*OAKLAND, CA — While Americans spend the month of February honoring the accomplishments and successes of African Americans throughout the history of this country, Black History Month brings an even more reasons to celebrate for Trevor Parham.
The founder and director of Oakstop will celebrate five years of serving the Oakland community this month. And with that comes the obligatory anniversary and special events. But these celebrations aren’t just about recognizing Oakstop’s commitment to providing the community with a shared working environment, event space and art gallery since 2014.
For Parham, it’s about using space and place to provide an empowerment platform for Oakland, by Oakland, that showcases the value of the local community during a time of rapid real estate development … all as a 100 percent black-owned and operated venture.
“As an entrepreneur, I saw an opportunity to offer a unique experience to black professionals that does not really exist anywhere else,” the Oakland native said. “We focus on offering jobs to black residents, particularly artists, who are often the first to be displaced in gentrifying cities.”
Located in downtown Oakland, Oakstop also provides affordable workspace, event spaces and arts programming to catalyze collaboration, professional development and economic sustainability for creative entrepreneurs and small local businesses. Parham currently operates two locations in Oakland, has plans to open a third in the East Bay this spring and is on track to open at least two more within the next year. Oakstop will continue opening locations in urban areas where it can employ and empower communities of color.
To celebrate Oakstop’s success as an incubator to not only businesses — a majority of them black- owned — and to the dozens of black youth it employees, Parham has partnered with several groups through February that also foster black pride and empowerment. Scheduled Black History Month events include:
- BAMBDFEST:2019 — a multi-day, multi-venue festival in celebration of the Black Arts Movement Business District and Black arts, culture and economics in Oakland;
- Coalition of Black Excellence Week — A week-long summit designed to connect and support Black professionals, business owners and community members living throughout the Bay Area;
- A “Black to Yoga” session;
- And workshops that focus on vendor training, traveling and
A full schedule can be found here.
“The strength and vibrance of the black community is a key component of Oakland’s legacy, so it only makes sense to represent that in an Oakland-based brand,” Parham said.
For more information on Oakstop and it’s future expansion and partnerships, and to learn more about its Black History Month programming, visit oakstop.com or call (510) 698-9370.