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What is “Open E.A.R.S. for Change” about?

“E.A.R.S.” stands for Engage. Activate. Rise-up. Series. This series is an on-going initiative that aims to build stronger allyship and co-conspiratorship among our API audiences with local Black communities. Our goal is to foster a more diverse and inclusive culture that is anti-racist and anti-discriminatory in the Oakland and the greater Bay Area. 


As part of this initiative, our “Let’s Talk” audio series highlights stories of cross-racial solidarity and anti-racist programming led by local community efforts. 


Other efforts include exhibitions, programs, and cross-cultural collaborations. 



Click on the thumbnails below to learn more about each event/project.










Episode 7: “Let’s Talk: I’m a Blackapina!”

What can our multi-racial community members teach us about inter-racial solidarity?

Evangeline “Vangie” Cananizado Buell, a Filipino and African American activist, was born in San Pedro, California, grew up in West Oakland, and has been aptly described as a Renaissance woman: a musician, author, human rights activist, community organizer, and historian. Her activism dates back to the 1960s, when she was involved in multiple civil rights and anti-war movements. In this episode, Vangie recounts her grandfather’s experience as a Buffalo Soldier and her own experience as one of the first few Filipinos growing up in West Oakland during the 1930s and 40s.


This conversation is facilitated by OACC’s Program and Communications Coordinator, Emma Grover.


Click here to access the full transcript: English, 中文, Vietnamese




Episode 6: “Let’s Talk: Tackling Anti-Blackness in Chicago Chinatown”

How can we address antiBlackness in our own communities and foster real relationships?
People Matter’s copresidents and cofounders, Consuela Hendricks and Angela Lin discuss their organization and the work they do to counter antiBlack narratives in the Asian community while fostering crosscultural relationships and community among Black and Asian communities in Chicago Chinatown. Their conversation is facilitated by OACC’s Facilities Coordinator, Pamela Ybañez.


Click here to access the full transcript: English, Vietnamese





Episode 5: “Let’s Talk: Asian-Black Solidarity through Hip Hop”

How does hip hop culture positively impact and encourage Black & Asian solidarity?
Hip Hop For Change‘s Education Director, Marlon Richardson aka Unlearn The World (@unlearntheworld) and former Communications Director Stephanie Liem dive into the influence of hip hop in their lived experiences and explain how hip hop culture can meaningfully foster cross-cultural understanding among Black and Asian communities. Their conversation is facilitated by Jason Chu (@jasonchumusic), a Los Angeles-based Chinese American rapper.


Click here to access the full transcript: English, 中文Vietnamese



Episode 4: “Let’s Talk: The Art in Cross-Cultural Collaboration”

How can art help break down silos and bring communities together?
Visual artists Tomye Neal Madison and Pallavi Sharma discuss themes of cross-cultural collaboration, the harm perpetuated by the model minority myth, police reform vs defunding the police, and their perspective on the importance of artistic practices fostering connection among diverse communities. Their conversation is facilitated by Pamela Ybanez, a visual artist and OACC’s Facilities & Rentals Coordinator.

Click here to view a PDF of Tomye & Pallavi’s Artworks.


Click here to access the full transcript: English, 中文Vietnamese



Episode 3: “Let’s Talk: Poetry and Art as Rapid response”

How can artists play a role in providing rapid response support to communities in crisis?
In this episode, poets Chun Yu and Michael Warr talk about their ongoing collaborative project, “Two Languages, One Community.” With facilitator Hoi Leung (Curator, Chinese Cultural Center of San Francisco), they also talk about how they expanded their connections with other artists and organizations to address violence against Asians in the wake of the Atlanta spa shootings.


Click here to access the full transcript: English, 中文Vietnamese





Episode 2: “Let’s Talk Vietnamese Community!”

How do we address anti-racism through the lens of community building and leveraging the virtual space?
We hear from Dr. Jennifer Tran (Oakland Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce) about her on-the-ground efforts to support local Vietnamese community members through the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and BLM. Vina Vo and Josie Nguyen share how The Progressive Vietnamese American Organization (PIVOT) has shifted their social media outreach to be more outspoken about anti-racism and focusing on the upcoming elections to engage and inform Vietnamese voters.


Click here to access the full transcript: English, 中文Vietnamese




Episode 1: “Let’s Talk Oakland Chinatown!”

What does anti-racism look like in our communities?
Local business owner Alicia Wong shares how Oakland Chinatown-based Fortune Cookie Company incorporated anti-racism as a business priority and achieved national visibility as a socially conscious enterprise. She is joined by Jessica Li (OCA-East Bay) and Trinh Banh (Good Good Eatz).


Click here to access the full transcript: English, 中文 , Vietnamese




This program initiative is made possible by the generous contribution of the following funders:

  • California Department of Social Services – Stop the Hate Award

  • City of Oakland Cultural Funding Program

  • Ginkgo Fund


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