August 2016
Coming Together to Free Our Dreams
After six years in our office space in the Prevention Institute building, it is time for HOPE Collaborative to find a new home.  We are looking for Oakland office space that can accommodate 7-8 work stations, has access to a meeting space that can fit at least 20 people, is accessible by public transportation, and ideally has access to a kitchen.  We need to move between November 1 and January 31 .  We are open to sharing space with another social justice organization in Oakland.  If you have any leads on office space that meets this description or would be interested in looking for a space together, please contact sabrina@hopecollaborative.net. Thank you for helping us find a new home!
Community & Youth Engagement
Youth of Color Advocate to #FreeOurDreams at the State Capitol 
YAB members with Senator Jeff Stone
450 youth leaders from all over California gathered together for a weekend of workshops about organizing, justice, and advocacy at UC Davis on August 5th - 7th . The annual Free Our Dreams Summit was organized by Movement Strategy Center and supported by The California Endowment. The highlight of the summit was when hundreds of youth converged on the State Capitol on Monday to urge lawmakers to help improve their lives and communities.
 
Monday's day of advocacy at the Capitol began with a hearing of the State Assembly's Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color followed by a rally on the Capitol steps where youth drummed, chanted, held signs and spoke about issues affecting their communities.  Afterward, youth leaders went to more than 100 legislative offices to meet their representatives, and urged policymakers to pass legislation to enhance police accountability, end the criminalization of youth and promote safe and successful schools.
 
HOPE Collaborative's Youth Action Board (YAB) members were part of a contingent of 35 youth from Oakland. Sarahy, Erica, Ana, and Reina visited 6 different legislators and shared stories about their experiences as youth of color in California.  Luis Ramirez, a young adult from Oakland and former YAB member, shared his thoughts on the importance of the visits: "Now with the election and all the things that are being said, I think this is the time to do something. I think this is history, in a way. It won't be in history books, but it's something that we can tell our children."
Community and Youth Leadership Development Evaluation
In 2013, HOPE created a leadership development program for our members  with the goals of providing opportunities for community members to serve as justice leaders and engage in community ownership.  This year, we embarked on a participatory evaluation process to understand the impact of this program.
 
HOPE Project Leaders Leon Davis, Esther Goolsby, and Lianetta Taylor-Oliver were trained by The Sarah Samuels Center for Public Health Research and Evaluation and facilitated four focus group-style discussions with fellow HOPE members, conducted a qualitative analysis of the data, drafted a report, and presented the final report to HOPE's Steering Committee.  
 
Focus group participants included youth from HOPE's Youth Action Board (YAB), and adults from HOPE's Project Leaders group, and Elmhurst Resident Leaders group. HOPE members spoke about the skills that they had developed by engaging in HOPE's efforts, and shared that they developed leadership skills through this work, including networking, communicating to internal and external stakeholders, project management, and engaging their communities.
 
During the analysis, the Project Leaders also considered what might be missing and found that focus group participants did not always explicitly connect their work with HOPE with policy and systems change efforts. Project Leaders considered this information and developed recommendations to address this, which HOPE is now actively working on.

Overall, this participatory evaluation process has assisted HOPE in understanding the impact of our leadership development program and identifying changes that could be made to further support youth and adult members in effecting policy and systems change. In addition, the Focus Group Project Leaders expressed that their newly developed research skills will enhance their capacity as community leaders. 
Built Environment
Neighbors Gather for National Night Out
On Tuesday August 2nd, HOPE Collaborative joined communities throughout the nation in hosting a National Night Out event. The purpose of National Night Out is to strengthen neighborhood unity and foster friendship between neighbors by hosting block parties throughout the nation.  HOPE, in collaboration with Block by Block Organizing Network and local residents, hosted a block party on 90th Avenue between G-Street and E-Street. Thanks to outreach by HOPE members and BBBON, more than 40 nearby residents and families attended the event.


The evening was full of music, fun activities, and information sharing. Residents living near G-Street and 90th Avenue  were able to learn about community work happening in their community at the same time that attendees shared food cooked by their neighbors and children played safely outside, riding bikes and playing hop-scotch.  HOPE plans on continuing activities such as National Night Out to bring greater awareness and support to the G-Street Transformation project which aims to reduce blight on the G-Street corridor in East Oakland.
 
Through recent efforts, including the National Night Out event and meeting with City of Oakland departments, the project has raised awareness about the blight problem affecting too many East Oakland residents. But media coverage and talking alone will not solve the problem, so please consider joining the effort to transform G-Street. Ultimately, these lessons learned can help create a city-wide solution to blight in Oakland.  To learn more about more about the  G-Street Transformation Project, attend BBBON D7's monthly meeting (held on the fourth Friday of the month, 6:30pm - 8:00pm at Allen Temple Baptist Church, Family Life Ctr. 2nd Flr., end of the hall) or contact Ruben at ruben@hopecollaborative.net or (510)444-4295.
Spotlight
Healthy Corner Store Summer Interns David Hu and Jocelyn Vazquez 
This summer HOPE hosted two interns, David Hu and Jocelyn Vazquez, through the Alameda County Public Health Department to work with our Healthy Corner Store Project. Their aim was to gain exposure to on the ground community work that promotes public health to deepen their understanding and experience. They supported HOPE with conducting and analyzing customer evaluation surveys at One Stop and supporting the development of systems and outreach materials for our Taste Test Tuesday events. Throughout their time with HOPE they exhibited great enthusiasm and initiative, often offering helpful suggestions or creative solutions to improve how we run our events, collect data, and engage residents.

Through their experience with HOPE, Jocelyn and David felt that they gained valuable experience and insights in the importance of centering community members in both understanding and developing solutions to public health issues such as healthy food access. "It was an amazing experience to be part of the important projects the folks at HOPE are doing in the community," said David. "From work days to weekly check ins, to steering committee meetings, and to surveys and community outreach at the corner stores, this summer was filled with learning and inspiration." Jocelyn also highlighted how working with HOPE increased her confidence in doing community work. "I've tended to feel as though I wasn't suited to building community change due to my introversion, but being a part of the Healthy Corner Store work, attending HOPE meetings, and even just being present in the office or the stores has helped me see tangibly that I have the capacity to do this work," she shared.

Moving forward Jocelyn plans to return to the Inland Empire where she grew up to work in community health projects. David plans to continue community health work through internships over the next year while he applies to start medical school in the Fall of 2017. Thanks David and Jocelyn for all your amazing work to support our corner stores and best of luck on your next steps!