"What risks are we willing to take to connect with our neighbors and build trust?”

This round table was the first time we came together to share ideas and experiences as a group. This conversation format is an exercise in showing up to continue the slow and steady work of nurturing relationships rooted in trust. Many incredible stories and questions emerged from this discussion that will feed Commons Archives as we move our activities out towards selected blocks in North Oakland.

Contributor quotes and bios [PDF]



Thursday, June 3, 2021

Event Video



Virtual Event via Zoom

Here are some of the insightful questions they asked our panelists, which we invite you to use as a portal for deeper engagement with your experience as a neighbor:

1. What do you want to feel/know/do after sharing our thoughts and experiences as neighbors?

2. You’re all so committed and passionate about individual and structural change. It’s hard to hold the balance between the two--what motivates you? How do you nourish yourself to keep going?

3. How have your thoughts about being a neighbor changed in the pandemic? What has helped you stay connected to your neighbors, and to being a neighbor during Covid?

We all carry stories of our neighborhoods, the stories that make a place home. Creating inclusive, supportive neighbor networks starts with listening to each other. Even before COVID, informal face-to-face interactions were disappearing. On any given block, neighbors thrive by collaboratively defining and redefining where they live. Neighbors joined us for a virtual conversation about equity and neighbor relationships facilitated by community scholar and activist Miyuki Baker, featuring:

Saturu Ned -- Original Black Panther Party Member & community architect

Leo Mercer -- Rap-activist & leader of Oakland Communities United for Equity & Justice

Shikira Porter -- founding member of Neighbors for Racial Justice

Toby Lewis -- Hyperlocal community co-creator & Longfellow Community Association board member

Heidi Herrera -- North Oakland cultural worker & Commons Archive collaborator

Sue Mark -- longtime North Oakland neighbor & Commons Archive founder

We’re so grateful to all of the panelists for sharing their concerns, questions, wisdom and experience.  And we appreciate our partner organization The Kala Art Institute for their ongoing support.