About Oakland

Check out these videos in which Oakland activists talk about why this city is a great place for a national education justice gathering this summer:

Want to learn more? This list features wide variety of websites, resources, articles, fact sheets, blogs, videos, and much more related to recent and ongoing education struggles in Oakland.

Oakland Organizations Represented on the FMFP Planning Team

People’s Education Movement, Bay Area (lead local organization)
People’s Ed Movement, Bay Area collective recruits, develops, sustains, and inspires educator-teacher-organizers, from and for the communities that they serve.  People’s Ed works to transform systems of oppression and advance the struggle towards liberation. As a collective, they recognize their unique role as educators to love, serve, and join the communities that they serve.  People’s Ed roots themselves in the teachings of ancestors from many lineages; honors the wisdom, legacies, and lessons that came before; and engages in continual praxis toward a world where all people thrive.

ARISE High School
At ARISE we nurture, train, and discipline our school community to engage in a continuous practice of developing mind, heart, and body towards a VISION where we actively rise up. Agency and self-determination drive our struggle to improve our own material and social conditions towards a more healthy, equitable, and just society.

ARISE is located in the heart of the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland. 95% of our 260 students are low-income students of color. Our students are immersed in a challenging college-prep curriculum that emphasizes knowledge of self, critical consciousness, and performance assessment. The curriculum is enacted in the context of a highly personalized and supportive environment, which provides wrap-around services through our socio-emotional counselors, college advisors, and teachers. We are thrilled that 90% of our graduating seniors have been accepted to a 4-year college!

Coliseum College Prep Academy
Coliseum College Prep Academy (CCPA) is a small high school on the Havenscourt campus in East Oakland and the first Oakland school serving grades 6 through 12. The stability of our program allows us to build powerful relationships with students and families to support a positive school culture and high student achievement. At CCPA, all students develop as learners, thinkers, communicators, and citizens. Our school program meets each learner’ s unique needs, value their passions and interests, connect their learning to the real world, and require students to demonstrate what they know and are able to do. Through partnerships with multiple community groups, we provide supports to help all students achieve high standards. Technology is integrated throughout our program to ensure students are ready to compete in our digital world.

Hack The Hood
Hack the Hood is an award-winning non-profit that introduces low-income youth of color to careers in tech by hiring and training them to build websites for real small businesses in their own communities.  During workshops and 6-week “Boot Camps,” young people gain valuable hands-on experience building mobile-friendly websites, executing search engine optimization, and helping businesses get listed in local online directories. In addition to relevant technical skills, youth also learn critical leadership, entrepreneurship, and life skills under the guidance of staff members and volunteer mentors who are professionals working in the field.

Institute for Sustainable Economic, Educational, and Environmental Design (I-SEEED)
I-SEEED looks to create sustainable cities and schools so that people do not have to leave their communities to live, learn, work, and thrive. I-­SEEED uses world-class research and community responsive strategies to:

  • Create information technology solutions for our most pressing economic, educational, and environmental health problems
  • Train the next generation of climate scientists, energy innovators, health advocates, and social justice educators from low-income communities and communities of color

Laney College of Ethnic Studies
The mission of the Laney College Ethnic Studies Department is to educate the community on critical race and resistance studies. Our department offers an interdisciplinary curriculum that advances the General Education goals of the college. We provide students with knowledge and skills to respond to the challenges facing a multicultural and globally interdependent world. COMMUNITY CHANGE STUDIES PROGRAM – Our program is committed to fostering the leadership and employment of local residents who want to create social and economic change in their communities. All participants accepted into this one-year program will receive a paid internship experience and college credit; all courses in this program qualify as credits in the UC and Cal State systems.

Mills College of Education
The Mills College School of Education is built on the concept of principled practice which is reflected in six core beliefs.

  • Our practice is reflective and requires active and systematic inquiry for learning throughout our career.
  • Our practice is inherently moral and guided by an ethic of care.
  • Our practice is collegial in that professional learning happens in the context of relationships that matter. Colleagues and community are central.
  • Professional practice is political in that, by definition, it is concerned with matters of change that are neither neutral nor inconsequential.
  • Professional practice is connected in deep and important ways to the content of our work. A central goal is to prepare others to acquire deep understandings of the content of their practice.
  • Learning is developmental and constructivist and thus best guided by developmental conceptions of how learners come to know.

University of San Francisco School of Education
The School of Education celebrates four decades of involved teachers, devoted leaders and caring counselors. Our faculty and students are scholars and social justice advocates engaged within the diverse San Francisco Bay area and beyond. With over twenty masters and doctoral programs, including programs at our branch campuses and online, we welcome students who seek to make an impact and who are committed to serving those most in need.

Youth Together
Grounded in our commitment to peace, unity and justice, the mission of Youth Together is to address the root causes of educational inequities by developing multiracial youth leaders and engaging school community allies to promote positive school change.

Coalitions and Networks

Bay Area Teachers Against Police Brutality
As educators we have a particular responsibility to remain aware of the impact that police brutality and institutions of mass incarceration affect our students…Due to our position as workers within a power structure responsible for the creation and maintenance of these systemic obstacles, we must serve as instruments for the empowerment and liberation of our students and against the reproduction of the structures we seek to undermine. In order to serve this function, we must be constantly committed to growth and reflective of our position both inside and outside of the classroom.

Causa Justa :: Just Cause
Causa Justa builds grassroots power and leadership to create strong, equitable communities. Born through mergers between Black organizations and Latino organizations, we build bridges of solidarity between working class communities. Through rights-based services, policy campaigns, civic engagement, and direct action, we improve conditions in our neighborhoods in the San Francisco Bay Area, and contribute to building the larger multi-racial, multi-generational movement needed for fundamental change.

Community Justice Network for Youth
The Community Justice Network for Youth (CJNY) is a program of the W. Haywood Burns Institute (BI), whose core purpose is to protect and improve the lives of youth of color, poor children and their communities by ensuring fairness and equity throughout all public and private youth serving systems.

Established in 2001, PEP is a service learning program that has created a “partnership triangle” between the university, public schools, and the community to develop this counter-pipeline that produces critical educators and curriculum at all levels of education and in the community. PEP’s partnership triangle includes: San Francisco State University’s (SFSU) Asian American Studies (AAS) Department, San Francisco public schools, the Filipino Community Center (FCC), and the Filipino American Development Foundation (FADF). Uniquely, our counter-pipeline implements a transformative decolonizing curriculum and pedagogy, incorporating all grade levels including primary, middle, secondary, and post-secondary students. As volunteer teachers of the program, graduate and undergraduate SFSU students, most of whom want to pursue careers in education or community service, receive a unique opportunity to teach critical Filipina/o American studies. They gain skills in the practice of critical pedagogy, curriculum development, lesson planning, and teaching.

Teachers 4 Social Justice
Teachers 4 Social Justice is a grassroots non-profit teacher support and development organization. Our mission is to provide opportunities for self-transformation, leadership, and community building to educators in order to affect meaningful change in the classroom, school, community and society. T4SJ organizes teachers and community-based educators and implements programs and projects that develop empowering learning environments, more equitable access to resources and power, and realizing a just and caring culture.

Teaching Excellence Network (TEN)
The research is clear about the teacher as the most important factor in student achievement.  There is a solid body of research on the skills and practices used by effective teachers of poor and working class youth of color. To make better use of this research, we have designed the Teaching Excellence Network (TEN). TEN draws from the best resources available to support school communities to improve the experiences of young people in classrooms. The goal of TEN is to connect districts, schools, and teachers committed to improving teacher practice, while providing a clearinghouse of excellence that teachers, families, and school leaders can access at any time to improve classroom teaching.


Ethnic Studies Now Toolkit
It’s time to make Ethnic Studies a graduation requirement in every school district!  Here’s a toolkit of resources you can use that were helpful in the campaigns to make Ethnic Studies a graduation requirement in El Rancho USD (1st in California to do so) and L.A. Unified which is the 2nd largest school district in the United States.

School of Unity and Liberation (SOUL)
SOUL is working to lay the groundwork for a strong social justice movement by supporting the development of a new generation of organizers rooted in a systemic change analysis -especially people of color, young women, queer and transgender youth and low-income people. We believe that – in order for organizers to build an effective movement for fundamental social change – they need support to develop the nuts-and-bolts organizing skills they need to mobilize their communities and to deepen their political analysis and their visions for fundamental social change. SOUL helps to build the capacity of organizers and leaders of grassroots organizations to win systemic change.

Education Media

Youth Radio
Youth Radio is an award-winning media production company that trains diverse young people in digital media and technology. Founded in 1992 in Berkeley during a period of heightened youth violence and homicide, Youth Radio was established as an outlet for Bay Area youth to process their experiences and provide an alternative perspective to the prevailing media dialogue. Radio Youth’s headquarters are currently based in Oakland.

KPFA – Education Series on FLASHPOINTS
“The Battle for Public Education In the 21st Century” aired every Wednesday on Flashpoints, an award-winning, daily investigative news magazine that is broadcast on the Pacifica Radio network and nationally syndicated in over 100 U.S. cities.  This 15-part series is a mind-expanding exploration of public education through a social justice lens that challenges ourselves to reconsider everything we think we know about teaching and learning and schooling.  It tries to imagine the unimaginable, a truly liberating and socially just educational system.  This series connects with visionaries and activists struggling to make this a reality. Beginning at 8:20 mark, listen to two Oakland Free Minds Free People planning team members, Patrick Camangian and Sharim Hannegan-Martinez, along with high school students they teach in Sharim’s English class.

Local “Call for School Quality” in Oakland – An Educator of Color’s Response
Oakland Unified School District school teacher, Chela Delgado, raises concerns about Call for School Quality in Oakland in the article Concern About Education and Oakland Youth.

Davey D – Davey D Hip Hop Corner
Davey D is a nationally recognized journalist, adjunct professor, Hip Hop historian, syndicated talk show host, radio programmer, producer, deejay, media and community activist. He is the founder and webmaster of Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner, which is widely considered to be one of the oldest and largest Hip Hop sites on the web. Listen to our keynote speaker Jeff Duncan-Andrade on a Davey D show.

Young Oakland
Young Oakland is a city-wide news source made up of a collective of youth and students based out of MetWest high school. Their goal is to provide their classmates, peers, and community with a resource for truth. Young Oakland wants to bring the most relevant issues in our society to a platform for youth discussion, because believe that change begins with us, the youth!

Media Enterprise Alliance (MEA) engages Oakland high school students in media education, leadership, and workforce training. Using video, graphic design, and website production students create content from their unique perspective and gain technical and entrepreneurial skills.

Educating for Democracy in the Digital Age
The Educating for Democracy in the Digital Age (EDDA) initiative believes that civic, political, and digital lives are inextricably linked in the 21st century, and that young people have the most to gain and lose in this new civic and political landscape. To be effective civic actors today’s young people need both the civic skills that come from best practices in civic education and digital literacies that enable them to fully leverage those civic skills. Currently, the EDDA initiative is working with more than 60 teachers from 12 high schools in Oakland to develop curricular models in the humanities that provide students with opportunities to investigate civic issues, learn civic skills, and engage in civic action.

The Education Report
Katy Murphy is a higher education news reporter, working for the Oakland Tribune. She writes The Education Report, a blog about Oakland Schools.

Critical Education Issues

African American Male Achievement

The Office of African American Male Achievement stops the epidemic failure of African American male students in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD).The Office of African American Male Achievement was launched in 2010 and creates the systems, structures, and spaces that guarantee success for all African American male students in OUSD. African American Male Achievement is an ambitious project designed to dramatically improve academic and ultimately life outcomes for African American male students in Oakland. (Learn more…)

Dispossession & Wealth Inequality

In the 30 years of its formal history, the American Indian Movement (AIM) has given witness to a great many changes. AIM says formal history, because the movement existed for 500 years without a name. The leaders and members of today’s AIM never fail to remember all of those who have traveled on before, having given their talent and their lives for the survival of the people.  (Learn more…)

The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement is an organization of Afrikans in America/New Afrikans whose mission is to defend the human rights of our people and promote self-determination in our community. MXGM understands that the collective institutions of white-supremacy, patriarchy and capitalism have been at the root of our people’s oppression. MXGM understands that without community control and without the power to determine our own lives, we will continue to fall victim to genocide. Therefore, MXGM seeks to heighten consciousness about self-determination as a human right and a solution to colonization. While organizing around MXGM’s principles of unity, they are building a network of Black/New Afrikan activists and organizers committed to the protracted struggle for the liberation of the New Afrikan Nation – By Any Means Necessary! (Learn more…) 

Gentrification & Displacement

Causa Justa :: Just Cause builds grassroots power and leadership to create strong, equitable communities. Born through mergers between Black organizations and Latino organizations, we build bridges of solidarity between working class communities. Through rights-based services, policy campaigns, civic engagement, and direct action, we improve conditions in our neighborhoods in the San Francisco Bay Area, and contribute to building the larger multi-racial, multi-generational movement needed for fundamental change. (Learn more…) 

This site provides a map produced by Causa Justa of gentrification by neighborhood in Oakland and San Francisco (view site)

Causa Justa also produced the following report: Development Without Displacement

Institutionalization of Ethnic Studies

In 2010, SFUSD passed a resolution to support the development of a 9th grade Ethnic Studies course, which was implemented in 5 schools throughout the district. Only 5 of the 18 high schools in the district offered students the opportunity to take an A-G approved Ethnic Studies course. On December 9th, 2015, students, teachers, parents, and community organizations came together once again to institutionalize Ethnic Studies in ALL SFUSD Schools. Through the examination of counterstories and often times neglected narratives of all people, students learned to humanize and respect themselves, their families, and their communities.  Students learned to think critically about race, ethnicity, and culture in the context of their own identities and their lived experiences. With a curricular content and pedagogy informed by the need for social justice and equity, the Ethnic Studies courses provided students with the critical lens necessary to analyze oppression and engage in transformational resistance through learning service projects.  These projects required students to collectively address issues in their own lives and make positive change in their communities. (Learn more…) 

Statement from Coleman Advocates for Children & Youth: (view statement)

Ethnic studies courses coming to all S.F. high schools: (view article)


Neighborhood Violence & Police brutality

Critical Resistance seeks to build an international movement to end the prison industrial complex (PIC) by challenging the belief that caging and controlling people makes us safe. We believe that basic necessities such as food, shelter, and freedom are what really make our communities secure. As such, our work is part of global struggles against inequality and powerlessness. The success of the movement requires that it reflect communities most affected by the PIC. Because we seek to abolish the PIC, we cannot support any work that extends its life or scope. (Learn more…) 

#BlackLivesMatter is working for a world where Black lives are no longer systematically and intentionally targeted for demise.  We affirm our contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.  We have put our sweat equity and love for Black people into creating a political project–taking the hashtag off of social media and into the streets. The call for Black lives to matter is a rallying cry for ALL Black lives striving for liberation. (Learn more...)

Restorative Justice

Disparately impacting youth of color, punitive school discipline and juvenile justice policies activate tragic cycles of youth violence, incarceration, and wasted lives. Founded in 2005, Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth works to interrupt these cycles by promoting institutional shifts toward restorative approaches that actively engage families, communities, and systems to repair harm and prevent re-offending. RJOY focuses on reducing racial disparities and public costs associated with high rates of incarceration, suspension, and expulsion. We provide education, training, and technical assistance and collaboratively launch demonstration programs with our school, community, juvenile justice, and research partners. (Learn more…) 

School Closures and Transformation

Oakland public schools are currently undergoing changes that many community members, families, students and stakeholders feel is contentious for it’s lack of transparency, push towards privatization and inclusion of community and student voice. In January of 2015, the school district, lead by Superintendent Antwan Wilson began considering request for proposals to ‘transform’ five local schools in predominately Black neighborhoods. (Learn more…) 

School Policing

The Black Organizing Project is a Black member-led community organization working for racial, social, and economic justice through grassroots organizing and community-building in Oakland, California. Their “Bettering Our School System” (BOSS) Campaign was launched to:

  • End the criminalization of Black and Brown students in the Oakland Unified School District
  • Invest in alternative models of school safety that don’t rely on police
  • Restructure the current polices and practices within OUSD that don’t take a restorative justice approach to student discipline and promotes the school to prison pipeline.
  • Read their report: From Report Card To Criminal Record: Impact of Policing on Oakland Youth

Self-determination and School Autonomy

The Roses in Concrete Community School (“RiC”) will be a K-8 school in East Oakland founded on the belief that schools should emphasize knowledge of self, character, and intellectual growth to prepare students to fundamentally impact the global society while learning to live, learn, work and thrive in their own communities.  RiC’s principal goal is to develop youth committed to lives characterized by self-discipline, integrity, love and hope in the pursuit of justice and equity for all communities.  RiC will encourage their students, who will be broadly invested in academic, artistic, athletic, and extracurricular pursuits, to demonstrate the spirit of the Warrior-Scholar.  As Warrior-Scholars, RiC students will cultivate the courage to stand as warriors on the side of justice while having the scholarly faculties to decipher where justice resides in a complex society. (Learn more...)