All posts tagged: playbook

Kids of Incarcerated Parents Speak Up

Millions of children live with one incarcerated parent. We don’t see what’s missing in their lives. We don’t hear what they need from the adults around them. Until, Project WHAT! (We’re Here and Talking), family members, teachers, lawyers, social workers and doctors lacked the children’s view of how best to support their specific needs.  I sat down with Project WHAT! alum and Program Associate Alisha Murdock to learn more. (Photos by photographer Ruth Morgan from the Sentence Unseen exhibit, running through January 23rd at the African American Museum and Library in Oakland) How did Project WHAT! come to your attention? Alisha Murdock: Both my parents were in and out of prison a lot. My friend told me about it because she was in the program, and she learned about it at school. She was going to El Cerritto High. From being in the program, I hear that people find out about it from school counselors or word of mouth. For me, staying connected with Project WHAT! has meant a lot because it is a family.  …

A Foundation for Life – Habitat for Humanity

A friend of mine got lost in Martinez recently and stopped at a building site off Pacheco Boulevard to get his bearings. “Man, I want to come back here and shoot pictures of this place,” he told me. I stole his idea. This is what we call story development at BayMozaic.  I contacted Erin Spaulding at Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley (EBSV) to ask about the Muir Ridge development. She told me the project matched a natural need for affordable housing in the far reaches of the East Bay, as housing costs have gone up across Alameda, Contra Costa and Santa Clara Counties. In an area where land is hard to come by, Habitat for Humanity EBSV was able to take over an existing development site in unincorporated Martinez. They broke ground a year ago and will complete the second phase of building twenty homes in late May 2016. Most of us have heard about Habitat for Humanity, and I was curious about Erin’s personal and emotional connection with the organization. Erin Spaulding: I …

urban farmers san ramon harvest

The Urban Farmers Broaden Harvest

Some good grows from crisis. The idea for The Urban Farmers sprang up in the wake of the 2008 economic crash when Siamack Sioshansi’s son and his college roommate returned home to find their jobs as YMCA counselors eliminated. They decided to design a social justice project. To learn about their mission and how it’s evolved, I joined Siamack for a harvesting in San Ramon where he guides Boys Team Charity Lamorinda League in shaking down some trees. He tells the story: Social justice and environmental justice are one and the same. If someone says, I want to feed this group, but I’m going to import food, if they are destroying the environment, the first victims of that action are the poor. So environmental stewardship was a big part of the project. We asked, why don’t we plant a garden in people’s backyards, give them a basket of food, and donate the rest to people that need it? I was worried that nobody would let us in. The boys wrote a business plan, and what …

food rescue food security food waste Contra Costa County

Creating Paths of Abundance

Rotting lettuce finally made the news. Media coverage of food waste generated several headlines this summer, with European advocates making progress on laws forbidding stores from destroying food that has past its sell by date. (We featured this video from the PBS NewsHour on our Friday Flicks). According to a Natural Resources Defense Council report, close to forty percent of America’s food goes to waste. Students, designers and policymakers puzzle through the means to make the most of our shrinking resources through circular models.  While some food businesses move toward a circular economy, most are far from it. Food rescue bridges the gap between a closed-loop food business design (our businesses are not there, yet) and ongoing waste. In Contra Costa County, White Pony Express, an all volunteer food rescue organization, closes the loop one delivery at a time. Seven days a week. I met with Erica Brooks and Vincent d’Assis to learn more about the inspiration, values and structure behind the organization. Since its inception in September 2013, White Pony Express has delivered more than …