Community

Organizing for change: How some activists are responding to police violence

At a boarded up Oakland City Hall, 20-year-old Mara Coleman sits with paint, brushes, markers and white poster board. With a steady hand and careful strokes, Coleman concentrates as she paints the name Breonna Taylor in red paint. This is the location where Coleman met with fellow youth organizers from Abolitionist Movement SF to paint protest signs and memorialize Black victims of police violence–just days after a Kentucky grand jury decided not to prosecute Louisville Metro Police officers for killing…

For Bay Area residents, fire is on the ballot

Dan Detzner watched in shock as the fire spread rapidly into Sleepy Hollow, a neighborhood near his home.  In three hours, the flames engulfed 1,500 homes in Orinda, a suburb of Oakland. Detzner’s house could have been one of them – but the fire wasn’t real. It was a catastrophe model shown by the district’s fire chief. Later, the chief walked Detzner, a retired professor, and his neighbors around their properties to point out vegetation that could easily catch fire. …

Oakland’s Nigerian community uses technology to mobilize during #EndSARS protests

At least 100 Bay Area residents from the Nigerian community met at Lake Merritt on Saturday, October 24, 2020 to raise awareness for #EndSARS, a campaign led by youth in Nigeria to demand the end to police brutality. For decades, Nigerian citizens have accused the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a police unit that was founded in 1992 by the Nigerian government, of assault, extortion and killings. In early October, reports circulated on social media of SARS police shootings that killed…

Oakland adult literacy students find ways to continue learning during the pandemic

Riley Mitchell loves to cook. When the 55-year-old isn’t bragging about making the “best potato salad this side of the Mississippi,” Mitchell enjoys cozying up with a good book. Since the pandemic, Mitchell started to re-read classics like The Color Purple, mostly for pleasure. But since the library where Mitchell took adult literacy classes closed, being able to revisit some of his favorite books has helped him maintain his hard-won reading skills. “When they first shut it down, I shut…

Oakland North’s 2019 year in review — our top stories

2019 brought a new group of student reporters to Oakland North from across the country and the globe. We covered a city that is always changing, but where tensions about city finances, policing, housing and the fate of the public schools run deep. We also produced three new episodes of our Tales of Two Cities podcast, which covers audio stories from Oakland and Richmond in collaboration with our sister site, Richmond Confidential. Click here to check out all episodes of the Tales of…

Donated and forgotten: The problem with second-hand clothes

The Goodwill’s Greater East Bay headquarters on International Boulevard is a clothing reseller’s dream and a garbage system nightmare. This block-long facility is, despite its size, an inconspicuous treasure trove for resellers sifting for secondhand goods they will leave with by the cartload. The white cinderblock interior has an almost clinical feel: Clothes lie sprawled in plastic carts the size of operating tables, pushed together in a maze that only the regulars know how to navigate. This kind of retail…