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BOSS Black August Block Party: Stop the Violence

BOSS Bay Area hosted our 2nd Annual Black August Block Party on Saturday, August 29th at the City hall in Downtown Oakland.

Arion Chapman, Program Coordinator at BOSS watching the Mercerhood Brothers perform

BOSS serves families and individuals facing deep poverty, homelessness, community violence, and other challenges – all ages, races, genders, and life experiences.

Yet the reality is, this population is predominantly people of color – most are African American. To meet their needs, BOSS provides effective, compassionate, culturally relevant services that meet people where they are – programs that are welcoming, encouraging and empowering. The Black August Block Party grew out of this commitment to lifting our community UP!

Artists at BOSS Black August Block Party

Black people are some of our most celebrated artists, entrepreneurs, activists, and change-makers – the Block Party shines a light on these visionaries. It brings people together for an amazing day full of joy, love, innovation, and high spirits.

Last year at BOSS' inaugural Black August Block Party, we unveiled the 'Arc of Liberation' mural.

It is a culmination of art, culture, and political education honoring the heroes and fighters whose shoulders we stand on and whose activism we continue today.

This year we aimed to elevate the conversation by revisiting and honoring the heroes who used their art and commitment to their people to, Stop The Violence.

In the late '80s & early '90s, there was a movement from East to West to counter community violence with artists, journalists, community leaders, civic leaders, and heads of the church

coming together for summits, concerts, and legislative change.

In 1988, hip-hop was at a crossroads. After a series of violent incidents, community violence and anti-blackness from mainstream outlets was at a high. Hip Hop artist, KRS-One formed the, "Stop The Violence Movement" - and catapulted the movement with the song, "Self-Destruction".

Other artists like Oakland native, M.C.Hammer, and Digital Underground were members of the West Coast All-Stars. The group debuted "We're All In the Same Gang", the West Coast's contribution to the "STOP THE VIOLENCE MOVEMENT" - see more.

Five Keys Schools and Programs

This year's Black August Block Party allowed visitors, artists, and organizations to come together to celebrate and respond to some of the needs of our community. A moment of silence was held honoring the victims of all violence.

First of all, it's heartbreaking. Any loss of life should be honored by all people living. I think it's time for us to lose the rhetoric and be focused on direct action that's needed to address what's happening in our communities now

- John Jones - Director of Reentry & Violence Prevention Programs (BOSS)

BOSS Bay Area Neighborhood Impact Hubs provided information and resources about housing, violence prevention, mass incarceration, and other services offered in Oakland neighborhoods.

BOSS Bay Area Partners provided more resources - expungement, economic empowerment, health, employment and much more.

Roll Out Crew

Mattie's Way Ice Cream

Our allies represented fully using their art and entrepreneurial prowess to elevate the conversations centered around Black Economics, History, Politics and Community. With free food, frozen treats, live performances, game contests, art-making, and networking.

The day celebrated sharing, learning, coming together, and uniting for common goals - ending violence and lifting people up!

Culture Shock Oakland

Please plan to join BOSS for our 2023 BOSS Bay Area Black August Block Party, on the last Saturday in August!

If you're interested in participating register here.

Please consider sponsoring this event or making a donation here.

Thank you to everyone who participated and made this event possible. We are nothing without you and we strive to prove that daily.

If you want to see more photos and find out more about the 2022 Black August Block Party, visit the BOSS Black August Black Party Page.


BOSS programs are innovative, based in evidence-based practices and proven methodologies, and emphasize lived experience: across BOSS over 70% of staff (90% in reentry programs) have personal experience with the same issues faced by current participants.

Your donations help BOSS operate life-changing programs. THANK YOU for your generosity and support!



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