May 2014 Newsletter

Many thanks to everyone who came out on Saturday, April 26 to support our Earth Day Green Up Day of Action, in partnership with Communities for a Better Environment, Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project, Urban Releaf, East Oakland resident leaders, and many more! Read about our highlights from our Earth Day event below and check out what other updates we have for this and next month!  
HOPE Spotlight: Damarys Torres, YAB Member
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Some of several posters on food justice created by Damarys Torres, YAB member.

Damarys has had an interest in nutrition and joined HOPE Collaborative because she heard the organization supports public policy that promotes healthy eating and healthy environments. She is currently completing her second term as a Youth Action Board (YAB) member at HOPE Collaborative, where she attends weekly meetings and works with other YAB members to plan activities and events for youth. Damarys enjoys interacting with other youth at different YAB events like their monthly FEEST trainings, where they cook healthy meals while improvising with limited ingredients and has developed communications and social skills from attending HOPE events.


HOPE Collaborative would like to highlight Damarys because she is finishing up her senior year in high school and as part of her senior project, she is working on creating a series of posters that promote food justice. Her project's topic is on censorship and she wants to try to change the way people think about their food and drinks by displaying her posters throughout her school campus and surrounding neighborhood. The goal of this project is to see if the posters would get taken down or vandalized.


Keep a lookout for Damarys' posters!


Collaborative Puts Pieces of the Puzzle Together to Create Healthy and Resilient Communities
2014 Earth Day Green Up Day of Action. Click here to view pictures from the event.


HOPE Collaborative convenes the Elmhurst Neighborhood Planning Initiative, a collaborative effort among residents, community-based organizations, City and County government, schools, churches, and the Neighborhood Crime Prevention Councils (NCPC's) to develop and implement a community-based plan for the lower Elmhurst area, an underserved community plagued by blight, poor air quality and lack of shade trees.


On April 26, 2014, HOPE Collaborative, Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), Urban Releaf, Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project (ANV), and other environmental justice organizations joined community residents for another "Green Up Day of Action", an Earth Day celebration, at Tassafaronga Park in East Oakland. Though the event engages volunteers and neighbors to plant trees and pick up trash in the Elmhurst, the vision "is about a community coming together to make their vision of a healthier neighborhood become a reality," says Angela Hadwin, Project Associate at HOPE Collaborative.


More than 80 people participated in the event and helped fulfill the long-term vision of HOPE's Elmhurst Neighborhood Planning Initiative, whose goal is to support resident leadership in their community by creating a greenway in East Oakland in the area from 81st to 91st Avenues, bordered by International Blvd. and G Street. Partner organizations, resident leaders, and neighbors collected 33 bags of trash, planted over 20 trees, and installed a planter box.

Elmhurst Neighborhood Planning Initiative: Building Community Voice and Agency in East Oakland

Over the past two and a half years, HOPE's Built Environment Action Team (BEAT) has been working to develop a new model for neighborhood planning in Oakland, a model that starts with community ideas and leadership. This past year, BEAT compiled 2 years of community meetings and participatory mapping into a Neighborhood Plan document that captures the vision, process, neighborhood assets, challenges, and opportunities. The plan outlines a way toward creating a healthier more resilient community that reflects the needs and wants of local residents. Based on this community vision, BEAT partner organizations and resident leaders have been working to implement elements of the plan in a way that continues to build community leadership. Through a recent round of mini grants, HOPE will support partners to engage in community-centered projects that promote Civic Participation; Beautification, Greening, and Anti-Dumping; Safe Streets; and Healthy Food Access. Projects include:

  • Neighborhood Plan Outreach & Town Hall - Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) will lead outreach to continue build community input and involvement in the planning process.
  • WE ACT: Neighborhood Beautification - a 3rd grade teacher at Acorn Woodland Elementary School will lead a group of 18 students along with parent volunteers in regular work sessions to pick up trash, paint over graffiti, and install plantings around their school.
  • G Street Transformation Project - Block By Block Organizing Network - District 7 will engage residents and business owners to transform G Street from an illegal dumping ground to a community asset.
  • Community Greening Project - Urban Releaf will plant 35 additional trees in partnership with residents and local partner organizations.
  • Peace Banner Campaign - Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm will create a visual and online campaign to address community violence and connect residents and youth to resources and programs that help address residents needs and increase the peace.
  • Traffic Circle Program - Bike East Bay will develop an implementation plan to locate and pilot a low-cost, community driven traffic circle to address issue of speeding traffic and improve safety for walking and biking in the neighborhood.

For a summary of the neighborhood plan, click here. For more information on the neighborhood planning initiative, please contact Angela Hadwin at


HOPE New Member Orientation
New member orientation, December 2013.
HOPE Collaborative hosts quarterly new member orientations for individuals interested in getting involved in HOPE's work. HOPE works with community members to fulfill a shared vision of creating vibrant Oakland neighborhoods that provide equitable access to affordable, health, locally grown food; safe and inviting places for physical activity and play; sustainable, successful, local economies - all to the benefit of the families and youth living in Oakland's most vulnerable neighborhoods.

HOPE's next new member orientation will be on Monday, June 2, 2014 from 5-7pm at the HOPE Office (221 Oak St., Suite D), Participants will get an overview of HOPE's mission and values and learn about HOPE's current work including the Elmhurst neighborhood project, Healthy Corner Store Project, food hub, and more.

If interested in attending, please RSVP to Anita Wong at or (510) 444-4133. Dinner will be provided and reimbursement for AC Transit available.


Stay tuned for more updates from the HOPE Collaborative. You can also visit us at, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to find updates.

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In This Issue
HOPE Spotlight: Damarys Torres
Collaborative Puts Pieces of Puzzle Together to Create Healthy and Resilient Communities
Elmhurst Neighborhood Planning Initiative: Building Community Voice and Agency in East Oakland
HOPE New Member Orientation
Upcoming Events
Oakland Food Policy Council meeting on Thurs., May 15 from 4:30-7:30pm at 1000 Broadway, 5th floor, Room B

Come out for Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project's 3rd annual Spring of Green Open House on Sat., June 7 from 12-4pm at Tassafaronga Park

HOPE New Member Orientation
on Mon., June 2nd from 5-7pm at the HOPE office

HOPE Steering Committee meeting on Tues., June 10 from 4-6pm at the HOPE office
Alameda County Social Services Agency Farm Stand every Monday from 10am-2pm at Eastmont Self-Sufficiency Center (6955 Foothill Blvd.)

Every Saturday from 9:30am-2pm, get fresh and healthy produce in West Oakland at the Freedom Farm Stand behind Brother's Kitchen (300 San Pablo)
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� 2014 HOPE Collaborative


221 Oak St. Ste. D, Oakland, CA 94607 | Office: (510) 444-4133 | Fax: (510) 444-4819

 HOPE is a project of The Tides Center