Every year, the summertime brings danger for residents in neighborhoods of East and West Oakland. Shootings traditionally spike in the summer. People are outside. The weather heats up and tempers heat up as well. Some young people are nervous already and finding ways to stay indoors and out of the way.
Rev Jeffrey Brown has invited Oakland clergy members to participate in a nationwide Season of Peace June 8-15. Oakland is already committed to the Ceasefire model of violence prevention and outreach, and Oakland churches organize weekly night walks to reach out to young people with presence and positivity. For Season of Peace, Oakland Community Organizations is organizing additional night walks and services for youth and young adults who are at risk. On June 8, Oakland Leadership Center will host a special additional night walk, starting at 6:30. On June 11, Center Street Church in West Oakland will host a night walk, and on June 13, First Mt. Sinai will host the regularly scheduled night walk in East Oakland.
We are collecting diapers to be offered to young fathers who are at risk and in case management through the City of Oakland, and we will distribute some of those at OLC the same week.
Last but not least, on Saturday June 13, we are encouraging people to attend the SAVE stand in on the corner of 7th and Market at 11am. Then from 12:00 to 5pm OLC is hosting an Aim 4 Peace Basketball Tournament for young men in sponsorship with Messengers 4 Change and the Eastlake YMCA, at the YMCA gym. We will have a BBQ, and the public is welcome to come, cheer on young men doing something positive and break bread with us.
Many people and many organizations in Oakland are active in the struggle for peace and healing. May God protect the young people and bring opportunities for life, joy and freedom. Please consider joining our efforts this week!