Photograph courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/rudisillart/3640722387/ (Creative Commons)
Oakland Pride has been donated more than 4,000 square-feet of office space by the Port of Oakland and Jack London Square. Saturday brings an afternoon of music, poetry and fundraising.
Oakland Pride will host an Office Warming and Fundraiser on Saturday, May 29, from 4-7 p.m. at the new headquarters, 495 Embarcadero West.
Enjoy special performances by Oakland East Bay Mens Chorus’ ensemble On Q, and internationally renowned artists Valerie Troutt and Crystal Monee Hall. Youth Movement artist Princeton will perform along with poetry by Drea Brown & Arisa White. The Loving Quilts exhibition will be on display and there will be many more surprises.
The first annual Oakland Pride Festival will take place Sunday, September 5, from noon to 6 p.m. at Franklin Street between 21st Street and Broadway. The Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual & Transgender Community, as well as their friends, family and supporters, are invited to participate in the day’s festivities to celebrate diversity in downtown Oakland.
The long-term purpose of Oakland Pride is to educate and promote equality, awareness and human rights within Oakland and Alameda County. Oakland Pride plans to spearhead funding for development of [the first] all-inclusive LGBT community center in Oakland in collaboration with City Council Member Rebecca Kaplan.
An analysis by the Urban Institute of U.S. Census 2000 numbers showed that Oakland had the third-highest concentration of gays and lesbians among the 50 largest U.S. cities, behind San Francisco and Seattle.
"Those of us who live in Oakland see how living in a diverse community only strengthens our community. We are enthusiastically ready to celebrate our unique GLBTQ presence in Northern California and in the Bay Area," said Joe Hawkins, co-chair of Oakland Pride.
The Port of Oakland donated office space to plan Oakland Pride. The East Bay Express, PG&E and the East Bay AIDS Advocacy Foundation are all sponsors.
Co-Chair Amber Todd, executive assistant to Assistant City Administrator Marianna Marysheva-Martinez, stated in a recent interview with the Bay Area Reporter, “A lot of big money is coming down the pipeline. We are just putting all our ducks in a row to make sure we are legitimate.”
Oakland Pride was born from the Oakland LGBT Roundtable meetings where co-chairs Hawkins and Amber Todd, along with the rest of the executive board, began a process to celebrate the culture and diversity of the LGBT community in Oakland and the East Bay.
The Pride Committee has been working since 2009 for the return of the event. There is an 11-member board working the program and on posting info to its Web site at http://www.oaklandpride.org. A marketing committee is developing a theme for the inaugural Pride.
Oakland Pride still needs help with sponsorship, funding, committee members and volunteers. Call or e-mail for more information about how to help. Be sure to visit Oakland Pride's website and follow the group on Facebook and Twitter for upcoming fundraising events.
For more information:
510-545-545.6251 Oakland Pride General
510-879-3735 Thandiwe Office