Oakland Listening Sessions Oakland Listening Sessions, October 2014 

You are invited to share your stories of violence, victimization, resilience, and spirit at the second round of Listening Sessions, in East Oakland. We welcome you to a creative process of storytelling and witnessing, where youth will facilitate embodied forms and theatrical expression. We are building grassroots policy recommendations for policymakers as the election approaches, and this is the first step. We will continue the process even after November, with commitment to holding leaders accountable and honoring community voices.

Here is a short video that captures some of the power from the West Oakland Listening Sessions in West Oakland, from spring 2014:

Saturday, October 18th, 2-5 pm, Youth Uprising,
8711 MacArthur Blvd. Oakland
— Listening Session to share stories about the impacts of institutional and community violence.

Saturday, October 25th, 2-5 pm, 81st Ave Library,
1021 81st. Avenue, Oakland
—Policy Brainstorm to generate specific recommendations for community-based public policies.

The first two Oakland Listening Sessions were a HUGE success. We had over 6 campaigns represented, with over 60 participants at each event. See pictures here from the May 18th event (Photographer Chantil Brown!!!).

Our May 31st meeting included a full program with workshop style groups where our storytelling was utilized to formulate policy ideas based on the issues presented on the 18th.

We Focused on the following Policy Issue Areas: 

- Domestic Violence  

- Police Brutality

- Criminalization of POC

- Gun Violence

- Sexual Violence/Harassment


Our East Oakland dates are coming out soon! Please come join other Oakland individuals and organizations and offer your ideas on how to create a community without state or interpersonal violence!

Oakland Listening Sessions is a series of seven community gatherings, between May-November 2014, responding to institutional and community violence. Integrating storytelling, Theater of the Oppressed, and Spoken Word, Oakland Listening Sessions will elevate the voices of Oakland’s youth and families in anticipation of city elections. Participating groups and individuals will forge grassroots policy recommendations that recognize how systems of state and community violence intersect and reinforce each other. BAY-Peace, Truth Telling Series, Urban Peace Movement and the growing community of Oakland Listening Sessions partner organizations aim to catalyze action and hold politicians accountable to low-income constituents of color who are directly affected and in need of solutions that reflect their experiences and priorities.
Four more public meetings are being organized in East Oakland and Fruitvale/San Antonio in the months of July-October. Dates and locations TBA.

Saturday, November 22nd will be an all-day, post-election Strategy Retreat to plan next steps for action on the community policy recommendations that come out of the two Oakland Listening Session cycles.

Planning Meetings: Our next planning meeting will be at Powderface Cafe (in front of the Fruitvale BART Station) on Monday July 21st from 4:30-6:00 pm. Please join us! Youth are welcomed and encouraged to participate in the planning process!
Please let us know if you'd like to attend.
We have stipends available for youth who help organize these events.

For more information, please contact or 510-863-1737.

Organizational Co-Sponsors include:
BAY-Peace, Truth Telling Series, Urban Peace Movement, 67 Sueños, Youth Alive, EBASE, PUEBLO, Allen Temple Baptist Church, Justice for Alan Blueford Coalition, RJOY, CURYJ, Black Organizing Project, Phat Beets Produce, North Oakland Restorative Justice Council and Project WHAT! Please join us!

We are extremely grateful to the Akonadi Foundation's Beloved Community Fund for their support!