Brittany Kirstin

Agents of Change: Scenes of a city in motion

Old opinions about Richmond often seem set in stone, but at least some of the worst may be on the way out. That’s what we tried to document in “Agents of Change,” a series of photographs and feature stories by Richmond Confidential’s Brittany Kirstin, a photojournalism student at the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

After hard times, restaurant owner warms hearts in Richmond with love

Menbere Aklilu has come a long way. From a struggling single mother, she is now a restaurant owner in Richmond, after moving from her native Ethiopia and a time in Italy. Aklilu hosts an annual Thanksgiving dinner at her restaurant, Salute E Vita, where she just served a sit-down dinner for more than a thousand Bay Area homeless people. She has also begun holding a four-course Mother’s Day brunch for young single mothers. She helps Richmond and Oakland students pay...

Local gardener transforms vacant lot into thriving urban farm

Andromeda Brooks is changing the way we look at vacant lots. Tired of staring at the litter outside her window, Brooks decided to turn a blighted lot at Chanslor Avenue and First Street into an experiment in urban agriculture.

Creating a stronger community through bicycling

When you walk into Rich City Rides you’re immediately met with the sweet smell of bicycle oil and the satisfying click-click-click of shifting gears. Najari Smith, the owner and founder of the nonprofit group that owns the shop, is working in the back along with mechanics Taye Roshni McGee and Rafael Fernandez.

Spirit and Soul festival aims to revive downtown

The seventh annual Spirit and Soul Festival filled downtown with the rhythmic beats of jazz musicians and the enticing smells of fried chicken and barbecue. Put on by the Richmond Main Street Initiative, a nonprofit organization that works to reinvigorate the downtown, the festival drew about 800 people this year–and there would have been more, organizers insisted, were it not for the sizzling heat.