The purpose of the Oakland Listening Sessions is to bring together the voices of community members to share our stories so that we can facilitate dialogue with elected officials on the impact of violence.
We will forge grassroots policy recommendations that recognize the connections between institutional and community violence. Our goal is to raise public awareness and catalyze action leading up to the Oakland elections in November.
We will integrate storytelling, Theater of the Oppressed, and Spoken Word to elevate the voices of Oakland’s youth and families.
Organizational Co-Sponsors include: BAY-Peace, Truth Telling Series, Urban Peace Movement, 67 Sueños Allen Temple Baptist Church, Black Organizing Project, CURYJ, East Bay Alliance For a Sustainable Economy, Justice for Alan Blueford Coalition, PUEBLO, RJOY & Youth Alive. Join us!
The first two public meetings will be held in West Oakland, but are open to everyone:
Sunday, May 18th, 2 - 5pm, DeFremery Park Multipurpose Room
18th & Adeline St. Oakland, CA 94607.
—Listening Session with community members, elected officials, candidates and policy makers.
Saturday, May 31st, 2-5 pm at the West Oakland Library
1801 Adeline St, Oakland, CA 94607.
—Policy Brainstorm to generate specific recommendations for community-based public policies.
Four more public meetings are being organized in East Oakland (Also open to everyone) in the months of July-October. Dates and locations TBA.
Have you experienced violence? Are you tired of hearing that more police and prisons are the only solution? Many of us have survived violent crime, but don't buy into the cruel and ineffective strategies that are often promoted by politicians. We are coming together on April 7th to speak out! Join us!
BAY-Peace has chartered the Mexican Bus and we have space for 35 Oakland youth to join us at the April 7th Survivors Speak Conference in Sacramento. Turn in your Signed Permission slip by April 3rd to reserve your space on the bus!
Check out the New KDOL Video
BAY-Peace Youth-Led Theater of the Oppressed Workshops!
We’ll help you get a New Perspective on your Issues!
BAY-Peace youth leaders are now offering performance/workshops for your classroom or youth group. Our youth-led workshops use Theater of the Oppressed techniques as a tool to engage young people in gaining a deeper understanding of issues in their lives.
Theater of the Oppressed (aka “Rehearsal for the Revolution”) is a highly interactive approach that draws upon social justice related stories from the participants. Participants are encouraged to step out of their comfort zones and become ‘spect-actors.’ In this way young people are able to bring their minds, hearts and bodies into play as we explore strategies to transform the many ways that violence impacts their lives.
BAY-Peace workshops can be used to:
- Bring out creative solutions to a problem your group is working on
- Bring laughter and fun into your classroom, even while dealing with heavy issues
- Engage and empower young people to resolve conflicts before they arise
- Bring different groups together around a common concern
BAY-Peace will work with you to develop a workshop or series of sessions tailored to whatever needs or issues you would like to address.
More About our Theater of the Oppressed Program (TOP)!
“A Rehearsal for the Revolution”
By Tevin Wilson
Theater of the Oppressed was created by Augusto Boal, in Brazil in the 1960s, as a way of promoting political and social change. He realized that homeless people were being taken out to the fields and killed by the government. This went on because they feared tourists would leave with a negative impression of Brazil. Boal organized people to walk around with signs saying, " I want to be a slave again." The goal was to get people's attention and let them question what was going on. This act marked the beginning of Theater of the Oppressed, and it has grown into a world-wide movement. In the words of Boal, “The theater itself is not revolutionary: it is a rehearsal for the revolution.”
BAY-Peace offers Theater of the Oppressed workshops in schools and community organizations that work with youth. We have completed workshops for over 300 students and 65 teachers so far this school year. An important piece of our work has been using Forum Theater to create safe spaces for practicing effective ways to respond in oppressive situations. We have developed three skits based on our personal experiences. The skits are focused on police violence, militarism/military recruitment, and the educational system. Our skits are based on real life situations in an effort to relate to the experiences of other Oakland youth.
I feel that these techniques give you a greater chance of defusing a confrontation before it escalates. For me Theater of the Oppressed is like an avatar state, where I can do and say things I wouldn’t say in a real situation. I might get into a confrontation then walk away saying " I should have said this " or " I should have done this.” With the tools I have gained from these workshops, I have learned how to defuse situations before they escalate. Every situation will not require you to use these tools, but it’s good to have a choice to handle it the way you want to, knowing you have skills in your back pocket. We look forward to expanding our Theater of the Oppressed work, and sharing these tools for defusing oppressive confrontations with more youth and adults next year.
2013 SUMMER PROGRAM: BAY-Peace will be offering a six week summer program which will include an intensive Theater of the Oppressed training with John Scott, a world renowned drama therapist. Participants will learn to facilitate Theatre of the Oppressed exercises that will draw out the experiences of young people who are encouraged to practice more creative ways to deal with the violence and oppression they face. We will be offering youth-led workshops during this period, so please contact us if you have an opportunity to bring this amazing form of popular education to your group or class this summer. More details coming soon. 510-863-1737, firstname.lastname@example.org
The workshops we offer are highly interactive, utilizing Augusto Boal’s Theater of the Oppressed structures and exercises to draw upon social justice related stories from the participants. In our interactive youth-led presentation-performances, audiences are encouraged to be ‘spect-actors.’ In this way young people are able to bring their minds, hearts and bodies into play as they explore ways to transform the violence which is often part of their experience with institutions like the military, the police/prison system and immigration enforcement (ICE).
If you are part of a youth group and would like to host a BAY-Peace theater workshop/performance with your group, please let us know! 510-863-1737, email@example.com
BAY-Peace Visits the Big Apple!
by Tele'jon Quinn
On March 20th the BAY-Peace team flew out to New York for a Spring break we will never forget! For many of us it was our first time there and for some of us it was our first time flying. Nearly every moment of the trip was a completely new experience that offered a lot to learn from. We are especially appreciative of the former BAY-Peace team member, Abraham Velasquez and our sister organization, The YA-YA Network. They made our week long stay in NYC not only welcoming, but they made it feel like home. We also appreciate the Brotherhood/Sister Sol for allowing us to share and receive art with the talented young folks in their Lyrical Circle.
Of all of our major impactful experiences, the Lyrical Circle with Brotherhood/Sister Sol was one of our first. For those of you unfamiliar with what goes on in a lyrical circle, we share our lyrics! Usually through spoken word or hip hop. We had the privilege of hearing their stories in the different style of writing the East Coast has to offer. However different the stories were, there was usually a common ground in the struggles between the East and West. We related to stories of destructive relationships, poverty, and gentrification. Watching the thousands of films that portray life in New York City could never have prepared us for the real experiences these young artists shared with us.
Next on our list of dope impactful experiences was the Street Harassment Summit; that was organized and facilitated by young people. At this summit we had interesting dialogue around the role of womyn in street harassment. People shared thought provoking personal experiences. Working in small groups, we identified the root causes, the institutions that reinforce, the outcomes and effects, and realistic solutions to the street harassment issue. By far the most interesting conversation that came up, in my opinion, was the claim that even if a womyn chose to engage a street harasser and pursue sexual relations, that none of us has the right to judge her and say she doesn't have respect for herself. Some very interesting debate arose from this statement, and that dialogue was the highlight of my summit experience.
But that was all just a portion of what we experienced in New York. We did so much from facilitating a Theater of the Oppressed workshop for our YA-YA fam to trying strange new food from some Mom and Pop shops, and even having our first White Castle Sliders. We danced in front of projects at night, we freestyled on subways, and we had full-blown cyphers on the glowing streets of Time Square. We did just about everything a dope young group could do in NYC, except feed one of the largest capitalist monsters in the country. Alright, maybe we fed it a little.
Video by Abe Velazquez
PLAY VIDEO Thanks to Abe Velazquez for editing some highlights of a great year into this six minute video. It includes our street actions, forum theatre work, our "Instruments of Peace" workshops at Emiliano Zapata Street Academy, and our Lyrical Circles poets. And thanks to all the amazing young people who have contributed their talents, intelligence and passion to BAY-Peace. Together, we are making a difference in Oakland!
PLAY VIDEO Tele'Jon Quinn, together with Christsna Sot, Brian Piera and Megan Torio, shared their original poetry on the BART trains in an effort to raise consciousness about the issue of youth homicides—in particular those being carried out by professional and vigilante law enforcement officers. Tele'Jon Quinn is a member of the BAY-Peace Youth Action Team who graduated from Met West High School in June 2012 and now attends Laney College. He, Megan, Christsna and Brian have all been active with BAY-Peace and participate in the Friday night Lyrical Circle Writers Group at BAY-Peace.
BAY-Peace Tax Day Action in Oakland!
On April 17th BAY-Peace Youth Leaders and students from our Resistance Art Projects Class at Oakland Emiliano Zapata Street Academy teamed up with youth from 67 Sueños, war tax resisters and a coalition of other anti-war activists including Code Pink, Grandmothers Against the War, Courage to Resist on Tax Day. We used poetry, theater and dance to let folks know how the youth of Oakland feel about the fact that half our federal taxes are used for war!
Thanks to Ces Rosales, Siri Margerin, Jeff Paterson & Lucinda Daly for taking these beautiful photos of our Tax Day Action!
And thanks to David Nelson for creating this video of our Flash Mob dance.
Check out our Video "BAY-Peace Anthem"
To see other videos that were selected, click here.
The IHTD Youth Film Festival asks young people to speak out on the federal budget and asks them to consider:
The $1 trillion spent yearly on the U.S. military
The $1 trillion spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
The $1 trillion plus in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans
The IHTD Youth Film Festival is sponsored by American Friends Service Committee and National Priorities Project (NPP) with the purpose of involving young people in the debate about federal budget priorities. Participants will be receive training and will spend a day on Capitol Hill talking with legislators about where our taxes could better be used!
If you'd like to participate in the Third Annual 2013 IHTD Youth Film Festival, here's more info: http://ihtd.org/2013-film-festival/
JAMRS stands for the "Joint Advertising Market Research Studies." The JAMRS database is funded by the Department of Defense with the goal of maximizing military recruitment efforts. It is a massive registry of 30 million Americans between the ages of 16 and 25 that includes information such as your name, date of birth, gender, mailing address, email address, race and ethnicity, telephone number, high school name, graduation date, Grade Point Average, college intent, military interest, field of study, and the ASVAB Test score. JAMRS will sell your information to military recruiters... UNLESS YOU OPT OUT!
BAY-Peace supports and empowers Bay Area youth to transform militarism and other forms of violence through youth organizing and artistic resistance.
BAY-Peace SUMMER PROGRAM
Theater for Social Action!
June 30-July 31, 2014
Apply Today Here
Oakland Listening Sessions
Building solutions to violence. We will integrate storytelling, Theater of the Oppressed, and Spoken Word to elevate the voices of Oakland’s youth and families.
Find out more! Get Involved!