Terence Long, July 01, 2019

“In order to see where we are going, we not only must remember where we have been, but we must understand where we have been.”

-Ella Jo Baker

On a bright sunny afternoon in June, community members joined staff and supporters of the Ella Baker Center to celebrate our new, permanent home at Restore Oakland.

“This has been a long time coming. I’ve lived in Oakland my whole life and I’ve seen the changes in this city and how people are getting pushed out. I’m so joyful that we have a beautiful new home base to keep fighting for our community,” said EBC member Tracey Bell-Borden.

The Ella Baker Center and the Restaurant Opportunities Center United (ROC United), pooled resources to purchase the building that is now Restore Oakland: an organizing and job training center where our members, our families and our communities can truly thrive.

The Ella Baker Center has moved around the Bay Area nine times in its 23 years of existence; that’s why securing a permanent space at a time when many Oakland nonprofits are being displaced has been a top priority.

Our new home is an organizing hub where community members can take direct action to shift resources toward growth and support instead of punishment and prisons. At Restore Oakland, Ella Baker Center members will also be able to access our amazing partner organizations (Causa Justice/Just Cause, Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY), Community Works West, La Cocina) to put a new vision of community safety into practice: 

• Housing and tenant rights counseling and case management to challenge gentrification and displacement in Oakland.

• Restorative justice services to resolve conflict, offering an alternative to punishment and incarceration and providing solutions rooted in healing.

• Hands-on training through COLORS Restaurant and outside placement services to advance participants to livable-wage jobs in the Bay Area restaurant industry.

“This is more than a building. This is a space where people can be held accountable and be held in community. Strong communities need strong, community-centered spaces, a place to unite and strategize,” said Ella Baker Center Executive Director Zachary Norris. 

To become a member of the Ella Baker Center click here.