The illest breakers from all over the San Francisco Bay Area rose up and strutted their mad skills at the “BATTLE FOR CR8IVE ARTS,” reppin’ for their love of dance and in solidarity for arts education. Over 150+ dancers, observers, entertainers, and supporters filled the gym at June Jordan School for Equity on January 15, 2011. It’s the first of many events to come, engineered by SFCr8ive’s Bobby “Finesse” Vicario. This 5 vs. 5 crew battle for $1,000, organized as a fundraiser provided by SFCr8ive and Small Schools for Equity hosted by Kevy Kev 90.1 “The Drum” and Noelrokswel. All the Way Live powered the 2 vs. 2 (18 and under) All Styles Battle for $200. The judges: (all members of Renegade Rockers) Jazzy, Milestone, and D Rock. The goal is to support June Jordan School for Equity’s arts program, that is currently faced with the challenge of maintaining its array of art electives. Through art, culture, and community SFCr8ive strives to enrich the academic experience their students need to be engaged in order to achieve success after high school. Listen as these artists speak on the last time they were inspired. “It Takes the Hood to Save the Hood.” – United Playaz. For more info: www.sfcr8ive.com
On March 4, young people, parents and teachers in more than 30 states marched to protest budget cuts to public education. The demonstrations were particularly widespread in California, where massive budget cuts have crippled elementary schools, high schools, community colleges and universities.
Three young people--in Fresno, San Francisco and San Jose--speak to how the budget cuts are affecting them and why they supported the massive protests.
Dasen Thao, 18, Freshman, California State University, Fresno
On March 15, 2009, Alonso Chehade, an undocumented immigrant from Peru, was arrested at the US/Canada border for unlawful presence in the United States. After remaining in the detention center for two weeks, Chehade was later released with the assistance of his family, who posted a $7,500 bond to free him from prison.
Last year, when I told friends I was moving to the Bay Area, they would all respond with equal parts joy and jealousy. "The Bay? Man, you're going to love it. The weather, the culture, the politics -- they've got all that." When I told them I was going to be living in Oakland specifically, the responses started to sound a little different. "Oh shit, The Town? You better watch your back." While folks were still down with the left-leaning, hip-hyphy, biracial baby that is the city of Oakland, they also made sure to tell me that this baby would jack me for my stroller if I wasn't smart.
But those were just scare stories. Right? Growing up in Washington, DC in the mid-90s, I'd seen both the reality and the exaggerated stereotype of the "murder capital." Violence at my high school and in some neighborhoods was all too real, but it was also an excuse for suburban commuters and absentee politicians (in this case, Congress, which controls DC's purse-strings) to disinvest from those same schools and neighborhoods, creating further inequality and violence.
What students of color are doing to stay in college during the recession
Daniel Santana has his heart set on being a teacher in his hometown of Lynwood, California, which has a large, low-income Latino community. To pursue this, Santana, who is 19, has worked two jobs since he started at California State University, Northridge, and like many students he’s also relied on financial aid. As the first in his family to go to college, he has been on course.
But now his goals are in jeopardy.
Last year, Santana’s financial aid was reduced by $2,000, and because of the state’s budget priorities that disadvantage poor people even more, he might not be able to get the classes he needs to graduate on time. To get around the second hurdle, he had hoped to take classes at East Los Angeles Community College this summer. But the second sessions of classes were canceled.
Luke Cole, a San Francisco attorney who was one of the pioneers in the field of environmental justice - filing lawsuits for poor plaintiffs or people of color whose communities were being ravaged by corporate polluters - died in a head-on car crash Saturday in Uganda. He was 46.
Mr. Cole and his wife, Nancy Shelby, were on vacation and traveling on a rural road in western Uganda about 7:30 a.m. when "a truck veered to Luke's side of the road," said Mr. Cole's father, Herbert "Skip" Cole.
Mr. Cole died, and his wife was injured. She was flown to Amsterdam, where she underwent an eye operation Monday, Herbert Cole said.
Mainstream media is quick to cover extreme or sensational acts of violence but many youth live with similar threats continually.
Young people from the Bay Area's toughest neighborhoods respond to the recent violent rampage across the nation — 53 murders in the past few weeks — of mostly "random" shooting deaths. But when violence is a part of your everyday existence, what exactly does "random violence" mean?
After-school programs that were forced to close or reduce services at three Richmond elementaries in early March are serving hundreds of students once again thanks to donations from businesses and a nonprofit organization.
The Greenbrae-based Irene S. Scully Family Foundation, Chevron Richmond Refinery and Kaiser Permanente collectively have ponied up $126,000 to keep after-school programs open at Nystrom and Lincoln elementaries through the end of the school year and prevent reduction of the program at Coronado Elementary.
If Ruben Rodriguez, Korvail Jenkins or Sierra Smith one day becomes an environmental leader, their third-grade teacher wouldn't be a bit surprised.
The students in Suzanne Licht's class at Pittsburg's Highlands Elementary have been learning a lot about aquatic life in the Bay and Delta over the past couple of months. The class participates in Kids for the Bay, a hands-on program held once a week.
The five in-depth sessions help students learn about watersheds, runoff pollution, food chains, Bay organisms, and environmental justice, said program coordinator Deborah Zierten.
Schools across California are facing layoffs and cutbacks of all sorts, including schools in the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD). Despite the cushion of the Rainy Day Fund, SFUSD is still facing a significant shortfall of over $25 million meaning that some of our children’s teachers are still at risk of losing their jobs and individual schools are worrying about how they will make ends meet.