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Verizon Donates $100,000 to David E. Glover Tech Center

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An East Oakland nonprofit launched by late activist David E. Glover was awarded a $100,000 grant from Verizon to continue youth and adult technology classes for low-income residents.

Glover, originally from St. Louis, Missouri, began working for the Citizens Committee for Urban Renewal (OCCUR), a nonprofit organization focused on creating opportunities for marginalized communities, after a short stay at the Bay Area Urban League. Glover climbed the ranks of the organization, becoming executive director, and in 1997, he launched Eastmont Computing Center, as a space to teach basic computer literacy skills. In his honor, the center was renamed to the David E. Glover Emerging Technology Center (DEGETC) after his 2013 passing.

The former executive director of the center, Sondra Alexander, who served the organization for 40 years until her retirement in December, and was responsible for the renaming of the organization, said she couldn’t be more excited for the organization. “This grant will enable OCCUR to continue their great work. OCCUR was a force that helped the community and trained many Oakland residents.”

In the 70s, Alexander began working for OCCUR as an assistant to Executive Director of OCCUR, Paul Cobb, and eventually assumed his position. According to Alexander, OCCUR was supported by the City of Oakland’s Community Development Block Grant Fund, the State of California and corporations from “Clorox to Kaiser.”

“We had a lot of support, and Paul and David were quite a team. They were ahead of their time,” said Alexander who worked on 50 projects throughout her tenure. “Paul and David would go down fighting until the end, working for them was more than I imagined. We got a lot done for Oakland residents.”

Olivia Cueva, Director of DEGETC, and OCCUR started her media career as a journalist with Youth Radio and found her spark for applied technology opportunities while participating in the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU, where she created a pressure-sensitive mat that sent her family text messages when her 93-year-old grandfather stood up.

“I knew I didn’t want to work in the big tech industry,” Cueva said, “I came on as a creative consultant to help them strengthen the programs, expand their programming, get more students in there, and also rebrand and redesign.”

Cueva credits the center’s success to the support of her staff, including Jorge Flores, office manager and Spanish-language Computer Basics Instructor who has been with the center since it opened and was hired by Glover himself.

A new project, Future Founders, led by Camila Ramos, focuses on supporting entrepreneurship by training young students to make money with their skills. In partnership with Met West High School, and through the support of Glover’s son, (insert son’s name here,)the center negotiated a three-month paid contract with the Oakland A’s Technology Team, where students designed virtual prototypes for possible youth fan engagements.

Oakland student, Hesten Parrish, only 11-years-old when he attended his first Hack-a-thon at the center, created an app to stimulate teacher-student communication, received seed funding by age 14, and spoke at Google’s 2020 Black History Month event. He’s only 15.

The grant money will be used to support afterschool programs that teach graphic design, 3-D printing, coding, and augmented reality.

Bay Area

THE DISTINGUISHED JARENA LEE AWARD PRESENTED TO OAKLAND SENIOR PASTOR

Parks Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, located at 476 34th Street Oakland, California is excited to announce that Rev. Dr. Rosalynn Brookins, senior pastor was awarded the auspicious Jarena Lee Award.

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Historic rendition of Jarena Lee, the first female preacher in the A.M.E. church

  Dr. Rosalyn Brookins. Courtesy of Parks Chapel A.M.E. Church.

Parks Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, located at 476 34th Street Oakland, California is excited to announce that Rev. Dr. Rosalynn Brookins, senior pastor was awarded the auspicious Jarena Lee Award.

Jarena Lee (February 11, 1783 – February 3, 1864) was the first female authorized to preach in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. History shows she was born into a free, Black family. Lee saw the immorality of slavery.  At a time period of segregation and inequity, A.M.E. Church founder Richard Allen gave her the opportunity for her voice to be heard despite the fact that there were no provisions for a female to preach. Rev. Lee showed determination to let her voice be heard and to share the holy word, despite racial and gender issues.  Further, Lee was the first African American woman to have an autobiography published in the United States.

During the 5th Episcopal District A.M.E. Founder’s Day Service, the Award was presented to Brookins by Rev. Carieta Grizzell, president of Women in Ministry and pastor of Murph-Emmanuel Church in Sacramento, Ca.  This esteemed award is the highest commendation that a female minister can receive in the A.M.E. Church.

There are many parallels between  Lee and  Brookins.  They both blazed a path forward through adverse circumstances and applied the lessons they learned to their spirituality.  Their similar experiences as female ministers reinforce their relationship with God.  They maintained a steadfast hope in and a strong love for his divine majesty.  

Brookins is the only Episcopal supervisor of the Women’s Mission Society for the A.M.E. Church to be given a pastoral appointment as senior pastor.

Brookins earned her doctoral degree from Payne Theological Seminary in 2018, making her the first inaugurated female to be conferred with the noted degree.  She was the commencement speaker during the graduation.  Her dissertation was entitled “The Rebirth of the Woman’s Prophetic Voice: Using Liberation Theology to Impact the Local Congregation.” 

In 2018, Brookins presented a pilot program in South Africa and subsequently launched the Global School of the Prophets.  While there are many prophetic schools, this is the only type of school that ministers to both clergy and lay women. Brookins exudes great enthusiasm and passion about teaching and she graciously shares her expertise regarding prophecy.  Her courses provide an overview and structure that encourage individuals to develop, explore and expand their prophetic knowledge and understanding.   

The highly organized and comprehensive curriculum includes coverage of the Introduction and  Origin of the Prophetic; Prophetic Call;  Prophetic Ministry;  Prophetic Terminology; Nine Prophetic Traits, and Prophetic Training and the Church.   Students currently participating in the second cohort of the Global School are from the United States, India, Zimbabwe, Jamaica, Belize and Trinidad. 

Just as Lee showed a drive and commitment to serve,  Brookins has the same qualities.  She is an honorable, steadfast pastor who is obedient to all that God has called her to do.  She is a strong leader, and a visionary who genuinely loves preaching the word of God.  Rev. Brookins’ unconditional love and genuine personality has touched the hearts of many.  Her prophetic ministry, powerful sermons and prayers consistently instill hope and inspiration. 

Lee traveled extensively preaching the word of God.  Rev. Brookins has preached the gospel in multiple pulpits across the country, including Canada, Zambia, India and South Africa. 

Regarding his mother’s receipt of this prestigious award, Sir Wellington Hartford Brookins said “I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of my mother.  She is an example of perseverance and daring determination.  She inspires me to move forward every single day and that’s why this award means so much to her and to me.”

Brookins said she is “humbled that the men and women of God felt I deserved such an award. I am moved that God saw it fitting for me to receive such an honorable award.”

The Jerena Lee Award is an amazing recognition of the contributions of Rev. Brookins to the theological foundations of the church as a whole.

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Rush bowls

The perfect blend of all-natural fruits and veggies topped with delightfully crunchy, organic granola, a drizzle of honey, and your choice of fresh fruits and toppers.

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Rush bowls are the perfect blend of all-natural fruits and veggies topped with delightfully crunchy, organic granola, a drizzle of honey, and your choice of fresh fruits and toppers. Packed with nutrients and fully customizable, Rush bowls offer healthy, delicious alternatives to standard fast-casual fare. Rush bowls is open Mondays-Fridays from 10am-6pm at 350 17th Street, Oakland,CA 94619. Available for indoor dining, and delivery through GRUBHUBhttps://rushbowls.com/oakland

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City of Oakland Announces Appointment of New Fire Chief

Prior to the City of Hartford, Freeman served as the fire chief for Lockheed Martin and served as a civilian fire chief in Iraq for the U.S. Department of Defense from 2004-2008.

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City Administrator Ed Reiskin announced on Wednesday the selection of Reginald D. Freeman to serve as the next fire chief for the City of Oakland, effective May 17.   

    Freeman most recently has served as the fire chief for the City of Hartford, Conn., since 2016. He will take over for Deputy Fire Chief Melinda Drayton who has held the position in an interim role since April 2020.   

    “Mayor Schaaf and I are excited that Chief Freeman has accepted our offer to become the next fire chief for the Oakland Fire Department at a very dynamic time for both the fire service and the city of Oakland,” said Reiskin. “Recognizing the importance of this position, we undertook an exhaustive recruitment process and we’re extremely confident that Mr. Freeman is the right choice for this moment.

    “He brings a tremendous level of professional experience leading fire departments and emergency management functions, has demonstrated a strong commitment to professional development, and built a successful track record of achieving strategic goals and objectives at every step of his career,” Reiskin said.  

   Prior to the City of Hartford, Freeman served as the fire chief for Lockheed Martin and served as a civilian fire chief in Iraq for the U.S. Department of Defense from 2004-2008. He has worked in several fire service capacities in his career including firefighter/emergency medical technician (EMT), fire captain, fire service instructor, assistant fire chief, and fire chief.  

    “I am sincerely humbled and honored to have the confidence of Mayor Schaaf and Mr. Reiskin to serve the great City of Oakland and the men and women of the Oakland Fire Department as fire chief,” Chief Freeman said. “OFD is a proud organization comprised of consummate professionals.” 

    Freeman has a Bachelor’s degree in leadership, a Master’s degree in executive fire service leadership, and is a Harvard Fellow. He is also a Fellow of the Institution of Fire Engineers USA Branch and a chief fire officer designee and serves on the Board of Directors for National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). He is married to his wife of 17 years and is a proud father to two daughters.  

L. Autumn King is a public information officer in the office of the City Administrator of Oakland.

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