December 2013 Newsletter

The 2013 year is coming to an end. We'd like to invite you to continue your support  in HOPE's work for next year. Read more below about opportunities to get involved as well as recaps on our past events!
HOPE Project Leader Spotlight: Aaliyah Carney and Veronica Slater, Youth Leaders
This month, we would like to recognize Aaliyah Carney and Veronica Slater for their contributions to our collaborative.
Aaliyah Carney and Veronica Slater, HOPE Youth Leaders.

Aaliyah was first introduced to HOPE Collaborative before the formation of the Youth Action Board (YAB). Aaliyah was interested in volunteering her time at HOPE to build skills in leadership and community organizing. She has learned a great deal about issues affecting the health and wellness of Oakland flatland residents from participating in HOPE's built environment and food system action teams. Currently, Aaliyah holds a project leader role as a Youth Leader. Some of her responsibilities as a Youth Leader include planning and setting up for meetings, co-facilitating meetings, drafting meeting agendas, and phone banking for the YAB.

Slater became a member of HOPE's YAB since 2012. She gained skills in outreach, peer leadership, and public speaking and hopes to continue building on these skills as a Youth Leader. Slater enjoys being a part of HOPE Collaborative's YAB, where she works with youth who are dedicated to creating projects to better neighborhoods, food, and health in Oakland. In addition to the Youth Leader responsibilities she shares with Aaliyah, Slater helps connect YAB with youth events, activities, and organizations throughout Oakland and represents HOPE and YAB at partner organizations, city agencies, and youth groups.

Exciting Food Systems Work in 2014
HOPE Collaborative invites you to an upcoming Food Systems Action Team (FSAT) meeting facilitated by the FSAT Co-chairs, Esperanza Pallana and Paula Beal.

HOPE's food systems partners have been working hard in 2013 on planning and development of an innovative food hub and healthy corner stores and community-based education in East and West Oakland on food justice issues.

Come find out what the FSAT has been up to and how you can plug into this exciting work in 2014 by sending in your RSVP to

What: Food Systems meeting
Monday, December 16, 2013 from 1-3pm 
Where: HOPE Collaborative, 221 Oak Street, Suite D, Oakland, CA 94607 

Food will be provided.  Please let us know if you need childcare. 


Transforming Neighborhood Corner Stores to Grocery Stores
HOPE Collaborative recently spoke on a panel about corner stores at a meeting of West Oakland Neighbors (WON) at Willie Keys Recreation Center. Sabrina Wu, HOPE Project Director, and Paula Beal, Food Systems Action Team Co-Chair, introduced HOPE's Healthy Corner Store Project to the 30 West Oakland residents and stakeholders who attended the meeting. Other panelists were Elian Ferrar from Nuisance Abatement, Jackie Greenwood from Alameda County Environmental Health, City Council District 3 Representative Lynette McElhaney, and Nate Walker from Beat 7X, PSO.

The Healthy Corner Store Project will transform 5 corner stores across East and West Oakland in the spring of 2014 to increase their provision of fresh produce and healthy prepared foods. Paula, who is a West Oakland resident, shared on the panel, "I live in the neighborhood and all the corner stores around me sell junk food, cigarettes, and alcohol and are associated with neighborhood crime.  Meanwhile there are no grocery stores and corner stores are often the only places to buy food items in my neighborhood, so I want to transform them so they can actually sell healthier foods."  Meeting attendees nodded in agreement and shouted out names and locations of West Oakland corner and liquor stores they would like to see changed.  They referred to these stores as "hot spots" that attract illegal activities. HOPE Collaborative views corner store improvements as an opportunity to not only increase access to healthy foods but also support economic development and improve neighborhood safety by changing the store environment and increasing foot traffic around the stores. We will be partnering with West Oakland Neighbors and other community organizations on this effort beginning in 2014.


Improving Elmhurst, One Step at a Time
Esther's planting day on November 23, 2013.
There are plots of land that exists in East Oakland on the block of 82nd Ave and B Street that have transformed over the year by HOPE community member, Esther Goolsby. As part of Esther's Changing OUR Grounds project, Esther recruits help from her neighbors and local organizations to beautify the Elmhurst neighborhood.

On November 23, 2013, Esther hosted another successful planting party with the help of neighbors, HOPE Collaborative, Acta Non Verba, Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), and RISE Elementary. Everyone who volunteered that day planted over 40 plants including rosemary, lavender, thyme, sage, and more! To celebrate all the hard work, volunteers got to enjoy some BBQ at the end of the day.

Check out Esther's ongoing cleaning and greening project on 85th and B to D Streets in Oakland! 
Youth Action Board (YAB) Cooks Up a Feast with FEEST
Youth Action Board (YAB) retreat. Click here to view more pictures from the retreat.

"Butternut squash! Yes, and we can add coconut milk!" responded HOPE Collaborative's Youth Action Board (YAB) when asked to participate in an improvisational cooking activity. On the weekend of November 23rd and 24th, the YAB had the opportunity to collaborate with Food, Empowerment, Education, and Sustainability Team (FEEST) at Oakland Sol in East Oakland. FEEST is an organization that provides youth with the opportunity to build on existing skills to further enhance their knowledge of healthy foods and give them the tools to change their own community.

During our time with FEEST, we had the ability to go into depth about ways to utilize the resources we had available. When asked about the experience with FEEST, YAB member Kevin Jackson explained, "Creativity was essential to everything we did. Many of us exercised our leadership skills while hoping to apply them to our own communities. In cooking meals, we were able to exercise our creative improvisational skills and community building activities.


Youth Building Healthy Communities
Neighbor Night attendants forming a soul train.

On Thursday, November 14th, 2013, East Oaklanders gathered at Allen Temple for Neighbor Night to meet their neighbors and learn about East Oakland Building Healthy Communities (EOBHC). There was food and fun activities including games, dancing, music, and storytelling. Neighbor Night had a diverse age range of participants from children to seniors. Many who attended enjoyed the storytelling activity, where participants had to illustrate their neighborhood journey on a poster. The goal of Neighbor Night was to bring the community together to find a way to have more unity.


HOPE Collaborative's Youth Action Board (YAB) attended Neighbor Night.  The youth felt very comfortable and respected because they were able to express themselves without judgment being passed. The experience of being able to be yourself is amazing. One of the activities the youth participated in and enjoyed was the soul train line, where people form two lines and people dance between the lines and down the aisle. For those who attended Neighbor Night, you could tell the YAB members really enjoyed dancing.


View pictures from the event here.  


HOPE New Member Orientation Success
HOPE's new member orientation on December 4, 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.

On Wednesday, December 4, 2013, Oakland residents gathered at HOPE Collaborative for a new member orientation. Participants got an overview of HOPE's mission and values and learned about HOPE's current work including Elmhurst neighborhood project, Healthy Corner Store project, food hub, community education on food justice issues, communications, evaluation, and more. About 20 people attended this informational session and wanted to participate in HOPE's work. Current HOPE Steering Committee members Danielle Douglas, Esperanza Pallana, Esther Goolsby, and Virginia Hall were also in attendance to represent HOPE and welcome new members.


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 Project Leader Spotlight: Aaliyah Carney and Veronica Slater
Exciting Food Systems Work in 2014
Transforming Neighborhood Corner Stores to Grocery Stores
Improving Elmhurst, One Step at a Time
Youth Action Board (YAB) Cooks Up a Feast with FEEST
Youth Building Healthy Communities
HOPE New Member Orientation Success
Upcoming Events
HOPE Food Systems meeting on Mon., December 16, 2013 from 1-3pm at the HOPE office (221 Oak St., Suite D).

East Oakland Building Healthy Communities (EOBHC) Youth Leadership Board applications
due on Fri., January 3, 2013 to Mario Balcita at

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)

Oakland Food Connection
has launched their farm stand. Get fresh produce every Saturday from 10am-2pm at 7631 MacArthur Blvd.

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� 2013 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