From January 2012

Concert Features New Jacqueline Hairston Ensemble

The New Jacqueline Hairston Ensemble is presenting a Carnegie Hall Preview Performance and Benefit Concert Sunday, Jan. 29, 4 p.m., at East Bay Church of Religious Science, 4130 Telegraph Ave. in Oakland.
Jacqueline Hairston, award-winning Bay Area composer-arranger, pianist, music educator and vocal coach, will be the guest conductor at Carnegie Hall in February where she will showcase her trademark choral arrangements of spirituals, including a world premiere of “Echoes of Jester Hairston.”
 The Bay Area preview concert includes all songs to be performed at Carnegie Hall and features preeminent soloists and the New Jacqueline Hairston Ensemble, composed of singers from Allen Temple Baptist Church, Dominion A Cappella Ensemble, East Bay Church of Religious Science, Inner Light Ministries of Soquel, CA, Oakland Center for Spiritual Living, Unity Palo Alto, and CSE San Jose.  
“Some people think they know the Spirituals, but we’re featuring different arrangements so the audience will learn a new approach, be lifted up, healed and inspired to learn more,” Hairston said.
Proceeds will support singers and musicians participating the performances in the Bay Area and at Carnegie Hall.  To make a tax-deductible donation, send checks or money orders payable to: Traveling Performing Arts Co., Box 55675, Hayward, CA 94545.
For tickets go to: For more on the Carnegie Hall concert, visit:

Kaiser May Face Nurses Union Sympathy Strike

The union representing Kaiser Permanente’s nurses says thousands of its caregivers may walk off the job Jan. 31 in an echo of mass demonstrations at hospitals in September if labor talks between Kaiser and a sister union stall.
Kaiser and the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW), which represents mental health professionals, therapists and optical workers in Northern California, have been in contract negotiations for months over pension benefits, health care coverage and staffing issues.
NUHW spokesman Leighton Woodhouse said last week that his union’s leaders had not yet decided to give the go-ahead for a Jan. 31 walkout.
“We have not submitted a strike notice” to Kaiser officials, Woodhouse said. A one-day picket remained an option, he said, and Jan. 31 “is a day that member leaders are discussing as a potential strike day.”
But officials at California Nurses Association/National Nurses United said they are considering a one-day walkout in support of the smaller National Union of Healthcare Workers if it calls its members off the job that day.

Daily Bread Project Delivers Food to the Needy

By Aneesah

One day in 1983, Carolyn North spotted a man scrounging for food in a garbage can. It was an experience that moved her to create the Daily Bread Project.
She posted an ad in a local paper at the time, the Berkeley Gazette, asking for volunteers who wanted to put an end to hunger in the East Bay. About 30 people responded, and the Daily Bread Project was born.
 Volunteers quickly discovered restaurants, bakeries, soup kitchens, supermarkets and shelters willing to donate food.
“The simplicity of Daily Bread’s mission – to put nutritious but unwanted food into the hands of those in need – was perfect, said Patrice Igneizi, who has been with the project for 17 years and is currently the group’s primary coordinator.
 “Years later, without ever planning it, I was still delivering food; it had become a part of what I did and still do,” she said.
Now 22 years old, the project has 70 volunteers who pick up food from 40 different donors, including Whole Foods Market, Temescal Farmer’s Market and Larine on Fruitvale. Donations go to about 30 different agencies including A Safe Place, East Oakland Community Project and Salvation Army,
Many of the incoming volunteers are recruited through word of mouth.
Through the Daily Bread Project, other programs have been implemented such as the Milk for Kids Program, where shoppers pay for a 1/2-gallon of milk to be donated to a shelter.
Organizers, Igneizi and Carol Brill want to expand beyond baked goods, to include fresh fruits and vegetables.  “Today, Daily Bread is a regular fixture at every Farmers’ Market, in Berkeley, Oakland, and Kensington,” said Igneizi. Project leaders are not paid and gas costs are absorbed by volunteers. The organization does not even have a bank account.
Daily Bread operates in Berkeley, Albany, Oakland, Kennsington, and Richmond.  For information or to volunteer, contact Carol Brill at or  (510) 559-3138.

Park District Buys Over 300 Acres Near Wildcat Canyon Regional Park

The East Bay Regional Park District Board has approved the $1.45 million purchase of 362 acres directly east and adjacent to Wildcat Canyon Regional Park, located on San Pablo Dam Road in Richmond.
“We are very pleased to be able to acquire this beautiful land, the largest parcel acquired by the district in West Contra Costa County in 35 years,” said EBPRD Director Whitney Dotson of Richmond.  The property contains a mix of oak woodlands and grassland and will provide new public access from San Pablo Dam Road on the eastern side of Wildcat Canyon.
At park district staff recommendation, the property will be placed in land bank status until a land use plan amendment for the park can be completed.
“We are fortunate to have funds available from bond measures passed by the voters, at this time when strategically located lands are coming available on the market,” said Dotson. “We are making great strides in achieving our mission to preserve open space, parks and trails for the healthful enjoyment of the public.”

Leaders of Church of God In Christ Come to Northern California

By William
G. McCray, III

From left to right: Bishop J.W. Macklin, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake and Bishop P.A. Brooks.

The Church Of God In Christ is coming to Northern California for its annual leadership conference, the first time in history that the 100 plus year old organization will meet in California’s capital of Sacramento.  
All of the denomination’s leaders, elected and appointed, will attend the weeklong sessions to equip themselves to be even more effective leaders in their religious denomination.  
Conference chairman Bishop Jerry Wayne Macklin,   pastor of Glad Tidings Church Of God In Christ in the Bay Area and the Second Assistant Presiding Bishop of the church, has successful assembled a team to coordinate a leadership summit that will make COGIC cutting edge for the Twenty-First Century.
“My staff and I have prepared models for leadership for the 21 Century to be cutting edge and successful in their local churches,” said Bishop Macklin.
The Jan. 16 –Jan. 20 sessions will run the gamut from Youth Leadership training to how to effectively use social media to witness and get the word out about local churches.  There are also intensive sessions covering topics such as Church Administration Executive Training, Church Budgeting, Organization Auxiliaries and Departments.
One session is entitled Leadership DNA. That session will discuss what it takes to be an effective leader in the church and if leaders are born or made.  
Bishop Macklin said that on Monday, Jan. 16, the King holiday, the entire day will be devoted to the youth, giving them an opportunity to speak directly to Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake in a forum what was extremely successful the previous year in Birmingham.
Monday night, the first service will be dedicated to highlighting the critical role the Church Of God In Christ and Founder Bishop Charles Harrison Mason played in the Civil Rights Movement.  Setting the record straight, Dr. King’s final speech was in fact delivered at Mason Temple Church of God In Christ, the church’s world headquarters in Memphis, TN, not at a Masonic Temple as is often erroneously repeated.  
“Many people are unaware that Bishop Mason and Dr. King were friends and (that the Bishop) supported the movement,” according to Bishop Macklin.  “During the time Bishop O.T. Jones was the Presiding Bishop, Dr. King actually preached at a Youth Congress.”
Church Of God In Christ was involved in many of the significant moments in the history of the Civil Rights Moment.  One was the funeral of Malcolm X, held on Feb. 27, 1965, at Faith Temple Church Of God In Christ in Harlem.
The church is also forever embedded in Civil Rights Movement history because of its connection to Emmitt Till, the 14-year-old boy from Chicago who was murdered while visiting his family in Mississippi. He was a COGIC young man, and Bishop L.H. Ford paid to have his remains flown home and for his funeral services.  

San Francisco Events Honoring Dr. King

By Lee Hubbard
There will be a host of festivities in San Francisco commemorating Dr. King  on Monday, Jan. 16.  One of these will be the M.L. King, Jr., Birthday celebration at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
This event is supported by the Freedom Train from San Jose to San Francisco on the Caltrain  line. When the train arrives at the Cal Train station at 4th and Townsend, participants will march across the 4th Street Bridge to Third Street across Lefty O’Doul Bridge for a brief ceremony at Willie Mays Plaza. They will continue to Yerba Buena Center at Third and Howard streets.
“We want to provide the San Francisco community and the region a place to celebrate Dr. King and his message in a wholesome way and a way that will benefit everyone,” said Aaron Grizzell, the Executive Director of the Northern California Martin Luther King Community Foundation.
“Our theme this year is renewing the dream. We believe that all communities can embrace Dr. King’s vision of community and service,” he said.
 At Yerba Buena center, celebrants will have a choice of taking part in an interfaith ceremony or a children’s program in the Novellus Theatre. There will be a host of other activities, free to the public, ranging from the Liberation film festival to the Target Children’s reading festival.
There will also be a Health and Sustainability Festival. Museums in the area, including the Contemporary Jewish Museum and the Museum of the African Diaspora, will be open free to youth.
At the Liberation Film Festival, a showing of the documentary film “Double Victory” will be screened.  The documentary tells the story of the heroes of World War II, the Tuskegee Airmen, “We are very happy to be partnering with Lucas Films, to screen this film.  We are also elated to be interviewing one of the Tuskegee Airmen at the event,”  Grizzell said.
 On Saturday, Jan. 14, a MLK celebration brunch will take place at Bethel AME church,  916 Laguna St. at Browning Fellowship Hall.   
The “Taking Back Responsibility II” Martin Luther King, Jr., Brunch will begin at 11 a.m..  The event will feature honorees who work with young people. The keynote speaker is Dr. Lakita Long, Founder of Inspiring You Ministries, an organization designed to help youth become mobilized for action.
Some honorees include Pastor Malcolm Byrd, Sr., Pastor of First AME Zion in San Francisco; the Bay Area chapter of the 100 Black Men of America; the San Francisco Organizing Project; Ugonma Nwanko, first African American female elected class president of Galileo High School; Tracy Bowers, former Conference Branch head of the Young Peoples Division of the African Methodist Episcopal Church; and Urcell Igleheart, an emerging youth leader.
There will be musical guests performing at the brunch, including gospel artists from all around the Bay Area.

Three Win Martin Luther King, Jr., Awards at UC San Francisco

Susan Kools, who created a culturally and developmentally appropriate HIV prevention intervention for youngsters ages 10 to 14 in rural Malawi, is among the three to be honored with the 2012 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award at UCSF.

Three members of the UC San Francisco community will receive 2012 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Awards for their exceptional leadership in advancing the goal of achieving greater ethnic and cultural diversity at the university.
The winners will be honored at a ceremony on Thursday, Jan. 26, from noon to 2 p.m. in Cole Hall on the Parnassus campus as part of the University’s celebration of the late civil rights leader’s life and legacy.
The 2012 awardees are:
• Susan Kools, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor in the Family Health Care Nursing Department in the UCSF School of Nursing;
• Damon Lew, manager of UCSF’s Community Outreach Internship Program (COIP) in the University Relations office; and
• Angela Echiverri, a fourth-year student in the UCSF School of Medicine.
Susan Kools has advocated for diversity in the School of Nursing for more than 14 years. A fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, she is internationally recognized as an expert and leader in increasing representation of diverse students and scholars at all levels of nursing.
Kools co-founded the Diversity in Action Committee and has co-chaired it since 2001. Under her guidance, the committee developed and implemented a six-module training course to enhance faculty skill and sensitivity in promoting feelings of inclusion and developing an optimal environment for learning.
She served on the School of Nursing’s Recruitment and Retention Committee for many years and as chair in 2007-2008. For the next two years, Kools chaired the Academic Senate’s Equal Opportunity Committee and also served for three years on the UC system wide Committee of Affirmative Action and Diversity.
Currently, Kools is project director for Nursing Leadership in Adolescent and Young Adult Education Health Program, a traineeship to prepare MS and PhD degree students for clinical, education, research and leadership roles with adolescents and young adults.
Damon Lew reconvened UCSF’s Community Outreach Internship Program (COIP) despite a growing recession in 2010, and is largely responsible for its success. He took the initiative to identify a funding mechanism and to overcome several obstacles.
COIP, which recently graduated its second class of interns since Lew took over, provides mentors to San Francisco residents who want to improve their lives. All of them have been getting government assistance or are homeless. COIP offers training and work experience to prepare people for the competitive job market, secure jobs and become self-sufficient.
The program gives adults with little or no work experience the tools to thrive in a work environment through developing skills, and it makes a wide range of training activities available. After a two-week assessment process, participants spend 10 weeks completing hard and soft skill training, including computer classes, interview techniques and basic job training. They also receive regular training seminars during placement and participate in a mentorship program with employee mentors at UCSF.
Angela Echiverri, a fourth-year student in the School of Medicine, matriculated as a student in the extremely selective UCSF Program in Medical Education for the Urban Underserved, an innovative initiative that provides skills and support to diverse medical students with demonstrated interest in working with urban underserved communities.
She is a champion for issues of diversity and health equity on campus. Echiverri was one of the leaders of a group of students who successfully advocated for the establishment of a Multicultural Center at UCSF and the appointment of a vice chancellor for Diversity and Outreach.
UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH, accepted both recommendations and also recognized Echiverri’s pivotal role in the effort by naming her this year as one of the student representatives to the UCSF Committee on Culture, Climate and Inclusion.
Echiverri had previously served on the Chancellor’s Committee on Academic Diversity, Subcommittee on Diversity & Outreach and on the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Diversity, Education Subcommittee. Since 2009, she has been a member of the Admissions Committee for the UCSF School of Medicine, an immensely time-consuming commitment. In 2009, she was honored as a UCSF Champion of Diversity.

Mayor Appoints Olague District 5 Supervisor

By Lee Hubbard

District 5 Supervisor-appointee Christina Olague with Mayor Ed Lee during her swearing in Jan. 9at City Hall. Photo by Kevin Reed.

A day after being sworn in as  Mayor of San Francisco, Mayor Ed Lee appointed Christina Olague as the replacement Supervisor for District 5, a seat vacated by Ross Mirkarimi, when he was elected Sheriff.
“When I was sworn in as Mayor, I talked about uniting the city,” said Lee, speaking to people assembled in the rotunda at City Hall.  “That was going on in my mind when I considered this appointment of Christina Olague to supervisor of District 5.”
Lee said he had wanted to appoint someone who could win re-election in November. Olague is a favorite of the progressive political left, and District 5 leans in that direction.  
Olague, who was San Francisco Planning Commission Board president, said she was surprised by her appointment, learning about it Sunday night when the mayor called her.
She said she wants to build unity in the city.
“We are a city where everyone is included,” she said.  “We need to focus on jobs and smart economic development for various communities.”
As supervisor, Olague will represent an area that includes Lower Pacific Heights, Haight Ashbury, Fillmore, Western Addition and Japan Town.  Born and raised in Merced, Olague, 50, moved to San Francisco in the early 1980s to attend San Francisco State.  
She later worked as a community organizer for tenant rights with the Mission Anti-Displacement Coalition.  She was appointed to the Planning Commission by former District 5 Supervisor Matt Gonzalez in 2004 and was reappointed by Supervisor Aaron Peskin.   
Olague will be the third Latina to serve as supervisor. Her term   will last until November, when she will have to run for re-election.
Besides economic development, her concerns include public safety and building more low- and middle-income housing in District 5.
Many Black activists in San Francisco wanted Lee to appoint someone Black as supervisor for the traditionally African American district that has changed drastically over the years due to displacement and gentrification.
The San Francisco branch of the NAACP, as well as the San Francisco Black Chamber of Commerce, advocated for London Breed, director of the African American Cultural Center, who was born and raised in the community.    
 “London has helped to bring back the Black Western Addition, and she is an up can coming young leader,” said Zula Jones, a District 5 resident and community activist. “But Christina Olague is a good choice as well for supervisor for District 5.  She has been around and has been one of the leading residents and activists when it comes to fighting for community issues. “  

Willie and Mary Ratcliff Honored at Lorraine Hansberry Theater

By Carla

From left to right: Jackie Wright, President, Wright Enterprises with Mary and Willie Ratcliff, publishers of The San Francisco BayView at the Lorrraine Hansberry Theater in SF.

Mary and Willie Ratcliff, publishers of the San Francisco BayView Newspaper, were honored recently at the newly located Lorraine Hansberry Theater in the heart of Union Square.
Guests at the Dec. 29 event met the couple behind the newspaper for the past 20 years and enjoyed appetizers before watching the holiday musical Rejoice. The evening was organized by Wright Enterprises and LaHitz Media’s “Our Media Matters” Theater Night,
Mary Ratcliff was born in Harlem to a progressive mother who organized rent strikes and was a member of Communist Party in the Thirties.  “That’s the stock I come from,” she said proudly.  She became an attorney and met and married Willie, with whom she has shared the past 35 years. “He is the love of my life, and after we acquired the paper, I fell in love with it as well.”
Willie Ratcliff, also proud of his upbringing, was born in East Liberty, Texas, and remembers working at the age of 2, pushing cotton to the cotton gin.  “By eight I was driving a tractor at $1.25 an hour.”
Though Willie came from humble beginnings, his grandmother and parents went to college and had land before the Civil War.  “We had a new name in those days; Dem Ni…… is crazy – because we fought back for our rights and governed ourselves,” he said.
When he learned about San Francisco, Willie decided to move to California.  
“The community has lost too many of its institutions,” said Mary, who looks forward to promoting Lorraine Hansberry.  “As with any company, it needs money and more advertising dollars to thrive,” she said.
The Ratcliffs said their newspaper and the Lorraine Hansberry are examples of Bay Area institutions coming together to create more opportunities for the youth and community.
The evening honoring the Ratcliffs was also a fundraiser for their Youth Media Project, which the Ratcliffs hope will pass media experience to the next generation.
 For information go

MLK Clean Up Day Targets 20 Blocks

Allen Temple Baptist Church and other East Oakland churches and organizations are expected to turn out 200 volunteers on Dr. King’s holiday to clean up more than 20 city blocks.
The event will take place Monday, Jan. 16, from 8:30 a.m. to noon. The targeted area is along International Boulevard between 81st to 98th avenues and two blocks on either side of the corridor. Water station set ups at Walgreens and the fire station at 98th Avenue.
Organizations backing the project include Allen Temple Baptist Church, Prophetic Justice Ministry, California Endowment, HSBC, Walgreens, Boys  & Girls Clubs of Oakland, East Oakland Youth Development Center (EOYDC), Iglesia Bautista de Allen Temple, East Oakland Building Healthy Communities, Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), ATBC Girl Scouts, Mayor Jean Quan, Councilmember Larry Reid, Block by Block Organizing Network and Hire Oakland, INC.
To participate, come Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. to Allen Temple ‘s main parking lot, 85th and A Streets in Oakland.

City Wins $800,000 Grant to Buy Fire Truck

Oakland has been selected to receive nearly $800,000 in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding for the purchase of an additional fire truck for the Oakland Fire Department.
The city will receive $789,360 through the FEMA Assistance Firefighters Grant Program, which provides special funding to enhance the ability of fire departments to protect the public and fire personnel from fire and related hazards.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee worked closely with local officials over the past year to secure this funding. The grant is especially useful because the fire department’s budget has been reduced by 15.4 percent over the past four years.
 “Many cities have applied for this highly-competitive grant, and I couldn’t be more pleased that Oakland is one of the few cities in the country selected to r

First Black Richmond Mayor George Livingston, 78

By Kia

Former South Africa President Nelson Mandela with George Livingston, Sr., during Mandela’s first visit to US. Photo by Donald Johnson.

George L. Livingston, the first African-American elected mayor in the city of Richmond, died at the age of 78 after a long battle with diabetes. He died Jan. 7 at Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo.
In celebration of his life and to honor the King Holiday, the Livingston family announced a viewing ceremony and quiet hour Monday, Jan. 16, 6 p.m.- 8 p.m. at Wilson & Kratzer Mortuaries in Richmond.
Livingston’s memorial service will take place Tuesday, Jan. 17, at St. John Missionary Baptist Church, 11 a.m., at 662 South 52nd St. in Richmond.
Livingston was born in Shawnee OK.  He and his family moved to California in the 1950s to work in the local shipyard.  In the early 1960s, he became actively involved with the Coronado Neighborhood Council, serving as president.
Community organizing and coalition building fueled his interest in politics. Little did he know that his activism, charisma and no-nonsense character would one day earn him a place in history.
Livingston was elected to the Richmond City Council in 1965 and served three terms. In 1969, he became mayor of Richmond. During this time, the mayor’s position rotated among city council members (until 1981, when the job became an elected position).
He is survived by his wife Eunice Livingston, his son George Livingston Jr. and daughter-in-law Linda Livingston; his daughter Grace Livingston-Nunley and son-in-law Daryl Nunley; stepson Anthony Robbins, stepdaughter Robin Jones and husband Andy Jones, seven grandchildren and two great grandson, Jaylen and Brian.
Kia Croom is a contributing writer for the Richmond Post.

King’s Holiday, a Civil Rights Victory

Dr. Marin Luther King, Jr.

Most people today take for granted the commemoration of the Dr. Marin Luther King, Jr., national holiday. But the truth is that the recognition of the struggle for human rights and racial justice has always been hard fought in this country.
Soon after Dr. King was shot down by an assassin on April 4, 1968, Congressman John Conyers Jr. of Michigan introduced the first legislation seeking to make King’s birthday, Jan. 15, a federal holiday.
The King Memorial Center in Atlanta was founded around the same time, and it sponsored the first annual observance of King’s birthday, in January 1969, almost 15 years before it became an official government-sanctioned holiday.
 Three years after Conyers introduced preliminary legislation in 1968, King’s organization, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), presented Congress with a petition signed by more than 3 million people supporting the holiday.
But the law sat in Congress for eight years, unable to gain enough support until President Jimmy Carter, former Georgia governor and the first Democratic President since Lyndon Johnson, vowed to support a King holiday.
The  King Center adopted a new approach, seeking support from the public, and circulating a second petition, which received 6 million signatures. Musician Stevie Wonder released a single “Happy Birthday” to popularize the campaign in 1980 and hosted a Rally for Peace Press Conference in 1981.
Finally, President Ronald Reagan grudgingly signed a bill, creating a federal holiday to honor King, after Congress passed the bill with an overwhelming veto-proof majority. It was observed for the first time on Jan. 20, 1986.
Senator Jesse Helms (Republican, North Carolina) led opposition to the bill and questioned whether King was important enough to receive such an honor. He also criticized King’s opposition to the Vietnam War,  accusing him of espousing “action-oriented Marxism”.
Sen. John McCain (Republican, Arizona) voted against the creation of the holiday and later defended Arizona Republican governor who rescinded the law.
Although the federal holiday was declared in 1986, it was not celebrated in Arizona.  In 1990 the National Football League threatened to move the Super Bowl that was planned to be in Arizona in 1993. This same year, Arizonans were given the opportunity to vote to observe an MLK holiday.
 The Arizona state legislature passed a measure to keep the King holiday, but it was too late as 76 percent of voters rejected the holiday. Consequently, the state lost $500 million and the Super Bowl, which moved to Pasadena, CA.
On May 2, 2000, South Carolina made King’s birthday an official holiday, making it the last state to recognize the day as a paid holiday for all state employees. Prior to this, employees could choose between celebrating Martin Luther King Day or one of three Confederate holidays.
While all states now observe the holiday, some did not name the day after King. In Utah, the holiday was known as “Human Rights Day” until the year 2000.
In Virginia, it was known as Lee-Jackson-King Day, combining King’s birthday with the established Lee-Jackson Day celebrating the lives of Confederate Army generals.  In 2000, Lee-Jackson Day was moved to the Friday before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, establishing King’s Day as a holiday in its own right. However, Mississippi still shares the celebration of King’s birthday with Robert E. Lee’s birthday.

Reginald James to Study in Africa

Reginald James

UC Berkeley student Reginald James is heading to Africa to spend a semester at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, where he will study East African culture, history, music, politics and the Swahili language.
“I’ve been interested in Africa, Tanzania, and Swahili since I was a child,” James said. “Our oldest human ancestors come from Tanzania, and Africa’s largest mountain, Mt. Kilimanjaro, is here too.”
After independence, Tanzania embarked on a path of “Ujamaa,” which means “familyhood” in Swahili. People who celebrate Kwanzaa will recognize the word as the fourth principle of “Cooperative Economics.”
The phrase comes from national independence leader Dr. Julius Nyerere’s vision for African Socialism.
At UC Berkeley, James is studying Political Science and African American Studies. He transferred from Laney College last spring.
This is his second trip to Africa. In 2010, he studied in Kemet (Egypt) with Merritt College’s Africana Studies program.
James is  a photojournalist and host of the Internet radio show, The Black Hour. Upon his return, he hopes to speak about what he has learned at East Bay schools and colleges.
Read his travel blog at

Church Leaders Join Forces With Occupy Movement

By Aneesah Dryver

Dr. Ben Chavis

The goal is to join forces with Occupy Wall Street to launch a new campaign for economic justice inspired by the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Led by Dr. Ben Chavis, civil rights and religious leaders have announced formation of Occupy the Dream, an organization to mobilize the country around King’s vision, to wage war on poverty, unemployment and economic injustice. The executive committee of the new organization includes Dr. Chavis, Manhattan, and Dr. Jamal Bryant, Baltimore, who are both co-chairs. Bishop Millicent Thompson-Hunter, Philadelphia, is Secretary; Pastor Daryl Hamm, Baltimore, is Treasurer; and Pastor Harold Mayberry of First AME Church in Oakland, is Parliamentarian. According to Mayberry, the alliance was initiated when entrepreneur Russell Simmons, Dr. Jamal Bryant and Ben Chavis met with one of the leading voices of Occupy Wall Street, David David Degraw, discussing how to work together. “The Black Church has been on the forefront of change in every significant movement,” said Pastor Mayberry. “The Black Church will help bring structure to a movement that already has momentum.” According to Mayberry, the movement wants an immediate halt on all foreclosures because people are left homeless as a result of predatory lending practices. The movement also demands the reinstatement of Pell Grants. “Young people are unable to go to school because they don’t have any money,” said Mayberry. Finally, the movement is asking for major Wall Street banking institutions to invest $100 billion in job training. The “Occupy the Dream” coalition has called for a National Day of Action on M. L. Kng, Jr., Day when it will “Occupy the Federal Reserve” in cities nationwide. . Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton have endorsed Occupy the Dream. Bryant, pastor of Empowerment Temple in Baltimore, joined Chavis and leading advocates of Occupy Wall Street at the National Press Club. The Bay Area protest is on Jan. 16, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Federal Reserve Bank, 101 Market St., San Francisco. For information go to

49ers Magic is Back! Hosts Giants in Rematch Sunday

By Malaika Bobino

Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers quarterback

It has been a decade since the Forty-Niners played in the NFC Championship game, and this weekend  they will host the New York Giants.

The last time these two teams met was during the regular season, and the Giants lost 27-20.  San Francisco rallied late in the fourth quarter when Justin Smith deflected Eli Manning’s pass on fourth down to seal the victory. Read more

49ers shock Saints with amazing finish

San Francisco, CA – It was football at its best!  A battle to the end, the Forty-Niners left the sellout crowd on their feet to witness one of the best games in a decade.  Drew Brees threw a sixty-six yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham in the fourth quarter with a minute and thirty-seven seconds left.

But the finale was Alex Smith’s 47-yard pass to Vernon Davis for the touchdown and the 36-32 victory over the New Orleans Saints.  It was the first triumph win for San Francisco in nine years.  They now await the outcome of tomorrow’s NFC game between the Green Bay Packers and the New York Giants.  A win by the Giants will give the 49ers the home field.

Read more

Dance Theatre of Harlem Holds Bay Area Auditions

By Aneesah

Ashley Murphy. Photo by Rachel Neville.

After an eight-year hiatus, the internationally known Dance Theatre of Harlem will soon return to the stage as a new company with new dancers, aiming to renew the prestigious dance group.
Funding and leadership issues are no longer concerns for the dance company, which has worked to rebuild its leadership. The company has also successfully restructured its programs, including its new program, Harlem Dance Works 2.0.
 The dance company has a rich history, performing globally in China, South Africa, the former Soviet Union and  all over the United States. The company gives dancers, many of whom are dancers of color, a space to showcase their amazing talents.  
The theatre launched its search for new professional male and female dancers through an online process. This enables professional dancers from all around the world to show their talents and athletic skills for the dance company.
The company will be holding in-person auditions on Jan. 14 in San Francisco for the 2012-2013 season.
 “I’m really excited to start our nationwide search. This is the first time ever that we are coming to the Bay Area to hold auditions,” said Virginia Johnson, the company’s Artistic Director.
 “The Dance Theatre of Harlem is a multi-cultural institution, specializing in classical ballet,” she said. “Many people believe that people of color don’t have dance classical ballet, and The Dance Theatre was started in Harlem and created to give opportunities to people of color.”  
 To preregister for the Jan. 14 in-person auditions, visit

Cuban Doctors in Forefront of Haiti’s Fight Against Cholera

As Haiti’s fight against cholera continues, it appears Cuban doctors are leading the way when it comes to aid.
Over the last two years, Haiti’s earthquake and subsequent cholera epidemic have ravished the country’s population, but doctors from Cuba have never waned in their medical support for the country.
More than 476,000 people in Haiti have been sickened by cholera, and 6,600 people have  died. The United Nations has called this the highest rate of cholera in the world.
Since Haiti’s cholera outbreak began, the Cuban mission has treated more than 76,000 cases of the disease, with 272 deaths.
With help from donors and diplomats, the Cuban medical mission has been able to stay in Haiti and treat those affected by cholera, and continue their efforts to improve the country’s health care system.
After the January 2010 earthquake that destroyed large sections of Haiti, Cuban medical missions were among the first sent to help. Cuba generally asks countries  they aid to pay about $2,500 a month for each doctor they send, but Haiti is not being charged anything.

Allen Temple Leadership Convocation, Jan 11-16

Pastor J. Alfred Smith, Jr.

Allen Temple Baptist Church will host an All Church Prayer and Leadership Convocation, “Overcoming Evil with the Power of Good: A Call to Prayer and Action,” Wednesday, Jan. 11 through Monday, Jan. 16.
 This six-day conference, which is open to the community, is comprised of prayer, preaching, teaching, social and prophetic justice and service opportunities.
 The speakers are sons and daughters of Allen Temple, including Senior Pastor J. Alfred Smith, Jr., Assistant Pastor Jacqueline A. Thompson, Pastor Emeritus J. Alfred Smith, Sr., Reverend Doctor Malvina Stephens, Reverend Doctor Eunice Shaw, Reverend Pamela Wilson, Reverend Daniel Buford, Reverend Harry Louis Williams and  the church’s Martin Luther King Jr. Preacher, Reverend Doctor Marcus Goodloe.
 The convocation will culminate with a Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service on Jan. 16. Service activity will kick off the Greening the Ghetto and Community Revival of International Boulevard’s Beauty( CRIBB) projects.
 Allen Temple is located at 8501 International Blvd. in Oakland. For information visit

Covenant House Wins $10,000 Grant for Homeless Youth

By Danielle

Covenant House California, an Oakland program that offers services to youth living on the streets, has received a $10,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation, part of $19 million that the Foundation distributed during the holiday season.
“The nonprofits we are honoring (are ones that) help those who may not have a permanent home to have a warm place to stay through the holidays,” stated Julie Gehrki, senior director at the Foundation. The grant received by Covenant   House is part of Walmarts’ “12 Days of Giving” Facebook campaign.
The Oakland branch of Covenant House California, which opened in 1998, is located in Jack London Square and is comprised of a cafeteria, 30 beds, and a wide-range of employment and educational services.The focus of this nonprofit’s efforts is to provide medical care, case management services, life skill workshops, and spiritual ministry programs.
Sheri Shuster, Associate Director of Development at Covenant House, said she was surprised since “donations have been down for a lot of nonprofits.”
“We rely on the generosity of corporations and community partners and individual donors to help us,” Shuster said, adding that she  “felt honored” to have received the support. Read more

Black College Students Honored at Bethlehem Lutheran

By Carla Thomas

From left to right: Cynthia Dorsey, of AC Transit, Terri Kaley and her son, Kyle Kaley and Azzie Thomas, III.

Nearly 120 students and their families gathered recently at Bethlehem Lutheran Church on West Street in West Oakland to welcome young adults from college.  
Sponsored by the Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs), Oakland Chapter, the Dec. 27 event included networking and a holiday meal. Guests were greeted by Marvin Clark, a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Langston University alumni, who began the celebration initially for students who attend Langston College and expanded the event to include students at HBCUs.
Assisting with the event were 21 alumni of HBUCs, along with Bruce Hardy, President of Oakland HBCU chapter and graduate of LeMoyne College of Memphis, TN.  According to Hardy the event honors students he hopes will graduate and come back to be a blessing in their communities.
Participants included Terri Kaley and son Kyle Kaley, Azzie Thomas, III and Cynthia Dorsey of AC Transit. Other attendees included Zeola Slaughter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Clark’s brother Booker and Mustafa of Halim of Modern Day Achievers Foundation of East Palo Alto.  
For information go to or

Students Eye Free Digital Textbook Proposal

By Post Staff

University students are giving mixed grades to a plan by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg to create an online free digital library to reduce costs of course materials for college students across the state.
Steinberg, a Sacramento  Democrat, is proposing a law that would lower costs for students struggling to cope with higher fees and tuition rates at California’s public colleges and universities. “We know that the costs of higher education are skyrocketing. Fees have gone up significantly in recent years, and we must do something about it,” Steinberg said at a recent press conference. “But too often overlooked are other costs that make higher education hard to afford.”
The introduction of Internet-based textbooks would be a mixed blessing, according to Dominique Barnes, a student at San Jose State University: “I think that there is an upside and downside with this legislation,” she said. “On the upside it would help those who are struggling to pay for their books which are very expensive. But I think the downside is that we will become too dependent on technology. I think that they should offer paper copies for free to the students.”
Steinberg said the average student spends $1,300 a year on textbooks, a figure his staff said is based on projections the University of California,California State University and community college systems provide to students for budgeting purposes.
Under his proposal, materials for 50 common lower division courses would be developed and posted online for free student access. Ordering a paper copy would cost $20, compared to the $200-plus-price tag carried by some books. Read more

Young Poets Perform on Post Radio Show

From left to right: Latoya Carter, Post News Hour radio host David Scott and Aries Jordan.

Sisters Aries Jordan, 24, and Latoya Carter, 19, joined the Post News Hour on the radio with host David Scott.  
 The two young women talked about current events and their experiences of reading poetry with “Academy of da Corner Readers Theatre” to young people at Alameda County Juvenile Hall.
The sisters sang and read poetry from their self-published books. Jordan read “A Letter to the Elders” from her book “Journey to Womanhood.”  She sang a song about “shedding,” which describes releasing old baggage that no longer serves her.  
Carter read “Believe” and “My life” from her book “Already Famous.”  She also sang a remix of the Temptations.
Carter is currently fundraising to go to Ghana and is a Post youth correspondent.  Jordan is founder of Urban Youth Ambassadors, which empowers young people through meaningful travel experiences and mentoring.
To learn more or purchase a copy of Aries Jordan’s “Journey to “Womanhood,” email  To purchase Latoya Carter’s  “I’m Already Famous,” email

“In the Name of Love” Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“In the Name of Love,” the 10th Annual Musical Tribute Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will feature the legendary, Grammy Award winner Mavis Staples, PopLyfe, Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, Oakland Children’s Community Choir and Youth Speaks. Living Jazz (formerly Rhythmic Concepts), with the generous support of Target,  will host the event at the Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway in downtown Oakland Sunday, Jan 15, 7 p.m. Reserved seating is $18, and children 12 and under are $8. For information go to