All posts tagged: community

HIV/AIDS AIDS public health alameda county

Ending HIV/AIDS in Alameda County

For Rosetta Randall, diagnosed with HIV four years ago, consistent and personal health care has improved her life. “Considering the lifestyle I led, now I can be here for my kids and my grand kids.” At a gathering in Berkeley on Tuesday, patients and community health providers marked 25 years of the Ryan White CARE Act that brought affordable health care to people living with HIV/AIDS. The legislation, passed in 1990, was named after Ryan White, a 13-year-old boy diagnosed with HIV. In Alameda County, the HIV ACCESS network of community health centers and the Alameda Health Systems public hospital deliver these services. It operates within the broader Alameda Health Consortium that supports the network by boosting collaboration, advocacy and analysis. Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson spoke of the power of a network. “We have to ensure that our community-based network… not only treats individuals who have HIV and AIDS, but is also out there helping to deal with prevention. It’s not alone, it’s connected to our school system, it’s connected to our senior centers, …

pleasan hill library reading

Nonstop Learning at the Public Library

Learning rocks and never stops at the public library. Libraries have evolved from being book warehouses to learning labs and one-stop-shop community centers for all ages. Patrick Remer, Senior Community Library Manager at the Pleasant Hill Library, grew up in Pleasant Hill. “As someone who used this library when I was a kid in the eighties, for me it was this awesome edifice filled with books. Now it’s an explosion of resources. Kids come to talk to authors, they come for hands-on learning, our Lego Club, our Maker events.” I’m here for a virtual author event for the library’s Citywide Read program. The library is “Skyping in” children’s author and comedian Chris Grabenstein from his apartment in New York City. His book Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library takes us on an adventure through the radically high-tech, old school universe of a fantasy library. At first, I feel weird sitting among tweens and teens, their parents and an array of yellow balloons. Soon, though, the room’s enthusiastic discussion about books and writing and the kids’ bottomless …

mural artist oakland graffiti

Protecting the Artist and Rejuvenating Community

The corner of Alice and 14th Street in Oakland has always drawn me in. When I moved back home to the Bay Area in 2000 I took dance class at Alice Arts Center. It was in a neighborhood I didn’t know, but as soon as I entered, it owned me. Alice Arts seemed like the heart of Oakland, and in its high flung rooms I felt I could fly. Years later when I had to move from Temescal (the house was about the collapse, I was told), I moved here instinctively, two blocks from Alice Arts, now Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts. I don’t live here anymore, but find myself in the area now and then. Recently a mural arrested me. It flashed its colors and held me fast. The first thing I thought – “Of course” and “a long time coming.” Dancer Ruth Beckford’s image rises high from the center, surrounded by the neighborhood’s historic layers of arts and advocacy. I had only lived through a shred of it, and my stay coincided …

Youth Speaks, hip hop Oakland music festival life is living

How Life is Living with Youth Speaks

What does a community celebration look like? Through our lens, it embraces the arts and the outdoors, music and information about how to grow stronger together. This year’s Youth Speaks Life Is Living festival at DeFermery Park in Oakland shows us how a community can activate its youth, make and share art, build unexpected partners, showcase storytelling, and raise awareness about environment and health justice.  Did we mention, this is a party? Take a look:    

housing crisis affordable housing Oakland East Bay Area

Housing Leader Takes the Helm

The debut of evening rain in the Bay marked the debut of Gloria Bruce as executive director of East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO). Supporters and the curious, including me, came out to meet her and party with the EBHO staff and board. I could hear them from around the corner, as board members extolled Bruce and the crowd cheered statements for urgent solutions to Bay’s crushing housing crisis. Oakland’s Mayor Libby Schaaf also turned out for the festivities. Building strong communities starts at home. Bruce thanked her wife and gave a shout out to her two boys as the foundation of home. She also cited her father, a Washington, DC native like Bruce, as inspiration in shaping her stance on advancing cities where people “are not lost.” Two paths brought me to EBHO. First, its encyclopedic policy director Jeffrey Levin generously helped me in my research for the Zero 2016 campaign to end chronic homelessness in Contra Costa County. Second, in my accidental conversation with him, Representative Mark DeSaulnier referred me to EBHO as a …

Gathering to Build a Resilient Bay Area

In the second of our two-part interview with Bay Localize, we learn more about its definition of resilience and about upcoming action to build resilient communities. (Kirsten Schwind) The next iteration of our tools is the Map your Future Toolkit. That is mapping the future of your community but also mapping your personal future. We designed it with youth groups, thinking that if we can make something with youth, especially at-risk youth, then we can design something that’s fun and interesting and engaging for anyone. We’re going to start with our more difficult audiences, and if they like it, then the adults will be fine, too. That is the re-imagining your community as well, it is an asset mapping program and it lays out certain ways for people to go into their community and collect information on how people are already resilient on different levels. We’re defining resilience as: 1) Safe and Stable Homes. Having safety in your home, structural safety (is it going to collapse, come down in flood), social and economic safety (will …