Community Groups Break Ground on Center for Job Training and Restorative Justice


The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Restaurant Opportunities Center United (ROC United) held a groundbreaking rally and press conference Wednesday to announce the construction of Restore Oakland, a community advocacy and training center in the Fruitvale neighborhood of East Oakland.

Restore Oakland is designed to mobilize Bay Area community members to transform the current economic and justice systems and make a safe and secure future possible for themselves and for their families.

“We’re thrilled to break ground on a project born out of our dream for an Oakland where everyone belongs and thrives,” said Zachary Norris, executive director of Ella Baker Center.

“Restore Oakland will work toward one Oakland where zip codes no longer determine how we live and each resident can access dignity, hope, and opportunity,” he said.

“In a community where mass incarceration and economic injustice are harming our families, loved ones, and neighbors, Restore Oakland will be one central space where everyone can dream, organize, and act—together,” said Liam Chinn, executive director of Restore Oakland.

The center will offer:

  • Job training and placement – hands-on training through Colors Restaurant and placement services to help workers advance to livable-wage jobs;
  • Business incubation – support working people to incubate and launch their own worker-owned food enterprise;
  • Restorative justice – serve as a neighborhood space where community members can resolve and heal from conflict, offering an alternative to punishment and incarceration; and,
  • Community and economic power building – community organizing and community self-determination to drive investment in jobs, housing, and education.

Founding organizations Ella Baker Center and ROC United are working in partnership with Designing Justice + Designing Spaces, Community Works West, Causa Justa/Just Cause, Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY), La Cocina, and many other local groups to establish the Restore Oakland center, located at the corner of International Boulevard and 34th Avenue.


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