Saturday, September 6, 2008

Oakland Natives Give Back Fund hosts Back to School Youth Expo

By Kevin L. Nichols

Last Sunday was “Dee-Day” for Nyeisha DeWitt, Delicia “Dee Dee” Adbur-Rahim and Tameka Raymond, based on their philosophy that “the commitment to the community in which you reside should not supersede your contribution to the community in which you were reared.”

These women have come together representing various organizations to form the Oakland Natives Give Back Fund.

ONGBF sponsored its first annual Back to School Youth Expo last Sunday as part of the Oakland Unified School District’s Attend and Achieve campaign. The expo was sponsored by OUSD, the Office of Mayor Ron Dellums, Effective Teachers for Oakland Task Force, Future Foundation and Usher’s New Look Foundation.

The expo took place at City Hall in Oakland and featured workshops, entertainment and a backpack giveaway. Students arrived early to register for wristbands to obtain a backpack at the end of the day, which ensured their attendance at the workshops. The workshops were divided into three sections: pre-teen, teen and parenting. Raymond held a “Fashion Rocks” youth fashion show after the workshops had concluded.

The event also featured special performances, speakers and celebrity guests. R&B artist Jimmie Reign performed, along with spoken word artist Ise Lyfe and dance trio Total Package. Guest speakers included Oakland Chief of Staff Leslie Littleton, Director of Education Kitty Epstein, OUSD State Administrator Vincent Matthews and OUSD Interim Superintendent Roberta Mayor. Keith Brown served as the master of ceremonies.

The focal point of the day was the distribution of 730 backpacks stuffed with free grade-specific school supplies.

More than 900 people attended the Youth Expo.
For more information, visit http://www.oaklandnatives.com/.

Kevin L. Nichols is an author and the president/CEO of KLN Publishing, located in San Francisco. For information, visit http://klnpublishingllc.blogspot.com/.

Copyright © 2008 The Globe Newspaper Group, LLC - All Rights Reserved.

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