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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…

In a city of immigrants, three men share their stories

Oakland is a city of immigrants. According to information provided by Census.gov, in 2018, Oakland had a population of about 429,000 people, with about a third of the population being from another country. But those census figures may not be accurate. “I think the challenge is that many of them are living in the shadows, so it is really hard to know how many [immigrants] are here,” said Lisa Hoffman, development director for the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, an organization…

Cambodian refugee community in Oakland targeted in rising ICE sweeps

They are the 1.5 generation. That’s how Rhummanee Hang, an outreach coordinator with the Center for Empowering Refugees & Immigrants (CERI), a mental health services nonprofit for Southeast Asian refugees in Oakland, refers to the generation of Cambodians who were born in the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge, the brutal communist regime that held power in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979. During those four years, an estimated 2 million people died. Many were executed or worked to death by the…

Oakland naturalization ceremony welcomes new Americans

Over 1,100 people from 86 different countries took the oath to become United States citizens at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland on Wednesday.   In a warm and thunderous atmosphere, with friends and family whistling and singing, California Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), the keynote speaker, said, “I am so grateful to welcome all of you, my fellow Americans. I am one of you. Look at me, I made it. To those of you who say you can’t, I say you can.” …

Documentary screening and gallery exhibition highlight border towns, draw somber crowd

Amidst chilly Friday night winds, people gathered at Lake Merritt Tower to watch Undeterred, a film highlighting the effect that the increased militarization of border towns has on surrounding communities. The event included a screening of the film and a gallery exhibition titled “Recognition: Labor Meets Art in Explorations of Social Justice and Identity,” which was open for its last night of public viewing. The event was organized by National Nurses United union and featured talks by members of the…

New community hub aims to bring non-profit services under one roof

It was a record shop. Then it sat empty. Now it’s a community hub for non-profits. And at its housewarming party on Friday night, a crowd of roughly 250 people crammed into the space belonging to Restore Oakland, Inc. to learn about how it would be available for Fruitvale residents to use. Before making their way into the space, guests and curious onlookers watched a powerful and colorful performance from Danza Azteca Cuauhtonal, a group that practices indigenous cultural rites….

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