Our President Ray Colmenar sat with Black Organizing Project’s Malaika Parker to discuss mobilizing directly impacted people to win police-free schools.
For the last twenty years, Akonadi Foundation has invested in the power of people to make change and build a racially just Oakland. As the new president of Akonadi, it has been my privilege to join a community unyielding in its quest for freedom and liberation. Akonadi’s All in for Oakland initiative continues this tradition by investing in people of color-led organizing, base-building and policy advocacy to end the criminalization of Black youth and youth of color in Oakland. The All in for Oakland grantee partners are leading transformative work in Oakland and throughout the state, from fighting for police-free schools to closing youth prisons.
This year, we are spotlighting leaders from our All In for Oakland grantee partners, and I am thrilled I had the opportunity to speak with Malaika Parker, Executive Director of Black Organizing Project (BOP). In 2020, after a ten-year campaign, BOP and organized parents, students, and community members achieved a historic victory when Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) eliminated the Oakland Schools Police Department and promised to redirect those resources to student support positions, including school-based social workers, psychologists, restorative justice practitioners, or other mental or behavioral professionals. The passage of the George Floyd Resolution marked a critical step forward in the fight for education justice and Black liberation.
Read my interview with Malaika to learn more about her and BOP’s work to mobilize leaders and power in Black communities. Their efforts are helping equip those closest to the issues with the tools to fight against oppressive systems and create real, transformational change.
— Ray Colmenar, President of Akonadi Foundation