On Wednesday, May 22, Soldiers Against Violence Everywhere Founder Pastor Zac Carey, Caught in the Crossfire First Responder Kyndra Simmons, and Oakland Street Outreach Team Lead Akil Truso, will share firsthand knowledge of violence from their outreach work on Oakland’s toughest streets at the Safe Oakland Speaker Series.

The event will take place from 7 – 9 p.m. at Holy Names University. Carey, Simmons, and Truso will speak for one hour about their experiences and their efforts to make Oakland safer, and then take questions from the audience for the second hour of the program.

Councilmember At-Large Rebecca Kaplan will join the panel discussion, which will be moderated by Councilmember Libby Schaaf.

Truso works with residents in some of Oakland’s toughest neighborhoods, connecting them with vital city services. He also works as a speaker and trainer with several criminal justice organizations.

Oakland’s Street Outreach work was recognized with the 2012 California Peace Price.

Carey, a community organizer and advocate, leads True Vine Ministries in West Oakland. He also founded S.A.V.E. (Soldiers Against Violence Everywhere), a citywide grassroots organization which provides resources and solutions for a more peaceful Oakland, and holds “Stand-ins” every Saturday at the street corners where Oaklanders have been murdered.

Simmons is a first responder for Caught in the Crossfire, which provides counseling and assistance to violent crime victims and works to prevent retaliatory violence. When an Oaklander is shot, Kyndra responds immediately by visiting a hospital emergency room to interrupt potential retaliatory responses from the victim’s family or friends.

Safe Oakland is a distinguished speakers series that is free and open to the public. Hear from leading criminal justice scholars and practitioners about the most effective approaches to reducing crime at every session.

Join this critical community dialogue about what Oakland is doing – and should be doing – to make our community safer.

For more information, visit www.SafeOakland.com/events or call (510) 238-7004.

Editor’s Note: This piece reflects an individual opinion and is not a reported story from Oakland Local. Oakland Local invites community residents to share their views about events and issues in Oakland.

If You Go

What: Safe Oakland Speaker Series

When: Today from 7 – 9 p.m.

Where: Holy Names University, Valley Center for the Performing Arts, 3500 Mountain Blvd. in Oakland

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