HELP US OWN AFRIKATOWN COMMUNITY GARDEN!

The Afrikatown Community Garden is a project of Qilombo Community Center geared towards the radical, creative engagement and incitement of our neighbors within the McClymonds/ “Ghosttown” district and our supporting revolutionary activist communities. Our neighbors are largely low income and/or houseless Black & Brown people; specifically we want to acknowledge our neighbors who reside in West Oakland’s “tent-city” where houseless peoples pitch tents and community members who live in the motels or low-come housing projects close to the community garden. Afrikatown Collective has been thinking through our slow but steady advancements towards liberating land and our peoples: We have reclaimed and liberated a plot of land to create an Indigenous permaculture-centered community garden that anyone can come and eat from; We have made sincere alliances with local Ohlone Indigenous peoples to reclaim Ho-chien as not only their ancestral land but their current land; We have put up murals that bring pride to the district we have created and self-organized, called Afrikatown, which captures the strength and sense of community we share with our neighbors. We are a land-based movement that reconceptualizes community control: we are the frontline community, Black and Brown, who gather and learn together as we face ecological and social crises. The next phase of our community garden is the TRUE investment in our community: the ownership of our community garden!  Our goal is to ultimately create a culture where people not only include gardening in their daily lives and neighborhoods, but also feel equipped to live off of the land. Help of stop gentrification, help us inspire other cities to stop gentrification, DONATE TODAY to help us make history and put power back in our hands.

PLEASE DONATE TO THE HISTORY MAKING EVENT OF THE FIRST AFRIKATOWN IN OAKLAND.

We are asking that everyone who gets this urgent message do one or more tasks: 1) Donate 2) Send this message out to everyone you know: friends, family, comrades, classmates, etc 3) Blast our fundraiser on your social media: twitter, Facebook, instagram, tumblr, tinder, etc 4) Throw fundraisers in your locale!

The Fight Against Gentrification: Qilombo Art Showcase & Gallery

The first thing you need to know is that Qilombo is having its FIRST of MANY Art Showcase & Gallery nights. Our first event is March 4th at 7pm, right around the time when you are winding down (or up) from First Fridays. There will be hella dope art and music, food and beverages, as well as performances. But to add a bit of context…

The question right now should be: “What is a Black Arts District without Black people?”

Last November, Qilombo Community Center of the Afrikatown and McClymonds district hosted it’s first Anti-Gentrification Block Party. The event celebrated the importance of communities standing together in solidarity against gentrification and announced that Qilombo won their fight against their own eviction. Qilombo received a lot of attention for being able to successfully fight to stay in their location— from their neighbors, from the larger Afrikan/Black communities, from dedicated local radicals…and also from the City of Oakland.

Qilombo was paid a visit from a representative from the Planning and Building Department of Oakland. She laid out their thick pamphlet of what Oakland will look like over the course of five to ten years— the much needed bike paths, turning a highway into a lane to increase business, the investors who will build high-rises of new businesses. There was even a Black Arts District. Our volunteers agreed that Oakland needed development, but the kind of economic development that would not displace low-income residents in the process.

And what of this Black Arts District the city is designating if it would be more of a museum to the past? AGAIN THE QUESTION SHOULD BE: “How can you have a Black Arts District without Black people?” These plans are designed around investors and developers and are trying to plug in social justice out of the concerns of Oakland residents rather being designed around human lives. The representative didn’t have any answers to Qilombo’s questions. Rather, she told them to take a seat at upcoming meetings “without any promises” that any of the suggestions from Qilombo and it’s community can be considered due to the City of Oakland’s current development plans.

Instead of attending those meetings, Qilombo decided it’s time to have another war-cry against gentrification. It’s time to make our own Black Renaissance and Black Arts District, one that Afrikans can be able to fight to stay in Oakland to enjoy what we have created.

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Submit your art of any expression (from paintings and sculpture to spoken word and performances). We do not want to put restrictions on your creativity. First place winners will win cash prizes! Afrikatown is dedicated towards making spaces that can economically sustain the most vibrant parts of our community— like the arts! So here’s to making our new Black Renaissance and POC arts thriving.

Guidelines: See the flyer for more information!

1. Artists should submit a high quality image or video of their artwork to info@qilombo.org and include the artists’ name, an art title, and the name of the contest theme they are submitting for. Submission deadline is February 25th at midnight!
2. One must pay a $15-20 entry fee by the deadline via the Qilombo Paypal (finance@qilombo.org) which can also be found at our Qilombo Donate Page (qilombo.org/donate). If you are submitting more than one entry, please pay $20! Entry money will be used for the monetary contest prizes! Waivers may be given to those in true need.
3. Use the contest themes below!! :

• “Colonialism” or “Gentrification”
• “Ceremony” or “Generational Knowledge”
• “Liberate the Land” or “Black & Indigenous solidarity”
• “Resiliency” or “Community Power”
• “Decolonization” or “Resistance”
• “Afrofuturism” or “Indigenizing”

If you are not an artist submitting, please show up on March 4th to support our creative communities! We are putting extra emphasis on those of us whose voices are marginalized and silenced. For those who cannot make it, donate to Qilombo with a note: “for the art showcase” to increase contest prizes. We want to be able to support winning artists with rent or with buying art materials (such as a new camera or canvas set)!

Feel free to contact us at info@qilombo.org with further inquiries!

Afrikatown Presents: An Anti-Gentrication Block Party November 8th 1-7pm

{{brought to you by a community that refuses to leave}}

Qilombo and Afrikatown have never backed down from eviction notices or bulldozers, and WE WILL be around to help our community face down gentrification. We stand by other organizers who ask for Development without Displacement.

But we also know that we can’t fight the plans of developers, investors, banks, slumlords and the city without the strength of the people and all the beautiful communities we come from. Gentrification doesn’t have a simple definition. It doesn’t weaponize the same tactics of displacement each time it hits and it constantly has different faces. But one thing is true: it silently destroys the stability of neighborhoods. It means our children won’t know what homes we grew up in & it means we won’t have inheritable spaces. it means the family homes that could be full of people AND children will be $1000 per bedroom (not affordable unless the kids, Elders, etc can chip in).

Qilombo isn’t going to stand by as property bankers, benevolent slumlords, & slimy politicians take away the little we have. Join us to not only hear from the community we love but to hear from the organizers against gentrification! Let’s bridge communication and share resources!

We will have performers, DJs, vendors, muralists and more! Another amazing Afrikan mural will be put up, this time facing San Pablo as a landmark for a community that won’t be leaving.

We are excited to announce that we will be creating another Afrikan Cobb structure (in addition to our new Cobb oven): small huts that will eventually be a village! Come for our homemade pizza, live music, brilliant speakers and poets, banner-making, mural painting and the love of a Community that refuses to leave!

Folks are welcome to bring knowledges to share, host a workshop in the garden, table for their organization and speak out!

TENATIVE LINE UP:

1:00 QILOMBO
1:10 DJ Jose Arias
2:05 TATU VISION
2:25 Ka’Ra- singer
2:45 Juju (poet)
3:00 QILOMBO ANNOUNCEMENT
3:15-3:45 Anti-Gentrification Panel: Q, Station 40,
4:05 DJ Jose Arias
4:45 CHHOTI MAA
5:00 WCC/SC
5:20 Nancy (hip hop artist)
5:35 Shamako Noble
5:55 OAKLAND MIND
6:20 DJ Destiny
6:50 JASMINE of New World Disorder

Defend the Afrika Town Garden

In neighboring lot next door to the Qilombo, people from the community have come together to create a beautiful community garden and park on the block that is rapidly becoming known as Afrika Town. For many years the lot had been subject to piles of garbage, tall weeds, needles and feces, and the owner of the lot did next to nothing to clear the space. Now that the community has come together to clean it up themselves and build this magnificent garden, the owner of the lot is threatening to evict Afrika Town volunteers and raze the garden.

“Why now?” Linda Grant, a Qilombo and Afrika Town volunteer remarked “Who would care about a lot that’s been empty for 14 years? Someone who knows there’s money coming into this neighborhood. Why else would they care? They haven’t cared all of those years before.” The land is now worth $995,000.

To receive instant updates about Afrika Town demolition please text: 40404 and write Follow Afrika Town in the body of the text.

 

Mural & Garden Clean Up on March 7th!!

Welcome to Afrika Town! Our comrades and communities are invited to celebrate community resistance and empowerment with us on March 7th, Saturday!

We will be creating a mural, building onto our garden, and cleaning up Qilombo!! Also, we are hoping to add a kitchen and are asking for an array of support for this project!

We’re excited to see you there! Bring dishes and drink to share for our potluck!!

mural

Emergency Fundraiser: Keep Qilombo Open!

We are in the midst of intense times and intense events happening here in the Bay Area, in this country and worldwide. It is a time where poor people and black and brown communities are under serious attack and facing heightened levels of violence and repression as well as ever changing tactics used by those in power to silence those who would speak out against this violence. It is a time of sadness for many and for more and more, it is a time to join struggle. The struggles taken up here in Oakland and in places like Ferguson are bringing light to the darkness.

For many people the Qilombo social center has been part of their struggle. It has been a space where people from the neighborhood can be treated well, access resources and share space with each other in a healthy way. The space provides access to free clothing, food, hygiene kits, a clean syringe exchange and free use computers. It has also provided events space for meetings, gatherings, workshops, film screenings and celebrations. It is a center for people who want to connect to different struggles and a powerful place to build towards autonomy. It provides banner making space, printing materials and even a bike workshop.

Over the last few months the space has gone through many transitions and people involved are still working to create what they envision. This has been a long process and is still very much not finished. People are slowly building connections and working to solidify relationships and resources. This kind of work takes time and patience to flourish and has meant that the main financial resource of the space, events, has been put aside for reflection and crafting of a new space which will represent and nourish revolutionary potential. People are envisioning ways to grow towards financial sustainability as well as providing access to resources for families and people in the community. By working together to meet these basic needs and providing a way to engage around meeting needs that is not dependent upon the capitalist system that is destroying people and the planet, we are taking a major step towards realizing radical change. We hope to work towards gathering more food resources,hosting more workshops and events and building autonomy here in west Oakland.

While this transition continues, we are in URGENT need of support. We must raise $2500 by Friday,October 24 if the space is to continue to stay open. Losing this space would mean losing the only social center in West Oakland dedicated toward radical change and black and brown struggle. It would mean a huge loss for the surrounding community that has come to see the space as a resource and asset. Please consider donating and forwarding this email to your contacts. ANY amount will help us and will provide support in a time of genuine need. We especially encourage people who are in Oakland by choice and benefiting from levels of class or white skin privilege to support a project that is directed primarily by and for black and brown folks from Oakland. We are aware that it is a sacrifice, but if you can spare one night out or a morning coffee or buying lunch out for one day, or even a couple days, people who use this space would greatly benefit and you would literally be keeping the doors open.

To donate, visit our CrowdRise

Or sign up for a recurring donation via PayPal:

Ferguson MO Copwatch Reportback – Thursday October 23

10411778_10154682845720507_8367170269579295429_nJoin Ferguson MO Copwatcher David Whitt of the The Canfield Watchmen and We Copwatch for a report back on the recent Police attacks in Ferguson, as well as the formation of The Canfield Watchmen, a newly formed Copwatch group in the neighborhood where Mike Brown was killed.

Event includes video presentations of “The State of Emergency”, as well as Canfield Copwatch efforts.

This presentation is for the people so no people will be turned away, but we ask that you consider donating or grabbing some gear to cover costs of the event, and to help build and sustain our stipend for Copwatch efforts in Ferguson.

Speakers include

David Whitt – The Canfield Watchmen

Jacob Crawford – WeCopwatch

Speakers from Sf Copwatch and Copwatch efforts in Oakland

Ferguson Reportback: Crosspolinating Radical Resistance Culture & Solidarity

10711124_10153192450419829_3345930527351569892_nJoin the Oakland Solidarity Unit for an evening of community discussion, and report back from Ferguson. Skype Q&A directly with folks from Ferguson. Multimedia presentation: photography, video and interviews with the people of Missouri.

Friday, October 3, 2014
Qilombo
2313 San Pablo Ave, Oakland, CA 94612
7- 9pm
light refreshments provided

Passing it On: a commemoration of Black August

10553822_10202287254251836_2948101649873008709_oOn Friday Augst 1st, Qilombo will hosting the first in a series of discussions amongst Ilyasah Shabazz, Dhoruba Bin Wahad, and Ernesto Vigil. Join us, as we honor Yuri Kochiyama. The program will be followed by q&a.