One of the coalition’s central demands is for community self-determination. Community self-determination means that a community works together to envision their future, to decide what situations need to be resolved and what steps need to be taken to bring the entire collective community to this envisioned future. It is not a hierarchical model that allows external or oppressive systems to determine what “problems” exist and what “tools” must be used to “eradicate the problem.”
“Our Oakland, Our Solutions” means that we as a city– as people who live in, grow up in, work in and have ties to Oakland– must decide what are the best solutions to take care of each other. As a city-wide community, we demand that every person in this community has an important role to play; no one should be denied access to a future here, no one should be denied access to their culture, to their neighborhood, to being a vital part of building a space where we can all thrive: safer, healthier, together. To quote Youth Justice Coalition, our allies in Los Angeles, “We are working to transform a system that has ensured the massive lock-up of people of color, widespread police violence, corruption and distrust between police and communities, violation of youth and communities’ Constitutional rights, and the build-up of the world’s largest prison system.”
Gang injunctions and other police/prison/judicial-oriented policies are not community-based solutions. They do not create capacity for redressing community harm so that cycles of inequality or violence don’t repeat themselves. “Our Solutions” comes out of working together to dismantle systems that recreate and perpetuate oppression; “Our Solutions” highlights the excellent work that is already happening here in Oakland as people build real alternatives for safer, healthier communities that do not rely on systems of oppression or political hierarchies to do the work that we must do together, for and with each other.
Public spaces, community programs and projects are imperative to develop healthy and vibrant neighborhood relationships, to facilitate intra-generational dialogue and to model community leadership and values
- North Oakland: Our Oakland, Our Solutions mural at Bushrod Rec Center, 58th and Shattuck
- East Oakland: Growing Our Roots, Reclaiming Our Fruitvale at 34th and Foothill
- BLOCK PARTY:
- Community Spaces
- The Bikery– a collectively-run, not-for-profit community bike shop in Oakland. The Bikery intentionally centers the leadership of people of color, youth, women, trans and genderqueer folk, and people from Oakland and the Bay Area.
- Homies Empowerment works with gang-impacted/involved youth in Oakland, addressing culture, education and social issues at Fremont and Castlemont High Schools. Each week youth come together for Homies Dinners based out of the Eastlake YMCA. Homies is inspired by Father Greg Boyle’s Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles.
- Phat Beets is a food justice collective in North Oakland that runs a community garden space at Dover Park, youth-oriented and community-nutrition focused farmers markets, in addition to other collaborative projects. They strive to support social businesses and small farmers and farmers of color.
- For more Oakland and Bay Area community projects, check out our Community Allies page
- Supported economies/ jobs: Employment opportunities and employment training services are integral for creating and maintaining safe communities.
Community Voices: Working together depends on strong community participation. This means that our struggle is for the long haul. When we stand and work together we grow our collective strength for self-determination.
- HOBAK (Hella Organized Bay Area Koreans) speaks out about the connections between youth cultural spaces, gentrification, imperialism and gang injunctions:
- Xicana Moratorium Coalition
- “Real safety is the absence of oppression and the presence of a just, kind and healing community.”
- “You can never keep peace by going to war…The OPD is an active state of occupation…martial law.”
- “Showing support and love”
- Cultural Justice Models: What does a community-based model of justice look like?
- Restorative Justice: check back soon for examples of Restorative Justice