Growing Up Oakland

Growing Up Oakland is a project entirely created and run by Oakland Youth Poet Laureate poets. Seeing a need for an expansion of the Oakland narrative, they are retrieving and broadcasting stories of childhood in Oakland through poetry, interviews, and visual art.

Growing Up Oakland highlights the variety of experiences of childhood throughout the long life of the city by using both interviews from people who grew up across various decades and creative work by current Oakland youth. This is a memorial of how the experiences of Oakland and youth have both changed and stayed the same throughout time.

After interviewing a variety of people who have grown up in Oakland, the poets have been taking these interviews into Oakland schools and leading poetry workshops.

The first workshop was with an 11th grade class at Oakland Technical High School. Some of the poems born out of these workshops have transformed into tangible postcards that are currently being distributed around the Bay Area.



This series will continue with more postcards, the release of full interviews, and a zine. Look out for them!

Growing Up Oakland Project Leads: Lizette Navarro - 2017 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate Finalist, Samuel Getachew - 2018 Oakland Vice Youth Poet Laureate, Leila Mottley - 2018 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate


Growing Up Oakland: Interview with Toni Ratliff can be read here.



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