YOUTH TAKE ACTION TO STOP VIOLENCE IN OAKLAND
Life Academy Students Declare a “Season of Peace-Building”
This Monday, Martin Luther King Day, (January 16, 2012), Life Academy of Health and Bioscience
(Oakland, CA) students commenced a Season of Peace-Building, which they plan to celebrate until
Cesar Chavez Day (3/31/12).
To demonstrate their commitment to the Season of Peace-Building, Life Academy’s students and staff
members, led by the Young Men’s Circle (Be a Man – BAM) and the Young Women’s Empowerment
Group (Real Ambitious Women – RAW), will participate in a 74-day fast relay and facilitate a
community “Peace Pledge.”
The “Season” began with a “Day of Service” in honor of Dr. King’s memory, where more than 145
students, teachers, staff members, administrators, parents, and the community came together to beautify
the high school’s campus. The “Day of Service” culminated in a ceremony honoring the first day of the
fast relay. The principals of both Life Academy and United for Success Academy (the adjoining middle
school) successfully partnered with various community groups to support these efforts.
Noel Gallo, President of the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) Board, attended the “Day of
Service” and plans to support all of the Season of Peace-Building events.
BAM and RAW decided to lead the Season of Peace-Building in response to the senseless killings of
youth in the Oakland community. The groups understand that stopping the violence is nearly impossible;
however, they believe that encouraging the community to build peace is more proactive and ultimately
Supporters are invited to the Fast-breaking/passing ceremony every week day from 12-1230pm in the
school’s cafeteria courtyard. Teachers have volunteered to pass the Fast each weekend and all fasters
have promised to circulate the Peace-Builders’ pledge in their respective communities.
These two youth-led groups are taking a symbolic stand for real change in their community. Through
self-sacrifice and fearless activism, Life Academy students, staff, and parents plan to help mend
broken families and restore a positive definition of “respect” that benefits all members of the Oakland
community. The Season of Peace-Building is sure to ignite the change that Oakland needs, from the
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