We have two huge and impressive events going on in Oakland this week: the beginning and most of the rest of Restaurant Week, and the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. Both events are a big deal in Oakland specifically, and with good reason. Oakland is becoming a nationally-recognized food mecca, and it’s also home to some of the greatest, most exhilaration and meaningful celebrations of MLK Day. Of course, there are all the usual events and meetings you’d expect, too–it’s just an extra-special week to live in Oakland. Enjoy!

Friday, January 17

Oakland Restaurant Week Begins
Noon – 10 p.m., through January 26
Participating Oakland restaurants

Foodies, rejoice! From January 17 to 26, over 50 top Oakland restaurants will celebrate the 4th annual Oakland Restaurant Week. With a growing list of restaurants receiving national media acclaim, Oakland has become one of the hottest culinary destinations of the year. The 10-day event lets food lovers and adventurers experience Oakland’s food renaissance. Book your reservations now! For information on participating restaurants and menus, visit www.oaklandrestaurantweek.org.

“Portrait Self Portrait:” A Portrait in Diversity Exhibition Reception
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Studio One Arts Center, 365 45th Street

Artwork in the “Portrait Self Portrait” exhibition is meant to show the diversity of Oakland and how far we have come since the civil rights movement of the 1960s, as well as to honor the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for his enormous commitment and struggle for the betterment of all people. For more information, visit www.studiooneartcenter.net.

Ceasefire Oakland and LifeLines to Healing Night Walk
6:30 – 9 p.m.
Cosmopolitan Baptist Church, 988 85th Avenue

The City of Oakland and local faith-based organizations are continuing neighborhood night walks on Fridays as a way community members can get involved in Operation Ceasefire. These walks are organized by residents and faith leaders in areas where Ceasefire is focused. Volunteers are trained in advance and are accompanied by other volunteers for the duration of the walk. The purpose of the Night Walk is to reach out to communities affected by violence. For more information, email fridaycommunitynightwalks@gmail.com.

Speeches Of A Dream: MLK Celebration Open Mic
7 – 9 p.m.
Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, 1428 Alice Street

Join the open mic celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Share poetry, art, music or song. When developing materials, participants are encouraged to consider how they would respond to one of Dr. King’s most persistent and urgent questions: “What are you doing for others?” For more information and tickets, click here.

57th Street Gallery Presents the Larry Vann Trio
8:30 – 11 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)
57th Street Gallery, 5701 Telegraph

Larry Vann has made an impressive mark on the Bay Area music scene over the years with his authentic, piercing, all-encompassing musical technique. Authentic “root music,” the essential substance of his artistic source, is the foundation of his own brand of music, which fuses the essence of soul-stirring blues, sweet, mellow jazz, genuine soul, R&B and funk. His top-notch drumming and percussion has garnered him popular and critical success throughout the United States and Europe, and Vann has also wowed critics and crowds alike with his sultry singing voice, buoyed by his melodic, inventive songwriting. Musicians are Larry Vann, drums; Janice Maxie-Reid, keyboard/vocals; and Tim Landis, guitar. Admission is $15. For more information or to make reservations (recommended), visit www.57thStreetGallery.com.

Saturday, January 18

Courageous Conversations Healing the African American Family and Community
Noon – 6 p.m.
Taylor Memorial United Methodist Church, 1188 12th Street

The community is invited to attend the train-the-trainer workshop on Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome with Dr. Joy DeGruy-Leary. Those who have experienced Dr. Joy in person say that they have been “stimulated, enlightened and inspired.” Dr. Joy’s seminars have been lauded as the most dynamic and inspirational currently being presented on the topics of culture, race relations and contemporary social issues. Tax deductible donations are $100.00. CEUs are available. Click here to purchase tickets.

57th Street Gallery Presents Kat Parra Latin World Ensemble
8:30 – 11 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)
57th Street Gallery, 5701 Telegraph

Vocalist Kat Parra emerged onto the scene years ago with her strong debut, Birds in Flight, and continued churning out top-notch Latin Jazz through two more releases. Dos Amantes, for example, saw Parra diving headfirst into her musical passion: jazz influenced arrangements of traditional Sephardic music, delivered with a Caribbean flavor. Parra’s outstanding vocal performance expresses her unique approach with clarity and conviction, opening the doors onto a bright future for combinations of Sephardic music and Latin Jazz. Musicians are Kat Parra, vocals; Murray Low, piano/music director; Masaru Koga, woodwinds; David Belove, bass; and Dan Foltz, drums. Admission is $15. For more information or to make reservations (recommended), visit www.57thStreetGallery.com.

Sunday, January 19

MLK, Jr. Day of Service with Phat Beets
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Dover Street Edible Park at 57th Street

Join Phat Beets Produce, Santa Fe CAN, Dover St. Neighbors, Growing Together and other neighbors like you! Join the Restorative Justice Healing Circle hosted by Malachi, enjoy a potluck pancake breakfast (let organizers know what you are bringing to share by emailing info@phatbeetsproduce.org), plant a tree in your front yard (email growingtogetherinfo@gmail.com for details), and enjoy garden activities and children’s activities.

OMCA Family Drop-in Workshop: HistoryMakers/ScienceMakers Series
Noon – 3 p.m.
Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak Street

Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day and explore the dream through hands-on science activities! Meet Dr. Hattie Carwell for a presentation in the Lecture Hall at 1:30 p.m., and learn about positive African-American role models. Admission is included with Museum admission, no reservations required and all ages welcome. For more information, visit http://museumca.org.

Jazz at the Chimes
2 p.m.
Chapel of the Chimes; 4499 Piedmont Avenue

The 2014 season kicks off with vocalist Jamie Davis and his full deep baritone voice. Joining Davis will be Roger Glenn on sax and vibes, John Groves on piano, Andrew Emer on acoustic bass and Larry Vann on drums. For more information, visit www.jazzatthechimes.com.

Vicki Robin Signs and Discusses Blessing the Hands That Feed Us
3 p.m.
Diesel, A Bookstore, 5433 College Boulevard

In September of 2010, Vicki Robin undertook a month-long experiment in hyper-local eating. She pledged to eat only food sourced within a 10-mile radius of her home on Whidbey Island. Chronicling her experience in Blessing the Hands That Feed Us, this half-global-manifesto, half-personal-narrative exposes the cause and effect of the food business, as well as providing recipes and tips on how to adopt your own locally-sourced diet. For more information, visit http://www.dieselbookstore.com.

“In the Name of Love:” 12th Annual Musical Tribute Honoring Martin Luther King
7 p.m.
Oakland Scottish Rite Center, 1547 Lakeside Street

“In the Name of Love” is a stunning tribute to one of the greatest humanitarians of our time, with multi-talented singer/songwriter/actor Martin Luther McCoy; the Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra, featuring the dynamic Ms. Faye Carol and premiering a new body of work supported by the East Bay Community Foundation; the powerful 55-voice Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir; and the 300-voice Oakland Children’s Community Choir under the direction of Melanie DeMore. The 12th Annual Tribute promises to be a profound celebration of civil rights and an amazing evening of music. Click here for tickets.

Monday, January 20

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service
times and locations vary

In the words of Coretta Scott King, “Martin Luther King Jr. Day is not only for celebration and remembrance, education and tribute, but above all a day of service … it is a day of volunteering to feed the hungry, rehabilitate housing, tutor those who can’t read, mentor at-risk youngsters, console the broken-hearted and a thousand other projects for building the beloved community of his dream.” All over Oakland, service and social justice projects need our attention today. Here is just a small sampling. Contact your local neighborhood group or favorite nonprofit organization to find out what they’re up to, and join in!

  • Cleanup on G Street with BBBON
  • School Beautification & Cleanup at Lazear Elementary, 824 29th Avenue
  • School Beautification & Cleanup at Fremont High School, 4610 Foothill Boulevard
  • City of Oakland staff and Dedicated Deadheaders pruning Morcom’s 3500 rose bushes at the Rose Garden on Jean Street
  • Planting, weeding, mulching and more at the Gardens at Lake Merritt and Lakeside, 666 Bellevue Avenue
  • Shoreline cleanup at Martin Luther King, Jr. Regional Shoreline, 6775 Oakport Street
  • Lending a hand at Peralta Hacienda, 2465 34th Avenue

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Camp
7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Downtown Oakland YMCA, 2350 Broadway

Campers have the opportunity to explore nature, find new talents, try new activities, gain independence and make lasting friendships through a unique mix of activities that focus on developmental assets, the building blocks that teach children how to make positive and intelligent decisions throughout life. During this special holiday camp, campers will honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through a community garden service project and visit to “Remember Them” Champions for Humanity monument. Participants will learn more about Dr. King’s dream and his work with the hopes of inspiring campers to develop and accomplish their very own dreams. Breakfast, lunch and a snack are provided. To register, visit www.oaklandymca.org.

AHC Presents: 16th Annual Make the Dream Real
10 a.m. – noon
McClymonds High School, 2607 Myrtle Street

It’s a national celebration! Enjoy free delicious food, performances by XOCHIPILLI, Oakland Interfaith Youth Gospel Choir, Tyrese Johnson and many more. Join hosts Dr. Matthew Fox, Kokomon Clottey and Jumoke Hinton-Hodge as they present awards for exemplary service work for youth, educators and community volunteers. For more information, visit www.AHC-Oakland.org.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Multicultural Rally
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
ILWU Warehouse Union Hall Local #6, 99 Hegenberger Road

This celebration of the life and times of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will include guest speakers and youth performances. The organizers are keeping the dream alive through education and non-violence. Refreshments will be served. For more information, call (510) 798-5535.

AAMLO’s Martin Luther King Jr. Film Festival
11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
African American Museum and Library of Oakland, 659 14th Street

AAMLO is honored to continue its traditional Martin Luther King, Jr. film festival by presenting a selection of critically-acclaimed documentaries that put into historical perspective the nation-defining movement of the 1950s and 1960s for African-American civil rights. The following films will be shown: In Remembrance of Martin; Freedom On My Mind; Eyes On the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Movement, Vol. 7; The Second American Revolution; Mississippi, America; and Legacy of a Dream. For more information, contact Veda Silva, Museum Project Coordinator, at vsilva@oaklandlibrary.org.

Tuesday, January 21

Oakland City Council and Oakland Redevelopment Agency Meeting
5:30 p.m.
City Council Chambers, Third Floor, Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza

The City Council is the governing body of the City of Oakland, and consists of eight members who are elected directly by the citizens of Oakland: one representative from each of seven districts, and one at-large representative. The Council sets goals and priorities for the City, as well as approving the City budget, adopting ordinances to help the City serve its citizens, and appointing members to various boards and commissions. The City Council meets 2 – 3 times per month, on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Tuesdays. A downloadable agenda is available at http://clerkwebsvr1.oaklandnet.com/calendar. For more information, click here or call (510) 238-7370.

Wednesday, January 22

AC Transit Board of Directors Meetings
times listed below
Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District, 1600 Franklin Street, 10th Floor, Oakland

The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District is the third-largest public bus system in California, serving 13 cities and adjacent unincorporated areas in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. AC Transit has been serving the East Bay since 1960, taking over from the Key System and its predecessors, which carried passengers via buses, horse-drawn rail, electric streetcars, and ferries over the previous 100 years. AC Transit’s mission is to provide safe, convenient, courteous, and reliable transit service.

3 p.m.: Planning Committee
3:30 p.m.: Finance and Audit Committee
6 p.m.: Board of Directors

For more information, visit http://www2.actransit.org/main.wu.

Oakland Board of Education General Meeting
5 – 9 p.m.
Paul Robeson Building, 1025 2nd Avenue, Board Room

The Governing Board, commonly called the Board of Education, is the elected policy-making body of the public education system within the City of Oakland. The Governing Board’s primary responsibility is to ensure that every student served by the District is well educated and demonstrates high academic achievement. For more information, visit http://bex.ousd.k12.ca.us.

10Y NCPC Monthly Potluck and Meeting
6:30 – 8 p.m.
Santa Fe Elementary, 915 54th Street

Come at 6:30 for a casual potluck, or at 7 p.m. for the meeting, or both. This event repeats on the fourth Wednesday of every month. Contact NSC (Neighborhood Services Coordinator) Paul Brekke-Miesner at (510) 238-3102, or PSO (Problem-Solving Officer) Trode for additional information.

Thursday, January 23

Oakland City Council Rules & Legislation Committee Meeting
10:45 a.m.
Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Hearing Room 1

The Rules and Legislation Committee usually meets at this time, although it is recommended to confirm the day and time, as this is subject to change. A downloadable agenda is available at http://clerkwebsvr1.oaklandnet.com/calendar. For more information, click here or call (510) 238-7370.

Teach Tomorrow In Oakland (TTO) Recruitment Event
6 p.m.
Geoffrey’s Inner Circle, 410 14th Street

Leaders at Teach Tomorrow In Oakland (TTO) believe an educator recruitment and development pipeline must be built in order for students of color to see and connect with adults with common experiences. TTO’s commitment is to recruit diverse, high-quality, prospective teachers who can ensure that all students achieve at high levels, and who are interested in professional development and long-term employment within OUSD. Recruits are given full support to navigate the pathway to credentialing, which includes test preparation, financial support and placement in a full-time job. Register for this free event at http://www.ttorecruits.eventbrite.com.

Local Clean Energy Alliance Meeting
6:30 – 8 p.m.
Central Historic Building, 436 14th Street

The LCEA has open meetings periodically, featuring informative speakers on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and related efforts. For more information, and for meeting times, visit http://www.localcleanenergy.org.

To list an event for January 24 – 30, send the details to meg@oaklandlocal.com by noon on Tuesday, January 21.

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