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Project Peace Speaker Series

The Project Peace Speaker Series is an annual event where high-profile individuals come to provide an informed point of view about a specific justice topic aligned with our service providers.  The event creates awareness around social justice issues and acts as a catalyst for individual involvement for our partners. 

In the past, the event has drawn up to 700 people with speakers such as Michael Pollan (author of Omnivores Dilemma), Joel Salatin (sustainable farmer featured in Pollan’s book), and Kevin Bales (Author of Disposable People and founder of Free the Slaves, an organization dedicated to eradicating modern day slavery). 

The vision for the annual event is that it would be “the place” for change makers to come and speak about their causes in the East Bay and get involved in a discussion on how it intersects with faith and action.



2015 Segregated: how public policy segregated the east bay and what we can do about it

  • Keynote by Richard Rothstein and Reverend Ben McBride
  • Panel Discussion with Amy Fitzgerald, Executive Director of OCO, Sandhya Jha, Founder and Director of The Oakland Peace Center and Director of Interfaith Programs for the East Bay Housing Organizations, Reginald Lyles, 30 year Law Enforcement Veteran and Senior Policy Advisor for Public Safety to former Mayor Jean Quan, and Richard Rothstein, Research Associate of the Economic Policy Institute and Senior Fellow of the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy at the University of California Berkeley School of Law.
  • Exhibitor Fair following the speaking portion of the night, featuring local agencies contributing to the restoration of our communities.


2014 Race and Faith: Building our Community

  • Keynote by Dr. Mark LabbertonPastor Michael McBride
  • Panel discussion with Abu Qadir Al-Amin, Imam SF Muslim Community Center, Rosa Aqeel, Legislative Director for PICO CA, Mary Ellen Azada, Associate Pastor of Missional Engagement at First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, Ben McBride, Founder of Empower Initiative & Director of City Team Oakland, and Marjorie Stamper-Kurn, a diversity and inclusion specialist.
  • Exhibitor Fair followed the speaking portion of the night, featured local agencies contributing to the restoration of our communities.
  • Opportunities to register for follow up events and conversations related to the topic of Race & Faith



2013 Make Fair Trade Local

  • Paul Rice, President & CEO of Fair Trade USA, spoke about the importance of voting with our dollar
  • Over 35 partnering organizations participated in our exhibitor fair
  • Panelists included Betty Ann Boeving of the Bay Area Anti Trafficking Coalition, Nathan George from Trade As One, and Steve Wright from the Grameen Foundation.
  • Proceeds benefited Fair Trade USA




  • Dr. Kevin Bales joined us in 2012 to discuss the state of modern day slavery globally and locally
  • 30 local anti trafficking agencies participated in an exhibitor fair to promote the work they are doing
  • Proceeds benefited MISSSEY, New Day for Children, and Samaritana




  • Joel Salatin and Michael Pollan spoke to a sold out crowd of 700 in 2011
  • Proceeds benefited both The Peoples Grocery and Oakland Food Connection