Oakland CA, June 21, The sun was shinin g brightly as sweet breeze blew through the world famous Jack London District. Musicians, producers, promoters, film makers, activist, and local industry execs converged on the Oakland Metro. The purpose the summer kick off event organized by Former Oakland Mayoral Cadidate, Orlando Johnson was to bring the music entertainment industry movers and shakers & grassroots community leaders together, so they can network and pool resources to improve the quality of life for everyone. Director of Oba Dogon SSS and Inersha Entertainment recording artist, Brotha Chaz Walker, attended the expo with his sons, Tyreke, Jessie and Ayodele. Walker said, " the boys are music students and they all aspire to be musicians, I think this is great. However, I want to them to understand the music industry as well amd become powerfful executives.
The event consisted of a panel discussion, speeches by local leaders and entertainment industry executives and live performances by some th ehottest artist inthe Bay Area.
Panalist and presenters included, Rayven Justce Sr, Kraig Debro, Wilson Riles, Orlando Johnson, Legendary Freddie Hughes, Reinaldi Gilder, Brotha Chaz Walker , Ca$h Out mom, Tracy Reed, Sean Kennedy.Wilson Riles Jr. explined the benefits of a proposed local currency. Riles told the audience that "we would call that local currency the “ACORN.” This captures a local prosperity/growth concept for the currency." He added that "The United States has a rich history of local currencies. Riles wrapped up his presentation by saying, "the ACORN ID-currency card has many advantages for example ID cards also function as a discount card for some City services such as libraries, zoos, and public transportation . To learn more the push for local currency in Oakland visit http://oaklandcityidcard.org/acorns/
There were live performances by Rayven Justice, iStevie, Geez L- Money Sutf, Mitchy, Slap Team, Bo, A.M.C, Verbal Assassinz, Lady Swagga, K R, What it do, Sofu, Empress Freedom, and Bay Boys Of Comedy. This was truly a town production and everyone got their chance to shine. The performers rocked. Major props to business who stepped up like Planet Of The Grapes, Oakalnd Green Party, KPR1 Radio, Baylife Entertainmetn and GoDer Magazine. Thank you for supporting the vision.
Let Peace Begin With Me
Day By Day, One Human Interaction at a time, we can reduce and ultimately stop violence in our community. No one wins when gun shots ring out. Last year 130 live were lost in Oakland. Granted 7 people were gunnned down in one day by mentally ill man One Goh, 44 at Oikos University. We all agree that it is time to change our culture and replace violent acts with acts of kindness. However, it seems eaiser said than done.
Well, I propose that we all start right now, right where we are, by being nicer to everyone who crosses our path. Let us all be more respectful and more tolerent. Let's pause for a moment before we raise our voice at someone. Just a thought. A little love goes a long way.
Annual Scholaship Fundraiser For Oakland Grads, April 13
By: C. Walker
The Willard A. Jackson Social Club is comprised of members of Victoria Consistory #25 in Oakland, California. For more than a generation, these men, most of whom happen to be African Americans, have been quietly raising money for local High School graduates. Each year the men, all of whom are Prince Hall Freemasons, hold a fish fry and ask family, friends and community folk, to help them raise money to support the education of our city's children. Over the years, hundreds of college bound grads have received a little financial blessing from the brothers of Victoria Consistory.
This year the tradition continued on April 13th, the brothers held their Annual Scholarship fish fry fundraiser. The event took place at Cafe Randevu, located at 2430 Broadway Avenue in Oakland. The menu was fresh catfish, red snapper or baked fish, with your choice of either a gourmet green salad, old fashioned potato salad or macaroni,+ whole wheat bread , green beans and a slice of cake. You also got your choice of either two free $1 lott0 scratchers or two tickets for Scholarship Fundraiser Give Away.
There were also be musical performances and a DJ at this family friendly event. Jessie Waker and 11 year old violinist shared an original peice that he wrote. Ayo Walker ages 12, a celloist delighted everyone with his mastery. Lastly, Tyreke Walker entertained the crowed by playing a classical guitar peice, then he got everyone going by playing rock in roll.
Members of Willard A. Jackson Social Club appreciate your support this effort. Every little bit helps these men do more.
If you know a young person who is graduating from high school this year, encourage them to contact Brotha Chaz Walker at (510) 978-0777 and I will personally get them a scholarship application. When we all work together somehow things always seem to work out for everyone.
Free Angela And All Political Prisoners
Opening on April 4, this film is going to change the game, by presenting a real life, powerful,educated, militant, community oriented black women, with an afro as a hero. The story of Dr. Angela Davis's fight to win her freedom and clear her name is a brilliant film.
The high stakes crime, political movement, and trial that catapults the 26 year-old newly appointed philosophy professor at the University of California at Los Angeles into a seventies revolutionary political icon. Nearly forty years later, and for the first time, Angela Davis speaks frankly about the actions that branded her as a terrorist and simultaneously spurred a worldwide political movement for her freedom.
The project has plenty of main stream hollywood buzz. One reason may be the executive produces are real entertainment industry heavy weights, Jay Z, Will and Jada Smith. Hopefull this star connection will attract the millennial generation and educate them about the civil rights struggle. Ms. Davis is an (AOG), American Original Goddess. A role model for the modern young woman. Who would have thought a former Black Panther, Communist and Feminist could get a fair portrayal in film? Amazing.
I urge you to see this film and read Ms. Davis' story. I had a chance to experience first hand the power and eloquence of this incredible women at Occupy Oakland's General Strike in 2012. She spoke truth the to the crowd and moved everyone in a peaceful, powerful style, focused on the goal. Her words reminded us all of the importance of organized efforts that address the needs of the poor in our community. She is an icon who not only survived, but she continues the work as an educator and prison reform activist. Dr. Davis has authored several books, including Women, Race, and Class (1980) and Are Prisons Obsolete? (2003).
Urban Releaf, Day Of Service Honoring Dr. King
Urban Releaf empowers Oakland and Richmond residents including children and youth to beautify their own neighborhoods. The organization teaches community members, that rehabilitation through tree planting and environmental awarenessl revitalizes our core urban spaces.
In Honor of Martin Luther King Jr. the comunity celebrated the life and legacy of a man who sowed seeds of hope, nonviolence and equality for all. "During the less than 13 years of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s leadership of the modern American Civil Rights Movement, from December, 1955 until April 4, 1968, African Americans achieved more genuine progress toward racial equality in America than the previous 350 years had produced. Dr. King is widely regarded as America’s pre-eminent advocate of nonviolence and one of the greatest nonviolent leaders in world history. Martin Luther King, Jr. used the power of words and acts of nonviolent resistance, such as protests, grassroots organizing, and civil disobedience to achieve seemingly-impossible goals",King Center website.
Urban Releaf in partnership with numerous groups will honored D. Martin Luther King Jr's legacy by planting 40 Street Tree's in West Oakland, on this national day of service. Community members of all ages and ehtin back grounds, pitched in to suppor the effort. If you needed to fulfill community service hours, this was a great oportunity to get some hours.
The event was held on 27th and Alecia near Market St in Oakland, CA. The streets were be blocked off, like a block party. The Tianextli Tiacopan Aztec Fire Dancers shared traditional authentic Aztec Dancer from Mexico City. Paradise Free Jah Love, an outstanding poet as well as president of the Oakland chapter of International Black Writers and Artist will blessed the crowd with a performance. Brotha Chaz Walker & The Peaceful Vibes will got everyone dancing to their conscious reggae hip hip. Their new tune Be A Better Dad, seemed to really connect with the people.
Plus, local visual artists Malik Seneferu and Refa Senay will displayed some of their work. Malik is a self-taught and extremely prolific African-American artist that has created more than 1,000 different pieces of artwork, including paintings, murals, and mixed media projects in the past 25 years. Refa Senay, aka Refa 1, an Oakland-based artist with a long history of community involvement and engagement.
One thing for sure, we all know that trees take carbon dioxide out of the air. Trees are natural filters. In urban area like Oakland California 10,000's of children and adults suffer from respitory illnesses like a asthma.
Urban Releaf is an urban forestry/environmental non-profit 501(c)3 organization. Established 1999 in the City of Oakland, California to address the needs of communities that have little greenery. Studies show that increasing the number of trees in an area improves the psychological well being of residents. Urban Releaf understands that tree planting is an important service in continuing the effort to beautify our communities.
According to the Sount Carolina Forestry Commission, Trees and other plants make their own food from carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, water, sunlight and a small amount of soil elements. In the process, they release oxygen (02) for us to breathe.
SOMArts Cultural Center presents Speak Your Peace, a group exhibition opened January 4 and runs through 24, 2013, curated by Gallery Director Justin Hoover. The exhibition brought together Bay Area-based painters, digital, video and installation artists ranging in age, ethnicity and nationality to explore intercultural communication and social justice and propose new iconographies of peace through visual art. The opening reception also featured live non-violence-themed music by Brotha Chaz Walker and the Peaceful Vibes as well as a poetry performance by Iranian-born visual and literary artist Nathera Mawla depicting sexuality and identity from a Persian female perspective.
More than 20 artists and organizations presented art depicting cycles of destruction and reconstruction. Including Japanese-American symbols of identity, draw upon traditional and symbolic Persian and Iranian cultural iconographies, debate on the value of the prison-industrial complex in the United States, reinterpret historic narratives relating to Salvadorian military histories, expose stories of radical, personal self-expression in the face of persecution through Persian-influenced graffiti installations and discuss the manifold ways popular media informs the way we envision and discuss peace.
“Seeing Peace,” an ongoing project by featured artist, activist and San Francisco native Richard Kamler, inspires the curatorial concept as well as satellite and gallery components for the exhibition. For Speak Your Peace, Hoover builds upon Kamler’s practice of pairing established contemporary artists with highly visible public space in an effort to collectively, publicly and imaginatively define peace.
Five newly commissioned, large-scale, digitally printed banners feature new work by Victor Cartagena, Ala Ebtekar, John Halaka and Taraneh Hemami as well as Evan Bissell, whose image was selected through a public open call issued by SOMArts in October 2012 to artists living in San Francisco, Alameda or Contra Costa counties.
Additionally SOMArts funds the printing of two images for public display in billboard advertising space donated by CBS Corporation. This pair of billboards (pictured above) at the intersection of 4th and Brannan Streets in San Francisco will exhibit “Ascension” by Ala Ebtekar and “Can I Tolerate Intolerance” by Uzi Broshi, December 10, 2012 through January 10, 2013.
In the gallery Kamler’s “Last Supper” a sculptural table made of lead and gold leaf is inscribed with quotes from religious text.
Kalmers "Waiting Room" a large-scale lead and acrylic sculptural installation with projected video, investigate capital punishment in the United States prison-industrial complex and communication failures both personal and societal. The peice is perhaps the powerful offering in the show.
As you sit in the waiting room formed large lead panels with the rules for visiting the prision and a record of a condemed man's last days. I was moved. You can feel a heaviness.
A highly chromatic graffiti installation by Iranian born artists reinterprets peace through the lens of Persian graphic and street art.
Berkeley artists Betty Nobue Kano's “Seeing Peace”, is a mixed media painting with origami overlays in which broken promises, remembrance and forgiveness take the form of torn and mended canvas.
“Meditations,” a series of four oil paintings by Evan Bissell, depicts hands clutching symbolic prayer beads created from corn, shells, pennies, bottle caps and worn pencils.
South African-born artist Clinton Fein, whose video screens in the gallery annex, uses actors and staged sets to recreate infamous torture scenes from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and asserts that violence must not be ignored or forgotten in the pursuit of peace.
Additionally Speak Your Peace includes photography and text-based installations from local arts education projects through Institute on Aging’s Center for Elders and Youth in the Arts, managed by Jessica McCracken. Featured in the exhibit are works created in IOA arts classes led by Silvi Alcivar from The Victorian Manor Poets in collaboration with Creative Arts Charter School, Coronet Center Philosopher Poets and 30th Street Poetas. Also on display are visual art prints created in IOA arts classes under the lead of artist Kelvin Ming Young at TODCO, a South of Market senior community.
Exhibiting artists include:
By Ife Tayo Walker
First of all, I must admit that from the start, I was perfectly willing to suspend disbelief to accept that in a bygone era, an Indian boy, whose family owns a zoo and on the brink of finding love and his raison d’etre, embarks on what should be a plain voyage from India to Canada but turns into a grand adventure.
Pi, named after a swimming pool, is feisty and creative and always searching for answers. He is precocious, wanting what he wants, which is to know everything. What I found to be unexpected, was a well framed picture of his family. A father who prefers reason, balancing his mother who introduces him to spiritual thought. But, Pi, takes things beyond just learning about Shiva and karma, and explores Christianity and Islam, hoping to find value and insight into the world he knows. One of my favorite scenes was when Pi, during dinner conversation, informs his parents that he wants to be baptized.
All at once, the film takes a surreal turn from reality to incredulity. The ship carrying Pi and his family run into a storm, and an excited boy runs up on deck to see it. The storm is violent, and while Pi most assuredly was hoping to catch a glimpse of God in action, he gets more than he bargained for. After being tossed around he realizes the danger and rushes below deck to fetch his family, only to be thrown under water. The end result is him, alone on a lifeboat, with a Bengal Tiger named Richard Parker, a hyena, a zebra and an orangutan.
As I said, at the top, for some reason, I had very little trouble suspending disbelief. It’s perfectly reasonable for an Indian teenager to survive on a lifeboat with a Bengal Tiger. But, again, the story is not really about the tiger, but about Pi’s search for meaning in life…and in first surviving without being mauled by Richard Parker, and eventually managing to superficially train the tiger while defending his territory and eventually even saving the tiger’s life he finds something he didn’t expect. And the lesson is rather sad really. The world is not neat and pretty and there are no bows big enough to tie around the sum of our experiences, and so it goes with Pi. He and the tiger, Richard Parker, do not bond…even if he has managed to convince himself otherwise. We are very bound by our natures, to be what we are…nothing more and nothing less…and that is how God made us. The tiger, an instinctive creature will continue to be just what he is even, when faced with an amazing tenacious teenager determined to survive at all costs.
I think about how we do everything we can to ascribe human characteristics to our pets. We watch cartoons where they talk and interact with one another according to our human rubric. So of course, not only do animals contain the capacity to think critically, but they have compassion and can make decisions. NOT!!! No matter how the names we bestow upon them seem to fit, and no matter how cute their outfits are, these are animals, all the same, made perfectly according to their design. Animals do what they were created to do. And in this film, the tiger didn’t take on human characteristics…he did not thank Pi for saving his life, for feeding him or for caring. In truth, he gave Pi the greatest gift of all, his life.
Conversely, as humans, we do possess the capacity to learn from our mistakes, to choose and to evolve. I know there are many who believe this gives us dominion over creatures who live on instinct, making due with what they’re given, but I prefer to think that this gives us more responsibility to make sure everything has a chance to play out their destiny, whether that is to pollinate and produce honey or to scavenge and compete for meat on the savannah. We all have our own destinies to fulfill.
Ife Tayo Walker
Kwanzaa Album Teaches The Teachable
Powerful uplifting music written and produced by one the founders of Minister Mxolisi T. Sowell Wose Community Church of the Sacred African Way.
This is a really great well put together album. Along with a song for very principle of Kwanzaa, there are songs to consider for a good wholesome life. Everyone needs to learn the title song - Kwanzaa Time.
Each songs examines one of the principals of Kwanzaa, the African American Cultural Celebration observered each year from December 26-January 1. Dr. Maulana Karenga created Kwanzaa and the Nguzu Saba in 1967. Kwanzaa has seven core principles (Nguzo Saba): Unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.
"Grits & Greens" Series Serves Up A Full Plate of Food, Art & Tech!
Join Omi Arts* @Hub Oakland and curator/producer Ashara Ekundayo for the 2nd edition of our a delicious breakfast series, "Grits & Greens," exploring the intersection of food, art, and technology by featuring innovators, educators, artists, makers, hackers, and entrepreneurs living and working in the cross sections of these fields. "Grits & Greens" highlights individuals, companies and organizations committed to sustainable living, creative excellence, social justice, and locally grown solutions. In January we will also highlight creative placemaking strategies inspired by the cosmology of Dr. Martin Luther King.
"Grits & Greens" participants will also get a sneak peak at the latest offerings from the Hub Oakland team, including 1st dibs at Members-Only perks, and have an opportunity to become investors in our economic movement-building model!
Omi Arts is the curated interactive gallery space opening inside Hub Oakland in Autumn 2013 that will feature exhibitions, lectures, performance and installations from local, national and international creatives.