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2016 Oaklandish Innovators Year-End Recap

Each year since 2007, Oaklandish chooses an elite group of local organizations as recipients of our ‘Oaklandish Innovator Awards.’ These organizations epitomize ‘Local Love’ through a variety of initiatives, including everything from violence prevention services to food justice, workforce development, youth mentorship, and support for homeless youth.

The four recipients of the 2016 Oaklandish Innovator Awards were:

After a busy year, we followed up with each of our 2016 Innovator Award winners to see how the grants supported their work this year. Here is the feedback we received:


Sabrina, The Town Kitchen:

The Town Kitchen used Oaklandish grant funds to support the training of our first Culinary & Food Entrepreneurship Cohort! Fellows received knife training from us, barista training from Red Bay Coffee and visited Acta Non Verba’s urban garden in a complete immersion program. During their training, the Town Kitchen supported with transportation and dinners. Upon graduation, all participants received slip-resistant shoes and an intro set of knives to take with them on their culinary journey. The Town Kitchen was also able to employ two transitional-aged youth, at living wages, to teach healthy cooking classes to Oakland middle schoolers! Additionally, the Oaklandish Innovator grant helped to provide knives, shoes & transportation support for Culinary & Food Entrepreneur Fellows, along with various supplies to launch our after school program, and the funds also help to subsidize wages for 2 youth after school Trainers.


Brandon, The Hidden Genius Project:

The Hidden Genius Project (THGP) is committed to providing training and mentorship to young boys of color in technological fields. The 2016 Oaklandish Innovator Awards grant has helped THGP is multiple ways. Primarily, the grant has enabled THGP to purchase key instructional supplies for specific student programs.  The acquisition of computers and various software programs has helped the 19 students in THGP’s third Intensive Immersion Program cohort continue to grow and challenge themselves. The Oaklandish Innovator Award grant has also subsidized operational costs and staffing costs for many of The Hidden Genius Project’s programs.


Anne, Youth ALIVE!:

One of Youth ALIVE!’s primary services is immediate help for families and individuals who have been impacted by violence in the city. The Oaklandish Innovator grant helped Youth ALIVE! subsidize the costs of over $1,400 worth of telephone expenses for our 24/7 crisis phone line and crisis responder communications. Additionally, Youth ALIVE! provides various forms of support for the families affected by violence in Oakland, and the Oaklandish Innovator grant help us to provide over $1,500 worth of essentials for those families’ grieving processes such as candles, tissues, journals and refreshments provided to effected families in times of need.


Erica, Community Education Partnerships:

The Oaklandish Innovator Award grant has helped Community Education Partnerships (CEP) on multiple fronts. The first task that CEP set their sights on was to provided additional resources for the training of their volunteers, who help with resource attainment for the city’s homeless population to help their educational development. With the assistance of PhD. Ally, Skoog, CEP has implemented a socio-emotional aspect to their training, so volunteers identify and incorporate the complex emotional trauma that too many homeless youth have to deal with when doing their best to focus on academia. Secondly, CEP’s marketing received a considerable more attention, to help spread word of their services in the Oak;land community. CEP now has state of the art marketing collateral for digital and real world marketing purposes.

We’re proud to say that we’ve been able to support these great Oakland nonprofits this year! Stay tuned for an announcement this week of our 2017 Innovators!

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