Saying goodbye won’t be easy and here’s why. In Oakland, I found myself, my authenticity, and my rhythm. In Oakland, I was introduced to my roommates – three beautiful, strong women. A million laughs and hours of conversation later, we’re more than just friends, we’re family. In Oakland, I realized the beauty of activism as I walked down Broadway Street with a couple hundred others at my side. In Oakland, I was humbled by the smiling faces of the children of What Now America? In Oakland, I found love and community in unexpected places. In Oakland, I found beautiful sunsets over Lake Merritt and Jack London Square. In Oakland, I found great coffee and unique individuals at places like Revolutionary Café (7th Street) and Timeless Café (100% vegan, Piedmont Street). In Oakland, I feel in love with the art, music, and the authenticity of first Friday. In Oakland, my stigmas and stereotypes of this urban domain dissolved. Oakland’s more than the drugs and violence displayed by corporate media. This majestic metropolis is built on a foundation of radical inclusion, community, civic responsibility and love. In Oakland, I watched the tragic final hours of Oscar Grants life unfold in “Fruitvale Station.” The final moments of the film continue to haunt me and transform my sadness and anger into activism. In Oakland, I found passion, dedication, and a radical sense of love. Oakland will always be near and dear to my heart.
Tomorrow is my final day at the General Assistance Advocacy Project. Over the last eight weeks, I have come to love my job and the quirky characters of GAAP. Clients have become regulars, and co-workers have become friends. When I was talking with my dad early this week, he asked, what are they going to do without you? I responded, the real question is what am I going to do without them? I leave GAAP with more than knowledge about government programs, but also of compassion, love, and understanding by co-workers and clients alike.
What an amazing eight weeks!