October 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party(for Self Defense). History will surely recognize the Party as having organized the single greatest effort by Blacks in the United States for freedom.
October 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party(for Self Defense). History will surely recognize the Party as having organized the single greatest effort by Blacks in the United States for freedom.
On January 16, 2016, TCXPI Afrocentric Young Scholars Saturday School Program began its First Session, at Impact Hub Oakland. Eleven young scholars from community schools have enrolled in engaging awareness of African history and its many contributions made by African descendants to World and Human Civilization.
Held on Saturdays, TCXPI SSP brings Afrocentric Education to the Bay Area community, education that is not normally seen in our public school curriculum.
The Chinue X Project, Inc. (TCXPI) is the creation of Cynthia Chinue X Cornelius, MA.Ed. As an Oakland native, a product of the OPS, and mother to the same, Cynthia is all too familiar with the curriculum and how it has omitted, distorted and negated the many contributions made by people of African descent. She holds a Bachelors in Africana Studies, and a Masters in Equity and Social Justice in Education both from San Francisco State University. In 2011, she establish a 501(c)3 in Maryland as a vehicle to disseminate Black History Facts and to bring awareness to African and African American History. She has a following on Facebook and features a page that focuses soley on Daily African/Black History Facts entitled On This Day In TCXPI History. Cynthia believes that the time is now for our nation’s public school systems to become culturally relevant and inclusive in what is taught in schools.
TCXPI’s goal for 2016 is to hold FOUR FREE six-week sessions beginning the second Saturdays of the months of January, April, July, and October. Each session will include engaging African-centred or Afrocentric activities that will facilitate instruction to each scholar in the history of their heritage and culture.
To stay updated or to become a part of our program please contact Cynthia; to”Like and Join” our fb pages please visit: TCXPI Afrocentric Young Scholars Saturday School Program, Chinue X Rising, The Chinue X Project, Inc. (TCXPI), and I Love Oakland, CA. ILOC.
If a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated.
Dr. Carter G. Woodson
Oakland will launch a citywide effort Thursday to triple the number of college graduates coming out of public schools, an ambitious and expensive “cradle to career” plan that aims to reverse cycles of poverty and hopelessness by raising expectations that all children can thrive in school.
The centerpiece of the Oakland Promise initiative is an infusion of grants, ranging from $500 college savings accounts for children born into poverty to college scholarships of up to $16,000 for low-income students. The money is intended to provide both real and symbolic support, signaling to kids and their families that there’s an investment in their future.
According to officials, who have spent six months developing the initiative and will announce the details Thursday at Oakland High School, it will cost $38 million to ramp up the program over the first four years and up to $35 million annually to sustain it. The money is coming from sources including foundations, philanthropists, the city and the school district.
The effort is something of an experiment, because no other place in the country has this kind of comprehensive, long-term strategy to send more kids to college, city officials said. But the need is great in Oakland, where 10 percent of the city’s public-school ninth graders graduate college.
“Yes, this initiative is ambitious,” said Mayor Libby Schaaf. “All my life I’ve seen this as the one thing that has held Oakland back.”
Over the next 10 years, officials said, Oakland Promise plans to open 55,000 college savings accounts, provide $100 million in college scholarships and serve 200,000 students and families. Every City Council and school board member has endorsed it, as have 100 community organizations, two dozen university officials and 200 leaders including the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.
$25 million raised
While sustained funding is the central challenge, Oakland officials say they raised $25 million to launch the effort. The school district is expected to cover $1 million annually, and the city has committed $150,000, a number that may increase now that the initiative has begun, officials said.
The East Bay College Fund plans to contribute $1.5 million per year, while Kaiser Permanente and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. are giving $3 million and $1 million, respectively, to start up the program. Organizers will need $18 million more to cover the costs through 2020, an amount they say is reachable.
“It will be on us to make the case that eventually this would be one of the smartest public investments that any city could make,” Schaaf said.
That investment includes the $500 college fund for each child born into poverty — with eligibility tied to the same government standards that apply to free and reduced-price school lunches — as well as a $100 college account for every kindergartner, high school counseling centers and up to $16,000 in scholarships that come with individual mentors and support through college.
Belief in all kids
Oakland Promise combines successful initiatives from across the country, with a focus on disadvantaged youth and building “a culture of a college-bound city,” said David Silver, the mayor’s education director. Research shows that a child who has a college savings account of at least $500 is four times more likely to graduate college, he noted.
Middle-class families generally consider college a given, said city schools Superintendent Antwan Wilson. Poor children and families don’t — and they often don’t believe in the system. A $500 college account, he said, tells them the city believes in them and their future.
“Hope is extremely important. It’s called privilege, and the way privilege works is it gives you the ability to take things for granted,” Wilson said. “Odds are, a young person born into poverty in Oakland will live a life of poverty and have a shorter life.”
The prescription to change that, however, is expensive. The city’s plan is to ramp up the number of children served over the next four years and fully implement each piece within 10 years.
By this fall, 250 babies born into poverty will have $500 in the bank for college, according to the timeline, stepping up to 1,000 per year by 2020, and all 2,200 within a decade. Their parents will be also be eligible for up to $500 to support their child’s development. That will cost an estimated $5 million over the first four years.
In addition, every child entering kindergarten in a public school — about 4,600 each fall — will have $100 for college by 2020, and more in matching funds if their parents put in money. That will cost $2.9 million over four years.
In the same period, roughly $3.6 million will go to “future centers” at high schools to support applications for college and financial aid, with all slated to be open within 10 years.
College scholarships are the most expensive part of the plan, which calls for $1,000 to $16,000 to go to every financially and academically eligible student, with mentors assigned to them to ensure they get their degree. That will cost $25.5 million to scale up, with a goal of supporting 1,600 scholarship students per year within a decade.
Building more housing is critically important to our city’s continued economic growth. Every new unit built in Oakland – at any income level – helps relieve the housing shortage, as well as create jobs and retail spending. Oakland’s business community has seen firsthand the economic benefits of what happens when people choose Oakland. Increasing our city’s housing supply to meet the rising demand to live and work in Oakland is a critical part of creating jobs, supporting local business, and expanding Oakland’s sales tax base.
The Chamber believes that the best way to raise money for affordable housing without discouraging new development is to phase in the fee over a 4-year schedule at increments of $5,000, $10,000, $15,000, and $20,000. Given current market conditions and indications from the City’s own economic consultant, this is likely the most aggressive fee schedule Oakland can tolerate. Some in the community are advocating to implement fees over 3 years at increments of $5,000, $10,000, and $20,000 per unit and exempt projects that submit building permit applications before Dec. 1, 2016, and some are advocating to implement fees well over $20,000 immediately.
Impact Fee Update 1/27/16
The Community and Economic Development Committee heard a brief summary of the staff report on development impact fees on Tuesday, Jan. 26, followed by public testimony from approximately 40 housing activists organized by East Bay Housing Organizations. EBHO speakers called for immediate impact fees at $25,000 with few pipeline project exemptions. The 7-8 non-EBHO speakers all called for a phased in approach generally maxing out at $20,000. Those speakers included the Chamber, Jobs and Housing Coalition, a BID leader, and others. Approximately 15 speakers also came to advocate to use a significant portion of the money raised for park improvements.
Read the update here.
Read the Chamber’s letter regarding impact fees to the Oakland City Council here.
We are halfway through our season at The Oakland Slam and the competition is getting fierce! Come and qualify for semi-finals early!
This month our gracious host, Awaken Cafe, will stay open til 11pm and feature special Oakland Slam drink and food specials!
***No outside food or beverages are allowed***
This month is an OPEN slam, with the top two competitors qualifying for our Semi-Finals in May. Sign up is FIRST COME FIRST SERVE, starting at 7:30 – come early, the list will fill quickly.
$7 for audience members, $5 for anyone performing, CASH ONLY at the door.
Show is 8pm – 11pm, and we pack the house! Get there early if you want a seat!
***NOTE – This is our ONLY event this month***
The Oakland Poetry Slam & Open Mic
Thursday, February 11th, 8pm – 11pm
1429 Broadway (at 15th St)
OAKLAND — Face down with police pressing him to the sidewalk, 51-year-old Hernan Jaramillo wailed two refrains over and over before he died.
“They’re killing me!” he howled 20 times in a 4-minute stretch.
“I can’t breathe,” he moaned again and again.
As the minutes passed, the cries grew softer until Jaramillo fell silent.
Jaramillo’s last moments, captured on a police body camera in 2013 and unveiled this week, are a macabre tableau in which he can be heard imploring Oakland officers to let him up as his sister watched tearfully.
The video — exclusively obtained by this newspaper but never released by police — shows officers ignoring Jaramillo’s pleas for help and continuing to restrain him, a tactic associated with in-custody deaths and sharply criticized after the 2014 death of Eric Garner in New York. Garner’s family settled a lawsuit last year for $5.9 million.
It raises questions about how Jaramillo — who was never a suspect and has no criminal record in Alameda County — ended up bloody, unconscious and eventually dead.
The police department did not respond to questions about the incident, including whether an internal investigation was conducted and if the department has policies on restraint and medical treatment.
Last week, Oakland settled a wrongful-death lawsuit for $450,000. The city attorney’s office referred questions about the settlement to the City Council.
Jaramillo’s death was induced by a bizarre and disastrous chain of events
The catalyst was his sister calling police on July 8, 2013, at about 1:40 a.m. and reporting that she believed an intruder was trying to kill her brother.
When officers arrived, they found Jaramillo in a bedroom and no one else besides his sister present. When Jaramillo didn’t obey commands to let them in, they handcuffed him.
In court filings, the city attorney argued that Jaramillo resisted when police attempted to put him in the squad car, refusing 20 requests by the officers.
Officers detained him because Jaramillo had blocked their efforts to investigate the incident and appeared to be having a mental health episode, the city argued.
In his deposition, Officer Ira Anderson said that while attempting to force Jaramillo into the car, he suddenly saw the man’s hands were no longer handcuffed behind his back but out in front.
“I grabbed him by the shirt,” Anderson said. “I brought him away from the car … did a leg sweep and put him on the sidewalk.”
Once Jaramillo hit the asphalt, the exact manner and length of restraint is unclear.
Officers said they held Jaramillo down by his arms and wrists.
But three witnesses said they saw an officer pressing a knee into Jaramillo’s back.
John Peters, a former police officer and president of the Institute for the Prevention of In-Custody Deaths, said that when a suspect complains of breathing difficulties, restraint should immediately stop and medical treatment should begin.
“When a person is having a medical emergency, law enforcement needs to transfer that person from a suspect to a patient,” Peters said.
On the body camera video, at least 6 minutes pass from when Jaramillo last yells and when medics arrive and begin CPR.
According to the paramedics’ report, Jaramillo was in handcuffs and nonresponsive, with vomit in his airways, when they reached him.
He never regained consciousness.
An autopsy, conducted by Thomas Rogers, a doctor with the coroner’s office, found the cause of death to be multiple drug intoxication associated with physical exertion.
Rogers said he found evidence of cocaine metabolites and alcohol in Jaramillo’s blood.
He testified that there was no evidence of internal injuries and that Jaramillo had a compromised heart because of hardening arteries.
Attorney John Burris, who represented Jaramillo’s relatives in the wrongful death lawsuit, said that an independent pathologist rejected that drugs were at play. He also said there was no evidence that Jaramillo had used cocaine that evening and that he believes the use of force by police killed him.
“People have been taught that you don’t get on somebody’s back and press down,” Burris said.
The three officers named in the complaint were Anderson, Carlos Navarro and Steven Stout.
The Alameda County District Attorney does not investigate in-custody deaths that don’t involve shootings.
OCTOBER 07, 2015
The strange glances are starting to become more frequent. James Fisher, a fourteen-year-old freshman at Oakland Charter High School, has noticed that as he gets older, more people on the street eye him with suspicious or fearful stares. “Some of them just look at me, and then they’ll look away,” he said. “Or sometimes, I go into stores, and they look at me like they think I’m going to do something bad.”
James is a Black teenager who is soft-spoken and looks about three years older than his actual age. On a recent afternoon last month, I chatted with him and Emma, his thirteen-year-old sister, at their house in the Upper Dimond neighborhood in the Oakland hills. The two siblings told me about their first weeks of high school and how they have enjoyed the freedom at times to walk around Oakland’s Chinatown district without their parents.
But they never walk around their own neighborhood alone.
The tree-lined residential street of large single-family homes where the Fishers live more closely resembles suburbia than a densely populated city. Positioned at the top of a steep hill near Dimond Canyon Park, their house feels worlds away from the busy urban bustle of MacArthur Boulevard and the Fruitvale district just to the southwest. On the surface, their block looks like an ideal place to raise kids — safe, family-friendly, and quiet. Although their individual street is very diverse — with about ten Black or mixed-race kids now living nearby — white residents are by far the largest racial group in the surrounding area. And it’s in this neighborhood, perhaps more so than any other part of Oakland, that James feels most like a target for the uncomfortable glances that are becoming increasingly common in his life.
Emma and James Fisher don’t walk around the Upper Dimond due to concerns about racial profiling.
But he and his parents are not just worried about hurtful stares from neighbors or passersby. Over the last two years, their neighborhood has become overrun with racial profiling — but not by police, rather by mostly white residents incorrectly assuming that people of color who are walking, driving, hanging out, or living in the neighborhood are criminal suspects. These residents often don’t recognize that they may have long held racial prejudices or unconscious biases, but recently, they’ve been able to instantly broadcast their unsubstantiated suspicions to thousands of their neighbors with the click of a mouse.
Nextdoor.com, a website that bills itself as the “private social network for neighborhoods,” offers a free web platform on which members can blast a wide variety of messages to people who live in their immediate neighborhood. A San Francisco-based company founded in 2010, Nextdoor’s user-friendly site has exploded in popularity over the last two years in Oakland. As of this fall, a total of 176 Oakland neighborhoods have Nextdoor groups — and 20 percent of all households in the city use the site, according to the company.
On Nextdoor, people give away free furniture or fruit from their backyards. Users reunite lost dogs with their owners. Members organize community meetings and share tips about babysitters and plumbers. But under the “Crime and Safety” section of the site, the tone is much less neighborly. There, residents frequently post unsubstantiated “suspicious activity” warnings that result in calls to the police on Black citizens who have done nothing wrong. In recent months, people from across the city have shared with me Nextdoor posts labeling Black people as suspects simply for walking down the street, driving a car, or knocking on a door. Users have suggested that Black salesmen and mail carriers may be burglars. One Nextdoor member posted a photo of a young Black boy who failed to pick up dog poop and suggested that his neighbors call the police on him.
White residents have also used Nextdoor to complain and organize calls to police about Black residents being too noisy in public parks and bars — raising concerns that the site amplifies the harmful impacts of gentrification. On Nextdoor and other online neighborhood groups — including Facebook pages and Yahoo and Google listservs — residents have called Black and Latino men suspicious for being near bus stops, standing in “shadows,” making U-turns, and hanging around outside coffee shops. Residents frequently warn each other to be on the look out for suspects with little more description than “Black” and “wearing a hoodie.”
“These posts cast such a wide net on our young Black men,” said Shikira Porter, an Upper Dimond resident, who is Black. “You start seeing this over and over again, and you understand quickly that, oh, it’s the Black body that they’re afraid of.”
In some Nextdoor groups, when people ask their neighbors to think twice before labeling someone suspicious, other users attack them for playing the “race card” and being the “political correctness police.” Some groups have even actively silenced and banned the few vocal voices of color speaking up on the websites, according to records that I reviewed.
This sometimes toxic virtual environment has real-world impacts. Residents encourage each other to call police, share tips on how to reach law enforcement, and sometimes even alert cops and security guards about suspicious activity they’ve only read secondhand from other commenters. I spoke to longtime Oaklanders who say the profiling is getting worse, noting that they have recently had neighbors question them on their block or in their own driveway — suspicious of whether they might be up to no good. People of color described stories of white residents running away from them, screaming at them to leave a shared garden space, and calling police on young children in their own home. In some areas, the profiling is further exacerbated by the growing presence of private patrol officers whom residents have hired to guard the streets.
Even high-ranking officials with OPD, which has a formal partnership with Nextdoor, have admitted that the department is sometimes forced to respond to baseless suspicions about residents of color — the kind of profiling that can go unchecked in online groups. “If … they’re all feeding off of the same bias, then that could be harmful,” said OPD Assistant Chief Paul Figueroa. He later added, “Fear can really drive the application of bias.”
Now, a group of Oakland residents calling themselves Neighbors for Racial Justice is trying to fight back against the rampant profiling online and in their neighborhoods. But Nextdoor officials and the white residents who control and dominate the online groups do not appear to be taking their concerns seriously or willing to make substantive changes.
And as long as the profiling and prejudiced online posts persist, Mitsu Fisher, the father of James and Emma, is not letting his kids play outside or walk the streets of their own neighborhood without supervision. Mitsu made that an official policy in February 2014 after a patrol officer in the Oakmore neighborhood — who was working for a private security company and was not supposed to be armed — chased and shot a Black teenage boy suspected of committing a burglary, according to police. The fact that a private guard shot a young suspect was upsetting enough to Mitsu, but it was the response from his neighbors online that led him to truly fear for his own kids’ safety…
Stanford researchers concluded that ‘culturally relevant’ teaching is an important part of the education of students who could flunk or might drop out
High school students saw large improvements in their grades and attendance records when they enrolled in a class dedicated to exploring race and ethnicity, researchers in California found.
The Stanford University study analyzed a pilot program of ethnic studies classes at three San Francisco high schools and found that, on average, at-risk ninth-graders encouraged to enroll in the course performed significantly better than their peers who didn’t.
Student attendance increased by 21%, while grade-point averages surged nearly a grade and a half for those enrolled in the class – striking results, according to the researchers.
“I was surprised that this particular course could have such dramatic effects on the academic outcomes of at-risk kids,” said Thomas S Dee, a professor at Stanford who co-authored the study with postdoctoral researcher Emily Penner. “If I was reading a newspaper with results like this, I would read it with incredulity, [but] the results were very robust.”