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Looking back at the 2018 Women’s March Oakland

Over 40,000 women and their allies spent Saturday, January 20, marching in Oakland to support the cause of women. Women’s March Oakland organizers will focus on registering voters throughout the year leading up to midterm elections in November as well as helping more women run for public office.  Around the rest of the country, protests drew more than a million people. 

With Love Never Fails, Vanessa Russell reaches out to sex trafficking survivors

According to the State of California Department of Justice, human trafficking is the world’s fastest-growing criminal enterprise, bringing in $32 billion dollars a year globally. Vanessa Russell founded Love Never Fails in 2011 to fight human trafficking in the Bay Area. She was inspired to start the organization after she found out that a student of hers was being sex-trafficked throughout California.

The Town Kitchen offers job skills, second chances, to the formerly incarcerated

Fresh bread is baking in the oven. Feet shuffle swiftly along the kitchen floors. Chefs begin bagging and packing food to go. Two deliverers place big black boxes on carts to wheel to their vehicle. Inside each one are several neatly packaged white boxes filled with lunch orders. About seven people dance around the kitchen to assist them with the deliveries. Smooth 90’s R&B plays in the background while the staff works in unison. The chefs in this kitchen aren’t…

After two years, Oakland nearing goal for high school ethnic studies courses

Jason Muñiz stands in the door frame that separates his classroom from the bright hallway full of lockers, with his hands holding onto the frame behind him. He looks back and forth from the high school students who are greeting each other before taking a seat inside the classroom, and welcomes the ones who are just walking in. When the school bell rings, Muñiz walks to the front of the classroom, closing the door behind him. “Thank you for being…

African hair salon gives black women a community

Cynthia Obleton was born and raised in Abandze, a coastal town in Ghana’s Central Region. She started braiding at age fifteen and opened her first salon at seventeen. In 2010, Obleton moved from Ghana to Oakland, where she started a braiding business at her house. In 2014, she opened Sankofa Braiding and Natural HairCare in South Berkeley. She says she wants her salon to be a place where black women feel comfortable. “I realized that I’m living in a place where…

Techies race (and crash) self-driving DIY Robocars in Oakland

Every month, a group of technology enthusiasts meet in an Oakland warehouse to build tiny self-driving cars. “DIY Robocars” was organized by Chris Anderson, who also runs drone company 3DR. While these cheap, disposable cars aren’t as sophisticated as the ones being developed by Tesla or Google, Anderson says that the advantage of using these “Robocars” is that there is lots of room to fail.

High school football player Ronald Jenkins

Crack, snap, and pop. That it is all you hear on the football field as Ronald Jenkins, known to his friends and teammates as RJ, drives his shoulder into the waistline of the ball carrier for the opposing team. With a huge thud that sounds like a body breaking in half, they both hit the turf. As the whistle blows in the background, signaling the end of the play, Jenkins gets up and proceeds to dance, not even acknowledging his…

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