by SF Bay View Oakland Bureau
The East Oakland Youth Development Center has long been a staple in the lives of young people who grew up or are growing up in what is known as Deep East Oakland. The Center, as it is affectionately called in the neighborhood, has offered summer youth programs, GED programs, college readiness programs, art programs, athletic programs, dance programs and more for eons. NBA stars from East Oakland, including NBA champ Juan Toscano Anderson and the legendary Gary “the glove” Payton, grew up in the classrooms and gym of the EOYDC.
On Saturday, Aug. 6, the East Oakland Youth Development Center will be hosting “The Black Futures Ball” Fundraiser Gala, for scholarships to help fund EOYDC students who are seeking higher education. The EOYDC gave $150,000 in scholarships to students in 2021 and over $500,000 to over 200 students since 2015. So to state that the East Oakland Youth Development Center is a vital resource to the youth and families of East Oakland would be an understatement.
The theme of “The Black Future’s Ball” is Oakanda, inspired by the mythical city of Wakanda from Marvel’s film “Black Panther,” and the wardrobes of the guests are expected to fit the occasion. The event will be held at the immaculate Bridge Yard venue, at the foot of the Bay Bridge. The event will include food, live performances and dancing, with the Bay Area’s own Goapele headlining the event and with KMEL’s DC is Chillin’ on the wheels of steel. The Black owned and the Oakland founded Altered Reality app Blackterminus will also be in attendance with a Afrofuturism themed exhibit for the attendees to experience.
Legendary community advocate and BART Board Director Lateefa Simon will be honored alongside organizer and educator Nehanda Imara, rapper and entrepreneur Mistah FAB and Unity Care founder Andre Chapman.
The Black Futures Ball will be hosted by the Grammy-nominated artist and EOYDC alum Ryan Nicole. And the event is sponsored by the NBA champs, The Golden State Warriors, Alameda Firefighters Association Local 45, McGuire and Hester and more.