Yesterday was #BlackoutTuesday. Today is a new day and we’re going to start with love.
A love letter to Oakland, from Hack the Hood
We honor the organizers of the youth-led protest on June 1st.
We honor Oakland’s Black businesses and their commitment to the Town.
We honor each education institution and organization doing movement work, centering the experiences of Oakland’s Black youth.
We see you. We hear you. We love you.
We hold Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Tony McDade in our hearts.
In the 14 weeks since Ahmaud’s death on February 23rd, media outlets have been rife with traumatizing images of racist acts against Black people. Their offenses? Living. Sleeping. Birdwatching.
The sobering reality is that we have been engaged in fighting systemic racism, including police brutality, high unemployment rates, and lack of access to quality education for centuries. Compounded with COVID-19 suffering -- losses disproportionately impacting Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and low-income communities -- this unrest is a reflection of collective grief. This time is also wrapped in fear. Watching the U.S. erupt into outcries to protect Black lives is reminiscent of Ferguson in 2014, Los Angeles in 1992, and Newark in 1967, to name a few. These protests remind us Black lives are invaluable and Black futures are vital to the progress of this country. Period.
Despite the heaviness of this moment, we rise.
We’re at an inflection point and fortunately, we’re only going forward. The unexpected beginning is here and it’s important we not misuse it to reconstruct what has ended. At Hack the Hood, our mission is rooted in equipping youth of color and small business owners with the technology education and resources needed for economic mobility. The future of our communities rests on shifting from being solely technology consumers to technology architects. How we cultivate underestimated talent and leverage partnerships for career opportunities in this moment is key. Hack the Hood’s impact, nurturing technology architects, has reached over 1000 youth and 400 small business owners in Oakland. This work and the impact we’ll continue to make bring us joy! Despite Shelter-In-Place orders, we have doubled down on our efforts to serve Oakland and are proud to support 65 students in virtual bootcamps and Tech Prep sessions this summer. We do this work to promote economic and people power in Oakland. Our vision is to continue cultivating Black, Latinx, Indigenous technology architects nationally. Though there is a long road ahead. We remain steadfast and stand in solidarity with our partners doing this work.
Tiffany Shumate and the Hack the Hood Family
We honor the Black lives we’ve lost to police violence and those unknown. Amadou Diallo (NYC, 1999), Oscar Grant (Oakland, 2009), Tamir Rice (Cleveland, 2014), Eric Garner (NYC, 2014), Mike Brown (Ferguson, 2014), Sandra Bland (Texas, 2015), Freddie Gray (Baltimore, 2015), Alton Sterling (Baton Rouge, 2016), Philando Castile (Minnesota, 2016), Botham Jean (Texas, 2019), Atatiana Jefferson (Texas, 2019). Ahmaud Arbery (Georgia, 2020), Breonna Taylor (Louisville, 2020), George Floyd (Minneapolis, 2020), and Tony McDade (Tallahassee, 2020).
These are only the lives that received national attention. Our hearts are with the countless families without the justice they deserve and the victims we’ve lost from Latinx and Indigenous communities. The fight against police brutality and racism is intimately tied to upending anti-Blackness, globally. For justice, there must be collective action across all disenfranchised communities and our accomplices.
Ways To Support
To our non-Black community members in Oakland and the greater Bay Area: None of us is free until all of us are free. We must collectivize our efforts to end white supremacy and the systematic oppression of black, indigenous, people of color.
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