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SEQ CHAPTER Imani Vision Board Party at The MC Arts Gallery

Kwanzaa was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor and chairman of Black Studies at California State University, Long Beach, in 1966. After the Watts riots in Los Angeles, Dr. Karenga searched for ways to bring African Americans together as a community.

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From left: Ayana Morgan-Woodard, Chauntina Thomas holding her vision board, Oshalla Diana Marcus and Brittney Burton. (Photo by Godfrey Lee. More photos can be seen on the MC Arts and Culture Facebook page.)
From left: Ayana Morgan-Woodard, Chauntina Thomas holding her vision board, Oshalla Diana Marcus and Brittney Burton. (Photo by Godfrey Lee. More photos can be seen on the MC Arts and Culture Facebook page.)

By Godfrey Lee

Oshalla Diana Marcus hosted the Imani Vision Board Party at the MC Arts Gallery in Marin City on Saturday, New Year’s Day, starting the New Year celebrating the principles of Kwanzaa.

Vision boarding is a fun activity involving clipping pictures and words out of magazines to visually represent the life you want to see for yourself. Marcus wrote in her announcement that “many see vision boarding as creating art, while others see it as therapy. However, all can agree that it is fun, especially when combined with healthy traditional New Year’s Day Soul Food: rice, greens, black-eyed peas, chicken, corn bread, and a little sweet wine.”

A small group of women came to the vision board party, including Brittney Burton and Ayana Morgan-Woodard who helped Marcus organize the event. Mz. Ebony Divine McKinley said it didn’t matter how many people came. “It is not your loss; it is their loss.

They miss out on a beautiful event. Don’t take it as a failure. Just look at it as I’m giving it to you,” she said.

Marcus said that the event is an opportunity for us to model, create and imagine something in new ways, especially in our work and world. Kwanzaa was a holiday that reminds us that we can be sustainable and self-sufficient. “It is important to really understand this about our culture. So, let’s own it.” Oshalla said.

Marcus also honored the ancestors who came before us and brought us to where we are now.

Kwanzaa was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor and chairman of Black Studies at California State University, Long Beach, in 1966. After the Watts riots in Los Angeles, Dr. Karenga searched for ways to bring African Americans together as a community.

Karenga combined aspects of several different African harvest celebrations, such as those of the Ashanti and the Zulu, to form the basis of the week-long holiday.

The Swahili term ‘umoja’ means ‘unity’ to strive for and maintain in the family, community, nation and race.

‘Kujichagulia’ means ‘self-determination,’ to define, name, create and speak for oneself.

‘Ujima’ means ‘collective work and responsibility,’ to build, uplifting your community together and to help one another in your community.

‘Ujama’ means ‘cooperative economics.’ Similar to Ujima, this principle refers to uplifting your community economically, and to build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.

‘Nia’ means ‘purpose’ or to collectively build and developing of the community in order to restore it to its traditional greatness.

‘Kuumba’ meaning ‘creativity,’ to use our creativity and imagination in order to make our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

‘Imani,’ the final principle, translates to ‘faith’ in the community, and “to believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, teachers, leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle,” says Karenga.

Bay Area

Planning Commission to Hold Public Hearing on Oakland A’s Real Estate Project

The Planning Commission will consider whether the Final EIR was completed in compliance with state law, represents the independent analysis of the city, and provides adequate information to decision-makers and the public on the potential adverse environmental effects of the proposed project, as well as ways in which those effects might be mitigated or avoided.

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By Post Staff

The Oakland Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on the Oakland A’s Stadium and Real Estate Development. It will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 19, at 3 p.m., according to a city media release.

“During the hearing, the Planning Commission will consider whether the Final EIR was completed in compliance with state law, represents the independent analysis of the city, and provides adequate information to decision-makers and the public on the potential adverse environmental effects of the proposed project, as well as ways in which those effects might be mitigated or avoided” according to the media release.

The 3,500-page report was released the week before Christmas 2021, leaving little time for community advocates to read and critique the report.

After the commission makes a recommendation, the Oakland City Council will consider certification of the Final EIR, likely in February. A “yes” vote by the council does not mean the project is approved but is a major first step toward approval.

Community advocates are asking the commission to postpone the meeting, so that the community has time to read and analyze the 3,500-page report in time to provide public comment. You can contact the commission at drarmstrong@oaklandca.gov or cpayne@oaklandca.gov.

The following are Planning Commission members:

• Clark Manus, Chair

• Jonathan Fearn, Vice-Chair

• Sahar Shiraz

• Tom Limon

• Vince Sugrue

• Jennifer Renk

• Leopold A Ray-Lynch

To read the Final EIR, go to:  https://bit.ly/32KZ3pT

 

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Bay Area

Port of Oakland Aims to Help Agriculture Producers Export Products More Quickly

“The Port — along with our federal and state partners — is ready to do everything we can to help provide room and relief to help our agricultural customers,” said Port of Oakland Executive Director Danny Wan in a statement. The yard is just one step the Port is taking to help agriculture exporters who have had fewer containers in Oakland with which to export their products.

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The Port of Oakland and the Oakland skyline in the late 2010s. (Photo courtesy the Port of Oakland/Kelly Patrick Dugan)
The Port of Oakland and the Oakland skyline in the late 2010s. (Photo courtesy the Port of Oakland/Kelly Patrick Dugan)

By Keith Burbank, Bay City News

The flow of agricultural exports may improve at the Port of Oakland after it sets aside quick-access space for containers, assists exporters, and if more cargo carriers restore service to Oakland, port officials said Monday.

Twenty-five acres will be used to operate an off-terminal, paved yard to store containers for rapid pick-up following their removal from chassis.

The yard, which may open in March, will allow trucks to turn around more quickly than is currently possible in the terminal. Agricultural exporters will also get help using the yard from state and federal agencies.

“The Port — along with our federal and state partners — is ready to do everything we can to help provide room and relief to help our agricultural customers,” said Port of Oakland Executive Director Danny Wan in a statement.

The yard is just one step the Port is taking to help agriculture exporters who have had fewer containers in Oakland with which to export their products.

But it’s not entirely clear the yard will make a huge difference unless more ships stop at the Port to pick up the exports.

“We need the shipping companies to immediately restore the export lines from Oakland to Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent,” Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes said.

Port officials have restored one key route to Tokyo and China. Also, four carriers have recently made Oakland their first stop en route from Asia. But that may not be enough to relieve the shortage of export containers in Oakland.

An import surge in the U.S. has ships waiting to offload cargo in Southern California. When they do, they offload cargo that would typically come to Oakland and then turn around and immediately go back to Asia.

The containers that could be used for exports never make it to Oakland.

Port cargo volume is typically 50% imports and 50% exports so usually enough containers exist at the Port.

Many agricultural exporters and meat producers prefer to ship their products through Oakland because it’s closer than other ports.

The container shortage has been a problem for a year. The problem recently prompted a meeting between farm producers, transportation executives and Port officials and resulted in the steps the Port is now taking.

A solution is important because the state’s agricultural export industry is worth billions of dollars.

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Alton Thomas Stiles

California Adds Twist to New CDC Advice on Quarantines

California’s updated guidance differs from the CDC’s in one important way. The state is recommending that people who quarantine after a positive diagnosis take a follow-up test and get a negative result before ending isolation. The CDC’s guidelines do not include taking another test after quarantining.

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A masked worker stands behind a sign warning of a quarantine. iStock photo.
A masked worker stands behind a sign warning of a quarantine. iStock photo.

By Aldon Thomas Stiles, California Black Media

The Monday after Christmas, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shortened its COVID-19 quarantine recommendation by half.

That same day, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Twitter that California will follow suit, recommending a five-day isolation period instead of the state’s former guidance of 10 days.

“California will align with the CDC’s updated guidelines for isolation and quarantine time,” Newsom tweeted.

However, California’s updated guidance differs from the CDC’s in one important way. The state is recommending that people who quarantine after a positive diagnosis take a follow-up test and get a negative result before ending isolation.

The CDC’s guidelines do not include taking another test after quarantining.

The CDC said its decision, in part, is based on science that shows people are most infectious during the first five days of catching the virus.

In an interview with NPR, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said another rationale for the new shortened guidance is the concern for keeping industries that are critical to the national economy operating.

Sharing this concern, Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian, along with the company’s medical advisor Dr. Carlos del Rio and Chief Health Officer Dr. Henry Ting, sent a letter to Walensky less than a week before CDC’s updated recommendation, requesting a five-day isolation period for Delta’s fully vaccinated employees.

The letter argued that the previous guidelines were out of date and did not account for vaccinations.

It also argued that the former 10-day isolation period would hurt business because with the spread of the Omicron variant, vaccinated workers who do catch COVID-19 would be out for a longer period of time.

“With the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, the 10-day isolation for those who are fully vaccinated may significantly impact our workforce and operations,” the letter read. “Similar to healthcare, police, fire, and public transportation workforces, the Omicron surge may exacerbate shortages and create significant disruptions.”

In December 2020, the CDC shortened its previous recommendation of a 14-day isolation period to 10 days.

California Black Media’s coverage of COVID-19 is supported by the California Health Care Foundation.

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