Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

Sure there’s nothing to do this summer… teens tackle 3 community projects.

By kbender
Friday, July 11th, 2008 at 11:35 am in Uncategorized.

There’s a different sort of political event happening in Berkeley this weekend.

It involves five hip hop acts, one jazz band and several speakers stressing the importance of political activism among young people. Saturday’s event will be the third time Pinole activist and Jael Myrick, 23, who founded Standing To Represent Our Next Generation (STRONG) has organized rallies to get young people thinking and talking about politics.

The event Saturday is from 1 to 5 p.m. at People’s Park and will be hosted by Shamako Noble of Hip Hop Congress with performances by Ben Flowz, Pride City Purpose and The Slippery Slope among others. There will also be graffiti art on canvass, which will be auctioned off at a later event at the Greenlining Institute to raise money for STRONG’s election work this fall. There will be speeches about the need for rent control, better healthcare and how to get involved with curbing global warming. For more information, email Sergio.almonte@gmail.com.

In South Berkeley, a team of 10 young people have begun sprucing up 10 benches along the Adeline Street corridor. The group is part of a Youth Spirit Artwork project funded by several grants with support from a few Berkeley businesses. The benches are just part of the project. The students have also been decorating street barricades and traffic-turn-a-rounds with mosaics and tiles. The teens created designs for the benches as part of Youth Spirit Artwork’s urban arts training program at Berkeley Technology Academy, which involved more than 130 teens this year.

Youth Spirit Artworks involves homeless and low income Berkeley and Oakland youth, ages 16 to 25, in urban arts job training activities, including arts furniture painting and community arts activities. For information or to sponsor a bench, call Sally Hindman at 510-282-0396 or email: shindman@youthspiritartworks.org.

And lastly, eight youngsters who are charged with designing and implementing construction of the new Berkeley YMCA Teen Center have hired an architect for the project. Noll & Tam Architects, a Berkeley firm, began work with the Teen Task Force last month to plan the renovation of the PG&E service center at 2111 Martin Luther King Jr. Way in downtown Berkeley.

The building was donated by the electric company last October. The teens are getting hourly stipends thanks to a grant from Bayer HealthCare. The Teen Task Force, which includes 6 supervising adults, will also manage the physical renovation of the building after groundbreaking next summer. For more information, go to www.baymca.org.

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