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Oakland group connects youths with disabilities to internships

On Tuesday evening, about 15 new high school graduates with various developmental and intellectual disabilities gathered in an echoey elementary school auditorium in Oakland for an event called Ramping Up Independence. For many, it was the first time meeting staff from the organizations that would help them transition out of special education classes and into the next phase of their lives. The event was organized by East Bay Innovations (EBI), a nonprofit that helps disabled adults work and live independently….

Police arrest protesters at Oakland school board meeting

For the last three Oakland school board meetings, protesters from the newly-formed Oakland Is Not for Sale Coalition have tried to prevent the meetings from taking place, chanting, raising banners and attempting to take over the stage where board members are seated in order to hold what they call a “people’s board meeting.” The group is protesting the “The Blueprint for Quality Schools,” a district-run plan that supports the closure and merger of under-enrolled and underperforming schools. The protests coalesced…

Homesteading organization shows Oaklanders the rewards of urban gardening

It’s chock full of collard greens. And figs. And chickens. On Saturday, visitors meandered through the bushy rows of produce in the community garden at the corner of 33rd and West Streets, in the expansive lot belonging to Hoover Elementary School. Between the vegetation, visitors could see pops of color from mosaics and decorative wooden poles with glittery streamers floating in the soft breeze. Volunteers picked at a ten-foot-high mulch pile, filling loads into a wheelbarrow before spreading them across…

Bond Street homeless camp residents face impending eviction

In Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood, tension has been brewing as neighbors push city officials to evict people from a homeless encampment, which they say endangers children walking to school and creates health hazards. The camp on Bond Street, where around 12 people live, sits between 42nd and High Streets. The camp consists of a mix of canopies and camping tents shielded from the street by a row of old cars. It abuts the fenced yards of people’s homes and is across…

“Intelligent Lives” documentary screening highlights educational needs of students with intellectual disabilities

On Monday evening, parents, students and providers of special needs education in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) gathered at the Cole Campus to watch the premiere of Intelligent Lives, a documentary by filmmaker Dan Habib. “This movie is a tool to transform and change the label of intellectual disability from a life sentence of isolation,” he said as he spoke from New York in a recorded message to the viewing audience. Parents and educators watched attentively as the documentary…

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