Under the Radar: Oakland Event Picks of the Week

During this week leading up to the Spring Equinox, find your balance with a mix of cultural, artistic, political, and relaxing events.

Once in a while a week comes along when a handful of worthy events conspire to share the same time slot, leaving one with no other alternative than to toss a coin to determine which one to attend.  This week it seems Thursday is that night.

Every day is Earth Day: We’ll start with two eco-related events on Thursday.  The first is the premier of a fascinating 4-part series called “Ecology Emerges” by Shaping San Francisco that kicks-off at the Humanist Hall Thursday night at 7:30pm. The series gives an overview of the development of ecology activism in the Bay Area over the past 50 years based on a collection of 23 oral histories gathered by local historian Chris Carlsson.

The second is Rainforest Action Network’s 25th Anniversary Kick-off Celebration from 7:00pm – 10:30pm at Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill on Lakeside Drive.

Speaking in Tongues: Alternatively, you can appreciate diversity and explore multi-lingualism with the free Diversity Film Series. This week’s showing is Speaking in Tongues, which follows the stories of four San Francisco public schoolchildren enrolled in Chinese and Spanish language-immersion programs while grappling with the debate over bilingual education. It from 7-9:00pm at Wildwood School Auditorium in Piedmont.  Finally, the Oakland Food Policy Council‘s meets from 5-7:30 Thursday at City Hall. On the meeting’s agenda is a review of the outline of OFPC’s first “Strategic Plan for Transforming the Oakland Food System”.

“Know-mad”: Nomad Cafe‘s Trivia on Monday night at 7:30.  Never been, but sounds like a fun bit of social escapism .  Warning–I may have picked this one because it is very close to my house and the pastry pics made my mouth water, in particular the new vegan cranberry orange scones.

Laugh or get laughed at: Get your weeknight out early by hitting The Layover, my new favorite music bar & lounge in downtown Oakland.  Tuesday night is stand-up comedy, starting at 8:30. Free laughs, decent priced drinks, cool decor, and cozy atmosphere–check it out (1517 Franklin, look for the green martini sign).

Flex your Protest Muscles: Now that your protest muscles are warmed up from the March 4 Day of Action to Defend Edcuation, get out there and resist the beast that devours all those other priorities for which we don’t have money for–so they say.  The big event is the anti-war demonstration, marking the 7th (yes, that’s right) anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.  The main rally begins at 11am at Civic Center.  Just prior to this a special event called “Labor’s Stake in Ending the Wars” is being hosted at Plumber’s Hall (1621 Market) featuring Daniel Ellsberg, (of “Most Dangerous man in America” fame), Jack Gerson of the Oakland Education Association (one of the main organizers of the March 4 day of action), and labor leaders.

Speaking of protesting: A special Friday night gathering honors Claudette Colvin, who preceded Rosa Parks by 9-months in refusing to give up her seat to a white person in Montgomery.  She was 15 years old at the time and the following year became the star witness in the case that desegregated buses in Montgomery.  She’ll be speaking with Enid Lee along with cultural performances at the Oakland School for the Arts on 18th St. Friday night from 5:30-7:30. The event is a part of Alameda County History Day Weekend.

First Day of Spring: After you’ve kicked the Spring Equinox wide open with your street protests earlier in the day, bring the day to a beautiful close with a tribute to water at Ripple Effect, a benefit for multiple organizations including Greywater Action and Planting Justice at Cafe Leila. See Meg Spohn’s post for more.

Girl, Let Me Tell You Something: Women’s History month is only half over and 57th Street Gallery is presenting “Girl Let Me Tell You Something”, an evening of spoken word Saturday  5:00 – 8:00 pm. DIVAS brings together this ensemble of California women poets.

Raw Health: How about some good food to wrap up the weekend?  This Sunday’s event includes a screening of the film: A Taste of Simply Raw Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days,  samples of locally grown organic food and beverages, speakers, a next step guide and resources for creating a raw food lifestyle. From 4-8pm at the East Bay Church of Religious Science, $20-$25.


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