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Community Storytelling Project in Oakland, California

Our OaklandMore than 30 East Oakland families gathered for the launch of Our Oakland: Eastside Stories, a public art project to build community and celebrate Oakland’s rich heritage. Held at ACORN Woodland Elementary School, the half-day event included storytelling recording for a new bilingual digital archive, family art activities, and a Nourish screening and discussion.

Project organizer and local artist Rene Yung collaborated with a broad range of community partners, such as the Oakland Community Library, the City of Oakland’s Public Art Program, and the Nutrition Education Training Academy, which provided educational activities related to culturally relevant healthy eating.

With food and nutrition as one of the event’s major themes, the day included a showing of several Nourish short films, including Bryant Terry’s “Urban Farms,” Michael Pollan’s “Supermarket Secrets,” and Dr. Nadine Burke’s “Wake Up!” The diverse audience included about 60 parents and others local community members.

Director Kirk Bergstrom introduced the film, assisted by a Spanish translator. A discussion and Q&A followed the screening, covering topics such as the obesity crisis, access to healthy food and local markets, and retaining cultural food ways and traditions. A number of parents expressed gratitude for creating a forum to discuss food and health issues in a community setting.

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