Growing Up Oakland is a project entirely created and run by Oakland Youth Poet Laureate poets in 2018. Seeing a need for an expansion of the Oakland narrative, they retrieved and broadcast 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 took these interviews into Oakland schools and lead 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 were distributed around the Bay Area and are available at OPL libraries.