Monthly Archives: May 2013

  • We recently held a Mother’s Day prayer vigil at Greenleaf Elementary to show why our community believes that creating a roadmap to full citizenship rights for 11 million aspiring Americans is the only response to our country’s broken patchwork of immigration laws. The event was held at the same time that several other prayer vigils […]

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  • OCO leader Rev. Marty Peters, pastor of Victory Baptist Church, was interviewed by KTVU after a homicide occurred on May 19. He emphasized the importance of OCO’s Friday night walks and urged Oakland to stop the violence.

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  • Last week, I experienced some of my darkest times. Without congregations on board and with the culture we have at OCO, being in Bakersfield is another world. Still, I want to focus on the good side of my journey.

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  • “It’s not just walking,” said Betsy King when asked about her participation in the Friday Night Walks in high-crime neighborhoods of Oakland. Since January, King, who lives in Piedmont, and several other members of the Montclair Presbyterian Church have joined the growing number of people from faith-based organizations and other groups who gather at 6:30 p.m. on Friday nights to walk for an hour or two in communities plagued by street violence, including areas around International Boulevard.

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  • When Ben McBride first started trying to understand Oakland’s violence he spent some time with kids who were deeply involved in it. This was around 2006, when Oakland had over 140 homicides. McBride wasn’t living in Oakland then. “I met one young guy and I asked him, because I was really curious, I said, ‘Would you really kill somebody?’ And he was like, ‘Yeah, I would, I’d shoot ’em, if they disrespected me, yeah.’ And I realized these guys were so calm, so nonreactive. But outside of that conversation, the conversation about disrespect, it was something else entirely. They were enthusiastic kids, like any other kids. But they were hurting, and so one of the things we’re trying to do is restore their invisible humanity.”

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  • It was still light out when the thirty or so volunteers set out from the At Thy Word Ministries in East Oakland last Friday. Most wore white shirts or jackets, and a few of them had come decked out in white from head to foot – the unofficial uniform of the Project Ceasefire “night walker.” In a short briefing before departing, veterans of previous walks conveyed the do’s and don’ts to the newcomers.

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  • So much is at stake for Oakland schools, that students at Castlemont and Skyline High Schools asked three legislators representing Oakland, the county education superintendent and the Oakland acting superintendent-elect to commit to supporting the measure and work for its passage. Inviting them to a youth event at Castlemont High School on Wednesday, they received those commitments from assistants to Rep. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley and Oakland), Rep. Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) and Alameda County Education Superintendent Sheila Jordan and personally from Dr. Gary Yee, superintendent-elect of Oakland. They all listened to the students.

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  • OAKLAND—On Tuesday, April 30, leaders from across Oakland held a community education forum at Castlemont High School to call attention to Gov. Jerry Brown’s bold new education initiative, the Local Control Funding Formula. The Local Control Funding Formula, which is currently being debated in the state Legislature, would bring much-needed resources to schools in Oakland […]

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