On June 14, 2003, Barbara and her husband Olu lost their son, Olutokumbo Oluwole, to gun violence on the streets of Oakland on his 22nd birthday. As active churchgoers, they were determined that their son’s death would not be in vain:
“We knew we had to do something to show the community that it was time to take back the streets from violence.”
Barbara started the Night Walks, where each Friday evening, community residents and clergy walk the streets in Oakland neighborhoods to encourage residents to put down their guns, and to organize other residents to insist on safety for themselves and their children.
Oakland Community Organizations (OCO) sponsors the Night Walks in Oakland as part of the Lifelines to Healing campaign. The Lifelines campaign along with community policing have resulted in a TWENTY-ONE PERCENT REDUCTION in gun-related homicides as of early December 2013. When Barbara and her team walk the streets, they are enthusiastically greeted by residents:
“When we go out, neighbors open their doors and tell us how relieved they are that someone is doing something to demand that the violence stop!”
OCO has mobilized hundreds of Oakland residents on Friday Night Walks over the last year to take responsibility for stopping gun violence in their neighborhoods. Will you help them?
Please donate to OCO’s Fall Appeal. Our goal is to raise $15,000.00 by the end of the month. Your tax-deductible donation will help support the Night Walks. For example:
- $5,000 helps train community leaders like Barbara on anti-violence strategies
- $1,000 sends 20 leaders on a day of research and action with County and City officials on gun violence and prisoner re-entry strategies
- $250 supports visits to encourage City officials to enhance community policing
- $125 provides food and refreshments for volunteers coming directly off from work to do the Night Walks
Every dollar counts!
Together we can join Barbara, Olu, and hundreds of other residents in Oakland who are determined to make Oakland safe for ALL our children. Donate to OCO now!
Oakland Community Organizations
P.S.: Remember, your year-end gift is fully tax-deductible and can be made anytime beforeDecember 31, 2013. Donate securely using the Donate Now button above, at our website, or call Ken Johnson, Chief Operating Officer, 408-391-0444 to make your gift. Together, we can make a safer Oakland!
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