Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

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Archives

    MLK film festival celebrates 10th anniversary

    Mayor Libby Schaaf drops by library’s festival, lays out plan for the future of Oakland

    Movie watchingThis year, the Jan. 18 Martin Luther King, Jr. Film Festival at the African American Museum and Library in Oakland (AAMLO) marked 10 years of showing films dedicated to preserving the history of African American’s involvement in the civil rights movements. 
    Felt throughout the world, this movement involved the efforts of many, protesting and fighting against racial discrimination and segregation, and still raising their voices in support of equality for all.
    “MLK Day is the only day that we are showing these films,” said Marco Frazier, an AAMLO library assistant, “and we will be doing it again next year.”
    At the event, the audience embraced the past and a discussion of the future took place after each film. Parents brought their young children; few people were first-time festival attendees; most had taken the journey with AAMLO, remembering the first series of films. 
    Then, during the film festival, an unexpected guest joined the conversation — Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. The mayor did not speak particularly on the films but she did engage the audience in a conversation on her goals for the city.
    One is to increase the number of summer jobs for Oakland youth. “Last summer the city of Oakland raised the money to employ 1,800 youth, but summer jobs are not enough,” she said. “Many youth need jobs throughout the year. The Mayor’s office is partnering with the Oakland Unified School District in providing credit for students so they can link their education with job skills.”
    The Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) is working to extend the summer youth employment program into a year-round program. This year, the initiative called the Oakland Promise goes into effect.
    “This will triple the number of public school students who go to college and graduate with a degree,” said Mayor Schaaf. “Eleven percent are going on to college as it stands right now.”
    The Oakland Promise initiative will provide a saving for education for every kindergarten in the OUSD. This money will be an investment in the future of the Oakland’s youth. Mayor Schaaf wants the students to be ready for the technology industry as it descends on Oakland. 
    She has plans for redevelopment and bringing in more retailers to downtown. The recently vacant building in East Oakland occupied by Wal-Mart will be rented out to a new high-end retailer, the mayor said. Many of the East Oakland residents were hoping for grocery retail instead. 
    She also spoke about the new affordable housing development located in the Lake Merritt area near Grand Avenue. The mayor is planning more affordable housing around the city, and affordable housing for middle income earners, such as teachers, librarians and firefighters. 
    As for the film festival, it will continue to be held annually at the AAMLO, held in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. The non-circulating museum and library is for research and viewing of private collections of artifacts, correspondence, photo and periodicals of African American history in Northern California and the Bay Area. 
    AAMLO’s upcoming events are scheduled to celebrate Black History Month. The AAMLO is located on 649–14th Street and open Tuesdays — Saturdays, 12–1 p.m. For more information about upcoming events, contact Macro Frazier at 637–0200.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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