People

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…

Muralist Dave Young Kim uses art to tap into his Korean roots

Oakland is known for its lively art scene. From murals, to sculptures, to street tagging, art is ubiquitous in this East Bay city. One artist is using his art to tap into his native Korean roots. Dave Young Kim channels into his work a dilemma often faced by children of immigrant families–how to make sense of images that feel both so familiar yet unfamiliar at the same time. Click on the video above to learn about his murals.

From square dance to political activism at Oakland’s Marxist library

It’s Friday night at 6501 Telegraph Avenue in Oakland.  A group of young people in their late twenties are standing in front of a white building. “Must be a bar,” we say to each other. Our night was supposed to start in a bar across the street, but some missing dollar bills for an entrance fee that we mistakenly assumed we could pay with a card made us leave before we’d even had a drink. So we venture over the…

In wake of Christchurch shooting, Oaklanders stand against Islamophobia

In the wake of the recent mass shootings in New Zealand, on Monday Oakland residents came together as one at the Lake Merritt Amphitheater for a candlelight vigil against Islamophobia. Hundreds of Oaklanders and citizens from across the Bay Area came out to mourn the 50 people who lost their life on March 15 in two different attacks on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand: The Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre. San Francisco’s Arab Resource and Organizing Center…

Panel discusses resolving homelessness in the East Bay

Over the years, Nella Gonçalves has become very used to hearing a certain question: “Ew, you work with the homeless? Don’t they stink?” Gonçalves is the deputy director of Beyond Emancipation, an organization that helps foster youth transition into lives as independent adults. Gonçalves meets a lot of very young people in very difficult positions; she said there’s not a single youth she works with who wouldn’t know what it’s like to fear homelessness. Yet, she observed, even though barely…