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Our annual Oaklandish Innovators grants recognize local programs that exemplify the values of innovation and progress in all areas of civic life. It’s a year-round partnership that doesn’t just end with writing a check. Along with financial support, we also pitch in to help our Innovators with events, collaborative designs, and awareness campaigns.
2016 OAKLAND INNOVATORS AWARD WINNERS
THE TOWN KITCHEN
THE HIDDEN GENIUS PROJECT
COMMUNITY EDUCATION PARTNERSHIPS
2015 OAKLAND INNOVATORS AWARD WINNERS
DESTINY ARTS CENTER
INTERNATIONAL BLACK WOMEN'S FILM FESTIVAL
BAY AREA SPARTAN MIDGETS
2014 OAKLAND INNOVATORS AWARD WINNERS
Critical Resistance seeks to build an international movement to end the prison industrial complex by challenging the belief that caging and controlling people makes us safe. Instead, we believe that basic necessities such as food, shelter, and freedom are what really make our communities secure.criticalresistance.org
THE ESTRIA FOUNDATION
The Estria Foundation creates art in public spaces and locally and globally with artists, youth, educators, and activists in order to raise awareness and inspire action in the movement to resolve human and environmental issues.www.estria.org
THE KHADAFY WASHINGTON FOUNDATION FOR NONVIOLENCE
The Khadafy Washington Foundation was founded as a tribute to Marilyn Washington Harris’s son, Khadafy Washington, who was shot and killed in West Oakland on August 4, 2000. The foundation aims to serve as a catalytic agent for the prevention and cessation of the murders of young people in our communities.khadafyfoundation.org
MISSSEY (Motivating, Inspiring, Supporting, and Serving Sexually Exploited Youth)
MISSSEY provides services for and works towards systemic change for commercially sexually exploited youth. In addition to direct services to sexually exploited youth, MISSSEY also provides training, technical information, and workshops for social agencies, law enforcement, and members of the community.misssey.org
Planting Justice is a North Oakland grassroots organization working to solve the urban hunger crisis. In addition to creating green jobs in edible landscaping and grassroots organizing, Planting Justice increases access to healthy food and offers environmental education and green entrepreneurship in economically disadvantaged communities.plantingjustice.org
STREET LEVEL HEALTH PROJECT
Street Level Health Project is an Oakland-based grassroots organization dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of underserved urban immigrant communities in the Bay Area. In addition to bringing health care to the uninsured, Street Level Health Project provides temporary assistance and health care education to community members, while making great efforts to break down institutional and systemic barriers to health equity.streetlevelhealthproject.org
Youth ALIVE! believes that urban youth have the innate capacity to stop the violence plaguing our communities. Each day, they focus on nurturing leadership and life skills of young people affected by violence. In this work, Youth ALIVE! has found that addressing the root causes of violence saves lives.youthalive.org
2012 OAKLAND INNOVATORS AWARD WINNERS
KHADAFY WASHINGTON FOUNDATION
In 2000, Marilyn Harris's son Khadafy was shot and killed while riding his bike West Oakland. The crime remains unsolved, but Harris's experience inspired her to provide support to other grieving families. In the aftermath of a homicide, people can turn to the Khadafy Foundation for help with everything from funeral expenses to grief counseling, food, and child care. Since 2003, the program has served over 800 local families. In addition, they work tirelessly to stop the cycle of violence by preventing crimes and retaliation.khadafyfoundation.org
Town Park was created in 2007 by local artist and arts educator Keith “K-Dub” Williams with the help of the local skateboard community at historic De Fremery Park in West Oakland. The goal was to create a facility that would allow youth to stay in their own community instead of traveling to neighboring city skateparks. The site has become a destination park for many local youth and adults of all ages, skill levels, and backgrounds, and has become a hub where everyone can come together to learn and showcase their skills. The grant will go fund program that help local youth to build, paint and skate a permanent, all-weather skate park.Welcome to Town Park.
CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE
Caught in the Crossfire is a hospital-based intervention program that hires young adults who have overcome violence in their own lives to work with youth who are recovering from violent injuries. These highly-trained Intervention Specialists offer long-term case management, links to community services, home visits, and follow-up assistance to violently injured youth. The purpose is to promote positive alternatives to violence and to reduce retaliation, re-injury, and arrest. This program was the first of its kind in the nation, and led to the founding of the National Network of Hospital-based Violence Intervention Programs.youthalive.org/programs
25th STREET COLLECTIVE
25th Street Collective, a sustainable business incubator, is bringing local industry back to Oakland. Their Innovators grant will fund a pilot program that brings high-tech garment manufacturing to our city. The program will focus on producing custom-made, sustainably-sourced garments, while educating local youth about sustainable business practices. The first pieces from the collection will be a t-shirt and a yoga pant. The goal of the program is to create quality inner-city work opportunities, while introducing Oaklanders to local, made-to-order clothing.25thstreetcollective.com
2011 OAKLAND INNOVATORS AWARD WINNERS
OAKLAND ART MURMUR
The mission of the Oakland Art Murmur is to increase popular awareness of and participation in the arts of Oakland. Our outreach efforts include a monthly First Friday Gallery Walk, and Saturday Stroll, which includes free public programming such as artists talks, concerts, and tours.oaklandartmurmur.org
Oakland Local is the East Bay's non-profit independent news & community site. We combine original writing, reporting and discussion on issues with a strong commitment to training people of color and in under-served communities to bridge the digital divide through digital story-telling and using social mediaoaklandlocal.com
BRETT COOK REFLECTIONS OF HEALING
Reflections of Healing is a multi-faceted process of community building that includes the collaborative development of large-scale public works featuring Bay Area residents – who through practice or legacy demonstrate healing. The project culminates with temporary and permanent installation of the works across the city of Oaklandbrett-cook.com
AGRICULTURAL INSTITUTE OF MARIN
The Grand Lake Farmers Market in Oakland is widely acclaimed as the best farmers market in the East Bay. Making the most of the cozy Splash Pad Park, this market welcomes over 44 local farmers, 30 specialty food purveyors, and a handful of local artisans.agriculturalinstitute.org
MY YUTE SOCCER
My Yute Soccer helps to improve the quality of life in Oakland by providing high quality soccer camps at no cost to families. Not only do children learn about soccer, they learn more about diversity issues within their community.myyutesoccer.org
38th Notes is an online resource center dedicated to curating Oakland’s amazing canon of urban arts and culture. Through a local lens, 38th Notes reaches an international audience by paying tribute to past innovators and by documenting today’s emerging hip-hop culture with depth and detail.38thnotes.com
OAKLAND DIGITAL ARTS & LITERACY CENTER
ODALC is committed to empowering citizens with digital literacy, professional skills and mentoring services while nurturing community building and volunteerism. ODALC makes education more relevant and provides participants with the tools they need to be effective 21st-century citizens and productive members of the digital economy.odalc.org
Youth Radio is a youth development organization offering free services to the community with the aim of preparing young people for pathways to meaningful careers. Remix Your life is an exciting new project that explores the creative spaces between traditional case management, therapy, the literary arts, and slam poetry.youthradio.org
2010 OAKLAND INNOVATORS AWARD WINNERS
The Bikery offers middle school students the opportunity to earn a customized Donk bike they have built themselves. The experience teaches the value of work, the pride of ownership, and the feeling of freedom that comes from riding a bike they made through the neighborhoods they live in.thebikery.weebly.com
Planting Justice creates energy and water-efficient gardens that demonstrate how to grow a complete nutritional diet in our own urban neighborhoods. They lead weekly workshops on food justice, culinary arts, and permaculture design at Mandela High School in Oakland, drawing connections between students' experiences in the garden, relationships to their cultural heritage and family traditions, and current and historical movements for social justice.plantingjustice.org
DIMOND'S HIDDEN JEWELS MURAL
The art students of Sequoia Elementary School will create a 60-foot long mural of the timeline of the Dimond neighborhood from the native Ohlones until today. The mural will then inspire others as it becomes part of the landscape of the Dimond.dimondmural.blogspot.com
OAKLAND URBAN PATHS
Oakland Urban Paths is a group of dedicated walkers, planners, and historians whose common mission is to maintain and celebrate the heritage of Oakland's paths and stairways. These urban paths weave together neighborhoods and are an important piece of our physical and social infrastructure.oaklandurbanpaths.org
OAKLAND UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL
The Oakland Underground Film Festival emphasizes local filmmakers and provides a look at films that entertain, educate, and inspire. In addition to the annual event in September in Jack London Square, the OUFF produces original works and hosts events and presentations throughout the year.oakuff.org
Oakland Leaf cultivates community transformation through creative education for youth and families. Oakland Leaf offers culturally relevant school and community-based programs rooted in interweaving five core components that correlate to challenges faced by the community: 1) Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) 2) Literacy, 3) Art and Culture, 4) Health and Wellness, and 5) Leadership and Empowerment.oaklandleaf.org
Since 1950, Fairyland has been the place, on the shores of Oakland's Lake Merritt, where children’s literature comes to life with whimsical storybook sets, gentle rides, friendly animals, and wonder-filled puppet shows. A place for kids to be kids, where over 7,500 low-income kids are admitted each year at no charge.fairyland.org
WALK OAKLAND BIKE OAKLAND
WOBO's mission is to improve neighborhood livability and vitality by making Oakland a better place to walk and bike. Their Oaklavía event will open car-free city streets for recreation and community building. Roadways become opportunities for strolling, cycling, roller skating, hula hooping, dancing, board games or just people-watching.walkoaklandbikeoakland.org
2009 OAKLAND INNOVATORS AWARD WINNERS
KUNG FU GROCERY
The Kung Fu school Kajunekbo Kwoon was opened in North Oakland in 2006. The Oaklandish Innovators Award grant of $5,000 will help fund the Kung Fu Grocery Summer Camp. The goal of this neighborhood-based project is to give kids ages 6-16 the opportunity to practice Kung Fu and learn practical skills to earn their own money. The program includes Kung Fu workouts and other sports activities, math practice, and cooking healthy snacks to sell at the student-run store. The grant will provide stipends for youth leaders and scholarships for students. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
BAY AREA GIRLS ROCK CAMP
This project, started in 2008, exists to celebrate women and girls' voices and empower more women and girls through music. The Camp includes instrument and voice lessons, self-defense classes, other aspects of music production, and Image and Identity workshops. The Bay Area Girls Rock Camp also plans to implement an instrument lending program and is committed to remaining a long-term fixture in the Oakland Arts Community. The Innovators Award grant of $2,500 will go toward defraying tuition costs for the 2009 summer session.
Town Park was created by a group of conscientious Oakland residents who recognized the need to provide Oakland youth with a safe and legal place to skate. Spearheaded by Keith "K-Dub" Williams, their goal is to legitimize the popularity of skateboarding among urban youth by creating a skate park within Oakland, allowing the youth to stay in the community and not be criminalized for skating in public places. In addition to providing free skate access to all skill levels and age groups, Town Park will host special community events, such as the Hood Games, as well as provide skate camps, clinics, professional demos and amateur to professional competitions. The Oaklandish Innovators Award of $5,000 will help fund the "Cabeza Project" in which selected local artists will paint/decorate thirty skateboard helmets for an art exhibition. Afterward, the helmets will be worn in competition at Town Park.
CYCLES OF CHANGE
This 10-year-old grassroots organization works for social and environmental justice through bicycle, environmental, nutrition education, community gardening programs, and just resource allocation. The Oaklandish Innovators Award will help fund an Earn-A-Bike program at Edna Brewer Middle School Bike Club and a project of creating and selling "bike art" to raise money for an overnight bike/camping trip. The Innovators Award grant of $2,500 will help equip Cycles of Change to give away 40 bikes, helmets, and locks.
JUST CAUSE OAKLAND
This membership-based community organization has been building a powerful voice for Oakland's low-income tenants and workers since 1999. Just Cause Oakland works to develop leadership skills in Oakland residents to advocate for housing and jobs as human rights, and to mobilize for policies that produce social and economic justice. The Oaklandish Innovators Award grant of $2,500 will help fund Just Cause Oakland's bilingual community newspaper "Just Causes." The purpose of this publication is to bring new people from specific neighborhoods into the grassroots movement for social justice, and provide working-class Oaklanders with updated information about housing issues and other local resources.
YOUTH SPIRIT ARTWORKS
This is an interfaith youth education and jobs program whose mission is to empower and transform the lives of homeless and low-income youth. The Oaklandish Innovators Award grant of $2,500 will help fund the project "Healthy Bollards, Benches, and Turn-A-Rounds," in which homeless and low-income youth will work with Bay Area artists to create permanent outdoor art benches focused on the theme of health. This is a key historical and social issue that references the health-related outreach done by the Black Panthers in the communities where the art benches will be created. The benches will be exhibited at the Oakland Airport before being put at their permanent sites in North Oakland.
Founded by Tyrone Stevenson Jr., this grassroots movement seeks to empower youth through the artistic re-creation of bicycles. The Scraper Bike movement gives East Oakland youth a positive outlet that is fun, educational, and promotes healthy lifestyles. The goal is to support youth entrepreneurship and cultural innovation. True to its legacy as an origin of pioneering movements, Oakland is the one and only birthplace of the Scraper Bikes. The Scraper Bike movement could have only been founded in Oakland -- where the everyday and the discarded is rendered beautiful and uplifting through the creative hustle of its citizens.
2009 ARTS-IN-ACTION AWARD WINNER: FAVIANNA RODRIGUEZ
Favianna Rodriguez, artist and entrepreneur, has been working to make art more accessible and participatory in creative ways for many years. Favianna is a printmaker and new media artist who began designing her well-known political posters in the 1990s. Her illustrations portray messages related to community efforts to defend immigrant and women's rights, empower youth, and bring recognition to the effects of war and globalization on communities of color and the poor worldwide. With the Arts-in-Action grant, Favianna will collaborate with the National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights to create "American Dream." This is an interdisciplinary media project focusing on the printed poster and online media tools to create a message around immigrant workers in Oakland.
2008 OAKLAND INNOVATORS AWARD WINNERS
2007 OAKLAND INNOVATORS AWARD WINNERS
On The Bricks
This project is a 6 week re-entry internship program for youth returning from Alameda County Juvenile Hall or California Juvenile Justice Division. The internship's focus will be to educate and support youth (16-24) in their transition, through one on one & group counseling, mentorship, field trips, and job preparedness. Interns receive a stipend for their participation in the program.
Digital Underground Story Telling for Youth
D.U.S.T.Y. is an afterschool program for middle and high school students in Oakland. There are three sites currently: Cole Middle School, Castlemont Community of Small Schools, and Hoover Elementary School. DUSTY students work on computers to create their own Digital Stories, as well at to generate rap and hip hop "beats and rhymes." Throughout the creative process, students learn to master programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere, iMovie, and Fruity Loops with the help of skilled instructors. At the end of each semester, the students' creative masterpieces, including digital stories, raps, beats, and performances are showcased in some sort of final event at The Parkway Theatre, The Metro, and other local venues. D.U.S.T.Y. is part of the West Oakland Center for Digital and Multimedia Literacy. The Center combines Internet access and multimedia activities with literacy instruction for West Oakland residents of all ages. It is a joint project developed by the Prescott-Joseph Center for Community Enhancement and the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley.
SpaceShare develops environmental networking tools that help people connect, travel together, and save resources. Their core focus is carpooling: we look for existing communities that can both support a carpooling system and in turn be strengthened by the connections created. The Innovators Awards Grant will allow SpaceShare to design and implement a carpool system for an East Bay faith community (church, synagogue, or mosque). Our hope is that this grant will fund a pilot ride sharing program that will quickly spread to communities across the country and perhaps beyond.
WAGES: Women's Action To Receive Economic Security
The mission of WAGES is to promote the social and economic empowerment of low-income women through cooperative business ownership. Their unique strategy is to develop eco-friendly housecleaning companies that provide stable, safe and dignified work for their worker-owners while protecting the environment in which we live. With WAGES' assistance, women move out of poverty through cooperative ownership. They make use of the cooperative model to allow women to pool their skills and work together to succeed. A cooperative is a business owned and controlled by those who work in it. Members make decisions democratically by giving each person a vote and distributing income equitably to all workers.
East Bay Asian Youth Center
Founded in 1976, the East Bay Asian Youth Center (EBAYC) is a private non-profit community-building organization based in the San Antonio neighborhood district of the city of Oakland. EBAYC has a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, and multi-lingual membership of over 700 Oakland families who are involved in one of five after-school learning centers, located at Franklin Elementary School, Garfield Elementary School, Manzanita Elementary School, Roosevelt Middle School, and the East Bay Asian Youth Center. EBAYC also has a membership of over 100 families who participate in R.I.S.E., an after-school learning center at Berkeley High School. EBAYC after-school learning centers provide its youth members an integrated array of learning activities, including academic instruction, college & career awareness, health education, sports, outdoor adventures, performing, visual, and media arts, and community service projects. We also provide our high school student members comprehensive internships as reading coaches, sports coaches, social action researchers, and documentary video producers.