Pan African Festival is a free annual one-day festival that aims to, 1.) strengthen the Bay Area Pan African community through arts and culture, 2.) reclaim public space, and 3.) bring residents together to celebrate. More than a festival, PAF is a cultural resistance tool developed to build bridges between long time Black Oaklanders and new African immigrants.
PAF utilizes a five-pronged strategy to build the power of attendees. The first strategy is to host an Elder Zone that satisfies PAFs theory of change that creating a site for scholarship which puts elders in direct contact with youth will transfer history, enhance understanding and critical thinking skills, and help build a racial justice fight overtime. Secondly, the Artist Zone open to all regardless of experience, increases people's visual story-telling competency-another method that builds voice, and transfers histories and legacies. It is premised on the idea that the community's visual surroundings directly shape residents’ thinking and behavior. Therefore, the creation of (mural) arts featuring a radical message/images fosters a sense of self-determination. Thirdly, the Youth Games Zone engages children and youth in team building activities that promote a restorative justice philosophy for their day-day lives. Fourthly, the Workshop Zone threads people's lives beyond boundaries, borders and blocks to deliver key information and resources. Lastly, the Main Performance Stage showcases artists and singers from across the diaspora in order to highlight the diverse Pan African experiences.
Funded by Oakland, CA (July 2018)