Gearing up for 2016
How will 2016 be different?
2016 looks on its face to be a really daunting year for the Bay Area:
- Wealth inequity is going to rise in the Bay Area. All of the jobs predicted in Oakland over the next twenty years are predicted to be incredibly high income or incredibly low income jobs. Even fewer people in low income communities will stand much of a chance to earn a wage that would allow them to support a family and live with dignity in the community where they grew up. To me, that looks like decreasing opportunities.
- Displacement is likely to continue unabated unless our city officials make a rapid and huge effort to address policies that encourage market rate development without providing opportunities for current community members to stay in the area affordably. To me, that looks like lack of access to what the United Nations calls a human right: housing.
- Violence in our streets has flared up again, significantly in recent days, despite strong efforts on numerous fronts (faith communities, law enforcement, youth empowerment organizations, and more). To me, that looks like people experiencing the economic violence done to them and the lack of value of their lives and believing that neither they nor those around them can be promised a life with dignity.
It feels almost insurmountable, doesn’t it?
So how can 2016 look different?
I believe that our shared work, our choosing to trust each other is part of how we build a peace-filled 2016 together. I believe that our commitment to creating a Bay Area shaped by access, opportunity and dignity for all is part of how we build a peace-filled 2016 together. I believe that casting a vision of Beloved Community and laying the literal, physical foundations of that vision, not only reacting to what is broken in our current community, is how we build a peace-filled 2016 together.
And I believe that together we build that vision by creating opportunities where there are none, creating access where it doesn’t exist, and acknowledging the dignity of all even where those with power do not see dignity.
Start by coming to an event below, and let folks know you came because you are part of the Oakland Peace Center. And bring that wisdom and those skills into your own work, and share your gifts with other OPC partners. 2016 is shaping up to be a powerful, peace-filled year, despite what the data suggests, because of you.
Sandhya Jha, director
Sandhya Jha, director
The Oakland Peace Center