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Oaklandish Innovators 2018

Our t-shirts might be the most visible aspect of Oaklandish, but our community work motivates everything we do. It’s our way of giving back to the city that gives so much to the world, and it informs every decision we make. Our mission at Oaklandish is to spread “local love” by way of our civic pride tees and accessories, while creating quality inner city jobs for locals, and giving back to the people and places that maintain our city’s trailblazer spirit. In line with this mission, we donate a portion of proceeds to grassroots nonprofits committed to uplifting Oakland. So, wear it well. When you rock these roots, you're representing and supporting Oakland! Here are our Innovator Award winners for 2018!


Loved Twice collects gently-used baby clothes (size 0-12 months), sorts these precious garments into boy and girl wardrobes-in-a-box, and distributes them exclusively through social workers in hospitals, shelters, and clinics. Their simple solution supports disadvantaged babies while reusing thousands of onesies, swaddling blankets, and babywear that would otherwise end up in landfills. 100% of collected baby clothes are given directly to newborns-in-need. Baby clothes are given to new mothers as they leave the hospital so that babies have clothes, blankets, and everything else they need as quickly as possible.
Camp Reel Stories has an ambitious vision to close the gender gap in the film industry. Their programming is shaping the next generation of female filmmakers with an eye on a more equitable horizon. Camp Reel Stories believes that when women and girls are better represented behind the scenes in the media, they will be better reflected on the screen. They are a non-profit organization empowering women with the skills to create their own media, view current media critically and thoughtfully, and to aspire to leadership in their field. At the Camp Reel Stories programs girls get to work in small, collaborative groups, to write, shoot, edit and broadcast their own short films. These are the only media programs led by professionals in the media industry. At Camp Reel Stories young women know that their stories and ideas have value and that their audience is waiting.
Since 1991, as mentors, youth leaders, counselors, case managers, intervention specialists and violence interrupters, Youth ALIVE! has worked to help violently wounded people heal themselves and their community. The mission is to prevent violence and create young leaders. They believe that young people growing up and going to school in the city’s most violent neighborhoods, possess the power to change the city for the better. Youth ALIVE! Meets clients where they are, at home, in school, at the hospital bedsides of young shooting victims, on the streets of our most dangerous neighborhoods. The frontline staff is comprised of men and women who grew up in the communities they serve. Some are former victims, some former gang members. All are highly trained in the best practices of their profession. They bring not judgement, but only understanding, knowledge, and a path to greater peace for traumatized individuals and the city.
dNaga works in partnership with EastSide Cultural Center to offer GIRL Project, which serves middle school girls of color, ages 11-14, living in East Oakland. The GIRL Project is a completely free, biannual dance workshop and fall ongoing classes that seeks to empower young girls and offer them the opportunity to work alongside a variety of passionate and devoted women of color, who are acclaimed artists and activists in their fields. The GIRL Project offers dance and empowerment activities that center on allowing them to not only have fun, play and be young people but also to introduce self defense, bike safety, urban gardening and urban planning. Through these valuable classes and interactions, they hope to inspire a new generation of empowered girls, who are passionate about reinvesting in the East Oakland community.
Upward Roots empowers underrepresented youth in Oakland to be leaders and changemakers through youth-led, youth-driven community service delivered through during-school and after-school programs in partnership with Oakland Title 1 public schools. Upward Roots has two curricula, designed for 4th and 5th and 6th-8th grade students, who engage in a dynamic curriculum focused on leadership and community service. Participants identify issues they are passionate about in their communities and design and implement youth-led service projects to support those needs. Throughout the program, participants develop social emotional skills such as empathy, critical thinking, communication, and teamwork. Not only are students empowered as a result of this service experience, they inspire others to be changemakers, too.
Gameheads envisions a world where youth of color and low-income youth are equipped to thrive in the tech and video game industries. We use video games to engage, prepare and train youth from 11 to 25 in the Bay Area. Through a powerful medium that youth are familiar with and passionate about, Gameheads is able to separate games into individual components and teach everything from coding, design, art and animation, project management, teamwork and more. Through an interactive entertainment medium students tap into the long standing tradition of rebel culture in Oakland to produce socially responsible videogames that express culture, family and community. In addition, they receive educational counseling, one on one mentorship from game developers and direct involvement in some of the industry's most exciting gaming events.
Outdoor Afro is the national leading network that celebrates and inspires Black connections and leadership in nature. Outdoor Afro helps people take better care of themselves, their communities, and our planet by lowering barriers of historic fears between black people and nature. Headquartered in Oakland, we have a national network of 70 carefully selected and trained volunteer leaders in 30 states.
Ever Forward - Siempre Adelante (EFSA) is a mentor-led youth development program for at-risk male students in middle school and high school. EFSA aims to address the underlying causes of high school dropouts, the growing achievement gap of inner city youth, and youth violence in a preventive manner by providing young men with tools, support, and a safe place to openly share their emotions and build character. EFSA supports young men through three mechanisms: (1)The Ever Forward Club, a youth development and mentoring program for young men in grades 6-12.(2) our Taking Off the Mask Workshop, an immersive experience that guides participants to navigate and understand the emotions and life experiences they often hide; and (3) Professional Development workshops for educators, administrators, community workers, counselors, and others who work with youth.
MISSSEY (Motivating, Inspiring, Supporting and Serving Sexually Exploited Youth) was founded by two survivors and two allies who came together with the purpose of helping CSEC victims and centering the voices of survivors. Since its inception, MISSSEY has served nearly 1,000 young people in what the FBI has identified as one of the top hubs for human trafficking in the nation. MISSSEY envisions a world without commercial sexual exploitation of children and they exist to provide services to commercially sexually exploited victims and work for systemic change on behalf of the youth we serve.
The Oakland Public Education Fund provides a number of services that support Oakland schools. This includes managing the Oakland School Volunteers program, which ensures that volunteers are properly screened and also helps to place them with teachers or principals looking for help. They also started an A to Z Fund which gives mini-grants to schools with low operating budgets so that they can continue to offer programs like field trips, music programs, and teacher development trainings. Since 2003, they have raised more than $50 million to put the right tools in students’ hands. In addition, The Oakland Public Education Fund also acts as a fiscal sponsor to many other organizations across Oakland to further ensure that Oakland students get the resources that they need to learn, grow, and thrive.
Trees for Oakland contributes to building the urban forest all over Oakland by planting and maintaining trees in the city, with emphasis in areas with limited canopy. By doing so, they aim to educate people about trees, combat climate change, and provide a more equitable distribution of trees within Oakland.. Since inception in 2017, Trees for Oakland has already planted more than 70 trees around Oakland. Trees for Oakland works primarily in east and west Oakland, areas that historically have the smallest tree

For the list of past innovators,


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