Year in Review 2011- Part One

As 2011 draws to a close, we look back in a two-part series at some of the movements, organizations, and moments that made up the year.



We know we could have easily dedicated this entire year in review to #occupy (and in spirit we actually do) but we also wanted to highlight the other inspiring stories of this year but it goes without saying that 2011 will go down as the year of liberation, revolution, and #occupation. From Tunisa, to Egypt, to Wall Street, the world got together and said enough is enough. Energized by liberation movements internationally, a movement for economic justice was born.

Occupy Wall Street, a people-powered movement that began on September 17, 2011 in Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District, and spread to over 100 cities in the Unites States and actions in over 1,500 cities globally including Oakland, California. It’s obvious that Occupy is here to stay and that world has been forever changed by this leaderful movement of the 99%. We salute all those who have taken roles big and small within Occupy and look forward to continue working with this growing movement in 2012.

Courtesy: Bill Hackwell

Prison Hunger Strike
Twice this year, prisoners in California’s prisons and Secure Housing Units (SHUs) courageously organized to advocate for their rights. In two Hunger Strikes, prisoners demanded and end to the many abuses they endure. We remain inspired by the bravery and commitment to justice shown by all the strikers who risked life and health to stand for what is right. Follow and support their ongoing activism.


Oakland Adopts Groundbreaking Energy Plan

This March,  Oakland made a commitment to our planet and our people when the City Council adopted the Energy and Climate Action Plan (ECAP). The Oakland Climate Action Coalition, which we convened, worked for over two years to ensure that the ECAP would move forward real solutions to pollution and poverty. The ECAP has some of the strongest green house gas reduction goals in the country and was a big WIN for Oakland.


DREAM Activists
In 2011, time and again we were inspired by the DREAM activists-a multicultural, migrant youth-led, movement to pass the DREAM Act and mend the broken immigration system. The California Dream Act became law, and activists in other States continue the work to demand fairness and justice for immigrant youth. We’ve seen courgaeous undocumented young people risk their lives in the name of human rights. The fight is not over and 2011 was a prime example of where there is a will, there is a way.

The Oakland Art Murmur

Few things have been able to capture the pride of Oakland like the Oakland Art Murmur. In fact, on any given first friday you will probably run into someone from the Ella Baker Center visiting one of the various galleries or supporting one of the local businesses in the area. Whether it's visiting the new digs of Oaklandish, admiring the art of Betti Ono Gallery, or wondering at the marvel of the Great Wall of Oakland, the Oakland Art Murmur proved just how much of an intergral force it was in image and spirit in 2011. (Shoutsout to the Ramos familia at family owned SOMAR for always showing us so much love!)

Through their authentically Oakland message, activism, and resilience, the Oakland Art Murmur has become a point of pride for Oaklanders.  We dedicate this honor to the good folks at all the various establishments that support the Art Murmur, the artists who participate and showcase their awesome skillz and to all the other locally owned and operated businesses in da' town that we encourage all of you to #useyourmoney at. We also look forward to working with the Art Murmur on collabos like we did with United Roots this year shining a light on the creative work of Oakland's Youth of Color for Oakland heARTbeat.