This week’s roundup looks a little different, as we’re featuring events happening both this Memorial Day weekend and up through the first weekend in June. The column will take a break next week because of the long holiday weekend.

If you have an event that you’d like me to consider for this roundup, email me at If there’s an event that you’d like to promote on our calendar, you can use the self-submission form on our events page.

Coffee and conversation with Councilmember Treva Reid

District 7 City Councilmember Treva Reid. Credit: Amir Aziz

Oakland’s District 7 councilmember is hosting an in-person conversation targeting constituents 55 years and older, to hear about their specific needs. District 7 encompasses the deep East Oakland hills and flatlands stretching from 73rd Avenue to the San Leandro border. The event will include refreshments. Those interested in attending can register by calling 415-634-7642, or by signing up online

Wednesday, May 24, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., free to attend, register online, East Oakland Senior Center, 9255 Edes Ave.

Noname Book Club, Oakland chapter meet-up

A previous meet-up of the Oakland chapter. Credit: courtesy of Noname Book Club’s website

Noname Book Club was started back in 2019 by Chicago rapper Noname. The club has 14 chapters all around the country—including some inside prisons and jails—connecting bibliophiles who want to support authors of color. Each month, the book club picks a new title and encourages readers to obtain a copy—whenever possible, through a local independent bookstore. Chapter members then get together in person to discuss the book. This weekend, the Oakland chapter will meet at the public library’s 81st Avenue Branch to discuss this month’s pick: All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes by Maya Angelou. To join a local chapter, simply purchase a copy of the book of the month from Noname’s list of Black-owned bookstores or borrow a copy from one of its library partners, and show up.

Saturday, May 27, 1 p.m., OPL 81st Avenue branch, 1021 81st Ave.

Toasted Life: Memorial Day weekend outdoor block party

A scene from a past Toasted Life outdoor party in Oakland. Credit: Toasted Life

Friends Warren Jones and Matt Tuffuor started Toasted Life in 2013. The lifestyle brand curates social networking events all around the country for young professionals of color. One of the group’s recent events in Oakland took place at CryBaby with a DJ set by Chicago rapper Vic Mensa. This weekend, the Toasted Life crew is kicking off summer with an outdoor block party at Level 13 in Old Oakland, where DJs will be spinning hip hop, R&B, Afrobeats, and other sounds.

Saturday, May 27, 2:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., $10-$30, Level 13 Ultra Lounge, 341 13th St.

Oakland Youth Poet Laureate announcement and performances

Credit: Oakland Public Library

Next Friday, the city of Oakland will name its 12th Youth Poet Laureate. The chosen poet will represent the city, perform at events, and promote literacy for the next 12 months. Past youth laureates include Leila Mottley, author of the New York Best Seller’s book, Nightcrawling. The event will feature performances by the seven finalists and be emceed by Youth Speaks educator and artist, EJ Walls.

Friday, June 2, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., free to attend, Oakstop, 1721 Broadway

East Oakland Futures Fest

East Oakland Futures Festival 18
Last year’s inaugural East Oakland Futures Fest. Credit: Amir Aziz

Last year, the first annual East Oakland Futures Fest was held along 90th Avenue in deep East Oakland. The afro-futurist-themed block party is coming back just in time to welcome the month of June. The event will again include live music, activities for kids, live art, food, and other items from local vendors.

Saturday, June 3, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., free to attend, 90th Avenue between Birch and Holly

Azucena Rasilla is a bilingual journalist from East Oakland reporting in Spanish and in English, and a longtime reporter on Oakland arts, culture and community. As an independent local journalist, she has reported for KQED Arts, The Bold Italic, Zora and The San Francisco Chronicle. She was a writer and social media editor for the East Bay Express, helping readers navigate Oakland’s rich artistic and creative landscapes through a wide range of innovative digital approaches.