In March 2021, it will be one year since Oakland Workers Fund first began!
In March 2020, a small group of QTBIPOC in Oakland [unceded Lisjan Ohlone land] --young people who were predominantly food service workers laid off from their jobs due to the pandemic -- gathered together to imagine a mutual aid fund that could uplift, inspire and most importantly, support their community of food service workers as capitalism and the government violently failed us all.
It was our goal to not only create a mutual aid fund that directly redistributed wealth into vital funds for those in need, but to create a virtual space and platform that made the idea and action of organizing and supporting community extremely accessible and rooted in our BIPOC legacy of mutual aid and our original community and culture in Oakland. Many of our core organizers never considered themselves activists or organizers before creating Oakland Workers Fund. We are people beyond the food service work that sustained our livelihoods before the pandemic-- we are artists, community-members, and working class people struggling through the pandemic as we support our community as best we can.
Since we started Oakland Workers Fund in March 2020, our organizers have not been paid a cent. We chose to allocate 100% of our donations directly to our applicants in need. We have dedicated thousands of hours of work over the last year to building Oakland Workers Fund and deeply supporting our applicants. Beyond the financial funds that we send our applicants, we provide support with their EDD and other government programs, applications for other funds, translation services, consulting with individual applicants to work directly with them to provide them with and connect them to additional resources, and much more. Unlike larger organizations and nonprofits, we do not pay ourselves. We do this for the love of our beloved community! That being said, we are all struggling! Most of us have been unemployed since the pandemic hit and those of us who were able to work at low wage jobs through the pandemic have recently had our hours severely cut.
We ask that if you are in a position of wealth or privilege and have been inspired by our work at Oakland Workers Fund, that you please consider sending a donation or ongoing monthly pledge to our OWF Organizer Support Fund so that we can continue to sustain this vital, radical, important work and grow our outreach and impact. We ask that you donate now or pledge to help sustain our work.. Can you give $20/month? $50/month? $100/month? We ask that you only help support our organizers if you have already donated to our Oakland Workers Fund applicant fund at least once. These pledges will help support the survival of our organizers who are unemployed and/or struggling workers in need. We will disburse donations that go to our organizer fund based on the severity of need of our QTBIPOC organizers.
Thank you so much for your ongoing support of Oakland Workers Fund !!!