Another incredible sold-out rising from Bay Area Rising. Our fifth. With huge energy and heart, activism and art. Inspiring, healing, challenging, and celebrating. In downtown Oakland, CA Saturday February 13.
We have always taken seriously One Billion Rising’s call to love, call to celebrate, call to drum and dance for the new world we are creating. And that’s what we did on Saturday, with thousands of groups around the world. Organizers focused on the impact of structural violence in our local communities as violence against women and girls, the Black Lives Matter movement, and creating a huge celebration of life, fierceness, and resilience.
Afia Walking Tree and Friends and youth groups, including the Radical Monarchs (formerly Brownies) from Oakland and the Butterfly Movement from the Bayview, opened with generous and expansive rhythm and movement and priestesses from multiple traditions blessed the space. Marcelle Davies-Lashly sang us into God.
Organizers Mary Owen, Afia Walking Tree, and Carolyn Hunt welcomed the crowd to OBR Revolution.
Alicia Garza, co-creator of Black Lives Matter and Oakland native, entered and exited to standing ovations, filling the room with her gentle confidence and vision as she spoke about a more conscious weaving of multiple movements into a quilt large enough to hold us all.
Oakland’s Destiny Arts Youth Performance Group brought everyone up with the power of dance and confidence and hope.
Skip the Needle and Medusa turned the venue into an all-female rock concert of such power and strength. They left no doubt that our new world is here, right around the corner.
Service and advocacy organizations spoke at tables about local programs runaway youth, violence against Southeast Asian immigrant women, youth empowerment, and international programs for women and girls.
We closed with a live version of Break the Chain led by Sridevi and Kris Freewoman.
Bay Area Rising rose for Black women, youth, Oakland’s future, and our ability to gather in diverse spaces, work together, and weave a new world with confidence and clarity.
In the final words of Alicia’s speech she asked all of us to speak a little less and listen a little more, to learn about someone else’s story, so I’m asking you what is your patchwork you are adding to our quilt? What is your story? And why do you rise?
WATCH an excerpt of Alicia Garza’s Keynote Speech: