Cedric Jones, Educator/Designer

 

Hayward/Oakland, CA

"What matters most is how well you walk through the fire". -Charles Bukowski

 

When you think of a thriving Black community and cities, what do you see?

I envision a place that holds a critical mass of black folks where the beautiful nuances of who we are as a people shine through, specifically where we are able to see various sub-cultures of the diaspora. In many cases, our blackness becomes pigeon-held to one stagnated image and in areas across the country, such as DC and Atlanta, you begin to see just how multi-faceted we are within the umbrella that is blackness. Black folks thrive when we can fully be our unique selves and are in supportive company to exist freely.

 

What neighborhood, city or space affirms your Blackness?

Living in Oakland makes me feel so happy to be unapologetically black! Daily I feel empowered to be myself and constantly create space at the table for our youth in The Bay’s emerging tech industry. It's a hot-bed of resistance and I love it.

 

What do you want your legacy to be?

I want to leave a legacy of challenging what education looks like, how it should be delivered, in what spaces folks should/could be educated in and how folks can learn, specifically in working with first generation students of color. I want to insure that young folks of color, within the Bay Area, receive adequate workforce development and critical mentorship and opportunities to live and sustain their families in the place they love. My legacy would be arming the next generation to counter the current pressures of displacement and gentrification.