Oakland Nonprofits Host Post-Inauguration Activism Resource Fair

Oakland Nonprofits Host Post-Inauguration Activism Resource Fair
Photo: Oakland Peace Center/Facebook
By Marisa Endicott - Published on February 10, 2017.

In the weeks since President Trump’s inauguration, the country has seen rolling nationwide protests and record donations to civil-rights organizations. The Oakland Peace Center (OPC) plans to help people harness this newfound energy on Sunday with its Post-Inauguration Activism and Advocacy Resource Fair.

From 11am to 4pm on February 12th, attendees can join nonprofit organizations and activists to discuss concerns and organizing strategies and participate in free skill-building workshops.

Founded five years ago, OPC is a collective of 40 non-profits aimed at providing an affordable space for organizations being priced out of the Oakland area. Since the election, the center has received more interest and volunteer requests than ever before, said organizers.

“It was apparent that there was a real desire for people to get involved,” said Virginia White, an OPC intern who coordinated the event. “But also, as activists and organizers ourselves, we're aware that starting out in this work can be intimidating.”

Sunday's event includes nearly 50 organizations that will be tabling, answering questions and introducing their ongoing projects and campaigns. Among the many workshop offerings is a seminar led by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on interacting with law enforcement; other sessions explore how to leverage social media as activists and advocating for environmental issues. 

After the election, OPC produced a similar fair in just a few days. Nearly 40 organizations and 400 people showed up with just four days’ notice, so organizers decided to organize a second, larger event, White said. A Facebook page lists more than 1,400 people who plan to attend.

“I think this is really huge,” said Liz Solorio, the activist network coordinator for Food and Water Watch, an organization that will be participating on Sunday. “We see a lot of people wanting to do more than just donate or sign a petition. They want to be out in the streets and get more involved.”

“Whether someone's brand new to organizing or activism or they’re a seasoned volunteer who wants to brush up on their skills, we're going to be talking about our theory for organizing for change,” Solorio said. “We're going to spend some time going through the steps on how to start a local campaign and talk through the fundamentals of setting your goal, your strategy, your target and your tactic.”

The Resource Fair will be held at the Oakland Peace Center at 111 Fairmount Ave. in Oakland. People are welcome to come and go throughout the day.

“The events of the past few weeks can easily lend people a sense of hopelessness and powerlessness,” White said. “Coming together and seeing perhaps 1,000 people who share your values, who share your vision ... that, in and of itself is such an important act of resistance.”