Oakland Leaf was founded in 2001 by a collective of East Oakland educators intent on empowering youth voice. At the time, Oakland was experiencing a surge in crime and violence, the country was about to enter a war, and many kids in Oakland didn’t have an outlet or a platform to examine and express their fears and anxieties, their hopes and dreams. Oakland Leaf’s first program was the All Oakland Youth Talent Show. Over more than two decades, we have evolved into a youth development leader in afterschool and summer programming.


Oakland Leaf’s core values guide every aspect of our work.
Oakland Leaf plants seeds to grow. We root in, rise up, and branch out.
We’re committed to stay.

CULTIVATION: We acknowledge, honor and nurture potential by providing space for growth. We look to the future.

COMMUNITY: We create safe space filled with Much Loves, support, healthy relationships, celebration and breaking bread.

VOICE: We hear, respect and develop voice and creative expression. We provide opportunities for input and accountability for ourselves and others.

CRITICAL THINKING: We embrace the process of challenging the dominant narrative. We believe in the power of reflecting, questioning and digging deeper with intention.

LOVE IN ACTION: We are rooted in love, transformational justice and restorative practices. We see the whole person. We practice peace, self care, and empathy.