Tagged Oakland

Bethel AME Honors First Lady Florence Boyd

 

Florence Boyd

 

By Lee Hubbard

The women of Bethel AME Church will  honor  first lady, Florence Boyd the wife of Pastor J Edgar Boyd, with a luncheon Saturday July 16. The luncheon will take place at Bethel at 916 Laguna Street at Browning Fellowship Hall, with the theme being “Women Honoring Women.”
“We thought this was a good idea that is long overdue,” said Tamara Sisk, a member of the Women Honoring Women Committee at Bethel AME church.  “Our pastor has been honored and he has had many appreciations, so why not appreciate his wife who is his second half and sacrifices a lot for the church.”
Born and raised in Oakland, Florence Boyd grew up attending Brookins AME Church.  She was part of its Sunday school and Christian Education Ministries.  She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Christian Counseling from Sacramento Theological Seminary. She has been the First Lady of Bethel since 1992, when the Reverend Boyd first took over the helm of Bethel AME’s church leadership.  Together they are parents of four adult children.
At the church, Florence Boyd has provided leadership to the Sarah Tanner Missionary Unit.  She has been involved in the Youth Peoples department and she serves as the Parliamentarian for the California Annual Conference Women’s Missionary Society.
She is the immediate past First Vice President of the 5th District Clergy Family Organization and currently serves as Treasurer for the California Annual Conference Clergy Family Organization. “She does a lot of work for the church, but yet is not recognized,” said Nikki Steady with the “Women Honoring Women” committee. Read more

First Responders to Gun Shot Wounds

Oakland Pastors on the front lines

By David Scott

Who gets called when someone gets shot?
Who is first on the scene with the medical team to minister and console gunshot victims and their families?
Ministers are called to provide pastoral duties in emergencies alongside the triage medical teams and law enforcement officers.
In recognition of the role pastors play in dealing with victims of crime, Mayor Jean Quan visited the Pastors of Oakland Friday, June 24, and told them “It will take Hope not Cops to turn our City around and it’s time to get a buzz of hope throughout Oakland”.  I think starting with the clergy for a buzz will help turn our City around.
Donald Miller and the Pastors of Oakland know hope and they pray daily for help in turning Oakland away from violence.
Donald Miller is the Director of Pastoral Services at the Alameda County Medical Center who started as a volunteer Chaplain at Highland Hospital in 1989.
As I began to pray for more spiritual support from the Pastors, Priests, Imams, Rabbis, Chaplains and other Spiritual Ministers of Alameda County to get involved, the Eternal One sent the Pastors of Oakland with a team called The First Responders to GSW’s to meet with me.
The First Responders to Gun Shot Wounds (GSW) of The Pastors of Oakland was the vision of Pastor Gerald Agee. Their Chairperson is Pastor Donald Scurry. Other members include Dr. Barbara Bowman, Pastor Betty E. Clark, Pastor Phyllis Scott, Reverend Ronnie Bridgett, Reverend Gene Elam, Dr. Jasper Lowery, Pastor Jimmie Lee Oliver and. Pastor Cornell Wheeler agreed to become volunteer Chaplains at Highland.
In 1996 he was appointed the first African American Chaplain staff member until 2003 when he moved to the  Southeast Louisiana Hospital, in Mandeville, Louisiana, again, serving as the first  African American Clinical Chaplain for the State of Louisiana.
Miller returned to Highland in April this year as Director.
“On April 14, my first day, I started my old routine of visiting each floor before going to the emergency room where the gunshot victims are first treated.  And, almost every other day I heard the call for ‘Trauma Team to ER stat!’”, said Miller.
His world revolves around the terms ‘GSW’ (Gun Shot Wound), ‘ETA’ (Estimate Time of Arrival) and the ‘EMS’ (Emergency Medical Services) van.
In the Emergency Entrance, he often finds up to thirty friends and family members, in vigil, for a gunshot victim. Even though Highland is considered one of the nation’s best trauma centers, it is also a busy room for pastoral care.
Miller says more help is needed to alleviate the confusion and hurt surrounding victims.
For information call (510) 437-4431.

“A Rapture,” Not a Capture, for Parolees. They Find Jobs with Cal Trans

By Post Staff

From left to right back row: Warren Morey-ODRC Director, Roscoe Frederick-Participant, Marlin Whaley-Participant, Reggie Foster-Participant, Michael McClain-Participant, Tim Nelson-Participant, Doug Yee-ODRC Job Developer, From left to right front row: Trent Manning-Caltrans Project Manager, Bernard Thompson-ODRC Crew Supervisor, Therica Hubbard-Case Manager, Sonia Sandoval- CDCR Parole Service Associate, Lorenzo Haley-Participant, Stan Lovely-Case Manager, Andrew Josey- Case Manager Supervisor, Christopher Bonds-Participant.

When the court  announced that 43,000 prisoners would be given an early release there were some mixed responses such as “A rapture, not a capture, for prisoners?” or, “Have mercy, what can we do to help them help themselves?” But the Center Point Oakland Day Reporting Center (Oakland DRC)  has some answers that will make Oaklanders feel comfortable. They have some good news because they are helping to prepare parolees to find gainful employment.
(Oakland DRC) is a private, Read more

Freda Payne’s Family is Her ‘Band of Gold’

By Paul Cobb

Front: Isabel Cagnolaeti; Second row: (l to r) Monica Cagnolaeti, Tanya Cagnolaeti, Alex Cagnolaeti, Freda Payne; Back row: Marlin Thrower, Henry Williams, Anne Williams, Paul Simon. Photo by Gene Hazzard.

Singer Freda Payne is related to Oaklander Ann Williams. They age first cousins. During Payne’s recent performance at Yoshi’s San Francisco, she with her Oakland extended family for dinner, fun and reminiscing.  Ann’s mother Ozeree Farley Williams and Freda’s father Samuel Farley are sister and brother who hail from Winnfield, Louisiana. Ann’s family moved to California and Freda’s family moved to Detroit.
Ann said her favorite song “Bring the boys home and bring them back alive. My brother and my nephew extemporaneously provided background for the song at Yoshi’s. They were so good that the audience thought they were the regular accompaniment.
And Mr. Jose, the legendary hairdresser who had a shop on Alcatraz Avenue in Berkeley is also, a long time of friend of Freda. Mr. Jose was there rooting on the front row. Freda packed the house. She will be returning to Yoshi’s with her interpretations of Jazz legends Sarah Vaughn, Lena Horne and Ella Fitzgerald. And she can scat like Louisiana homeboy Satchmo, too’, said Ann Williams.

Sharp Decline of African- Americans in Oakland

By Jesse
Allen-Taylor

The release of the latest U.S. Census figures sparked a lot of buzz about the sharp decline of African-Americans in the City of Oakland.
Missing from the discussion-but in some ways just as important-is the withering away of African-Americans from Oakland’s past. In the officially recognized version of Oakland’s past, at least.
Buried deep and difficult to find in the website of the Oakland Convention & Visitors Bureau, the official city guide, is a single reference to an African-American-specific attraction in the city. It is a listing for the Black Panther Legacy Tour, which takes you to a website organized by former members of the 1970’s era Black revolutionary organization.
The Panther Party played an important role in both Oakland and American history in the last half of the 20th century, but it wasn’t the only player. And while Oakland has a handful of other African-American-based attractions, among them an African-American Museum & Library run by the Oakland Library, for a city with one of the richest African-American histories on the West Coast, which once had a majority-Black population, both a majority-Black City Council and School Board, and where three of the last four mayors have been African-American, and which was once a national leader in advancing African-American issues, the official references to the city’s African-American heritage are pointedly thin. The Convention & Visitors Bureau lapse is not the entire problem, but it is symptomatic of the problem.
Most notable in its absence from mainstream and popular Oakland history is a recognition of how and why African-Americans came to Oakland in the first place. That happened somewhat by geographic accident, because of the terminating of the cross-country railroad line at Central Station in West Oakland instead of in San Francisco. Pullman Porters and waiters working the railroad lines began settling in the area near the old Central Station in the late 19th century, forming the hub of a stable Black West Oakland community that was attractive to San Francisco African-Americans fleeing that city following the 1906 earthquake.
Those Oakland railroad porters and waiters helped form the Brotherhood Of Sleeping Car Porters, the first and only national African-American union. They also formed the early core of Oakland’s rising Black working and middle class.
When the World War II shipbuilding boom opened up the wartime jobs to thousands of African-American immigrants from the South, West Oakland became their entertainment and cultural center, with Black businesses booming along the neighborhood’s world-famous 7th Street. Oakland’s 7th Street, in fact, became one of the major stopping-points for African-American singers and musicians in the middle of the 20th century.
You can find that history tucked away at the African-American Museum & Library and in other locations, but it’s a history not widely celebrated, acknowledged, or even known by most of Oakland.
The old Central Station still stands at 16th and Wood Streets, and a coalition of West Oakland residents have been fighting a battle of several years to preserve it as a historical site, with a strong emphasis on its African-American component. But another West Oakland site important to the African-American historical presence in the city is in significant danger of extinction-Bea’s Hotel across the street from the old train station, where many Pullman Porters lived before establishing permanent residence in West Oakland. A developer of a proposed housing project to surround the Bea’s location has said he has been trying to buy the old hotel from the present owner. If he is able to make the purchase, he plans to demolish the historic structure. That would be a sad and enormous loss to the history of Black People in Oakland.

Oakland’s Notorious Slumlords Nailed By Court

By Lynda Carson

The Alameda County Superior Court ruled in favor of the City of Oakland against the notorious slumlords Hong Gardner and her husband John J. Gardner, in a case called “The People of the State of California VS Avalon Success, LLC.” The Gardners own properties in Oakland and Fremont, and have an office located at 1501 23rd Ave., in Oakland.
On March 24, 2011, the court ordered that the Gardners are not allowed to collect rents at their properties, must immediately abate all existing housing code violations, must end all future utility shutoffs due to their activities, and must comply with all relevant laws at their residential rental properties.
Additionally, the Gardners are not allowed to collect rents at their properties until they come into compliance with all of the court orders. The Gardners have also been ordered to pay all the relocation costs for any tenants that decide to move as a result of the injunction, and are not allowed to evict any tenants for non payment of rent, while so enjoined.
The Gardners are also ordered to immediately pay the Plaintiffs $30,300 in penalties and restitution, $2,433 in interest, and $25,420 in investigative costs. The Gardners must also immediately pay an additional $18,593 in sanctions. Failure to comply with these orders will result in the Gardners being held in contempt of court.
In Brief: The court specifically finds that the Gardners violated the Final Judgement and Permanent Injunction Pursuant to Stipulation (Stipulated Judgement) granted on May 25, 2010.
Since entry of judgement, the court finds that the Gardners have violated state and local housing codes and caused gas and water-service shutoffs at their four rental properties in Oakland. Additionally, the Gardners have also failed to employ property management, post notice to tenants, and make monetary payments as required.
The City of Oakland first filed suit against the notorious slumlords Hong Gardner and her husband John J. Gardner on June 4, 2009, for operating their residential rental properties (over 50 rental units in 4 buildings) as being substandard nuisance properties. During May, 2010, a stipulated judgement of the court required the Gardners to hire property managers, end the illegal threat of evictions at their properties, and to reimburse the City of Oakland for $10,000 in tenant relocation costs, and to pay an additional $10,000 to the City in penalties. The Gardners failed to comply with the court orders of May 2010.
Additionally, in 2007, the City of Oakland placed a Business Tax Lien on the property of John J. Gardner, Hong Gardner, and Cuong Nguyen, at 5142 Bancroft Avnue, Oakland, for not paying their business taxes.
Lynda Carson may be reached at tenantsrule@yahoo.com


Amanda Elliott’s the Main Reason for Main Street’s Success

Amanda Elliott

By Tasion Kwamilele

Amanda Elliott is one of the main reasons why Richmond’s downtown main streets will remain on “front street” in the minds of everyone who travels this city. Richmond’s downtown is  something to sing about.
Under  Elliott’s leadership, her organization, the Richmond Main Street Initiative (RMSI), has helped improve the image of downtown by providing exciting activities and events that celebrate the rich history and diversity of the city.
She completed the Richmond Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program in 2008 and the Chevron Management Institute Program in 2009 where she gained valuable information on Richmond’s history, organizational leadership, community collaboration and professional development.
(RMSI). Richmond Main Street is a community-based nonprofit organization dedicated to revitalizing historic downtown Richmond, as a vibrant, culturally diverse, pedestrian-friendly urban village offering products, services, arts and entertainment. Read more

AT&T Motivates History Makers with Speaker Series

By Ashley Chambers

AT&T 28 Days Speaker Series came to Oakland’s Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, Monday, February 28, celebrating Black History Month. Hosted by Grammy-winning hip hop artist, actor and activist, Common, this free event travelled to five different cities in the U.S., presenting five different African American history makers. Businesswoman and philanthropist, Cookie Johnson, wife of NBA star Magic Johnson, was the speaker in Oakland, inspiring others to keep dreaming.

AT&T started the 28 Days Speaker Series in 2009, bringing relevance to African American innovators and motivating others to make their own history. Loretta Walker, AT&T Vice President of External Affairs, says, “This has been a wonderful program because it’s a way for us to not only show our support for the African American community but we also are making a commitment. I mean what better way to show others how key history makers were inspired.” Read more

True Vine’s Growing Ministries

True Vine Ministries, under the leadership of  Zachary E. Carey, has been worshipping at the Grand Lake Theater for the past six years, but, do to their growth,  they will move to the auditorium of Oakland Technical High School, 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., Sunday, March 6, as it prepares to build The Jewel Center, its permanent facility at  896 Isabella Street (near West Grand and Market Streets) the current location of True Vine’s Bible Institute and administrative offices.
Pastor Carey envisions a multipurpose facility for worship, recreation and family services. He plans to build a restaurant, a gymnasium space that will also double as a dining hall. He said individual members of his church will also establish small businesses at the location.

Groundbreaking Celebrations at Lion Creek Crossings Phase IV in East Oakland

From left to right: Jeremy Liu (EBALDC Executive Director), District 7 Councilmember Larry Reid, Janny Castillo (OHA Commissioner), Bill Witte (President of Related California), Gabriel Speyer (Vice President Community Banking, Bank of America Merrill Lynch), Eric Johnson (OHA Executive Director), Mayor Jean Quan, Moses Mayne (Chair, OHA Board of Commissioners), Lion Creek Crossings residents Aaliyah Carney and Marilyn Lawson, and District 4 BART Director Robert Raburn. Photo by Gene Hazzard.

District 7 Councilmember Larry Reid and Mayor Jean Quan kicked off groundbreaking celebrations at Lion Creek Crossings Phase IV in E. Oakland, next to the Coliseum BART station, on Wednesday, Feb. 23, 1 p.m. Developers and finance partners, East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC), Oakland Housing Authority (OHA), Related California, and Bank of America held the event, although construction has already been in full swing for a couple months. Next door, construction workers with Nibbi Brothers were hard at work, and the sounds of hammering could be heard in the background throughout the speaking program.
In addition to speeches from elected officials and execs of OHA, Related CA, EBALDC, and Bank of America, Ms. Marilyn Lawson, a five-year resident of Lion Creek Crossings and community activist, spoke about what inspires her to organize an annual community health fair and reach out to youth.  She was joined on the stage by two local youth leaders, Aaliyah Carney and Jamilla Lawson, who also spoke about civic engagement and contributing to their community.
Larry Reid commended the work of Ms. Lawson and the youth, saying, “[it] motivates you to continue the struggle- the struggle to change one of the areas that those who have any history about East East Oakland of being known as the ‘killing fields’ of this city. Well, that name does not fit this part of Oakland because it is going through some incredible change….I always say that God is good. Read more

The Power of the Media and Coalitions

By Tanya
Dennis

Last Thursday I came home from work to another “Writ of Possession” posted on my door.  For those readers that missed my previous article, I repossessed my home on January 18th after Wells Fargo had been awarded an unlawful detainer against me and the sheriff had evicted me and my family on December 7th. After a month of watching people trample through my home I went rogue, changed the locks and repossessed my home.
Unfortunately the Superior Court Judge would not consider my new evidence in the form of a forensic loan audit that proved Wells Fargo foreclosed upon me illegally. Unfortunately for citizens in Northern California courts, the courts fear the banks more than they fear the people.
The Sheriff’s writ of possession stated that I must vacate the premises by Thursday, February 24th.  So now, having no other alternative, I called Wells Fargo and requested a modification.  The answer was no.  Fortunately for me I had Read more

Dr. Candace Johnson, Performs Negro Spirituals at Downs

Dr. Cadace Johnson

Dr. Candace Johnson, Soprano, will debut a concert of African American spirituals, hymns and other songs of worship Sunday, February 27, 4pm at the Downs Memorial United Methodist Church, located at 61st and Idaho Streets in North Oakland. The concert will highlight a benefit program for the church’s scholarship fund.
Accompanied by a trio of musicians, Dr. Johnson has made concert appearances at numerous universities and churches throughout the country.
She specializes in research and performance of works by African American composers and traditional African American folk songs, and she is equally known as a singing actress with an extensive repertoire of operatic performances, concerts and recital programs. She studied with Shirley Verrett at the University of Michigan. where she received her Doctorate of Musical Arts in voice performance. She has a fellowship at UC Berkeley where she teaches applied voice and is on the faculty at the Revival Center Ministry’s Training Institute in Vallejo. Aside from holding the title of Ms. Black Tennessee, she’s  an entrepreneur and founded SweetPsalm Music.
Tickets are $20.00 for adults.  For information about the Downs Memorial Church Scholarship Committee, call 510-654-5858. Visit Dr. Johnson’s website at: http://www.cjsings.com/home.php


Police Credit Faith Community For Helping to Reduce Violence

By Chief Chris Magnus
Richmond Police Department

Left to right: Chief Chris Magnus, Deputy Chief Allwyn Brown, Mrs. Sabrina Saunders, Community Organizer and Captain Mark Gagan. Photo by Joe L. Fisher, BAPAC.

On Saturday, February 19th, I had the privilege of meeting with close to 50 leaders from Richmond’s faith community at the Richmond Police Department.  A diverse group of clergy, faith-based community organizations, community organizers, and civic leaders was assembled to discuss some of the many activities and projects underway to reduce violence in our city.
This meeting was an opportunity for those in attendance to hear about various faith-based endeavors and City government initiatives related to crime and violence reduction.  Violent crime was down 10% last year in Richmond and is down 30% so far this year.   Based on these successes, I felt now was the time to redouble our efforts towards partnering with the faith-based community.
I spoke to the group about the Police Department’s COMPSTAT program, which uses daily crime data to track where and what kind of crime is taking place in the City.  COMPSTAT allows us to focus on specific crime trends and locations that merit extra attention or resources.  To best use COMPSTAT data, the Department assigns a Captain, several other command staff, and a group of officers to each of the City’s three geographic districts (North, Central, and South).  These personnel are responsible for using this data to problem-solve with residents and provide the best possible Read more

First Ladies Help Build Families, Membership and Pastoral Support

By Antoinette Porter

From left to right: First Lady Dr. Rosa James, First Lady Diane Redic and First Lady Gloria Ashley. Photos by Joe L. Fisher and Adam L. Turner.

Last Week the Post began a series honoring the First ladies of more than 1,000 African American houses of worship around the Bay Area.
Meeting with First Lady Gloria Ashley and Pastor Larry Ashley was a rewarding experience.  I found First Lady Ashley was recovering from foot surgery and stated “this too shall pass.  I am looking forward to getting busy again and if you Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” She also stated “it’s an honor to be recognized by the Post Newspaper, God does all things well”.   March 25th Pastor Larry Ashley will celebrate 21 years of service to the Cosmopolitan Baptist Church family.  Pastor Ashley just returned from a 12 days trip in Israel with 17 other pastors from the western part of the United States.  He stated “it was quite rewarding and best time he had”
First Lady Dr. Rosa James of Beth Eden Baptist Church said she thinks the series on First Ladies will be helpful. “I think the paper’s focus on First Ladies is very creative, it shows respect and regard for the church and community.  Read more

Judge Hatchett Keynotes Women’s Leadership Awards Luncheon

By Jessie Brooks

Judge Glenda Hatchett

Judge Glenda Hatchett will give the keynote speech at  the 13th Annual Madam C. J. Walker Business and Community Recognition Awards luncheon March 4 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in San Francisco.
Madam C. J. Walker was the first African-American female self-made millionaire and business leader.  Judge Hatchett’s television court show is noted for its creative sentencing practices and its intervention and mentoring strategies in which those who are guilty “do time” with community leaders and others, rather than in jail.
The Oakland-Bay Area Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women (NCBW) is the luncheon host. The luncheon raises funds to support NCBW’s programs such as, “Positive Steps Mentoring Program”, a program targeting teenage girls.  And their highly visible and effective campaign, “Sistahs getting real about HIV/AIDS”, begins its 11th year. AIDS is the No. 1 cause of death for Black women ages 25 to 44. Read more

Black History Month Celebrated In Space

Dr. Ronald McNair

Black History Month will be celebrated at the Chabot Space and Science Center by honoring the contributions of African Americans in the fields of science and space. On Saturday, February 19, at 1pm or 3pm, visitors can fly a simulated mission to space that with a special tribute to African American astronauts.
Chabot is home to the Challenger Learning Center, a classroom replica of NASA’s Mission Control with an adjoining spacecraft. It’s the legacy of the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy.
Among the crew aboard that mission was the second African American in space, Dr. Ronald McNair. McNair was valedictorian of his high school class, and earned a B.S. degree from North Carolina A&T State University. He received a PhD from MIT, before entering the astronaut program at NASA.
Dr. McNair is an inspiration to all who value education, science discovery, and exploration. While in the Challenger Learning Center, like NASA missions, visitors are guided by an experienced flight director. To reserve space, call (510) 336-7373. Read more

Keith Carson Hosts “Family Journeys” Black History Event

Keith Carson

The Great Migration of African Americans to the Bay Area is a vital aspect of our collective history, yet many youth are not familiar with the story of their ancestors.  Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson is organizing a unique Black History Month event on Saturday, February 19 from 10 am to 2 pm at the Black Repertory Theatre in Berkeley to bring a glimpse of those stories to youth and adults alike.
Family Journeys: The Migration of African Americans to the Bay Area and Intergenerational Dialogue will feature an informative panel discussion where audience members will learn about the Great Migration and the contributions of African Americans to the Bay Area.  They will hear the stories of the men and women who arrived to work in the shipyards and stayed to raise families, worship and create a flourishing and diverse community and Bay Area history.
Community luminaries in the fields of Black studies, history and faith will paint a vivid picture of the complex history of African American contributions to the Bay Area economy, culture and political landscape.  The invited panelists include Professor Oba T’Shaka, Former Chair of the Africana Studies Department at San Francisco State University; Pastor Martha Taylor, Elmhurst Presbyterian Church; and Betty Reid Soskin, Outreach Specialist at Rosie the Riveter WWII/Home Front National Historical Park.  The panel will be moderated by Davey D of Hard Knock Radio. Read more

Cynthia Slater, Community Builder

By David Drabkin

Oakland resident Cynthia Slater (far left) is a Human Resources director at UC Berkeley. On weekends, she transforms the lives of five and six year old children at the Willie Keyes Recreation Center in West Oakland.

On weekdays, Oakland resident Cynthia Slater is a Human Resources director at UC Berkeley.  On weekends, she transforms the lives of five and six year old children at the Willie Keyes Recreation Center, 3131 Union Street in West Oakland.
Since 2008, together with other volunteers from the Oakland Baha’i community, Cynthia spends her Saturdays promoting “spiritual empowerment” through art and music projects.  In addition to providing healthy snacks for children in need, the volunteers teach 10-20 children such basic values as kindness, generosity, community, and love through cooperative, non-competitive games.
Forming bonds and ties of friendship and love between kids and their families has helped her understand the underlying issues in community and community building. Most of all, Cynthia is passionate about her volunteering because she is unlocking hidden potential — she is helping youth “understand that they have innate abilities within themselves to achieve.”
On Saturday, February 26, readers are invited to attend an “Appreciation and Encouragement Brunch,” at the Willie Keyes Recreation Center from 11 a -2 pm. Read more

Mayflower Community Chorus Presents “Holiday Magic”

In celebration of its 30th anniversary, the Mayflower Community Chorus presents “Holiday Magic,” featuring a diverse program that includes the chorus, instrumentalists, soloists, choral ensembles and a special Hawaiian surprise.
The Mayflower Community Chorus is directed by renowned Argentinean maestro Daniel Canosa, with script by Jennifer Sowden and stage direction by Candace Brown.  Assistant director David Manley provides accompaniment.  Program notes for each song are included in the program.  Performances support the activities and programs of the nonprofit Mayflower Choral Society.
The show will be held Friday, Dec. 10 and Saturday, Dec. 11, 8 p.m. at the Marin Center Showcase Theatre, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. The Sunday, Dec. 12, show will be held at 2 p.m. at Church of Saint Isabella, One Trinity Way, Terra Linda. Tickets are  $17, general admission; $12, seniors and students; $5, 8 years and under For information call (415) 491-9110 or go to www.mayflowerchorus.org.

Lee Supports New Nutrition

By Tasion
Kwamilele

On Wednesday, December 1 Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, released a statement regarding CBC’s support of  The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.
‘The Healthy, Hunger Free Kids’ Act was introduced earlier this year by Arkansas Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln in hopes of expanding program access to reduce childhood hunger and to improve nutritional quality to promote health and address childhood obesity.  Since being passed, the bipartisan, fiscally responsible bill has become the largest investment in federal child nutrition programs to date. It will provide nearly $4.5 Billion in new children nutrition program funding over the next ten years “With poverty and childhood obesity on the rise, this legislation achieves the twin goals of expanding the pool of needy children who are eligible for school nutrition programs while establishing healthier meal guidelines for American schools,” said Congresswoman Lee. Read more

Oakland Pilot City for Healing Black America

Last week, Susan Taylor and other notable celebrities, inspirational speakers and psychologists convened in Oakland for a three day retreat to discuss wellness principles and the necessary steps to heal Black America.  Celebrities included Harry Belafonte, Malik Yoba, Michael Eric Dyson, Iyanla Vanzant,  Dr. Na’im Akbar and Dr. Wade Nobles. The retreat’s participants committed to volunteering an hour a week with the children in  local organizations served by Oakland Bay Area Cares.

From left to right – Top:  Bantaba Drummers lead recessional; Second row: Arnold Perkins, Dereca Blackmon, Vera Nobles, Shonda Scott, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Susan Taylor, Congresswoman Barbara Lee; Third row: Susan Taylor, Yolanda Mansfield, Brent F. Burton, Lou Gossett Jr. , Dr. Wade Nobles, Dr. Na’im Akbar, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Jason Seals. Photos by Gene Hazzard.

Richmond Tales Causes Outbreak of “Reading Fever”

Verde Elementary students track Maisha and Mario’s time travels

By Tasion Kwamilele

What makes a great book?  Some would say it’s the plot. Others would argue it’s the affect it has on its readers. From the captivating art work to the well crafted story line, Summer Brenner’s Richmond Tales: Lost Secrets of the Iron Triangle, has sparked and outbreak of “reading-fever” in the Richmond community because the storyline gives readers a ticket to ride backward and forward in time.
Richmond Tales portrays two Richmond youth, Maisha and Mario, who journey back into a simpler place in time, into the Richmond of 1914 and in 1942 when the city experienced its phenomenal growth during World War II. The book allows the readers to “trip forward” too, with the two youth, to the year 2050, to uncover the futuristic digital world.
Lanre Ajayi, who served as principal for the summer school at Verde Elementary School, incorporated the book into the curriculum.   Ajayi says the students and parents both were excited about the book and its companion workbook. Read more

BYA Starts New Reentry Program

Kevin Williams

Through a $2.9 million U.S. Department of Labor Community-based Job Training Grant awarded to the Peralta Community College District, Berkeley Youth Alternatives’ (BYA) new Reentry Program under Dionne Carter, MPH is designed for previously incarcerated individuals, dislocated workers, long-term unemployed individuals and people with limited English-proficiency.
The Reentry Program offers similar workforce services as BYA’s Steps-2-Success program (S2S) and provides services targeting the youth Reentry population. From bus and BART passes to work clothes and academic supplies, the Reentry Program provides case management, training and support services toward removing barriers to education and employment. The program offers GED and High School Diploma assistance as well as counselors for individual sessions. In addition to work readiness, the program is geared toward sustainable employment. Through Merritt College and College of Alameda, participants will take courses in Green Building and Energy Management, Logistics and Transportation, Medical Assistance, and Counseling.  Paid internships will be offered in these areas as well that hopefully, lead to jobs. Read more

Chevron Donates $1 Million To Nonprofit Groups

To continue its support of Richmond’s education and job preparation needs, Chevron will announce investments in seven non-profit organizations on Tuesday, Dec. 14, at 10:00 a.m. at the RichmondBuild location, 500 23rd Street.
A total of one million dollars will be given to seven organizations from Richmond and West Contra Costa County. The organizations were selected based upon their assistance to local schools and their support for job creation activities.
Chevron said the grant awards are part of their California Partnership, which is an initiative to invest in education and job creation in California.   Chevron said their California Partnership is committed to education and job creation as “essential building blocks of strong communities and further economic growth and prosperity.”
For more information contact: Brent Tippen at 510-242-4700 or Brent.Tippen@chevron.com.

EDA Saved Jobs and Businesses

From left to right: East Bay EDA Executive Director Karen Engel, Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson and County Administrator Susan Muranishi.

The East Bay Economic Development Alliance (EDA), the largest business group of its kind in the East Bay, celebrated its 20th Anniversary in Oakland on Thursday, December 2.  The group spotlighted the East Bay Indicators Report (EBIR) which highlighted the innovative industries that will help the region pull through the Great Recession.
Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson, who has been Chair of the organization for the past 15 years, said “The organization was founded to bring together leaders from our diverse community to solve major challenges that directly and indirectly affect us in the East Bay, the Bay Area Region and Northern California.”
One of the EDA’s first successes was helping to secure $258 million in federal funding for a dredging project that deepened the channels leading to the Port of Oakland.  They were a part of a consortium of diverse groups that forged an agreement that protected wildlife and at the same time allowed for newer container ships to enter the port. Read more