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Our History

Roots in the Community

Trybe is rooted in East Oakland

Trybe is currently based out of San Antonio Park, and previously was based out of various parks: Bella Vista Park, Manzanita Recreation Center, and across the street from FM Smith Park. Programs mainly consisted of basketball programs out of Roosevelt Middle School, Brookfield Park, Rainbow Recreation center, along with early childhood, youth and family programs out of a storefront. Being so closely rooted in the neighborhood, Trybe moves with the historical, familial, cultural identities and strengths of the area. It is diverse, with multiple cultures and languages, and common threads such as family, struggle, and youth as our future, with many from immigrant backgrounds and others who are long-time residents who have been in the area for generations.

Trybe was conceived in 2005 and began in 2007 with grass-roots activities aimed at fulfilling the felt needs of neighborhoods in Oakland. Trybe began by hosting family movie nights in backyards and bought a jumper for children and youth to play in together. These initial acts of bringing neighbors, families and young children together laid the foundation for our work as community builders where neighbors support each other, especially those with young children.


A History of Serving Youth


Our neighbors told us of how kids had nowhere to go after school. So Trybe, set-up skateboard ramps, helmets, basketball nets at local parks so kids could be active and engage in outdoor activities. Not only did Trybe provide equipment, but we provided Youth Leaders to be a friendly presence at the parks, enabling kids to be safe, have more directed activities and form mentoring relationships.

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Trybe also has a history of creating opportunities for joy. Trybe’s annual Halloween Party began as a safe alternative for families to enjoy trick-or-treating in their own neighborhood. This yearly event is attended by over 800 people. Even during the pandemic, we were able to give kids (and parents) a welcome respite from the realities of Covid and held an outdoor - trunk or treat, where kids could still dress up and get candy from the “trunks” of their neighbors cars.


Youth and under-served adults did not have many employment opportunities so Trybe focused on jobs, helping youth with resumes, interviews and network connections which resulted in full-time and part-time jobs for youth at both small businesses (Oakland Recycling center, Evergreen Lodge, and various Oakland eateries) and large businesses (UC Berkeley, Port of Oakland, and local banks).

Trybe has continued to serve where needed, filling service gaps and threading itself into the fabric of the neighborhood.

The communities that Trybe helps bring together manifests through math clubs in middle schools, after school clubs at elementary schools, basketball teams, block parties and large seasonal events, playgroups, father's groups, ambassador programs, action-research groups, and most importantly walking with youth and their families through life's stages and struggles. 

Trybe has led initiatives to:

  • Provide free summer enrichment programming through Trybe’s annual summer camp in San Antonio Park which serves over 200 children a year, with activities in sports, woodshop, art, and cooking. 

  • Respond to crime and violence in a positive community-building manner through the development of an Ambassador and Violence Interrupter program.

  • Continue to serve and impact youth through internship programs, pre-workforce development, youth nights, and college trips to San Diego and Santa Cruz.

  • Beautify Oakland streets and parks with Trybe’s resident artist who has completed two large-scale murals on the corner of Roosevelt Middle School and on the street in front of Franklin Elementry School. As well as murals inside San Antonio Park and Bella Vista Park.

  • Establish a youth and family resource center where various early childhood playgroups are hosted: Early literacy, Bi-Lingual, and preschool readiness.  The Trybe Center has become a hub of community activity with youth groups, after-school tutoring, girls' groups, fathers' support groups, and community celebrations.

  • Address food insecurity in Oakland by providing over 1,000,000 meal equivalents to Oakland residents with fresh produce, pantry staples, and healthy snacks.

  • Create community connections with multicultural family-oriented events where neighbors connect over tasty food, live music, and family activities.

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