We had the pleasure of meeting Jay Ento at the last Community Storytelling Day.  Jay was born and raised in Oakland, and remembers East Oakland when it was very different.  "Everybody looked out for one another.  Talk about a Village.  We WERE the Village," Jay muses.  "If somebody saw you doing something your weren't supposed to be doing a block away, by the time you got home you got what for."  Jay also reminised about the abundance of vegetale gardens and fruit trees in her neighborhood on 75th Avenue and sharing fresh food with her neighbors. 

Jay also talked about some of the challenges facing the neighborhood today.  In part 2, she urges people to talk to East Oakland's youth, rather than talking AT them.  She thinks there's a lot of wasted talent hanging out on the corners of the neighborhood, and that if we'd engage them, they might have some solutions for the neighborhoods's woes.  But she'll tell you better than we can:

At the Our Oakland: Eastside Stories Commiunity Storytelling Day, participants Linda August and Jennifer Eurby talk about how excited they are to be part of the event, and how it brings the East Oakland community together.


In this video, the Perez Family discusses the changes that have been taking place in East Oakland over the past several years, including more tiendas that sell Latin foods, etc.  They also discuss their dreams for the future of their family.

This video was produced by our Youth Media Partners, Youth UpRising.  They did an amazing job interviewing, filming, photographing and post-production on four different videos during our first Communtiy Storytelling Day in October 25th, 2009.  They will be joining us again at the second CSD at the end of March.



On January 16, 2009, Our Oakland Community Ambassador Fannie Brown told us what the election and inauguration of Barack Obama means to her and the East Oakland Community.


 The Good Old Days

Earlier, Fannie Brown recalled her childhood growing up in Mississippi on a plantation. She also talked about how East Oakland became her home in the 1960’s, and how she later became an educator, school-founder, and all-around community leader.  This video was shot on October 25, 2008 at the first Our Oakland Community Storytelling Day.


School Promise

Michael Angelo recited his School Pledge for us, wearing a stethoscope that symbolizes his dream of becoming a doctor one day.  This video was shot on October 25, 2008 at the first Our Oakland Community Storytelling Day.


Minh-Tram Nguyen, principal of EnCompass Academy, talks about her philosophy of educating the whole child- Mind, Body, Spirit and Emotions, and the challenges and rewards of working in East Oakland.  The video was shot on October 25, 2008 at the first Our Oakland Community Storytelling Day.