A Space to Redefine What #SafetyIs
Kanyon Sayers-Roods sang a native song, honoring our grandmothers as the soothing smell of sage filled the air at San Antonio Park. Then she blessed the land during the kick off of the sixth annual Night Out for Safety and Liberation. On the evening of Tuesday, August 7th, everyone in the community Oaklanders gathered for an evening filled with food, entertainment, music, arts, and above all a space to redefine what #SafetyIs to our communities.
Community members of all ages walked through the pathways of San Antonio Park, making their way towards the pupusas, which were hot off the grill. As attendees enjoyed their meals, engaged with one another in conversations, and signed up at community resource tables from numerous Bay Area organizations in attendance.
Organizations like The Native American Health Center, provided community members with information on comprehensive services they offer, which improve the overall well-being of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and residents of surrounding communities. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), was on-site providing information on their organization’s services of outreach, education, youth empowerment, civic engagement, and legal services.
A mixture of vibrant sounds of laughter, music, and overall harmony could be heard from any corner of the park.
Ella Baker Center, Executive Director, Zachary Norris, welcomed the crowd with an uplifting and empowering welcome message, reminding everyone that “WE keep us safe.”
MC SheBeLadyBlue continued to hype up the already jubilant crowd with more messages of self-determination to preach what #SafetyIs to our communities.
Part of what #SafetyIs includes emotional and spiritual healing, and what better place than NOSL for a traditional Libation ceremony. Yeyefini Efunbolande conducted the ceremony, reminding everyone in the crowd that all our ancestors live within our spirits and they are never far. Those who have gone before us were remembered in a realm of spiritual African hymns as water was poured onto the ground in their honor.
Tuesday evening was complemented by an abundance of creative expression in various formats. From poetic verses by Sapphire and Sydnee Perez, to salsa dance routines, spoken word, rapping by Dejah Greed, and dance routines by MVMNT, San Antonio Park was definitely lit. In between entertainment acts, community members danced like no one was watching to the warm Latino beat of Suavemente and the ever-so-classic Cupid Shuffle. Safety at that moment was being able to dance along with your neighbors with no care in the world.
As the evening began to conclude, the trees swayed with the soft Bay Area wind to the sound waves from Namorados Da Lua. Afro-Brazilian rhythms transmitted a sensation of soothing vibes and a radiant energy to move along to the music. Members of the crowd clapped along, while some danced freely to the sound of the music. As the sun slowly faded away and the night sky began to appear, the spirit of a collaborative redefinition of what #SafetyIs still shone bright over San Antonio Park.