On Feb. 25, 2018, 14,000 people from around the Bay Area took over the streets of downtown Oakland to celebrate Black culture, creativity, resilience and joy—The Black Joy Parade!
In just its first year, this one-of-a-kind experience gathered people of all ages and all walks of life. The hyper-positive event celebrated a community that drives much of Oakland culture, but often goes unrecognized and underappreciated.
“We hit a nerve,” said Black Joy Parade founder, Elisha Greenwell. “People were craving an experience where there was nothing to resist, nothing to fight; but a reason to celebrate the joy and beauty of being Black.”
The Black Joy Parade returns on Feb. 24, 2019 with a bigger and better offering. In addition to increasing the quality of the parade and expanding the festival, the planning committee made up solely of volunteers have decided to give back in a larger way.
The 2nd Annual Black Joy Parade births the “Best in Flow Award” a $10,000 grant divided among the four groups that bring the most joy to the parade. The goal for giving these funds is to encourage creativity in the parade participants and empower the winning groups to spread joy all year long.
Entrance into both the Black Joy Parade 2019 and the subsequent festival are free. Several corporate sponsors have been secured to make that possible, including Uber, Hennessy, Beats, Facebook, Kaiser Permanente and Great Place to Work. To learn more about having your organization participate in the parade or have your small business vend at the festival please visit BlackJoyParade.org.