By Post Staff
Following an African model, a wide coalition of Oaklanders will hold a peace vigil at Lake Merritt on Saturday April 8.
The Circle of Peace is an action called for by Adamika Village, pastors, church congregation members, county and city employees, community-based organizations, mental health professionals, small business owners and individual citizens.
According to event coordinator Tanya Dennis, the intent of the Circle of Peace is to “shift Oakland’s energy from violence to one of peace.”
The event will begin with the calling of ancestors via djembe drums, spoken word and music, followed by a press conference for city and county proclamations and words of support.
Three years ago, Adamika Village CEO Daryle Allums and Black Leaders Coalition CEO Tanya Dennis acknowledged the European model of society did not work for Black folks and from that came “The African Way” philosophy centered around the Black family and peace.
Their 10-point “peace in the streets” campaign is dedicated to ending violence in Oakland and restoring the family unit.
Thus far, Adamika Village has experienced success and takes partial credit for the 12% reduction in violence Oakland experienced in 2022 through Credible Messengers, their Peace banner project on International Boulevard and their peace messaging and beautification of blighted areas of Oakland.
Another success is the recent approval of funding by Alameda County for their “Havens for Black Healing,” a Black Mental Health Initiative launched by the Oakland Frontline Healers collaborative of which Adamika was the creator and now lead facilitator.
Adamika Village’s “Circle of Peace” vigil is their first outreach to the entire community of Oakland in a quest to find and implement solutions to end violence in Oakland.
“After decades of low levels of homicides, with COVID-19, we witnessed a 50% increase in violence in 2021, with over 100 homicides, and 2022 was even worse,” Allums said.
“It didn’t help that EDD scams put money in the wrong hands, allowing the purchase of more guns, which led to more violence when the money dried up for those use to living high on the hog.
“Desperation set in and so what we’re experiencing now is unprecedented predatory behavior with “bipping,” the breaking of car windows at a pandemic level aimed at vulnerable citizens such as elders, tourists and women being targeted. It’s gotten to a level that no neighborhood is immune, and everyone is living in fear.”
For these reasons, Dennis says, the April 8th Circle of Peace has caught fire and resonated with the public. “People are tired of living behind closed doors and shuttered windows in fear. They’re grateful and ready to join us to do something, and our Circle of Peace is the first event to bring like-minded people together.”
Acknowledging that symbolism without action is futile, Adamika’s collaborative partner, the Violence Prevention Coalition, will host a citywide town hall June 24, 2023, at Laney College.
“The only way we’re going to end this wave of violence is to join together and take action with holistic solutions,” says Dennis “We recognize that many of our citizens are desperate for lack of alternatives and resources like access to mental health services and housing.
“The solution is to provide those resources so people don’t have to resort to violence. Sure, there are predators who are taking advantage, there always will be, but we want those who would change if they had a choice to know we’re here working with them to provide solutions.”
The public is invited to register and join by calling 510-929-7699 or email email@example.com or click on the QR code on the flier. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1h86vv8TYLBovgUBfYtlBVY0gPGUDlCbVBAKWnDbWkM8/edit?usp=drive_web
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