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Article: Educate to Liberate - Honoring the Oakland Community School

Banner image of logos in white for BPPALN , Obey, and Oaklandish.

Educate to Liberate - Honoring the Oakland Community School

We are excited to announce the launch of Educate to Liberatean exclusive capsule collection created in collaboration with The Black Panther Party Alumni Legacy Network (BPPALN), Shepard Fairey (Obey Giant), and Oaklandish. The collection includes Shepard Fairey's AP2TP (All Power to the People) artwork featuring a portrait of Bobby Seale, the co-founder of the Black Panther Party.

This limited edition collection commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Oakland Community School (OCS) and Learning Center. Proceeds from the purchase of this collection will support BPPALN's ongoing educational initiatives and other modern-day survival programs.

The vision of the Black Panther Party was to uplift and empower the Black community and challenge global injustices. The Black Panther Party's legacy has significantly impacted Oakland's Black community and continues to inspire and mobilize Black people globally.

From monitoring police violence to providing breakfast, lunch, and dinner to Black youth, the Black Panther Party has always focused on empowering and uplifting Black people. The Party is rooted in community, and that commitment can be seen in the 60-plus survival programs that emerged from the Black Panther Party — one of the most impactful of which was the Oakland Community School.

The Oakland Community School (OCS) was first established as The Intercommunal Youth Institute in January 1971 by the Black Panther Party. In 1974, the name was changed to the Oakland Community School. The Black Panther Party's goal was to encourage students of the school to learn at their highest potential by empowering their minds and instilling in them that a successful life was attainable. The students were able to thrive in the OCS learning environment with culturally relevant curriculum that challenged the public school system.

The first class graduated in June 1974, and three years later, the California Governor and Legislature recognized Oakland Community School for its outstanding elementary education program by presenting it with a special award for setting the standard for the highest level of elementary education in California.

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