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Youth FLip the Script Performances

Thursday, August 4th
Youth Arts Celebration:
a tribute to Oakland fathers and father figures

Youth Arts Celebration is the 2nd youth led event by BAY-Peace interns, in our series “Oakland Unspoken: Narratives of our Fight for Freedom.” It highlights young artists in Oakland, who are using their art to empower themselves, their families and community. This event will include great performances from the Lower Bottom Playaz Summer Theater Day Camp and BAY-Peace. A delicious Soul Food meal will be catered by Youth Uprising’s Corners Cafe, an open mic/stage, and not to mention a sharing of our knowledge and youth perspective on current events. In this event we would like to show special gratitude to past, present and future fathers and father figures throughout the Oakland Community, in keeping with our “Honoring Oakland Mothers” brunch in May.

This free and family friendly event will take place on Thursday Aug. 4th from 4-6pm at Youth UpRising, 8711 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland, CA 94605. Come join us on this spectacular loving day to show support to our upcoming generation of talented artists and celebrate the special men in our community. Donations will be requested for delicious soul food plates, $10 for adult plates, to support our youth internships in community organizing and arts activism.

Please email us at if you or any of your young people are interested in sharing some of your art for the open mic/stage! All open mic participants will receive a free meal ticket!

2016 Summer Program - Paid Internships!

We are now enrolling Oakland youth for two exciting programs this summer July 5-August 4, 2016!

Lower Bottom Playaz Theater Day Camp Monday-Thursday, 10am-2pm, Ages 5-18

BAY-Peace Vocational Theater Internship Mon & Weds 10 am-2pm, and Tues & Thursdays 10 am--4:30pm, Ages 14-21

Both programs held at BAY-Peace, 610-16th St. #322, Oakland.
Interviews for paid Internships are 2-3 pm on Tuesday 6/21 and Tuesday 6/28! RSVP 510-863-1737.

Lower Bottom Playaz (LBP) Summer Theater Day Camp will be led by Ayodele Nzinga, a renowned artist who, in the tradition of the Black Arts Continuum, uses performance as a method of inter-intra group communication. She established The Lower Bottom Playaz, Inc.(LBP) in 1999 and has run a summer theater camp for youth since 2007. It is a theater arts and literacy intensive that introduces youth to theater making, the art of stagecraft and collaborative play as a way of enshrining imagination. The activities focus on the development of critical thinking, the practice of multiple literacies, community visioning, and facilitate self-generated learning. LBP artists commit to lifelong learning through the arts, and invest in the use of the medium of live theater to engage inner-city communities. They purposefully use performance as a way of increasing social awareness, providing an entry point to community concerns, as well as to stimulate, celebrate and enhance understanding of ourselves and others through the shared experience of live theatre. This is a free training program that is open to youth 5-18 years old. For questions regarding the LBP Summer Theater Day Camp, please contact Ayodele Nzinga at

This summer, BAY-Peace is seeking an additional 6 youth for a paid internship to supplement their participation in LBP with extra skill building around community organizing and vocational development on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. Stipends will be provided! $1,255 for five weeks, 20 hrs/week

Interested in working with either of these programs? Apply here!


Theater of the Oppressed 2-day training

Saturday & Sunday June 18 & June 26 10-4pm

Calling all classroom teachers, after school instructors, program leaders, educators, support staff, counselors, youth organizers and community members who work with young people - this is for you! A gift for making it to the end of the school year, to rejuvenate and brainstorm - on your feet - new techniques to bring to your students. We welcome all levels of experience in education, arts and activism. APPLY HERE today!


We will play, decompress from the school year, and learn strategies for resisting and healing from the oppressive systems that surround us. We're excited to help you think about integrating liberatory arts with your lesson planning. We will practice transparent facilitation, guiding you through a process and simultaneously commenting on its application and effectiveness in youth settings and schools.

This workshop will be facilitated by previous BAY-Peace staff Tatiana Chaterji and Tele’jon Quinn, with support from BAY-Peace Youth Arts Facilitator, Xirix Bickham. Tati uses T.O. to heal and activate with sisters/brothers victimized by the criminal system. T uses T.O. to support storytelling, peer learning and personal reflection among young people. Together, they have coached teenagers to lead Theatre of the Oppressed with their peers, and come with years of organizing youth in high-stress environments for social justice.

We welcome all levels of experience in education, arts and activism. APPLY HERE today!


Make an online donation ro BAY-Peace on May 3rd!East Bay Gives!

Please get ready to help BAY-Peace raise $4,000 in 24 hours! East Bay Gives is a massive campaign to raise funds for groups like BAY-Peace. We are counting on our supporters to either:

1.  Pledge a "matching gift" before May 3rd, or

2.  Make an online donation to BAY-Peace on our Paypal site on Tuesday, May 3rd.

Please mark your calendars today! May 3rd!



April 7th Survivors Speak Conference in Sacramento The Mexican Bus will take us to Sacramento on April 7th!

Have you experienced violence? Are you tired of hearing that more police and prisons are the only solution? Many of us have survived violent crime, but don't buy into the cruel and ineffective strategies that are often promoted by politicians. We are coming together on April 7th to speak out! Join us!
BAY-Peace has chartered the Mexican Bus and we have space for 35 Oakland youth to join us at the April 7th Survivors Speak Conference in Sacramento. 

Check out the New KDOL Video
BAY-Peace Youth-Led Theater of the Oppressed Workshops!

We’ll help you get a New Perspective on your Issues!
BAY-Peace youth leaders are now offering performance/workshops for your classroom or youth group. Our youth-led workshops use Theater of the Oppressed techniques as a tool to engage young people in gaining a deeper understanding of issues in their lives.

Theater of the Oppressed (aka “Rehearsal for the Revolution”) is a highly interactive approach that draws upon social justice related stories from the participants. Participants are encouraged to step out of their comfort zones and become ‘spect-actors.’ In this way young people are able to bring their minds, hearts and bodies into play as we explore strategies to transform the many ways that violence impacts their lives.

BAY-Peace workshops can be used to:

  • Bring out creative solutions to a problem your group is working on
  • Bring laughter and fun into your classroom, even while dealing with heavy issues
  • Engage and empower young people to resolve conflicts before they arise
  • Bring different groups together around a common concern

BAY-Peace will work with you to develop a workshop or series of sessions tailored to whatever needs or issues you would like to address.

If you would like to host a BAY-Peace workshop/performance with your class or youth group,
please let us know! 510-863-1737,,

More About our Theater of the Oppressed Program (TOP)!

“A Rehearsal for the Revolution”

By Tevin Wilson

Theater of the Oppressed was created by Augusto Boal, in Brazil in the 1960s, as a way of promoting political and social change.  He realized that homeless people were being taken out to the fields and killed by the government. This went on because they feared tourists would leave with a negative impression of Brazil. Boal organized people to walk around with signs saying, " I want to be a slave again." The goal was to get people's attention and let them question what was going on. This act marked the beginning of Theater of the Oppressed, and it has grown into a world-wide movement. In the words of Boal, “The theater itself is not revolutionary: it is a rehearsal for the revolution.”

BAY-Peace offers Theater of the Oppressed workshops in schools and community organizations that work with youth. We have completed workshops for over 300 students and 65 teachers so far this school year. An important piece of our work has been using Forum Theater to create safe spaces for practicing effective ways to respond in oppressive situations. We have developed three skits based on our personal experiences. The skits are focused on police violence, militarism/military recruitment, and the educational system. Our skits are based on real life situations in an effort to relate to the experiences of other Oakland youth.

I feel that these techniques give you a greater chance of defusing a confrontation before it escalates. For me Theater of the Oppressed is like an avatar state, where I can do and say things I wouldn’t say in a real situation. I might get into a confrontation then walk away saying " I should have said this " or " I should have done this.” With the tools I have gained from these workshops, I have learned how to defuse situations before they escalate. Every situation will not require you to use these tools, but it’s good to have a choice to handle it the way you want to, knowing you have skills in your back pocket. We look forward to expanding our Theater of the Oppressed work, and sharing these tools for defusing oppressive confrontations with more youth and adults next year.

2013 SUMMER PROGRAM: BAY-Peace will be offering a six week summer program which will include an intensive Theater of the Oppressed training with John Scott, a world renowned drama therapist. Participants will learn to facilitate Theatre of the Oppressed exercises that will draw out the experiences of young people who are encouraged to practice more creative ways to deal with the violence and oppression they face. We will be offering youth-led workshops during this period, so please contact us if you have an opportunity to bring this amazing form of popular education to your group or class this summer. More details coming soon. 510-863-1737,

The workshops we offer are highly interactive, utilizing Augusto Boal’s Theater of the Oppressed structures and exercises to draw upon social justice related stories from the participants. In our interactive youth-led presentation-performances, audiences are encouraged to be ‘spect-actors.’ In this way young people are able to bring their minds, hearts and bodies into play as they explore ways to transform the violence which is often part of their experience with institutions like the military, the police/prison system and immigration enforcement (ICE).

If you are part of a youth group and would like to host a BAY-Peace theater workshop/performance with your group, please let us know! 510-863-1737,

BAY-Peace Visits the Big Apple!BAY-Peace visits Ya Ya Network in New York

by Tele'jon Quinn

On March 20th the BAY-Peace team flew out to New York for a Spring break we will never forget! For many of us it was our first time there and for some of us it was our first time flying. Nearly every moment of the trip was a completely new experience that offered a lot to learn from. We are especially appreciative of the former BAY-Peace team member, Abraham Velasquez and our sister organization, The YA-YA Network. They made our week long stay in NYC not only welcoming, but they made it feel like home. We also appreciate the Brotherhood/Sister Sol for allowing us to share and receive art with the talented young folks in their Lyrical Circle.

Of all of our major impactful experiences, the Lyrical Circle with Brotherhood/Sister Sol was one of our first. For those of you unfamiliar with what goes on in a lyrical circle, we share our lyrics! Usually through spoken word or hip hop. We had the privilege of hearing their stories in the different style of writing the East Coast has to offer. However different the stories were, there was usually a common ground in the struggles between the East and West. We related to stories of destructive relationships, poverty, and gentrification. Watching the thousands of films that portray life in New York City could never have prepared us for the real experiences these young artists shared with us.

Next on our list of dope impactful experiences was the Street Harassment Summit; that was organized and facilitated by young people. At this summit we had interesting dialogue around the role of womyn in street harassment. People shared thought provoking personal experiences. Working in small groups, we identified the root causes, the institutions that reinforce, the outcomes and effects, and realistic solutions to the street harassment issue. By far the most interesting conversation that came up, in my opinion, was the claim that even if a womyn chose to engage a street harasser and pursue sexual relations, that none of us has the right to judge her and say she doesn't have respect for herself.  Some very interesting debate arose from this statement, and that dialogue was the highlight of my summit experience.

But that was all just a portion of what we experienced in New York. We did so much from facilitating a Theater of the Oppressed workshop for our YA-YA fam to trying strange new food from some Mom and Pop shops, and even having our first White Castle Sliders. We danced in front of projects at night, we freestyled on subways, and we had full-blown cyphers on the glowing streets of Time Square. We did just about everything a dope young group could do in NYC, except feed one of the largest capitalist monsters in the country. Alright, maybe we fed it a little.


"BAY-Peace 2012" — A six-minute journey

Video by Abe Velazquez

PLAY VIDEO  Thanks to Abe Velazquez for editing some highlights of a great year into this six minute video. It includes our street actions, forum theatre work, our "Instruments of Peace" workshops at Emiliano Zapata Street Academy, and our Lyrical Circles poets. And thanks to all the amazing young people who have contributed their talents, intelligence and passion to BAY-Peace. Together, we are making a difference in Oakland!


"Train of Thought" — Poetry in Action
Senior Project by Tele'Jon Quinn

PLAY VIDEO  Tele'Jon Quinn, together with Christsna Sot, Brian Piera and Megan Torio, shared their original poetry on the BART trains in an effort to raise consciousness about the issue of youth homicides—in particular those being carried out by professional and vigilante law enforcement officers. Tele'Jon Quinn is a member of the BAY-Peace Youth Action Team who graduated from Met West High School in June 2012 and now attends Laney College. He, Megan, Christsna and Brian have all been active with BAY-Peace and participate in the Friday night Lyrical Circle Writers Group at BAY-Peace.

BAY-Peace Tax Day Action in Oakland!
On April 17th BAY-Peace Youth Leaders and students from our Resistance Art Projects Class at Oakland Emiliano Zapata Street Academy teamed up with youth from 67 Sueños, war tax resisters and a coalition of other anti-war activists including Code Pink, Grandmothers Against the War, Courage to Resist on Tax Day.  We used poetry, theater and dance to let folks know how the youth of Oakland feel about  the fact that half our federal taxes are used for war!

Thanks to Ces Rosales, Siri Margerin, Jeff Paterson & Lucinda Daly for taking these beautiful photos of our Tax Day Action!

And thanks to David Nelson for creating this video of our Flash Mob dance.





Check out our Video "BAY-Peace Anthem"

If you had all the power, what would you do with a TRILLION dollars?  State and Federal budget cuts are closing schools, cutting Pell Grants, healthcare, and other programs that are crucial for young people and our communities – and yet they usually aren’t a part of the conversation.

The IHTD Youth Film Festival asks young people to speak out on the federal budget and asks them to consider:
  The $1 trillion spent yearly on the U.S. military
  The $1 trillion spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
  The $1 trillion plus in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans
The IHTD Youth Film Festival is sponsored by American Friends Service Committee and National Priorities Project (NPP) with the purpose of involving young people in the debate about federal budget priorities. Participants will be receive training and will spend a day on Capitol Hill talking with legislators about where our taxes could better be used!

If you'd like to participate in the Third Annual 2013 IHTD Youth Film Festival, here's more info:

Opt Out of JAMRS Military Recruiting Database!

(Quick Link to more JAMRS Information)

JAMRS stands for the "Joint Advertising Market Research Studies." The JAMRS database is funded by the Department of Defense with the goal of maximizing military recruitment efforts. It is a massive registry of 30 million Americans between the ages of 16 and 25 that includes information such as your name, date of birth, gender, mailing address, email address, race and ethnicity, telephone number, high school name, graduation date, Grade Point Average, college intent, military interest, field of study, and the ASVAB Test score. JAMRS will sell your information to military recruiters... UNLESS YOU OPT OUT!

BAY-Peace supports and empowers Bay Area youth to transform militarism and other forms of violence through youth organizing and artistic resistance. We offer a wholistic youth leadership program that integrates vocational development, artistic expression, socio-political education, community organizing, healing and personal transformation.

Please help us envision our future in the face of serious budget cuts by taking our
5-minute Community Stakeholder Survey.
We appreciate your input!

Unfortunately, the East Bay Gives website crashed, but YOU CAN STILL HELP Bay- Peace​ raise $4,000 to keep our youth Arts & Activism programs going! Please go to our donation link instead.