rest of the country.’

Protesters gathered under a warm sun in Frank Ogawa Plaza by Oakland City Hall Saturday for a pre-election rally in favor of Proposition 1, which would make abortion a right under California’s Constitution.  Carrying signs that read “Supreme Illegitimacy” and “Politicians Make Lousy Doctors,” about 100 people came to hear speakers from Planned Parenthood, the medical community and  other abortion rights activists. Pre-made posters were scattered about the plaza, including one of a Supreme Court justice with red hangers at…

On your mark. Get set. Paint!

The Queer Healing Art Center buzzed with excitement on Saturday as artists prepared their bright white canvases, paintbrushes, and acrylic paint for an Art Battle.   This was the Queer Healing Art Center’s one year anniversary of hosting Art Battles — live competitions where artists paint blank canvases while surrounded by an audience. “As soon as the paintbrush hits the canvas, everyone is electrified,” said Kin Folkz né Monica Anderson, the center’s co-founder and executive director of the Queer Healing Art…