Thanksgiving Celebrations 2017

On Thursday, November 16th, Ralph J. Bunche Academy hosted a “Bunche of Thanks” Event, in partnership with the campus Family Resource Center, proudly funded by Safe Passages. At the event, teachers got to nominate and present Appreciation Awards to their outstanding students. The awards included the “Most Cheerful Helper,” “A True Feminist,” “Most Improved,” “Exemplifies Curiosity,” and more!

Each student got a certificate from the school and a beautiful plant graciously donated by City Slicker Farms! Over 40 families also went home with bags of groceries for the holiday, made possible by our partners at the Alameda Community County Food Bank. Our friends Chef Cindy and Chef Dave from Unique Soul Catering , together with the Culinary Program at Bunche Academy, also cooked 50 delicious smoked turkeys for the students, staff, and their families! 

More information available HERE.

On Friday, November 17th, Safe Passages was proud to partner with United for Success Academy (UFSA) to host a Thanksgiving Dinner and Grocery Giveaway event for the Fruitvale community. The dinner was made possible through the campus Family Resource Center — also proudly funded by Safe Passages —  and Unique Soul Catering, who again generously donated 12 delicious smoked turkeys. The grocery giveaway was made possible by our friends at the Food Bank and Tzu Chi USA, who contributed 108 chickens and 100 bags of groceries to the food distribution, respectively.

Through our combined efforts, we were able to serve a special holiday dinner to over 200 members of the UFSA community and distribute 150 bags of food to all the families.

More information available HERE.


A huge thank you to all of our partners, friends, and members of the community who donated their services and time to make these joyful events possible for our students and families! 

Oakland-Based Nonprofit Launches Immigrant Outreach & Education Project

Safe Passages is doing everything we can to serve the immigrant community throughout Oakland and the Bay Area. 💜🤝

Learn more about our new Immigrant Education and Outreach Project, and how you can get involved, in this awesome Oakland Post article below!


Safe Passages, an Oakland-Based Nonprofit, Launches Immigrant Outreach and Education Project


Josefina’s Letter- The Intergenerational Power of Women

The Intergenerational Power of Women

March 28, 2018


Dear Friends,

March is Women’s History Month, and we have a lot to celebrate. Our power as women is intergenerational. We treasure the incredible, hard-fought legacy gifted to us by the amazing women who came before us. In my own family, my grandmother was a Rosie the Riveter who worked in the San Francisco shipyards during World War II. She later fought gentrification in San Francisco. My mother was a Chicana activist who struggled in the Third World Strike at San Francisco State that lead to the creation of Ethnic Studies. And now, my daughter is practicing her advocacy skills and articulating her vision for a just society through her art and writing. Every family is built on the backbone of strong women who sacrifice, and these sacrifices contribute to the betterment of our communities.

Several movements, including the #MeToo movement, and the student-led gun control movement, are reminding all of us of the intergenerational power of women. These movements also serve to remind us that we must have a major role in dismantling the status quo that disempowers us, and disrupting all the voices that try to silence us.

As Women of Color, we exist in the intersectionality of our experience in a manner that is rich beyond explanation. We are brilliant, powerful, and talented within each generation. We must control our minds, bodies, and voices. And, we must demand this month and every month that our cultural, social, and historical experience drives the social justice agenda in an equitable and formidable way.

We are humbled by the present and historical sacrifice of women around the world who continuously give of themselves to make our world a better place for all of us.

And, we send all of our good wishes to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who at 83 is holding it down until we reach a better tomorrow.


In Service,
Josefina Alvarado Mena, Esq.
Safe Passages

Safe Passages AmeriCorps – Serving the Community & Preparing for the Future

A huge thank you to our very own AmeriCorps VISTA member Jonathan Smith for lending his talent to create this video highlighting the wonderful work of Safe Passages’ AmeriCorps volunteers!


Holiday Party 2017

Safe Passages held its 5th annual community Holiday Party and Toy Distribution on Sunday, December 17th, 2017 in the Havenscourt neighborhood. The party was a huge success – with delicious food, festive music by DJ Brumfield, and fun arts and crafts activities for all the children and their families. Activities included stations for making Marshmallow Snowmen,  Reindeer Hats, Princess Tiaras, in addition to face-painting, cookie decorating, and taking a picture with Santa!

Over 700 families – approximately 2,100 children – received toys and books thanks to the contributions of Oakland residents, the Mayor of Oakland, and local merchants. Safe Passages would like to thank all who partnered with us in this endeavor: the City of Oakland Community Service Center, the Oakland Housing Authority, Coliseum College Preparatory School, Community United Elementary School, and the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation. A very special shout out goes to Al Lujan, the City of Oakland holiday elf who coordinates the toy donations and distributions every year for the whole city! We would also like to extend a big thank you to the over 60 volunteers who supported the event, including the Safe Passages AmeriCorps and VISTA Members, representatives from the Tzu Chi Foundation, and the many family members and community residents.

Learn more about the Holiday Party HERE!


Children and their families gather around the Marshmallow Snowman making station while waiting to be called to go pick up their presents.


Nothing but smiles at the Safe Passages holiday party!


Two little girls pose for pictures with Santa!


Kids excitedly gather around the cookie decorating station!


Jonathan Brumfield, the Get Active Urban Arts Program Manager, was an awesome DJ at the event!


Three AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteers have fun together at the Holiday Party.


AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteers make Marshmallow Snowmen with the children.


A young girl and her parents have fun making a special Holiday Tiara.


An AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer helps children of all ages at the Marshmallow Snow Man Station!


Get Active: Why Urban Arts Matter

A huge thank you to our very own AmeriCorps VISTA member Jonathan Smith for lending his talent to create this video highlighting the wonderful work of the Get Active Urban Arts program!