A violating break-in, a request for support, and why we exist

By @ 02/05/13 in News

On Sunday night, the Oakland Peace Center was broken into. Doors were torn off their hinges. Furniture was overturned. Property was stolen. Windows were smashed. Our fiscal sponsor’s checks were strewn across the room, violating their security, so they have to close their checking account and start from scratch.

As the director of the Oakland Peace Center, I’m devastated by this attack on a place that our partners have been busy working to make a haven of peace and rest. We are working very hard to make the building more secure so that this really can be a haven that is also building a community that doesn’t REQUIRE a haven from violence.

If you’ve experienced violence or property damage, you know that it can be traumatic. We are working hard to reduce the trauma to our partners by investing in better doors, non-breakable windows, and so forth. We’re also creating more safeguards so fewer people can wander in and out of the building without someone knowing about it, without making a place of peace feel instead like a fortress. It is a challenging balance.

The Oakland Peace Center relies almost completely on the heavily subsidized rents of the peace partners with office space in the building and the offerings of our building owner and fiscal sponsor, First Christian Church of Oakland. As we rack up thousands of dollars in repair and improve costs, I am turning to you to ask for a financial contribution to help us make this a place that generates peace even in the face of destruction.

You can make checks payable to our fiscal sponsor, FCC Oakland, with “OPC” in the memo line. The mailing address is 111 Fairmount Ave., Oakland, CA 94611. We can also receive donations via paypal.

We exist exactly BECAUSE of things like this. We don’t know the background of the person who did this, but we know many people driven to violence out of a lack of hope. The Oakland Peace Center and its many partners are working to create a community of access, opportunity and dignity for all as the means of dispelling aggression borne of despair. We are in the business of hope. We are in the business of possibility. We are in the business of self-worth and love of self that leads to love of others. Help us be about that business.


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