August 2014 Newsletter

Oakland is full of people who want to make positive changes in their neighborhoods. Check out our updates below on how we're supporting these great people in advancing social change and how you could help! 
HOPE Spotlight: Sandra Muniz, Youth Action Board Member
Sandra Muniz, YAB member

This month, we would like to recognize Sandra Muniz for her contributions to our collaborative.  


Sandra was introduced to HOPE Collaborative during leadership class at Fremont High School in her junior year. She was interested in work that involved the community and an opportunity for professional development. Prior to joining HOPE's Youth Action Board (YAB), Sandra looked forward to meeting new people from different parts of Oakland who come from different backgrounds. She has been a YAB member since and will be completing another term because of the hands-on community-oriented projects that are executed, which she says "we don't just talk about them [projects], we do them".


As part of the YAB, she works with other youth to come up with ideas to create a better and healthier environment for Oakland. Sandra shares her opinions, ideas, and ways she thinks that will help with the projects. The projects may take a long time because of the planning and communication between the YAB members about what the best steps are for the project. Sandra learns something new when she attends a YAB meeting like the "food cycle", which is a system that explains how produce gets from seed to table. She also learned about how Oakland schools are changing the way students eat by bringing better food options into schools. The projects Sandra enjoys are the monthly Food Empowerment Education and Sustainability Team (FEEST) trainings and the youth-led healthy garden. Both projects benefit the youth and surrounding communities by promoting healthy eating habits.


Since her involvement at HOPE, Sandra has learned a lot from our "step up, step back" community agreement. Sandra saw herself as someone who sits back and listens, but HOPE has encouraged her and others to speak up and share their ideas. HOPE has opened a lot of doors for Sandra and expanded her social network such as having the opportunity to become a member of the East Oakland Building Healthy Communities' Youth Leadership Board and to meet the Oakland Health Commissioner.

Block Party at Sunbeam Market
National Night Out Block Party at Sunbeam Market. View more pictures here.
"Fresh fruits, veggies, and a meat market!" was the common response from West Oakland community residents when asked what stock changes they'd like to see at their neighborhood convenience store.

On Tues., August 5, HOPE Collaborative and Sunbeam Market hosted a block party at 14th & Adeline for National Night Out to promote the Healthy Corner Store Project. Over 70 people stopped by the event and learned about changes Muaamar Almualm, the owner of Sunbeam Market, is planning on making to his store. Throughout the event, HOPE surveyed community residents to determine what types of produce, prepared foods, and prices to offer at Sunbeam Market.

Thanks to our summer youth leaders, Austin, Ayana, and Carmen along with West Oakland resident and HOPE leader Paula Beal for taking the lead in planning the event. The event would not have been possible without the work of all the volunteers who made everything come together on the day of! Special thanks to Jenny Huston, who designed and prepared the taste testing menu and to People's Grocery for turning green vegetables and fresh fruit into a delicious, refreshing, healthy treat.

Re-branding the Hood

As HOPE launches our Healthy Corner Store Project, we are thinking deeply with our partners about how to transform the look and feel of corner stores.Those of us who regularly visit our local corner stores in East and West Oakland are bombarded by alcohol, tobacco, fast food, and sugar sweetened beverage advertisements even before entering the actual store.Commonly, these ads cover stores' exteriors, and upon stepping inside the store, the advertised products dominate the shelf space. 


According to the Federal Trade Commission, the food and beverage industry spends approximately $2 billion per year and more than $5 million every day marketing unhealthy food to children; other studies show these advertisements reach a disproportionate number of children and youth of color. HOPE recognizes that a huge community lift is crucial to counter the force of industry in targeting our communities.


As a first step, HOPE partnered with Oakland Food Policy Council; Rooted In Community, a national youth food justice network; and Favianna Rodriguez, a local artist and cultural organizer, to host "Rebrand the Hood," an interactive workshop to develop a community-generated brand for our Healthy Corner Store Project.Gerardo Marin from Rooted in Community and Favianna Rodriguez facilitated entertaining exercises, theater, group creative process, and discussion that allowed participants to tap into their indigenous creativity and wisdom to create images and messages that reflect community values and promote health and justice.


Over the next several weeks, Favianna Rodriguez will incorporate these images and messages into the creation of grassroots art (signage, store posters and fliers, menues, shelf-talkers, etc.) for our healthy corner store campaign that will shape the entire store experience for neighborhood residents. Look out for the Healthy Corner Store Project's new brand to be featured at a store near you! 


Invest in Health at Your Local Corner Store

What if you could give $25 to bring healthier food to your neighborhood store, would it be worth it? What if you were paid back not only with fresh veggies and delicious sandwiches, but you got your money back as well?


HOPE's Healthy Corner Store Project has been working hard to connect small store owners to community groups and the resources they need to sell healthier foods like fresh produce, sandwiches, and smoothies. One important piece in making this possible is helping stores find ways to access the money they need to change their store and install new equipment from produce cases to panini presses. For many of these small business owners, it's not always easy or affordable to get a traditional bank loan. To address this challenge, HOPE has been developing relationships with several socially minded funders and lenders. One promising and innovative partnership is with KivaZip, which allows small business owners to crowdfund up to $5,000 at a time. Unlike other crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo, the money raised through KivaZip is a loan that owners repay over 2 years at 0% interest. HOPE Collaborative serves as a KivaZip Trustee, an organization or individual that endorses and supports small business people seeking to raise money through KivaZip. Taking a loan can be a business building strategy by building a store owners credit history so they are better able to access capital in the future. Crowdfunding the loan helps spread the word about the exciting changes the store owner will be making to improve their store.


Sunbeam Market on 14th and Adeline St in West Oakland will be the first store in HOPE's Healthy Corner Store Project to fundraise through KivaZip. Muaamar "Ali" Almualm, the owner of Sunbeam, is excited to bring fresh produce and a deli/meat counter into his store. West Oakland is full of liquor stores but still doesn't have a full service supermarket. He firmly believes, "People need a place close by to come and shop and get something healthy to eat." Once approved by KivaZip, Muaamar will have a private fundraising period of 15 days to get 15 people to lend money to the project. This is KivaZip's way of making sure that each business person has a strong network of support for their project. As soon as he gets 15 people to support, the loan will go public and he will have 45 days to raise the rest of the $5,000. While he has saved up enough for much of the improvements including a deli case, the additional $5,000 will help him install a produce case, a commercial blender for fresh smoothies, and make brighten up the store to highlight the new healthy additions.


To sign up as a lender with KivaZip, click here. 
School Lunches - STUDENTS get a SAY!!!
"If I don't eat the lunch food maybe I can change it so that I can actually eat it!"

What did you have for lunch today at school? What?! Jambalaya, polenta, parmesan rice??!!

The school cafeteria menu will serve up some tasty new grub this fall - and, no kidding, students have a say!! This summer a couple of school kitchens were cooking up a storm to give students a taste of what may be on their lunch plates this fall!! 


The folks organizing taste tests and "Rethinking School Lunch" include OUSD Nutrition Services, Center for Ecoliteracy, FoodCorps, and HOPE Collaborative & East Oakland Building Healthy Communities.   


Find the original article here and a short clip on the taste testing on ONews, a website that was started a couple of years ago by a group of high school students (from Life Academy, Skyline, Castlemont and Oakland International) along with their mentor/instructors from Pandora. ONews shines a light on the students - grades K though 12 - in the Oakland public schools. High school students also produce a newscast, also called ONews, at KDOL, the OUSD TV station.   


HOPE Collaborative is Hiring a Project Associate
Do you have a passion for making Oakland a healthier place to live and thrive? If so, HOPE Collaborative would like you to join our team as a Project Associate, who will
work with the Project Director to coordinate implementation of HOPE Collaborative's Built Environment Community Action Plan, focusing on healthy planning initiatives at the neighborhood and city-wide levels.

Essential duties and responsibilities include: (1) program development, implementation, and evaluation, (2) community engagement and organizing, and (3) supporting collaborative infrastructure and functioning. Deadline to apply is September 11, 2014.

For more information about this position and details on how to apply, please click here


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: Sandra Muniz
Improving Our Neighborhood Corner Stores
Re-branding the Hood
School Lunches - STUDENTS get a SAY!!!
HOPE Collaborative is Hiring a Project Associate
Upcoming Events
Allen Temple Baptist Church's 37th Annual Health Fair on Sat., August 15 from 10am-3pm at 

Oakland Food Policy Council
meeting on Thurs., August 21 from 4:30-7:30pm at 1000 Broadway, 5th floor, Room B

HOPE New Member Orientation on Tues., August 26 from 5-7pm at the 81st Library (1021 81st Ave.)

Built Environment Action Team
(BEAT) meeting on Tues., August 26 from 4-6pm at RISE Elementary (8521 A St.)

Youth Uprising
and Castlemont High School F.A.S.T. community festival on Sat., September 6 from at 88th & MacArthur

HOPE Steering Committee meeting
on Tues., September 12 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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221 Oak St. Ste. D, Oakland, CA 94607 | Office: (510) 444-4133 | Fax: (510) 444-4819

 HOPE is a project of The Tides Center