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Abené Clayton

Nonprofit seeks to give “New Life” to Richmond’s Southside

Three volunteers slosh through John F. Kennedy Park in Richmond as they do each school day. The sounds of hail hitting the thin tin roof of the pavilion almost drown out the soft, squeaking sound of the trash pickers pinching packages of blunt wraps and flattened cans of beer. The brief, but heavy, downpour adds a dramatic flair to the garbage collection session. “We make sure over the wild weekend, there are no needles left here,” says Bendrick Foster as…

The Tale of Two Cities podcast: Hooked

Kava, kratom and caffeine — the stories in this episode of our podcast dive into obsession, addiction and habits. We follow reporters Susie Neilson ad Padmini Parasarathy as they goes to Melo Melo Kava Bar where people consume Kava, a Polynesian root-brewed tea, helping people with their anxiety and overcome addiction. Alexa Hornbeck takes us to Sacramento as she speaks with a mother fighting to keep kratom, a controversial herbal supplement, from being made an illegal substance in the United States….

Video: Richmond’s March for our Lives

Richmond joined in the nationwide effort against gun violence. Students led the March for our Lives, which ended at Richmond City Hall, where young people expressed expressed how gun violence affects their lives. Click the story above to see the video by Abené Clayton. You can read the text story and see the photo gallery by Annabell Brockhues here.

Contra Costa launches deportation defense hotline

On March 1st , Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia announced the launch of the Deportation Defense Hotline. The new service is part of Stand Together Contra Costa, a county initiative that offers information that can help people navigate the complex immigration system. The County Public Defender’s office provides educational and administrative support with “know you rights” workshops for community members. When someone calls the hotline to report suspected immigration raids, a trained volunteer “legal observer” goes to the scene…

The Nevin Community Center in Richmond

The Nevin Community Center is in Richmond’s Iron Triangle neighborhood, a few yards from Kaiser Hospital. The center’s playground is fenced off from a large patch of grass that stretches from the center to the sidewalk on the 800 block of Macdonald Avenue. Across the grass, a couple of older men are hanging out, sipping beers at a picnic table. A woman with a stroller walks by and asks them for a cigarette. Standard park sounds—like the laughter of toddlers—mix…

After almost a year, Richmond’s Fair Housing Ordinance begins implementation

Six housing activists enter Richmond City Manager Bill Lindsay’s office, notebooks at the ready, for a meeting that’s been almost a year in the making. Among them is Tamisha Walker, of the Safe Return Project (SRP), a nonprofit that connects people with re-entry services. The SRP drafted the Fair Chance Access to Affordable Housing ordinance, with support from the Dellums Institute for Social Justice and Bay Area Legal Aid. It was largely the result of a 2011 report written by…

Truth Be Told festival at RYSE Center to showcase social justice films by Richmond youth

The RYSE Center is a hub of creativity for Richmond’s youth. Not only does the center’s staff offer music and multimedia classes, this Saturday they’ll also provide an opportunity for young people to exhibit their work. The pieces screened at the Truth Be Told: Justice Through My Eyes film festival will be “a glimpse into the complexities of social justice topics,” according to RYSE’s website. Young artists from ages 13-24 will showcase animation and documentaries that address serious topics such…

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