Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice Organizes Reclaiming Cinco De Mayo During their Week of Love, Rage & Resistance in Oakland

Press Release for immediate Release

Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice Organizes Reclaiming Cinco De Mayo During their Week of Love, Rage & Resistance in Oakland

In a Time When the Spirit of Cinco de Mayo has Been Commercialized and Packaged as a Day of Binge Drinking and Appropriation by Beer Companies We are Choosing to Reclaim the Battle of Puebla

Oakland, Calif. May 6, 2018 — Youth activists of Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ) is hosting their 5th annual Reclaiming Cinco De Mayo festival on Sunday, May 6, 2018 from 10:30 4:30 p.m. at Josie De La Cruz Park in Oakland.

Reclaiming Cinco De Mayo is part of a week-long series of events called The Week of Love, Rage & Resistance. In an effort to create solidarity across all cultures and communities, CURYJ staff and youth are leading and participating in advocacy actions, community events and marches to unite in our healing.

“As a city councilmember one of my duties is running a district that is characterized by hardworking Black and Brown constituents,” said Noel Gallo, City Councilmember of District 5. “What I strive and envision for my district is continued clarity that they are valued citizens of Oakland and their cultural heritage matters.

Led and designed by Oakland youth, Reclaiming Cinco De Mayo is taking back culture and history by honoring the resistance of the people of Puebla, Mexico for their victory over the French army on this day, while connecting the issues we resist against today. The event will speak to the reclamation of space in Oakland during a time where ongoing state violence, gentrification, and the Trump administration is placing all of our communities under direct attack.

“This victory became symbolic of the struggles of the Mexican movement in the U.S., but has been (Mex)ploited and turned into a holiday that celebrates binge drinking and cultural appropriation,” said George Galvis, CURYJ’s Executive Director. “We say no to “Drinko de Mayo” and invite you to join us in the reclaiming of the day.”

Reclaiming Cinco de Mayo is in partnership with Justice Reinvestment Coalition, OYAC, PYJI, Urban Peace Movement, 67 Sueños, RJOY, All Of Us or None, Young Women’s Freedom Center, Black Organizing Project, East Side Arts Alliance. In conjunction with performances, attendees will have access to  community resources, food, an interactive art exhibit from PYJI, a kids zone to name a few. Featured performers include Equipto, Mio Flores and Habanas AllStar Band, Danza Azteca de Anahuac, Clave 510, Red Roses Crew, Indigo Mateo, Jose R., Leo Mercer & DetermiNation Black Men’s Group, Art3Mis Prime, JenRo, All Female Vinyl DJs, and special guest Los Rakas.

A highlight of the event will include the release of a report in the form an interactive simulation in collaboration with Positive Youth Justice Initiative (PYJI), Urban Peace Movement, and Impact Justice. The Dream Beyond Bars report is a reflection of a rigorous research process undergone by the PYJI fellows. From research design, developing survey and focus group questions to analyzing and coding the data they have led every step of the research process. Those closest to the pain are closest to the solution – We are the experts of our own lives! This executive summary summarizes their preliminary findings with the overall report being released in Summer of 2018.

Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice works to uplift the voice and power of youth most directly impacted by systems of incarceration and oppression. CURYJ works to empower and employ young people in Oakland to organize for positive change and create culture, resistance and community.


Press Contact: Erin Talbert-Brust

Communications Manager