Celebrating diversity

Sheryl Grant, an internationally-recognized speaker and founder of FIT for Life, and Donna Ruff, of the Western Regional Minority Supplier Development Council talk to Dave Clark about a an event celebrating diversity in Oakland on May 10.

Simon Russell of Clefology

Simon Russell, from Clefology, along with his 10-year-old daughter, Jules, talk about the music school for young musicians that he founded.

Sam Moses, Open Gym Premier

Sam Moses runs Open Gym Premier in Oakland. It's a huge space for athletics where kids, in particular, are being helped to lead positive lives, and it's benefiting entire families as it helps to reduce Oakland's crime rate.

HOPE Academy

Courtney Smith and Nana Kofi Nti, from HOPE Academy and 510media, talk about the Oakland school's entrepreneurial education program that aims to shape, mold and transform learners and to try to create more Black entrepreneurs.

Tower of Power's Lenny Williams

Lenny Williams is a soul singer best known for his time as the lead singer of the legendary Oakland-based band Tower of Power. His voice can be heard on some of the band's most popular songs, including "What Is Hip?" and "So Very Hard to Go". He is also a successful solo recording artist, with more than a dozen albums released.

Shannon Nash, tech exec and film producer

Shannon Nash is the chief financial officer of Wing Aviation, a subsidiary of Alphabet. The company is working on developing drone delivery systems for packages. On top of being the CFO of Wing, Nash is also a film producer, working on projects focused on topics ranging from autism, to board diversity.

Elaine Brown, ex-Black Panthers leader

Elaine Brown, the only woman to lead the Black Panthers, joins Dave Clark to talk about her big project in Oakland — the construction of a major affordable housing project on the city's west side that will be open to low-income tenants in May 2024.

LeRonne Armstrong, Ex-OPD chief, returns

Former Oakland Police Chief Leronne Armstrong is an Oakland native, and on top of playing basketball at McClymonds High School, also played college basketball at Sacramento State. He’s now using that basketball knowledge to help coach the basketball team at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland.

Jamal Cooks, Chabot College president

Jamal Cooks is the new president of Chabot College in Hayward. He’s an Oakland native with more than 20 years of teaching, research, and leadership experience, who is now the tenth president of Chabot.

Chris Chatmon of Kingmakers

Christopher Chatmon is CEO and founder of Kingmakers of Oakland an award winning nonprofit that supports school districts around the country to improve the educational and life outcomes of Black male students.

Uncuffed Project's Damon Cooke and ex-Oakland A Bip Roberts

CEO Damon Cooke from The Uncuffed Project and former Oakland Athletics player Bip Roberts discuss the organization's mission and its collection of services uniquely tailored to formerly incarcerated individuals having earned their release

Brandon Nicholson, The Hidden Genius Project

The Hidden Genius Project is a true Oakland success story. The group introduces inner-city kids to coding and gets them on track for careers in tech. CEO Brandon Nicholson talks about his passion for the mission.

Brendon Woods, Alameda County public defender

Dave Clark speaks with Brendon Woods, the public defender for Alameda County. Woods is passionate that everyone deserves free access to legal services regardless of their position in life. Too many people who are innocent, especially people of color, wind up behind bars because they could not afford a vigorous defense, he said. Woods hopes Gov. Newsom will not slash funding for public defenders and he hopes to see more African-Americans serving on juries.

Fawn Weaver, CEO of Uncle Nearest whiskey

Fawn Weaver is the founder and CEO of Uncle Nearest premium whiskey, one of the fastest-growing brands in America. It's named for an enslaved man named Uncle Nearest who taught Jack Daniel everything he knew about making whiskey. Weaver's company, besides being Black-owned, also has an all-female staff. Weaver also sits on the boards of major corporations and makes supporting the education of Black college students a priority.

D'Wayne Wiggins of Tony! Toni! Toné!

D’Wayne Wiggins is the leader of the nationally known Oakland-based group Tony! Toni! Toné! Wiggins talks about his love for his Oakland roots, traveling around the world performing, and why he thinks it’s so important to be a mentor and encourage young performers who follow him. He also explains the origins of the group’s unusual name.

Rue Mapp, CEO of Outdoor Afro

Through her company Outdoor Afro, which is based in Oakland, Rue Mapp encourages Black people to enjoy the outdoors, be involved with the environment and to be surprised by the nature that exists in the Town.

Shelia Tyson

Shelia Tyson is the sister of the late Bernard Tyson, a former chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente. She stops by Talk of the Town to chat about her brother who was not only one of Oakland’s highest-ranking black business leaders, he was also a top business leader in America who happened to be black. He grew up in Vallejo, and passionately cared about the future of Oakland. Learn more about Bernard Tyson's personal life, beyond his legendary status as a business giant.

Dee Johnson, Lend A Hand director

Lend A Hand has been around 20 years in Oakland and was created to do just that: help people in need, in a variety of ways. The foundation gives thousands of new backpacks for school students, food for those who are hungry and shelter when it’s needed. Dee Johnson is an African-American woman who works tirelessly as the Lend A Hand director along with her volunteers to make life better in Oakland.

Angela Watson, San Francisco Ballet

Angela Watson, 19, of Oakland, is the only African-American dancer with the San Francisco Ballet. She talks about how it feels to be "the only one" in the esteemed ballet company, how her Oakland upbringing prepared her for her dance career, her love for performing and about being a role model for young African-American dancers coming behind her.