Discussing race + power; re-writing Shakespeare.

Re-writing Shakespeare

Last night Civicorps hosted a powerful discussion on race and power, which provided information on the adaption of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice that will be set in modern Oakland and will explore the issue of police violence.

Led by San Francisco Shakespeare Festival instructors, a panel of local politicians answered tough questions and then listened to students share their thoughts around the four themes of the play: justice, revenge, mercy and forgiveness.

Our panelists included:

  • Brigitte Cook, West Oakland Community Liaison to Councilmember Lynette McElhaney
  • Rodney Brooks, Chief of Staff for County Supervisor Keith Carson
  • Sargent Holly Joshi, Chief of Staff for Oakland Police Department

The result was a powerful, insightful conversation.

Student reflections:

“A thing that stood out for me was that a lot of the things that the panelists said about themselves – I could relate to.”

“The the themes of the play: mercy, revenge, forgiveness, and justice — I go through each one every day on the streets.”

“I liked when one of the panelists said ‘We all have a voice, so we all have power.’ It made me see that we do have power.”

Discussing race + power; re-writing Shakespeare / Civicorps

Now our students will work with a playwright to re-write the play and perform it on March 26th.

We hope to see you then for this incredible performance!


Filed under: NewsTagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Together, we made Oakland look good!

Thank you donors! Together, we made Oakland look good! / CivicorpsWe are so grateful for the generous donors who made gifts to support Civicorps. Together, we made Oakland look good!

Over the holidays we raised $54,476 dollars. With your support, Civicorps will serve over 100 young adults and provide:

1,600 hours of education, tailored to students’ individual needs,

1,200 hours of paid job training on real-world work contracts, and

600 hours of trauma-informed case counseling.

This in-depth, individualized support helped 43 students graduate with a high-school diploma in 2014 — we can’t wait to see how many students cross the stage in their cap and gown in 2015!

Because we provide graduates one year of college and career support, 82% of our graduates are still enrolled in college and/or employed one year post-graduation.

Thank you for being a part of this success!

Filed under: NewsTagged with: , , , , , ,

Harris named Corpsmember of the Year!

Harris named Corpsmember of the Year!Corpsmember of the Year

Congrats to Harris Cox for being named one of the five national Corpsmembers of the Year!

Harris’ story is truly an inspiration.

At age six, through an act of deliberate violence, Harris suffered severe burns throughout his body and spent six years in a coma. When he awoke from the coma, he had no family or home stability so he struggled in school, dropped out, and ended up in jail.

Then, Harris found Civicorps.

“Not only did I find my family at Civicorps, but I also found my calling in life. Each class begins with a mindfulness lesson to help us learn how to deal with the emotional effects of trauma and to keep ourselves focused. I excelled at this training because I soon discovered that I had intuitively been practicing mindfulness to heal my body and soul after I awoke from the coma. “

After graduating, Civicorps helped Harris obtain an internship that could fuel his passion for mindfulness. This internship led to a paid position at an Oakland elementary school teaching mindfulness to students. Through Harris’ work, he is teaching young kids skills to overcome trauma and to remain focused even when they are in crisis.

We are thrilled to see Harris’ incredibly journey be honored through this national award!

Read more about Harris’ story and check out the Huffington Post article about the award.

Civicorps is proud to have had so many of our students honored through this highly-competitive national award. Check our list of past winners!

2009 – Tatiana Moore

2010 – Shanice Long

2013 – Brandon Penny

2014 – Candace Washington

2015 – Harris Cox

Filed under: Student SpotlightTagged with: , , , ,

Graduation on Dec. 18th!

Graduation on Dec. 18th! / CivicorpsWe hope you can join us for a joyous celebration of our students’ success! As a supporter of Civicorps, you are an integral part of each students’ journey to graduation.

Not only will you get to hear inspiring speeches by our graduates, but we are also excited to announce that Mayor-Elect Libby Schaaf will be our key note speaker.

Our graduation ceremonies are unforgettable events because they bring together students, staff, families, volunteers, community leaders, and local politicians to celebrate this momentous achievement.

The room becomes electric with pure joy.

We invite to share in this inspiring event.

Thursday, December 18th

Lakeside Park Garden Center
666 Bellevue Ave.
Oakland, CA 94610

This is a free event and there is no RSVP necessary — just come ready to cheer on our successful graduates!

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Filed under: Student SpotlightTagged with: , , ,

Helping youth heal. Healing our city.

Hasinnie reading his poetry / Helping youth heal. Healing our city. / CivicorpsHelping Youth Heal

For Hasinnie, it was hard to ignore the violence that surrounded him, snatching up the lives of his peers. His poetry is vibrant with the bleak condition of so many Oakland neighborhoods…

Dying Breed
I’m just a young man with dreams of finishing school.
But the way it is now, we bound to lose because we forgot communication when we learned to shoot.

I’m just sayin’ we shouldn’t have to go this soon. There are more candle lights than graduation balloons.

Like I said, there’s no change unless we straighten up. We end up either in graveyard or in jail lock up.

Did it start because the color of our flesh? I just hope I’m not next.


We need more choices than the graveyard or jail for our young black men.

Civicorps is one of those choices.

Here, young men like Hasinnie can heal from the trauma of the streets while earning his high-school diploma.

This is where you, as a supporter of Civicorps, come in.

Because Hasinnie can’t do it alone.

Your gift funds the Case Counselors who provide trauma-informed counseling as well as the Teachers who lead soul-healing activities.

Together, we can heal Oakland.

Join us.

P.S. Each dollar you donate will be matched by a generous Board Member, so donate now and double your impact!

Filed under: Student SpotlightTagged with: , , , , ,

I believe in Oakland. I believe in Civicorps.

When a young adult makes the brave choice to change their lives by enrolling in Civicorps, this positive action ripples out into the greater community. By supporting Civicorps, you are not only believing in these brave young adults, but you are also showing that you believe in Oakland — in a positive future for our beloved city.

Why give to Civicorps? / I believe in Oakland. I believe in Civicorps.

Recently, Oakland has become the seed of innovation and people are flocking to our city. At Civicorps, we want to ensure that each person has the opportunity to participate in this renaissance.

Civicorps helps young adults, age 18-26, achieve what they never thought possible — graduating with a high-school diploma and continuing onto college.

Not only do we have a 74% graduation rate, but also one year after graduation, 82% of our graduates are still enrolled in college and/or employed.

The key to our success is that we provide a space for youth to heal from past trauma and to reconnect with their talents and aspirations.

Becoming something great / Why give to Civicorps? / I believe in Oakland. I believe in Civicorps.

We invite you to join this dynamic process by donating to Civicorps. Your generous donation will provide critical supports for our students, such as bus passes, food to take home to their families, college textbooks, and so much more. In addition, each dollar you donate will be matched by a generous donor.

We look forward to continuing this conversation about how, together, we are working to revitalize our city. Until then, please enjoy this video from our students.

Donate Now

Filed under: Student SpotlightTagged with: , , , , , ,