We are deeply committed to investing in and supporting community-based organizations and initiatives in Oakland that are on the front lines of racial justice movement building. In response to this critical moment in Oakland and nationally, Akonadi Foundation launched the #SoLoveCanWin Community Response Fund, intended to spark imagination and seed new ways of advancing safety and healing opportunities in Oakland for the communities most injured by racial inequity. Building safe and healed communities is a precondition for the sustained transformative change we seek. Today, we remain as committed as ever to racial justice movement building that strengthens the solidarity and intersectionality of our struggles.
Between Aug. 31 and Oct. 27, 2017, Akonadi Foundation’s #SoLoveCanWin Community Response Fund awarded 16 grants, totaling $77,643. Many of the grants were given to organizations working with communities at the intersection of multiple oppressions, including gender, sexual orientation, and age. The final deadline for applications is Nov. 15, 2017, and the grant awards will be announced on Nov. 24, 2017.
2017 So Love Can Win Grants Awards as of October 27, 2017
ADAMIKA VILLAGE, NO YELLOW TAPE DAY, $5,000
Adamika Village will host “No Yellow Tape Day,” on Nov. 11, 2017 at DeFremery Park. The event will bring together Black and Brown families from across Oakland who have lost their children to tragedy, violence, and the state foster care or criminal justice systems, to bond, heal, and engage in conversation while enjoying music and food and learning from powerful speakers and resources. The goal of ‘No Yellow Tape Day’ is to help families heal and to discuss community-led solutions to public safety. West Oakland’s DeFremery Park has a history of hosting radical movements. Through No Yellow Tape Day, Adamika Village intends to demonstrate determination to stop the violence that has plagued Black and Brown communities.
A TOUCH OF LIFE, LEADING WITH LOVE, $5,000
A Touch of Life is a West Oakland-based leadership and wellness company that offers healing circles for African women of the Diaspora who are gatekeepers in Oakland. The SLCW grant will support intergenerational healing circles for women of color in Oakland. Black women leaders need coping strategies to support the broader movement, and “Leading with Love” will create a safe place for building connections, provide practical spiritual tools to manage and reduce harmful reactions to continued toxic stress, and enable participants to process their personal and community trauma.
BEAUTIFUL THINGS PROJECT, BEAUTIFUL BEING LAB, $4,378
The ‘Beautiful Being Lab’ is a two-day workshop open to queer people of color; it will explore how beauty as an aesthetic can inspire alternative movements, songs, and narratives. This lab will be a space for participants to consider what stories they need to affirm their being in the world; what movements make them feel free, beautiful, and present in their bodies; and what sounds quiet the negative voices in their heads. The mission of the Beautiful Things Project is to expand readership for poetry; foster mutual support among artists and organizations that work to restore, nurture, and bring beauty to the people they serve; and to create beautiful community events that spotlight the narratives and experiences of queer people of color.
FOR THE LOVE COMMUNITY ACUPUNCTURE, FOR THE LOVE, $5,000
For the Love is a community healing project that offers sliding-scale acupuncture and sound healing for queer and/or trans people of color in Oakland. These unique clinics aim to nurture the wellness and resilience of queer people living at the intersections of structural violence by offering safe, holistic health treatments. SLCW will support “For the Love” seasonal acupuncture and sound healing clinics and help establish a fund to subsidize individual treatments for QTPOC activists and organizers dealing with acute healthcare needs.
HEALING CLINIC COLLECTIVE, MOVEMENT GENERATION HEALING CLINIC, $5,000
The Healing Clinic Collective’s mission is to bring healing to the people through building an intentional network of natural and traditional healers, along with volunteer members who are grounded in political organizing, spirituality, ceremonial ways of life, and/or community health. Funding from SLCW will be used to launch a Movement Generation Healing Clinic in collaboration with Movement Generation, Justice and Ecology Project. The healing clinic will help movement workers who are taking on extremely challenging and taxing parts of our movement for deep social change, and will take place at Arroyo Viejo Recreation Center in East Oakland.
HUMMINGBIRD URBAN FARMING COLLECTIVE, $5,000
The Hummingbird Urban Farming Collective is dedicated to creating deep connections to land and community for children of color. The project in the Oakland hills will serve as a community space for children, caregivers, and educators. The property will be a black-led, land-based liberation space for healing, growing, and learning. Funds from SLCW will be used to develop a place where children will find a deeper connection to nature, their community, and each other.
KING DAVID RESPECT FOR LIFE, INC., HEALING THROUGH THE ARTS, $5,000
The First Annual Healing through the Arts event organized by King David Respect for Life will showcase healing practices through prayer, dance, food, and art as a way to foster community. This event aims to reach people in Oakland’s ‘hot spots,’ where most homicides occur. The age of the target audience is 10-24, the range most susceptible to gang affiliation, human trafficking, gender-based violence, cyber bullying, “black-on-black” crime, and under-diagnosed mental illness. The theme will be “know your neighbors,” with goals of eradicating stereotypes of Black and Brown communities and uniting to bring justice to communities of color in Oakland. The event will feature an all-girl African American youth dance group, Native American dancers, other local talent, yoga, basket weaving, and more. Foods from Africa, Latin America, the Philippines, and the Caribbean will be featured.
LOVE NOT BLOOD CAMPAIGN, LOVE NOT BLOOD SYMPOSIUM, $5,000
The Love Not Blood Campaign provides holistic healing to families that have been traumatized by police or communal violence. Funding from SLCW will support a symposium for communities of color that have been affected by state-sanctioned and communal violence, communities that have experienced racial trauma, and people who have witnessed community violence. Families will participate in activities guided by a variety of mental health professionals, public health advocates, family advocates, and veteran family member activists. The symposium will cover such themes as healing through resistance, adopting sustainable self-care routines, and supporting traumatized families. Participants will leave empowered emotionally and physically and with a collective vision, a larger network of supporters, ideas for daily self-care routines, concrete next steps appropriate to their individual situations, constructive organizing toolkits, and a deeper analysis of the anti-police brutality movement and communal violence.
ONE LIFE INSTITUTE, HEALING BLACK LIVES, $5,000
OneLife Institute is an Oakland-based organization that serves at the intersection of spirituality and social action. Its mission is to nurture, inspire, and sustain people who are committed to healing and justice. “Healing Black Lives” is a day-long retreat for front-line activists and other community members at risk of burnout and trauma in these perilous times. OneLife created Healing Black Lives in 2016 to contribute to the contemporary Movement for Black Lives: “We gather in safe and sacred space to foster connection and support, share hopes and visions, and find strength in ourselves and one another.” The day includes free mini-sessions with healers, facilitated discussion, and development of ongoing practices for sustainability, resilience, and spiritual well-being.
PEACOCK REBELLION, MAKE HEALING TOGETHER, $5,000
‘Make Healing Together’ is a free one-day drop-in healing space for queer and trans people of color (QTPOC), hosted by Peacock Rebellion. Make Healing Together will be held at Liberating Ourselves Locally, on Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017; survivors of violence will come together to learn and practice community care. Stations will include sound healing, meditation, breathwork, ritual, and more, including artistic creation–for the somatic processing and transformation of individual and collective trauma as QTPOC face profound levels of violence from the current administration and its followers. Peacock Rebellion is a crew of queer and trans artists, healers, organizers, and cultural workers of color who use the arts to heal QTPOC communities that are experiencing intimate, interpersonal, institutional, and structural violence.
PEOPLE’S COMMUNITY MEDICS CLINIC, $5,000
People’s Community Medics’ (PCM) is hosting two free healing collective clinics with AfrikaTown Healing Clinic and the Oakland Climate Action Coalition. PCM will provide free emergency response trainings to the community. The mission of PCM is to provide free emergency medical education, especially for low-income communities of color in Oakland. PCM educates people, free of charge, on treating medical emergencies such as seizures, gunshot wounds, and stabbings. It offers medical service education in the hood for as many people as possible to prevent needless deaths.
QUEER MUSLIM SUPPORT GROUP, $4,725
As the first and only support group for queer and trans Muslims in the Bay Area, the mission of the Queer Muslim Support Group is to enable participants to support one another, practice vulnerability, speak plainly, and explore parts of the self that otherwise do not feel safe. This process breaks down feelings of isolation and invisibility, allowing participants to appear as they define themselves – more fully in their communities and families, with dignity, presence, and power to encounter these political times. Queer Muslims are often seen as holding contradictory identities and can experience being marginalized and misunderstood, by other Muslims and other queer folks alike. In a political climate that is fraught with islamophobia, xenophobia, and ongoing wars against Muslim-majority states and peoples, gathering Muslim-identified folks for healing, visibility, and mutual support brings unique opportunities to move from surviving to thriving as a people.
REGINA’S DOOR, $5,000
Regina’s Door will host two events for young survivors of sex trafficking in Oakland. “In My Mother’s Garden” healing circle and a “Protection Shield” Workshop will examine learning to walk the path of life with bold wisdom and walking that path with the knowledge that one is protected. These components are key to healing for survivors because slavery reduces a survivor’s personal will through constant physical/emotional attacks, and fear is burned across the soul to ensure compliance. The “In My Mother’s Garden” circle focuses on healing the generational trauma leveled against the black female mind, body, spirit, and heart, in an effort to encourage living effectively and with abundance. The Protection Shield Workshop will train participants to use spiritual energy, recycled objects, plants/flowers, and tradition to create personal protection shields based on their individual needs and healing triggers. The mission of Regina’s Door is to provide a creative arts and healing sanctuary for young survivors of sex trafficking in Oakland and trauma-informed methodologies for gentle healing of spirit, body, mind, and soul.
SACRED SPACE SPIRITUAL SUPPORT HEALING GROUP, $4,100
Sacred Space Spiritual Support Group consists of Black women and other women of color from a diverse backgrounds, ranging in age from 50 to 85. Sacred Space Spiritual Support Group helps women and their families overcome obstacles, many caused by racism that has affected their housing, work situations, or grown children who are involved in the criminal justice system. Sacred Space is known for providing opportunities for Black women to learn from each other, and find solutions that help them feel empowered. With support from SLCW, Sacred Space will charter a bus for 60 African American residents of Oakland to attend the 22nd annual Maafa commemoration at Ocean Beach in San Francisco on October 8, 2017. Sacred Space also will host the Post-Maafa Dinner, forming a healing circle to allow Maafa participants reflect on the experience and create community agreements and actions to be carried out during the year.
THE BIZ STOOP, LUV EUPHOR RECORD STO': RECLAIMING REPUTATIONS, $5,000
“Luv Euphor Record Sto’: Reclaiming Reputations & Known As,” a 12-week workshop hosted by The Biz Stoop, will be a place for survivors of trauma – with special consideration for those harmed by systems of incarceration or trafficking – to use poetry, prose, and other forms of creativity to explore variations of personal/ancestral truths. Sessions will be accompanied by select readings/recordings from Black and Afro-diaspora artists and will encourage participants to explore these issues through the lenses of witnesses, confessor/testifiers, the jailed, the jury, the jailer, and the bereaved. The BIZ (Black Intergenerational Zeal) Stoop is a W.O.M. (word of mouth) social enterprise with the vision to exponentially increase the life expectancy of Black youth beyond the age of 25 years and offer individuals healthier visions of themselves, using holistic approaches to wellness while altering the boundaries that circumscribe our environment.
WAGE PRODUCTIONS, BREAKING BREAD SISTERS CIRCLES, $4,400
The Women and Girls Empowerment (WAGE) Collective will facilitate community circles and productions of artistic resistance to uplift the stories, voices, and bodies that are often silenced or harmed through different forms oppression and violence. Its artist facilitation techniques integrate community building, critical dialogue, creative expression, and collaboration to address complex manifestations of oppression and violence, using art as a tool to heal, transform, liberate, affirm, and celebrate. ‘Breaking Bread Sister Circles’ will address topics including: reclaiming sexuality, identity and media, colorism and standards of beauty. Participants will engage in deep conversation about their experiences on each topic, and discover how these issues manifest, using movement, poetry and theater. These circles will uplift stories and talents of a diverse network of women artists and activists and contribute to a rich culture of healing and artistic resistance in Oakland, by reclaiming stories as triumphant survivors, not victims.