Bay Area Uprising: Changing the Local Landscape

Mar 7, 2011

Host: Lauren Meltzer

Producer: Lisa Denenmark

If you Google news for “West Oakland,” mainstream news organizations will cover mostly crime, toxins and fires. Yet, within this and other vulnerable communities, organizations and leaders are collaborating with stakeholders in innovative ways to bring about social change.

  • What approaches are being taken to embrace and tackle the issues facing the urban poor?
  • How do hope and pain play into progress?
  • Can empowering stakeholders lead to real social change?
  • What are the obstacles preventing greater stakeholder participation?
  • And how can people participate across communities?


  • Brahm Ahmadi, Co-founder and former Executive Director of People’s Grocery, a community-based nonprofit organization that has attracted local and national attention for its effort to transform inner-city food systems. Brahm co-founded a spin-off, social venture called People's Community Market, which is developing a food retail model for inner-city markets to support the physical health, economic well-being and social cohesion of low-income families.
    Interview with Brahm Ahmadi >>
  • Jeffrey Duncan-Andrade, Associate Professor Raza Studies Department & Educational Admin. and Interdisciplinary Studies; Director of Educational Equity Wangari Maathai Center for Sustainable Cities and Schools at San Francisco State University; and the Director of the East Oakland Step to College program where he teaches high school English at Mandela High School.
    An Open Letter to Teachers Seeking Balance by Jeffry Duncan-Andrade >>
  • Mia Birdsong, Vice President of the Family Independence Initiative (FII), an Oakland-based national center for anti-poverty innovation.