The successive waves of a pandemic and a national uprising against police brutality have overwhelmed the capacity of community-based organizations. But for Oakland’s People’s Breakfast, these moments have galvanized their work. The organization first started as a food distribution program in 2017 that has since evolved to providing masks and hand sanitizer throughout the pandemic. Most recently, the Oakland founders Delency Parham and Blake Simons took action for their community by bailing out Black protesters who've been arrested in the uprisings against police brutality.
“I'm sure a lot of these other bail funds are bailing out Black folks because they make up a majority of the people getting arrested at these protests,” said Parham. “But ours just fully centers Black folks,” He voiced concerns for overcrowding in jails during a pandemic. “[It] was already a long and strenuous process so now you add all these elements to it where jails are overcrowded, you're getting 50 to a hundred people arrested a day. That takes super long to process,” he explained. “On top of that, you're pouring hella money into a system that you're hoping to eradicate. It just shows you how well-rounded capitalism is.”