The Oakland City Council honored nine individuals and organizations at this week’s city council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 20, in honor of Black History Month. Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan said that the gathering was to honor not just history, but also “Black futures.” Honorees are listed in the article below. Photo by Sarah Carpenter.
The Oakland City Council this week honored nine individuals and organizations for Black History Month.
Each council member picked an honoree “who through their innovative, groundbreaking work, have promoted positive change and uplift for the City of Oakland in the fields of social justice, advocacy, arts and culture, business and faith,” according to the resolution.
The honorees were: Tiffany E. Grant King, Joe Hawkins and Jeff Myers (of the five-month-old Oakland LGBTQ Community Center), Diamano Coura, Impact Hub Oakland, Nina Tanner Smith, Elizabeth Gilmore, Leonard “Googie” Kirtley Jr., and John Jones III.
Honorees gathered in the city council chambers on Tuesday, as they were recognized by councilmembers.
“When I got involved in organizing for social justice I was unemployed and homeless,” said Jones, an East Oakland activist from Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice.
“I didn’t do this to be standing here with you folks. I was just someone who simply wanted to have a place to stay, a job that paid some bills, and to take care of my sons,” he said.
Families and friends packed chamber seats to cheer for their loved ones.