United, We Stand in Oakland (A Quick Reflection)

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We The People, We The Resilient, We The Indivisible

The Women’s March in Oakland sent out a message, not only do we not support Trump, but we support each other. As many as 60,000-80,000 people showed up to march around Lake Merritt and up to City Hall at Frank Ogawa Plaza. The march started around 10:30 or 11 am and the performances at City Hall started a little close to 1 pm. I did not march since I had to perform but I drove by to see the power of people standing up and marching.

The leaders of the Women’s March in Oakland by Lake Merritt

Some of the speakers and performers were: Project Bandaloop, Elaine Brown (community activist), Melanie Demore, Gayle McLaughlin (former Mayor of Richmond), DJ Nista, Lupe Rodriguez of Planned Parenthood, Moina Shaiq (founder of Meet a Muslim), State Senator Nancy Skinner, Tom Ste  yer (CEO of NextGen), and Mayor Schaaf (Info for Women’s March In Oakland).

I performed my signature poem, I’m A Survivor, which was written in 2012 for  the re-election of President Obama. The message of the poem was about being a Black woman in America from the Trans-Atlantic slave trade up until the present moment, and how she resisted with the different movements. The poem will always be relevant as long as there is oppression and resistance, and it was the perfect one to share. While I was onstage looking out at the audience, I loved seeing so many people gathering together to stand up for what’s right. I got chills and I fed off the audience’s energy. There were women, men, children, disabled, interpreters for the Deaf, politicians, musicians, teachers, students, and so much more. There were not any arrests made and we shined yesterday.

Speakers at the rally

The revolution was definitely televised yesterday. Now that the marches are over, what do we do next? With all this excitement and pictures about the marches and what they represent, I hope people will carry this with them and be about it. Do not say we are about support when the next day you will not help your fellow sister or brother. It is not a women’s thing, but a human thing! We are all connected so let’s be about that. We the people are the change!

“We shall overcomb”

owm 3

Deaf Performer Joy Elan, wearing her Huey Newton T-Shirt signing her powerful speech about the legacy of slavery … “I’m a survivor of all of these things because my ancestors built this country … Power To The People!” (Photo taken by Ken Stein)

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Joy Elan

Joy Elan

Joy Elan is an award winning author and spoken word artist from Oakland and Berkeley, CA. She received her BA degree in African American Studies at UC Berkeley and her MA degree in Education at Stanford University. Her books are available on (poetry, non-fiction, and fiction genres). For more information, go to