Reclaim MLK’s Radical Legacy Weekend kicks off on Friday, Jan. 13, with a virtual webinar on the Black Panthers’ survival programs — a major source of inspiration for APTP, which runs the initiative Mental Health First. An alternative to law enforcement, Mental Health First makes trained volunteers available to respond to crises in Oakland and Sacramento. The People’s House is now the headquarters for Mental Health First, First Responders Committee and the California Healers Network, and will house a holistic care clinic to offer mental health, substance abuse and intimate partner violence interventions without involving police.
Programming continues throughout the weekend with nightly virtual screenings of films such as Judas and the Black Messiah and the documentary Copwatch. And on Saturday, Jan. 14, The People’s House will be open 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. for a grand opening block party that includes music, giveaways and speakers such as APTP executive director Cat Brooks, Communities United for Restorative Justice co-founder George Galvis, Oakland Poet Laureate Ayodele Nzinga and Oakland City Councilmember Carroll Fife.
“For decades Oakland has been at the vanguard in the fight for Black liberation,” Brooks said in a statement to KQED. “It’s time we reclaim that distinction. That’s why APTP is opening The People’s House in the birthplace of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. It’s on their shoulders we stand, and through studying their service to the people, we draw our inspiration for our 21st Century Survival Programs like Mental Health First. We take care of us.”