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“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…

Vigil in front of PG&E headquarters in Oakland protests power cuts

On the otherwise quiet and dimly-lit Clay Street, a group of roughly 50 people gathered for a candlelit vigil in front of Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s Oakland headquarters on Thursday evening. Protestors held tea light candles as they gathered around speakers, who led the crowd through moments of somber observance, followed by chanting: “PG&E is a convicted felon!” referring to a ruling by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) that PG&E was responsible for the…

Comedians use humor to heal at Mental Health Comedy Hour

Oakland comedian Kelly Anneken says she identifies as a “triple A”— alcoholic, anorexic and anxious.  “Stand-up comedy,” she said in a performance last week, “is everybody’s last resort before suicide or grad school.”  Suicide, of course, isn’t everybody’s idea of comedy, but Anneken’s audience, there for the Mental Health Comedy Hour, laughed. Founded earlier this year by two local comedians struggling with depression and anxiety, the monthly show is the only one of its kind in the Bay Area, and is…

At California Nurses Association headquarters, an art show highlights “recognition”

As the granddaughter of Mexican immigrants, and the daughter of two proud union workers, Bonnie Castillo’s understanding of the world was forged in an atmosphere that celebrated people power through art. Growing up in Sacramento, Castillo volunteered with her mother at La Raza bookstore, a hub for Chicano community. Her family friends were members of The Royal Chicano Airforce, an artists’ collective founded in 1969 to express the goals of the Chicano civil rights and agricultural labor movement in rural…

Alameda County Food Bank encourages political action during Hunger Action Month

Every September, the Alameda County Community Food Bank joins a network of 200 food banks nationwide for Hunger Action Month to promote volunteering, social media activity and advocacy to raise awareness about food insecurity, a term food bank staffers, activists and the government organizations use to mean that people lack access to enough safe, nutritious food to be healthy.

Students, district rally to bring back free supper program

After the Oakland Unified Schools District (OUSD) eliminated the district’s free supper program in 2018, student organizers from Oakland Kids First, a city organization that supports youth organizing and campaign work, and the OUSD Superintendent’s Office teamed up to recover and revamp the program.

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