Letter from the Executive Director
Recognize the past and dream the future.
These words are at the front of our minds at Chapter 510, where we give our children and youth the opportunity to make change. When you read 13-year-old Aniya Butler’s new collection of poems published in June, her poems sing an honest truth about being black in America. “It means we have to be prepared to get leaned on/and do the leaning.” At Chapter 510 we are preparing for both and we need you to lean in with us.
Since we published 18 books last June featuring Oakland’s finest young minds, we’ve been dreaming about opening a Writers’ Room at one of our neighborhood schools. On the last day of the 2018-19 school year, several rising eighth graders circled up in a storage closet in their library and described a room that would help them write. A bright space with comfortable furniture set up in two sections: one for resting and the other for writing.
On September 20, the Westlake Writers’ Room will open thanks to incredible volunteer efforts from our generous friends at Gensler Oakland. Every eighth grader at Westlake will strengthen their writing skills and gain more confidence so they can enter high school ready to make their change. In addition, we’ll offer writing workshops for sixth graders to publish a new series of chapter books next spring.
Our partner MetWest High School has opened a second high school campus named after Ericka Huggins, the revolutionary educator and leader of the Black Panther Party. At the dedication, I was honored to meet Ericka who told me how writing and publishing was central to their revolution. In support of the founding ninth-grade class, Chapter 510 will create a Writers’ Room where students will receive writing and tutoring and publish a new collection of identity-based essays. It is proven radical models like the Oakland Community School which inspire us to make room to write.
It is official! Oakland Roots Sports Club has drafted Chapter 510 to be a community partner in its inaugural season. Our students will be writing and sharing about the beautiful game of soccer. We love what the Roots are doing for Oakland. They are a force for social good. We'll see you at every home game.
A final word of thanks to all our summer donors including the Joseph and Mercedes McMicking Foundation; Munger, Tolles & Olson; and to the Slavin Family Fund. Thanks, too, to our artisans, volunteers, and friends. We are so moved by the good people at Gensler Oakland for all their amazing work.
Please come dream with us.
Writers' Room at Westlake Middle School
This summer, Chapter 510 staff, local artisans, and volunteers have been working tirelessly to build Chapter 510's very first Writers' Room at Westlake Middle School.
We were beyond-our-wildest-dreams lucky to have worked with a team of folks from Gensler Oakland on the design inside and out, who have worked countless of hours pro-bono this summer on the concept and helping source thousands of dollars in donated furniture and fixtures.
A special thanks to the labor (of love) given by volunteers Ben, Micah, and Gia, whose hands we could not have done this without.
The room will open to students in October, and over the course of the coming school year, Chapter 510 staff and volunteers will be working with all Westlake eighth graders to help them develop the writing skills and confidence that will make them ready for high school!
We will be tutoring and running workshops during the day and after school, and we need volunteer power to make these program dreams real, so do pledge to volunteer if you haven't already.
More photos of the completed room to come....
Announcing our Partnership with the Oakland Roots!
We are so, so excited about Oakland Roots, Oakland's new professional soccer team.
Saturday was their very first game (FIRST EVER!), and they went toe-to-toe with Orange County's California United Strikers FC in an epic game that ended with a 3-3 tie at Laney College. If you were there, you will agree that this was a truly special night. Oakland showed up, sold the stadium out, and we collectively let the Roots into our hearts.
Chapter 510 board and staff were honored to be a part of this historic night, and we're even more proud to be an official Roots community partner this year.
We will be announcing more about this partnership as it unfolds, but for now, save the date (and get your tickets before they sell out!) for Saturday, October 19, a night dedicated to and benefiting Chapter 510 and our programs. Use the code: chapter510 to receive 25% off all Oakland Roots single-game tickets.
Sunday, 9/8 vs FC Juarez, 5pm
Sunday, 10/13 vs International Pro Club, 5pm
Saturday, 10/19 vs Los Angeles, 7pm (Chapter 510 Night)
For questions, please contact Oakland Roots Ticketing Department at email@example.com.
ABOUT THE ROOTS
More than just a club, more than just a game. Oakland Roots Sports Club seeks to harness the magic of Oakland and the beautiful game of soccer as a force for social good.
Whether on the pitch, in the stands or within the community, Oakland Roots will represent our one-of-a-kind city with passion, pride and commitment to all things Oakland.
Player by player. Supporter by supporter. Resident by resident. One day at a time. One game at a time. This is about Oakland first, always.
Thank you, Roots! We are believers!
Oakland Library & Chapter 510 Present the Oakland Youth Poet Laureate at First Friday's 510 Journal
Friday, September 6, 6-9pm
This Friday, September 6, the Oakland Library will kick off our 2019-2020 First Friday reading series with the release of 510 Journal, Chapter 510's annual poster celebrating the current Oakland Youth Poet Laureate.
This year's Laureate Samuel Getachew was recently deemed the "Freshest new poet in the town" by the East Bay Express and held well-deserved space on the cover! Samuel was also featured in Black Joy; An Anthology of Black Boy Poems (Nomadic Press) as part of our 2019 Black Joy workshop.
Doors open at 6pm.
Reading at 7pm.
Open mic at 7:30.
Featured poets (so far):
Siara Edmond, 2019 Finalist
Greer Nakadegawa-Lee, 2019 Finalist
Lizette Navarro, 2017 and 2019 Finalist
Darien Em, 2018 and 2019 Finalist
Eleanor Wikstrom, 2019 Vice Laureate
Samuel Getachew, 2019 Laureate
Open mic sign-up begins at 7pm (must be 19 or younger to sign up). First seven poets who sign up are guaranteed a spot in the open mic. Open mic begins at 7:30pm.
IN THE SPACE ALL NIGHT:
Pop-up food from Two Mamacitas
Music spun by DJ XCAIROCITOSX
Tiny bookmaking activities for all!
SUPPORT CHAPTER 510
We need you!
Want to get involved? We have a lot of volunteer opportunities this year: from tutoring in OUSD classrooms, to drawing out new stories of wonder and daring at our bookmaking field trips, to helping us run the Dept. of Make Believe on First Fridays.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about ways you can give your time to help Oakland's young people develop their writing and creativity.
Oakland's youth need you.
As a made-in-Oakland writing and publishing center for children and youth, Chapter 510's work is powered by imagination, avocados, and your financial support. Please join us with your investment in our young writers today.
We believe that when young people can confidently write, they can transform themselves and their communities for the better. They can even change the world.
A Simple Wish List for our Writers' Rooms:
-Table and standing lamps
-Books about writing!
Email us at info@chapter510 if you have any of the above to donate!