June 2016
Savor the Sun & Healthy Food this Summer!
We hope you're as excited about the start of summer as we are! We're revved up at the thought of more sunny days, and fueled by all the great things that have been happening at HOPE and with our inspiring members. Read on to get the scoop on what we've been up to, and don't forget that we are accepting applications from passionate people to join our Steering Committee - apply by July 31!
Community Engagement
Community-Driven Change
by Lianetta Taylor-Oliver, HOPE Project Leader
On May 7th HOPE Project Leaders Paula Beal, Leon Davis, Esther Goolsby and I conducted an invitation- only, full-day collaborative workshop for community members. The workshop addressed policy, advocacy, food justice, the built environment, and resident leadership, and was held in East Oakland at the 81st Ave Oakland Library. 
The workshop topics were 1) Working with HOPE Collaborative, facilitated by Leon; 2) Healthy Eating, facilitated by me; and 3) Empowerment, Engagement and Environment with You In Mind, facilitated by Esther.  

With the support and mentorship of Frank J. Omowale, Ph.D, President of Leadership Incorporated, Project Leaders were excited to have the opportunity to conduct a workshop offering these topics.  Residents shared the skills they learned particularly about the participating Healthy Corner Store locations and owner stories, community mapping and planning, transforming our corner stores, what's happening in their neighborhoods, how to make healthier food choices, and becoming food justice warriors. They also shared that they enjoyed the Design your Healthy Corner Store activity, and the presentations and videos that shared who we are, what we do and why policy and advocacy work is so important to us. Michael Cole of West Oakland said, "We need more groups like HOPE Collaborative and more meetings like this." 
I enjoyed the opportunity to network and collaborate with other Oakland residents. There was so much insight, wisdom and resource sharing.  The spirit of Community was high and community-driven change was embraced. 
Residents were extended an invitation to attend HOPE's upcoming events, monthly Steering Committee or Healthy Corner Store team meetings.  HOPE project leaders are looking forward to conducting the workshop series in West Oakland in the near future, so stay tuned!
Youth Action Board Media Team is Proud to Present: Food Desert
by Reyna Reyes, Youth Leader
When we began our work with HOPE Collaborative as the Youth Media team we asked: What is an issue we all face? We agreed that we all had stories about how Oakland is a food desert. One of our members Jesus Cervantes shared his food story, and it touched us. This began the flow of ideas we all began to have. We put all of our ideas down and did a storyboard for our video. Little by little we created the perfect outline to our video. Then we began to get footage of Oakland and our community that lives in our food desert. We all contributed pieces of how this food desert personally affects our lives. We partnered up with the RYSE Center in Richmond who trained us in camera usage and video editing, and even took the time to create a beat for our video. We reached out to the healthy corner store team to be part of their upcoming event, where we took community members aside to videotape them to be part of our project.
After we had all the footage we began to edit. As a team we had to work together to weave all of our perspectives into one video. We worked hard and put all of our effort into this video. Now that we are finished we want to thank everyone that helped us create this video and for the support we received from our adult allies. Please check out our video:

Food Desert
Food Desert
Food Systems
Introducing Affordable & Healthy Food to Food Deserts in Oakland
UC Berkeley student Lauryn Chan dedicated her time and energy to HOPE as a Food S ystems intern since the start of this year. We greatly appreciate the effort she put in to support our work with our Healthy Corner Stores and launching Taste Test Tuesdays. Check out her blog post on her experience interning at HOPE and the experience of battling our food deserts here in Oakland.

Thank you for all your help and support Lauryn!
W est Oakland Middle School (WOMS) Health & Career Fair
On May 17th HOPE Collaborative tabled at the WOMS 3rd Annual Health & Career Fair. We were joined by City Slicker Farms , Mandela Marketplace , Oakland Unified School District Nutrition Services , Planting Justice , Pro Arts Gallery , Youth Radio , and a number of other community-based orgs. The goal of the fair was to energize WOMS students around health, highlight local health concerns and point youth towards possible opportunities for community engagement. This year, LifeLong WOMS reached out to community members to come and share their careers an d occupations with the students. The hope is to expand their perspectives for their future dreams and aspirations.

Justin DeVera of Lifelong WOMS worked with us to make the materials as interactive as possible. We showcased the popular "design your healthy corner store" activity. It was incredible watching the students - young people under the age of fourteen - think deeply about where to place typical corner store items (like food, tobacco, water, produce, and wine) inside a store. One student said, "I am going to put teddy bears in the middle of my store. Kids see too many violent toys like water guns."

Justin de Vera shared with us: " I am confident that all of our students will walk away from this event with something to remember for the rest of their lives. You should all feel very proud knowing that your impact on the youth today will certainly help pave the way for a bright future for themselves and ultimately the community overall. It was very inspiring for me to be in the presence of people who are wholly committed to the betterment of the youth. The West Oakland Middle School community cannot thank you enough for your time and all of your efforts. "

We are grateful to WOMS for the opportunity to get involved, and to meet so many of their inspiring students!
The Sons and Daughters of Life's Longing for Itself (Kahlil Gibran) - YAB Grads!
Prince once proclaimed, "Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life." Every year, a group of amazing young people join HOPE's Youth Action Board and impart their vitality and commitment to the work of the collaborative. They participate in activities and meetings, lead energetic events, and keep up a regular grind to make the flatlands of Oakland just a little more restored. They are the living embodiment of HOPE's commitment to community leadership and ownership.

The energy the youth bring culminates when summer brings warmer weather and an abundance of fruits and vegetables . This time of transition is also when some  of the young people ease into adulthood through attending college or entering the workforc e. We would like to congratulate Ana Avila, Sarahy Dominguez, Erica Jackson, Briana Key s, Emina Sehric, and Jamani Teer who will all be attending college in the coming school year.  They will be attending Cal State East Bay, Laney College, Berkeley City College, Academy of Arts University, Sacramento State, and Holy Names University, respectively. May luck favor you throughout your life!   

       (from left to right): YAB Grads Emina Sehric, Sarahy Dominguez,                           Erica Jackson, and Ava Avila. Not pictured: Briana Keys and Jamani Teer

Good Food for All
Engaging historically marginalized communities in policy advocacy is critical to real policy change. HOPE Collaborative builds leadership of community members and youth in Oakland to engage in policy and community change and brings our on the ground experiences and our members' priorities to inform national food policy dialogue, such as through the Good Food for All collaborative.  

We recently presented a workshop with Good Food for All partners Union of Concerned Scientists, HEAL (Health Environment Agriculture Labor) Food Alliance, and Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation at the 8th Annual Farm to Cafeteria Conference in Madison, WI. The title of the workshop was "Advancing racial equity in farm to cafeteria policy by connecting community stories to federal lawmakers, " and it provided a strong case and tools for  bringing stories from youth, communities of color and low-income communities to Congress for greater equity in food policy. After defining racial equity and providing examples from Oakland and Central Brooklyn on how to advance racial equity through policy and programs, the 80 workshop participants broke into small groups to share challenges and best practices in community engagement, collaboration with national policy organizations, and centering racial equity in their work. Participants left energized to apply new practices in their own school districts and communities. HOPE will continue to share our best practices and thinking in community-led change with local and national allies.