It was Dereca Blackmon’s birthday and she was gonna put on a flashmob outside the Fox Theatre, where Prince was giving one of two sold-out concerts on March 14 and 15th. Blackmon gathered up a group of friends, reached out to dancers at Oakland School of the Arts, and got everyone rehearsing ASAP.  The end result?

Oakland School for the Arts (OSA) students, led by OSA dance instructor and choreographer Tanya Leake, in collaboration with  Van Jones’ #YesWeCode movement–supported by Prince (and connected to OL’s Hack the Hood program), pulled together what folks are billing as “The Biggest Prince Flash Mob ever.” More than 200 people participated on Saturday afternoon, and the results made it to YouTube.

Cool huh? One of 10,000 reasons I love Oakland so much.

About The Author

Susan Mernit is editor & publisher of Oakland Local ( a news & community hub for Oakland, CA. A former VP at AOL & Netscape, & former! Yahoo Senior Director, Mernit was consulting program manager for The Knight News Challenge, 2008-09; was a 2012 Stanford Carlos McClatchy Fellow; and is a board adviser to The Center for Health Reporting at USC, Annenberg School of Journalism. She has consulted with many non-profit organizations on strategy, product development and social media/engagement, including, TechSoup Global, Public Radio International and the Institute for Policy Studies/Economic Hardship Reporting Project, led by Barbara Ehrenreich.

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