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Sixty, sober, and starting over

Text by Melissa Batchelor Warnke. Photos by Luisa Conlon. It’s 6 am on a Sunday, and a group of men are sitting in a parking lot in the dark. They’re half of the Teen Challenge Choir—two dozen men and women in treatment for “life controlling issues.” They’re about to get in a big white van and head to the Cavalry Temple Church in Concord, California, about an hour north of the men’s home base in Oakland. It’s always cold this…

Refugees reflect on past lives and new beginnings

Interactive Map: follow Jeremías’ journey as an unaccompanied minor, from his neighborhood in El Salvador, to resettlement in Oakland, here. In the shadow of the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris and the ongoing strife in Syria, America’s role in handling the refugee crisis has been catapulted to the forefront of political debates. Discussions about whether the United States would accept Syrian refugees began after governors from over 30 states said they would not welcome them within their borders. In…

Ethiopians celebrate Meskel in Oakland

Ethiopians from the Bay Area gathered at Medhani Alem Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Oakland on Sunday to celebrate Meskel, a holiday that commemorates the finding of the True Cross by Saint Helena.

In Oakland and around the world, the Bahá’i community begins a new year

The Christian and Chinese New Years parties are long over. But on March 21, the Bahá’i celebrated their Naw-Rúz (literally, New Year). The Bahá’i faith was established a century and a half ago and has more than 5 million members all over the planet. The religion is the second most widespread worldwide; only Christianity can be found in more regions on the globe. California is home to more than 19,000 believers, and therefore the largest Bahá’i community in the United…

After measles outbreak, interest in vaccines increases

It’s not over yet. The measles outbreak, which started in December, 2014, at a Disneyland theme park in Orange County, is still ongoing in the United States, and has now reached Mexico and Canada, where more than 100 people have been reported to have the disease. By March 6, 17 US states and the District of Columbia reported measles cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website. The CDC is only one of the many health…

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