The Historic OUSD Teachers’ Strike

By Rhana Hashemi
The historic strike for equitable public education in the Oakland Unified School Districts led by the Oakland Education Association have sparked feelings of loss and betrayal amongst teachers, nurses, therapist and restorative justice practitioners who stood behind the classified union on a picket line for seven-days. While teachers saw some gains in their situations, others found their critical, yet under-served and under-resourced positions in schools, fared no better than before. The momentum of the strike ended with wide-spread disappointment and furthered distrust in the school’s leadership body; meanwhile, the question of who is going to propose meaningful solutions for the district to support the students in achieving well-being and academic success remains unanswered. Continue reading The Historic OUSD Teachers’ Strike

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Fighting Fire With Fire

By Shannon Lavelle
Fire ecologist and wildland firefighter Dr. Sasha Berleman reflects on her two seasons working on the Redding Interagency Hotshot Crew, Trump’s controversial tweet criticizing forest management, and why California wildfires are getting larger, deadlier and more destructive. Continue reading Fighting Fire With Fire

Steven Czifra on Shakespeare, Solitary Confinement and Marveling at the Ordinary

Many people talk about transformation, but Steven Czifra has actually lived it. After spending many years incarcerated, he emerged as a co-founder of the UC Berkeley student organization Underground Scholars Initiative. In this interview with the BCC Voice, he offers his bracingly honest and intensely political thoughts, ideas and personal recollections.
Continue reading Steven Czifra on Shakespeare, Solitary Confinement and Marveling at the Ordinary

An Arbiter of Taste

By Adam Mann

“The SF Weekly food critic keeps coming out to Oakland and stealing my stories.” Riding the rising wave of the Bay Area restaurant scene, food writer and managing editor for The East Bay Express, Janelle Bitker, has her finger on a special pulse point in our community. She joined our journalist for coffee and a discussion about representation in the restaurant scene, rising rents and relocation, and the logistics of managing, writing and making time to go out and dine. Continue reading An Arbiter of Taste

Promoting Self-Love

By Summer Vodnoy
Beneath the vitriol and vanity of social media platforms is a thriving, often self-made culture of positivity and support. Broadcasting her ideals on Youtube, Instagram and other platforms, Vanessa Manley swirls business, opinion and activism into a distinctly modern concoction. She shares with The BCC Voice her motivations and struggles promoting self-love within a culture of commodification and commercialized beauty. Continue reading Promoting Self-Love

Self Identities

By Minhal Motiwala
Standing between two worlds, the pulls of assimilation and acceptance make it hard for Kamal Khan to know which of his selves — Khan is a first generation Pakistani-American Muslim — is more authentic. And none is wholly satisfying. Our reporter listens as Khan describes navigating family, friendships, school and young-adulthood while straddling a schism of identity. Continue reading Self Identities

The Remarkable Life of

By Nancy Millar Patton

Nonagenarian park ranger Betty Reid Soskin is a treasure of the Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historic Park. Her lectures, laden with story-craft and political heft, have become sold-out attractions requiring ever-larger venues. The BCC Voice sat down with Soskin to learn more about the path she’s forged and the remarkable history she brings to life for her audiences. Continue reading The Remarkable Life of