We want to sincerely thank Wanda Johnson for visiting Larkin Street today to share her experiences and a message of hope with our staff and young people, as we grapple with the disproportionate number of deaths among young black men at the hands of police officers.
Wanda’s son, Oscar Grant III, was 22 when he was fatally shot in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day 2009 by a BART Police officer in Oakland. Since then, Wanda has devoted herself to serving the community, in part, by telling his story. You can learn more about Oscar’s story in the powerful and critically-acclaimed film “Fruitvale Station.”
“Change starts with me,” said Wanda, speaking to a crowd in our Engagement and Community Center. “Holding on to the pain, the anger, the frustration, still affects you.”
She went on to encourage us to vote, to serve jury duty when asked, and to work with elected officials and others to lobby for equitable practices across government and society.
“It’s going to take all of us to work to make that change.”
Learn more about Wanda Johnson and Oscar Grant at https://oscargrantfoundation.org/
Special thanks to Larkin Street Residential Counselor Andrea Jones for making this event happen!