Don’t blame the United Way for Uhuru

Yesterday’s post about the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement hosting a rally and march in honor of Lovelle Mixon, who shot and killed four Oakland Police Department officers last Saturday, brought a lot of heated debate in our forums.

One astute reader noticed that the affiliated Uhuru Furniture store on Oakland’s Grand Avenue is listed in the United Way of the Bay Area’s online database of volunteerism opportunities. I followed up with the United Way, and here’s what spokeswoman Maria Stokes said today:

“We at United Way of the Bay Area extend our heartfelt sympathies to the Oakland Police Department and the families of the fallen officers.

“United Way of the Bay Area condemns all violence, including the actions of Lovelle Mixon. Today, we have received inquiries from the media and some members of the public about the internet posting of volunteer opportunities at the nonprofit organization Uhuru, which hosted a vigil for Mixon yesterday evening. United Way has never funded the Uhuru organization, nor its affiliates.

“The information about volunteer opportunities at Uhuru is among hundreds of listings posted on www.volunteercentersbayarea.org, a regional database developed by the Volunteer Centers of the Bay Area, including the Volunteer Center of the East Bay. This database is linked to United Way’s website. The database is intended to promote volunteerism, serving as a convenient means for Bay Area residents to connect with verified 501c3 nonprofits who need volunteers.

“We encourage individuals who are seeking volunteer opportunities to thoroughly research prospective nonprofits and volunteer opportunities. The volunteer database is a first step in matching volunteers with the causes and community organizations in which they have an interest.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Monique

    The Uhuru House or whatever it is called has been an eye sore in the center of east Oakland mostly because it has alwasy been place where drug dealers would sell their drugs in front off. I understand the point that they were trying to make by have a “vigil” for Mixon the murderer but these ignorant people don’t seem to know the difference between stopping violence (which is what they are supposed to respresent) and condoning it. I would like to say but then I would not sound like a lady, but I am from Oakland and there are tons off ignorant people that think this way. I think some enjoy the drama of crime

  • John W

    I thought today’s memorial was a great statement of what the community thinks. I thought it was very moving, but I also learned quite a bit about just how impressive these four guys were. Two worked for years in the reserves with no pay just to get on the force. Three were Eagle Scouts. Two had degrees, from Cal and St. Mary’s. One was a Marine drill instructor.