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Oakland is diverse and Oakland is proud. 'We Are Oaklandish' is a storytelling project created to highlight just that.

These are stories that shed light on the different experiences, memories, and opinions of the people in the city we all love. They are people who give our city its oddball spirit, its passion for justice, and its creative vigor. They lift us up with laughter, peace, nourishment, and authentic hard work.

They make us proud to call this town our home. They are Oaklandish.

Shayla Jamerson - We are Oaklandish Storytelling Project

Shayla "Shaylabang" Jamerson

Shayla "Shaylabang" Jamerson is an entrepreneur, trendsetter, and the founder of SoOakland, an event business with a social mission. In 2016, the Oakland Mayor designated July 30th as SoOakland Day her achievements in getting The Town “partying with a purpose.”

Pendarvis Harshaw - We are Oaklandish Storytelling Project

Pendarvis Harshaw

Pendarvis Harshaw is the host of Rightnowish on KQED-FM, a columnist at KQED Arts, and the author of OG Told Me, a memoir about growing up in Oakland. Every week, Pen talks to movers and shakers about how the Bay Area shapes what they create, and how they shape the Bay.

Allison Torneros - We are Oaklandish Storytelling Project

Allison “Hueman” Torneros

Allison “Hueman” Torneros is a graffiti artist, painter, and illustrator. She has rare renown in the male-dominated street art community. A petite woman spray painting vibrant art on California’s most iconic buildings is undeniably badass, and undeniably Oakland.

Jet Martinez -  We are Oaklandish Storytelling Project

Jet Martinez

Oakland has given me humility paired & pride. Humility from knowing I still have much to learn. Pride from knowing I've made a mark. I am incredibly grateful for the communities that have invited me in and welcomed my art, but none more than my hometown of Oakland.

Tunde Ahmad -  We are Oaklandish Storytelling Project

Tunde Ahmad

Tunde Ahmad is an Oakland Tech grad with an undergraduate degree from Yale and a Masters in Journalism from Columbia. He’s currently working as a journalist, writing a book, and pursuing inspiring entrepreneurial ventures.

César Cruz -  We are Oaklandish Storytelling Project

César Cruz

When he was seventeen, César Cruz of Homies Empowerment moved to Oakland, and it was here that inspired him to embark on his lifelong quest to lift Oakland’s Latino and Black kids out of violence and hopelessness.His efforts have paid off. 

Brianna and Ashley -  We are Oaklandish Storytelling Project

Brianna & Ashley

Brianna & Ashley are the elementary school aged founders of duck + chick, a company that manufactures and sells leather goods and donates their sales proceeds to non-profit organizations.

Khalil & Tre of Oak Boys -  We are Oaklandish Storytelling Project

Khalil & Tre of Oak Boys

Khalil & Tre of Oak Boys started a successful clothing company with a focus on inclusivity that most locals refer to by their playful nickname Oak Boys. They're known for their irreverent designs and unexpected slogans.

Alicia and Alex

Alicia & Alex

Alicia & Alex are the multi-generational owners and operators of the Oakland Fortune Cookie Factory which is the oldest one of its kind in the country and the only one that still makes cookies entirely by hand.

Aaron Davis -  We are Oaklandish Storytelling Project

Aaron Davis

Aaron Davis is a talented Bay Area drummer bashing out exceptional beats in The Town. Good and bad, he thinks there is no other place like Oakland.

Ahmed Muhammad -  We are Oaklandish Storytelling Project

Ahmed Muhammad

Ahmed Muhammad is a high school student doing his part to ensure science is celebrated in his community, and to show Black youth that being educated is something to be proud of.

Luis Montoya -  We are Oaklandish Storytelling Project

Luis Montoya

Luis Montoya is a filmmaker and musician. He’s a first-generation American citizen of Mexican descent raised by immigrant parents in Oakland.

Anna Rodriguez -  We are Oaklandish Storytelling Project

Anna Rodriguez

Anna Rodriguez is an Oaklandish team member. She is 24, was born in LA and raised in Oakland. East Oakland to be exact. 

Brandan Barlow -  We are Oaklandish Storytelling Project

Brandan Barlow

Brandan Barlow is an Oaklandish team member who started a new life in The Town. He loves Oakland for its diversity and unity.

Marcos Montoya -  We are Oaklandish Storytelling Project

Marcos Montoya

Marcos Montoya is 23 and was born and raised in East Oakland. He is grateful for his strong community ties and loves his job at Oaklandish.

Amanni King -  We are Oaklandish Storytelling Project

Amanni King

I think the thing that makes Oakland different from any place in the world is its culture. We have the history of the hyphy movement and the Black Panthers. I think that makes us stand out. Our lingo is different. The way we dress, the way we talk.

Maria Cuatlacuatl -  We are Oaklandish Storytelling Project

Maria Cuatlacuatl 

I still remember the first location I ever saw in Oakland. Now I look back and smile thinking of how many emotions Oakland has brought and the many memories I have growing up here.
Oakland is now home to me and my family.

Krystal Allen -  We are Oaklandish Storytelling Project

Krystal Allen 

Oakland is just hella diverse and accepting, as long as you are open-minded and accepting of others.
There is such a strong sense of community. When people care, they really care. I've always felt extremely accepted here. People always think I am from here!

Zoe Rountree -  We are Oaklandish Storytelling Project

Zoe Rountree

 I was raised in Oakland. There were a few years I wasn't living in Oakland, but family, friends and events always had me coming back to the Town. It's home. No place has ever come close to this place. Oakland shaped me into the person that I am today and I’m thankful to be rooted in a place so rare.

Vincent James -  We are Oaklandish Storytelling Project

Vincent James

Vincent James is a musician, composer, and visual landscape artist who formally began making art with rural and urban nature in 2014. Vincent is based in Oakland and features iconic landscapes, weather patterns, and seasonal lights in unique places throughout the Oakland and San Francisco Bay Area.

GATS -  We are Oaklandish Storytelling Project


GATS is a street artist and international graffiti legend who’s art is a petition for coexistence in opposition to prejudice, gives soul to derelict buildings, and brings the inspiration of art to struggling communities.

Nolberto Martinez Jr, La Casita -  We are Oaklandish Storytelling Project

Nolberto Martinez Jr. 

La Casita's business name was inspired by the cottage-like little restaurant located in the heart of the Fruitvale district that felt like home – very much like the first Casita Martinez and his two sisters grew up in. La Casita is more than a hole in the wall; it symbolizes unity, resilience, cultura and most importantly community.

Cali Cruise's Armando Miranda - We Are Oaklandish

Armando Miranda

Armando Miranda grew up in East Oakland and loved seeing classic cars cruise by, posted up at the lake, making their presence known around The Town. Oakland Cruisin is an ode to keeping car culture alive in Oakland, leveraging the Oaklandish brand to elevate it to the status of a fashion and cultural icon in The Town!

Evan Asher - We Are Oaklandish

Evan Asher

I answered the job listing for a screen printer assistant. I assist the screen printers (and draw frogs on everything much to joe's chagrin). The work culture here is really great which is something I've never had at any other job. we have the same issues as other places, but we're able to work through them without stressing each other out (too much).