The third annual "Evening of Remembrance" was held at the St. Columba Catholic Church in Oakland. Service began with a candle-lighting ceremony and prayer, followed by a reception dinner at. Families came together in effort to promote peace and understanding.
The statistics in Oakland are grim: 21 homicides in the first 42 days of 2008 (almost double the number from this time last year). In a single weekend earlier this month, 13 reported shootings in five days claimed eight lives.
In the face of this senseless violence, it's easy for a lot of us to pretend that we're removed from it all, that it has nothing to do with us as individuals. We shake our heads at the problem while keeping it at arm's length. But now more than ever, we must turn toward our young men and women caught in the crossfire, not away from them.
Violence in Oakland has reached a crisis point. Already this year, there have been 21 homicides. Silence the Violence responded to 7 deaths over the weekend with a candlelight vigil Friday night to honor the victims and rally residents around changing our communities to end violence. KPFA's Rose Ketabchi interviews Nicole Lee of Silence the Violence, artist Adonis Walker, and Sean Sullivan of Covenant House.
Listen to the radio interview (3 min):<br>
The Evening of Remembrance, held at First Christian Church in Oakland, is one of several events this week designed to provide support for friends and families of murder victims.
What the events all have in common is a desire to bring people together to begin the healing process and also to come up with solutions to stop the violence that has snuffed out the lives of so many Oakland youths. There have been 116 homicides in Oakland so far this year.
Youth from Oakland, Richmond, and Berkeley came together for Turf Unity II, transforming the Ella Baker Center into a music studio for a weekend. They worked across neighborhood lines to write, record, and produce a complete album with a message of peace.
<a href="page.php?pageid=44&video=355">Check out the clip</a>
Turf Unity, the compilation CD that Silence the Violence, Cov Records and Art in Action put together, is selling like hotcakes! In fact, it is the best-selling local record in the Bay Area right now. Check out this great article about the new album from NovoMetro.com.
This year, Silence the Violence co-sponsored a Mother's Day march for the families torn apart by violence in Oakland. The Alameda Times-Star covered the event, saying, "Most of the participants wore red to symbolize life, blood and creativity. Some waved flags which, on closer inspection, were empty white shirts. They listened to one another's stories, and they meditated to the sound of African drumming."
RALLY OF REMEMBRANCE: Relatives and friends of children lost to violence on the streets of Oakland celebrate their lives, make tearful pleas for an end to the killing
This year, Silence the Violence co-sponsored a Mother's Day march for the families torn apart by violence in Oakland. The San Francisco Chronicle covered the event, saying, "Nearly 50 women gathered early Saturday in front of Lake Merritt to hold a vigil for the dead...By the time they walked to City Hall plaza for more prayers, and some songs and dances to celebrate the children's lives, their ranks had swelled to 100."
When young community activists and independent hip-hop recording artists noticed that too many of Oakland's 148 homicide victims last year were under the age of 24, they decided they couldn't stay silent.
At a Silence the Violence concert at Mosswood Park in Oakland, the hyphy mood was put on pause as the performers opened the mike to kids who wanted to give a shout-out to friends and relatives who had been murdered this year.