My name is Robert E. Smith. I am 21 years young. I was born in McComb, Mississippi and moved to East Oakland when I as 5 with my mother, little sister and grandmother. Growing up in Oakland you’re forced to grow up fast. You’re also forced to see things that are abnormal and you have to adapt to your surroundings. I had a great upbringing. There wasn’t much violence in my home. My childhood was very peaceful. The violence started when I would leave the house. Everyone at school was taught the same as me. Things such as don’t let anyone hit you and if they do, you hit them back. Also we were taught in school to never let anyone bully you because if it happens once then it will happen again. With these morals a lot of fights occurred. [Read more…]
Letter from Anthony Ross, Jr. September 2015
My name is Anthony Ross, Jr. I am 27 years of age. I am a San Francisco native raised in Bayview Hunter’s Point, an overwhelming part of the City. I was born to Anthony Ross, Sr and Carmen Ross. Both of my parents were considered major players of the fast life (better known as the underworld). I figure that they chose that career path because of their circumstances. They both grew up in single parent homes with multiple siblings. Growing up, both my parents were in and out of jail, with both being missing in action periodically. I was left in the care of my grandmother, left to keep up with my older brother and sister. [Read more…]
On Thursday, November 6th, East Point Peace Academy organized it’s first House Party!! It was a beautiful autumn evening under a full moon as 45 supporters came together to break bread, enjoy s’mores over a fire, here testimonials about our work and build community.
As is our tradition, and as part of our commitment to financial transparency and Gift Economics, we would like to share that we received $7,370 in donations and pledges, with more on it’s way. THANK YOU so much to all of our supporters!!!
If you were not able to make it to our event but would still like to support us, please click here to find out how you can donate to sustain our work.
Check out some pictures from our event:
We would like to thank Leah Pearlman for hosting, the Lia Fund and the Peace Development Fund for their sponsorship, our amazing Host Committee, all of our volunteers with special shout outs to Beth Rosales, Lauren Veasey, Dorianna Blitt and Anna Antonio, and to ALL of the people who showed up!!!
We would also like to thank all of the businesses who showed their love:
- Arizmendi Bakery
- Cheese Board Collective
- Edible Arrangements
- La Farine Bakery
- Lucky Thirty Seven
- Peets Coffee
- Tamales La Oaxaquena
- Trader Joe’s
- Whole Foods
THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!!
Thanks to all of our community members who supported our Indiegogo Campaign, we were able to put on a successful two-day workshop inside Soledad State Prison on October 6th and 7th!!!
Check out some images from our workshop, as well as this write-up in the CDCR’s blog about our workshop!
We are not trying to figure out how to organize a longer training to certify trainers within the inmate population at the prison. We are also in discussion with the warden from Soledad as well as Salinas Valley State Prison about the possibility of training some of their prison guards. Check back later for more updates about these exciting possibilities!!!
Recently, thanks to invitations from our friends at Barrios Unidos, we have held several lectures about nonviolence to hundreds of men inside the Correctional Training Facility, also known as Soledad State Prison. These lectures have been so popular that many of the men have been requesting a longer training for months.
After being in discussion with the administration, we are scheduled to conduct our first ever two-day workshop inside Soledad State Prison in early October!!!
As many of you know, [Read more…]
For the past couple of months, Don Lacy of the Love Life Foundation and KPOO 89.5 FM in San Francisco has been working with a group of inmates inside the San Bruno County Jail, training them in radio production, conducting interviews, etc.
The hour-long show that they produced, which includes interviews with East Point’s Kazu Haga, San Francisco Sheriff Mirkarimi, members of the San Francisco 49’ers and other community members, will air Saturday, August 23rd at 10:30 AM PST.
Check out the video above for the audio. Also make sure to check out at www.kpoo.com!
We are honored to announce that Kazu Haga, founder/coordinator of the East Point Peace Academy, has been nominated for a Community Leadership Award’s under the Community Choice section. Thank you to each of you who nominated us!!!
The winner will receive a $20,000 grant from the San Francisco Foundation, as well as a feature write-up on 7×7’s Hot 20 Issue.
We are honored to be listed along with some other incredible organizations working to create cultures of peace throughout the Bay Area, and no matter which organization wins the grant, the entire Bay Area community will benefit. [Read more…]
This past April, after a 4.5 month training, the East Point Peace Academy graduated 9 men from our Advanced Kingian Nonviolence Training, certifying them as Assistant Trainers in Kingian Nonviolence.
Since then, these 9 men have been helping to lead nonviolence workshops for the rest of the men in their unit, and we are currently working on scheduling workshop opportunities for community members to come in to the jails to receive training from the inmates.
The story about the graduation ceremony recently made the cover of Street Spirit, a monthly publication that is given out to homeless members of our community as a way to earn money. Check out the article online here, and if you see these papers being sold in the Bay Area, please pick up a copy and support the homeless community!
Check our site for updates on future training opportunities inside the county jail!
Thanks to a grant we received from the Pollination Project, our work inside the San Bruno County Jail appeared on CBS’s national Sunday Morning show on March 23rd. On an episode focused on money, CBS featured the work of the Pollination Project, a foundation that awards $1,000 each day, every day, 365 days a year. We were honored to be a recipient of their grant, and to be selected amongst hundreds of grantees to be on the show!
Watch the video above, or check out the article here.
At the end of last year, East Point Peace Academy’s founder Kazu received a grant from the Pollination Project.
The Pollination Project is not only a funder, but they are true allies in the work. They have continued to help spread the word out about our programs, including this quick write up in the Huffington Post.
This Sunday, March 23rd, the CBS Sunday Morning Show will be doing a feature on the Pollination Project, and as part of the story, they have decided to document the work we’ve been doing inside the San Bruno County Jails. [Read more…]