What's Happening

On Sunday, February 7th, Beyoncé made a powerful statement during her performance at the Super Bowl, a day after releasing her song Formation, where she touched on historical and still-present issues of structural racism.
For the first fifteen minutes of my daughter's school day, I read to her in her kindergarten classroom. Since the New Year, her requests have been to read about Martin Luther King Jr., Bessie Smith, and Nelson Mandela. 
On Saturday, December 5th, the Ella Baker Center co-hosted the recurring event, “A Fair Chance to Advance” at Primera Iglesia Presbiteriana Hispana – a Spanish-speaking community church in the heart of Oakland.
As a Black woman subject to an intersectionality of oppressions that dehumanize and hypersexualize Black female bodies, the Daniel Holtzclaw trial was one that I identified with on an intimate level. Stemming from the slavery era, crewmembers on the transatlantic voyage, and slave owners would rape female slaves without repercussions, because they were perceived as impure. Essentially, the rape of a Black woman was not considered a punishable crime because they “deserved it”.
In Jennifer Maytorena Taylor’s short film, Visiting Day: The Unrelenting Stress of Family Prison Visits, for the Atlantic, she demonstrates the personal and financial tolls that Daisy Gomez faces while her husband, Max, is in federal prison. The story of Daisy and Max’s family has clear connections to the findings in Who Pays? The True Cost of Incarceration on Families.
On October 26, 2015, a video of a South Carolina school officer assaulting a 16-year-old Black girl named Shakara went viral. The officer grabbed her, threw her from her desk, and dragged her across the class
"We are the only people who can speak for the dead. Their voices are heard through us." -- Stephanie Lightfoot-Bennett, #UKJusticeTeam Yesterday, families of victims of police violence from the UK and from the US joined together in Oakland to launch the #CaravanForJustice. The eight day caravan, led by the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and the ACLU of California, will stop in nine counties throughout California to mobilize communities of color against law enforcement violence.
This summer organizing with the Ella Baker Center has taught me the power of listening, and the power of hope. This is a reflection by a young organizer, who through the collaboration with community, has a message for Oakland: loved ones behind the walls are worth fighting for. There is hope for better quality of life and fair chances to advance in our society. It can be done!
#FreeBrit #FreeAlexis
Brittany Ferrell and Alexis Templeton, a married couple who lead Millenial Activists United, an activist collective created by queer black women in Ferguson, were arrested last Monday in a
This week brought more reflection about the state of the Black Lives Matter movement, protests in many cities, and the tragedy of a police killing in Oakland for the third time since June. The Bail Trap