Elaine Brown, former chairperson of the Black Panther party, has taken a blighted empty lot at the corner of 7th & Campbell Streets in West Oakland and launched a mashup of small business/prisoner re-entry program/community project. This collectively owned small farm employees people who have been incarcerated and is the first of many businesses that Brown plans to launch in this corner of West Oakland.
Seen on Perkins Street above Grand Avenue in the Adams Point neighborhood.
Do you find it hard to believe that a smart, functional, responsive and deeply caring non-profit exists? One that nurtures clients, volunteers and staff through actual mission in action? Well, check out West Oakland’s Next Step Learning Center, where basic literacy, one-on-one GED tutoring, college transition support and workforce counseling are provided free to anyone over 17 years of age. The program grew out of community organizing and provides individualized programs.
The glorious columbarium at Chapel of the Chimes (4499 Piedmont Avenue, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily) is a required Oakland experience, especially for those seeking quietude and/or an inspiring strange atmosphere. And the vibe, you ask? Part Julia Morgan-designed neo-Gothic flourishes of arch and stained glass, part odd cremain-urns-as-law-library ambience, with just a hint of 1940’s glamour pools and fountains mixed in towards the back.
Wander up and down curving staircasettes into small interlocking antechambers and atriums, find a quiet corner to sit and write, ponder the urns or the names of the various chapels, catch live music on site, or celebrate either solstice (we kid you not).
And the timeliness factor of this posting? Well, the Chapel of the Chimes will be offering historic tours of the columbarium beginning Saturday July 26th from 10-12 noon.
Chapel of Effulgence, anyone?
Phat Beets is a volunteer-based collective working to cultivate a more equitable food system in the North Oakland flats. They offer CSA boxes with food from urban micro-farms, a Saturday farmers’ market, Food n’ Justice workshops, youth empowerment programs and much, much more.
Check them out at : http://www.phatbeetsproduce.org