In 2004, Lorrain Taylor, the mother of two twin sons murdered in 2000, founded an advocacy group she called the 24/7 Gospel—now called 1,000 Mothers to Prevent Violence—and part of its mission is the support group, the Circle of Prayer and Empowerment, or COPE. The group meets every other Saturday, near Lake Merritt, at Regeneration Church. Her main job at these support groups is to hear the survivors of these loved ones mourn, as well as to simply invite family members to come and sit with others and talk, or just listen. Reaching out to families of homicide victims is Taylor’s full-time job now. When needed, she shows up to their doorsteps with groceries, a smile, a hug, kind words.
A short hearing on the status of North Oakland’s gang injunction this Thursday served as a backdrop for protest and legal maneuvering by groups opposed to the city’s newest tactic for curbing violence.
Laughter, prayer, song and tears marked Saturday night’s third annual PURPLE Fundraising Gala for the families and friends of those who have lost their lives to violence. The event, organized by the Oakland-based advocacy group 1,000 Mothers to Prevent Violence, recognized two Oakland police investigators and a retired schoolteacher for having gone “beyond the call of duty to bring healing to surviving families.”
Over 300 people convened at Scott’s Seafood Restaurant in downtown Oakland on Saturday night, to attend the 23rd annual gala of the Organization of Chinese Americans-East Bay (OCA-East Bay). In addition to featuring Asian American athletes the group presented $75,000 to the widow and son of Tiansheng Yu, the victim of a fatal attack on the 1800 block of Telegraph Avenue in Oakland this April.
The proposed Oakland gang injunction has, in recent weeks, been the focus of heated listserv debates, community meetings and a rally held Thursday afternoon in front of the Alameda County Superior Court. The injunction, which aims to restrict certain behaviors of members of the North Side Oakland gang, has sparked considerable debate about the balance between crime prevention and individual rights. But supporters and detractors of the injunction will have to wait for a definitive pronouncement on its future.
Oakland Community Organizations (OCO), a faith-based federation of fifty congregations and schools, held a meeting Thursday night to educate and engage the community about violence intervention strategies.
Mayor Ron Dellums held a peace conference on Tuesday to discuss how faith-based communities can help prevent crime among youth and called for more collaboration among religious communities.
The youth-led Heal the Streets fellowship program, sponsored through Oakland’s Ella Baker Center, hosted a Solutions Salon on Saturday in West Oakland intended to engage community members, youth and policy makers in a dialogue about violence prevention in Oakland.