Oakland Local’s parent, The Center for Media Change (CMC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2008. Our mission is to use media and technology to find a way to make professional journalism viable in the digital age; and to foster civic engagement and create positive social change, especially in under-served communities of color.
Over the five years of our existence, our programs have created innovative new ways to serve local communities, increase civic engagement and hold those in power accountable. Our diverse portfolio of projects have leveraged many different types of strategies to accomplish our mission, from building technology platforms to democratize media funding, to building community-centric tools for government transparency and efficiency, to a hyper-local news site focused on Oakland, to providing training and education to remedy the digital divide in our communities and empower youth.
Projects have included:
- Spot.us – a microfunding platform for journalists (acquired by American Public Media)
- Hacks & Hackers – connecting journalists and techies across the country
- Code for Oakland – community-focused technology innovation to support open government data and access to tech for low-income communities
- Oakland Local – Oakland’s premiere nonprofit news site
- Oakland Local Academy – community tech and social media training for nonprofits and businesses
- East Oakland Food Justice Training – trained adults and youth at 15 food justice-focused nonprofits tech and social media skills to support outreach and civic engagement
- Hack the Hood - training youth to support local small business visibility online through tech and social media services
In the past three years, working with the Oakland Local and Hack the Hood Projects, CMC has increasingly moved from a focus on civic engagement and community voices to a more direct model of teaching skills that lead to economic revitalization and job creation. Our work in 2010-11 training nonprofit staffers in East Oakland (funded by The California Endowment), and experience in 2012 piloting Hack the Hood in East Oakland (funded by Google) has moved us into further job training and strategic economic development because we see how transformative the teaching of tech and social marketing skills to youth can be for both youth and the small businesses in their communities – especially when it comes to increasing youth leadership, teaching job readiness skills and building economic development infrastructure for Oakland’s small businesses in under-served communities of color.