Category Archives: Education

GIRLFY in the gardens again!

This year’s GIRLFLY poses on the Quesada Gardens’ Tiled Steps located at the Newhall end of Quesada Avenue

Photo by Megan Lowe

Have you seen young women dancing in the Quesada or Bridgeview gardens? It’s that time again! GIRLFLY is creating a site specific dance and studying writing as activism here in our neighborhood during July. You may see them practicing in the gardens, Tuesdays through Fridays.GIRLFLY and Quesada Gardens have been collaborating since 2013.

GIRLFLY brings neighborhood and neighboring teen girls to the gardens to make site specific dances, to learn from the community building that has gone on here, and to deepen the neighbor to neighbor activism that has blossomed here along with the gardens.  Our long time ally and partner Jeffrey Betcher has been front and center in making this partnership a success.

This year we are making dances that explore both diversity and support in and around the Bridgeview Garden, on the long tile steps at the Newhall end of Quesada, and in locations on the Quesada Gardens’ median.  We are also enacting a writing-as-activism project led by SF State ethnic studies professor and QG neighbor Wei Ming Dariotis.

We have 19 girls ready to dance and make a difference. Come see their performances in the gardens on July 29th at noon and two PM.

Mary Booker honored

Mary Booker (holding flowers) with organizers of an event honoring her. Photo: Patricia Winston
Mary Booker (holding flowers) with organizers of an event honoring her. Photo: Patricia Winston

The contributions and accomplishments of one of Bayview’s hardest working change-makers were celebrated at Providence Church and Foundation last month when friends packed the large community room to surprise Mary L. Booker with some well-deserved love.

Mary is a respected writer and performer who over the years has lent her talents to causes she is passionate about, from Civil Rights and social justice to youth development and arts education.  Her plays have been performed by community members at the Bayview Opera House as part of Infinity Productions.  Her voice has lifted and her feet have stomped countless times while speaking her poetry in meeting halls throughout and beyond the neighborhood.

Footprints thanks Mary for a lifetime of community service, for keeping the fires of Bayview’s arts community stoked, and for continuing to make us proud that we can call her “neighbor.”

We also thank her for sending a couple poems along with permission to publish them!  We are honored to share “Holding Signs” and “A Moment of Silence.”

Back to School, Backpack Giveaway this Saturday

The Warriors helped make last year's event a slam dunk.  Photo: Footprints
The Warriors helped make last year’s event a slam dunk. Photo: Footprints

BMAGIC’s big annual event, Back to School Celebration and Backpack Giveaway, is this Saturday, August 15th from 11am to 3pm at Youngblood Coleman Park. Early risers are invited to do cardio conditioning, Thai Chi and yoga at the baseball field from 10am to noon.

Can’t wait? See coverage of past Backpack Giveway events on Bayview Footprints.

Bayview schools under scrutiny in “The Atlantic”

Even After Neighborhoods Integrate, Many Students Attend ‘Apartheid Schools’ by Kyle Spencer for The Atlantic is a high-profile article about Malcolm X Academy and other Bayview Hunters Point schools.  The article appeared in the July 29th edition of The Atlantic and in the National Journal online.

With windows that look out onto rapidly unfolding gentrification, these schools are struggling to change along with the neighborhood while avoiding the loss of diversity once spurred by federal mandates that are no longer in place.

Many school districts are finding themselves rapidly resegregating once released from federal desegregation orders put in place in the ’70s and ’80s, dipping back to pre-Civil Rights-era segregation numbers. San Francisco was released from its race-based federal desegregation order in 2001, and though it’s tried to promote more integration with a race-neutral school-choice program, it’s gotten mixed results.

A number of Bayview locals are quoted in the article.

For SF School Board Member and Mayor’s Office Education Adviser Hydra Mendoza, the path forward has to include stronger connections between the school system and City government.

For new SF School Board Member Shamann Walton, the call to better integrate public schools creates opportunities to invest in neglected school campuses.

For neighborhood resident and Bayview Association for Youth Executive Director Diane Gray, Willie Brown School would better diversity its population by promoting itself better, both to the larger community and the school’s own community.

See the full article

Inspired dance in heart of Bayview

Dancers at the Quesada Gardens Community Mural and Gathering Space. Photo: James Young
Dancers at the Quesada Gardens Community Mural and Gathering Space. Photo: James Young

Thanks to Bayview resident and talented photographer James Young for these images from last Saturday’s GirlFly at Quesada Gardens performances.  Crowds of neighbors and dance enthusiasts followed the dancers from the Bridgeview Garden to the center section of the Quesada Garden.

The audiences paused at various sites along the way to watch group dances created by Jo Kreiter and Celine Alwyn, and individual dances created by the young dancers themselves.

More about GirlFly at Quesada Gardens

Following the final dance, the audience was invited to watch a brief video the dancers created with Cynthia Blancaflor.  Creating the video was part of the month-long program that included a focus on issues that face the people who live, work, play and study at the unique community setting.

In the video, the girls focused on the harassment that women and girls face everywhere. The issues are presented through the lens of Quesada Gardens’ grassroots social change efforts.

Watch the video

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Cynthia Blancaflor premieres the GirlFly at Quesada Gardens video.
Cynthia Blancaflor premieres the GirlFly at Quesada Gardens video.


Community partnership to keep Bayview families healthy, fed

Outdoor oven at Abundance is part of partnership with Bay Leaf Kitchen. Photo: Footprints

Note: Camp Counselor volunteers are needed.  See More

Rachel Kiichli, Director of Communications, Bay Leaf Kitchen

Bay Leaf Kitchen, a San Francisco-based nonprofit with cooking classes and camps for kids, has moved into its new home within Abundance Community Garden on Jerrold Street.

With help from Cheryl, Christine and Pastor Nina, Bay Leaf Kitchen has put down roots at Abundance, a beautiful community garden. Both organizations feel that their missions are aligned and that they can support each other to help children and families stay healthy and fed.

Bay Leaf Kitchen will be helping Abundance by providing educational cooking opportunities for families who come to participate in the varied programs offered by Abundance Community Garden. Abundance, in turn, will be partnering with Bay Leaf Kitchen to host a two week summer cooking camp in its outdoor garden space.

Bay Leaf Kitchen has been operating in San Francisco for just over a year, and is embarking upon its second summer of camp sessions. School-year programming with Bay Leaf Kitchen consists of weekend classes and workshops for kids ages 3-17.  The organization offers everything from basic cooking skills and lessons in seasonality to peer mentorship programming and advanced cooking techniques.

Campers enrolled in Bay Leaf Kitchen’s Summer Camp spend a week cooking and learning with chefs and food experts from all over the Bay Area. The first three days of camp are spent with daily guest chefs who engage participants in activities that promote healthy eating habits, show how fun kitchens can be, and educate about seasonal fruits and vegetables.

On the fourth day of each session, all campers will bus to a Northern California organic farm or sustainable ranch for an overnight camping experience.  At the farm, campers will have unfettered access to experienced farmers and ranchers.  They will taste foods straight from the field and will get the opportunity to cook in true farm to table fashion with a guest chef from San Francisco.

Camp sites include LoneWillowRanch or MagruderRanch, both leaders in sustainable and organic agriculture and ranching.  Planned activities include playing in the fields, roasting homemade marshmallows around a campfire, acting in a skit and cooking under the open sky with a guest chef.

Bay Leaf Kitchen’s “open door policy” means that camps and classes are truly open to everyone.  We believe that cooking and learning opportunities in the kitchen and with the land should be available to everyone.  That’s why we offer scholarships and financial aid on a broad scale.  If your child wants to come cook and learn with us, we will make it happen!

Find information on financial aid and signing up with Bay Leaf Kitchen Summer Camp online.

Learn more about Bay Leaf Kitchen online or email the organizers.

Bayview’s library renamed as community celebrates

Feline Finesse Dancers

After beloved librarian and community servant Linda Brooks-Burton passed away in the fall of 2013, community members committed to creating a permanent honor by naming the new building that Linda championed after her.  A year and a half later, those community members made good on their promise.

Hundreds gathered under blue Bayview skies outside the “Bayview Linda Brooks-Burton Branch Library” last Saturday to celebrate the change and what it represents.  New signage has been installed along the top of the building, a bronze plaque above the book drop-off slot, and a metal etching inside the front door all formalize the name change.

“My mother would be overjoyed to know you love her so much,” Jamila Burton told the crowd.

The love was evident everywhere, for Linda, for libraries, and for honoring the traditional Bayview community during times of rapid change.

Lydia Vincent and Walter Johnson spoke on behalf of the community committee, while local officials spoke on behalf of the City and the SF Public Library.

Among the speakers was Edward Melton, former Chief of Branches for the SF library system, who traveled from Houston where he now works just to be present.  Edward was one of many SF Public Library champions of the name-change idea who provided key support for what became a truly collaborative campaign.  He spoke on behalf of Luis Herrera who was out of the country and unable to attend.

Thank you to Jason Doiy of Jason Doiy Photograghy for these great images from the day.

SFPL-Bayview Branch renaming
Burton family
SFPL-Bayview Branch renaming
Glen Ramiskey, Friend of the SFPL
SFPL-Bayview Branch renaming
Gina Fromer
SFPL-Bayview Branch renaming
Jamila Burton
SFPL-Bayview Branch renaming
Walter Johnson, Committee Member
SFPL-Bayview Branch renaming
Rev. Aurelious Walker
SFPL-Bayview Branch renaming
Dr. Toye Moses, SE Community Facility
SFPL-Bayview Branch renaming
Virginia Marshall, SF Alliance of Black School Educators
SFPL-Bayview Branch renaming
Emily Wade-Thompson, Bayview Superintendent’s Zone
SFPL-Bayview Branch renaming
D10 Supervisor Malia Cohen
SFPL-Bayview Branch renaming
Edward Melton
SFPL-Bayview Branch renaming
Supervisor Scott Weiner
SFPL-Bayview Branch renaming
Theresa Ono, SFPL Commission
SFPL-Bayview Branch renaming
Lydia Vincent, Committee Member
SFPL-Bayview Branch renaming
LaShon Walker, Lennar Urban

SFSU comes to Bayview

Wei Ming Dariotis

SF State’s President Les Wong is asking what could it mean for our Bayview community to house a campus of San Francisco State University

On Jan. 31 the Bayview YMCA hosted the first open meeting between SF State President Les Wong and members of the Bayview community, and more talks are happening at multiple levels. We can all see that having SFSU campuses in the Bayview or in Hunter’s Point would make a huge impact on the landscape and could potentially bring a lot of positive change to these neighborhoods, but how will being in the Bayview change SF State?

At another meeting I attended a few weeks after the first, other community leaders alerted Pres. Wong that large institutions have often made the community promises that remain unfulfilled. Fulfilling the hope implied by SF State coming into the Bayview may seem like a daunting task, but only if we look at this project as one sided. Having been a professor in the College of Ethnic Studies at SFSU for over fifteen years, and a neighbor (and now a member of the Quesada Gardens Initiative Board) for just over one, I have a few suggestions for how to make this move and this commitment by thinking about this as SF State joining the Bayview neighborhood.

We can hope that SF State will do all the things we hope a new neighbor will do-fix up their house and not play loud music too late at night. But what else can SF State really do other than what any new neighbor must do?

First, be present. That doesn’t mean just moving into a building, it means getting out on to the street. Respect the people who live here and what they have to teach us, the “teachers.” Look around and see who is there. Talk to people. Listen to them. If you are lucky, like I am, maybe build a garden with them. Eat with them. Laugh with them. Dance with them. Let them see the many facets of who you are. Invite them into your house.

SF State can be a good neighbor and help make the Bayview a safer place socially and environmentally. It can help guide people of all ages-kids and youth of course, but also 25-year-olds who never graduated from high school, the parents and even grandparents of those young kids to engage with higher education. (As a teacher, I always love having older students in my classes. They remind me how much I still have to learn).

But the Bayview has more to offer than just a new student population. The Bayview is a dynamic place, where people know how to work together, where its diversity is its strength. For all the stress and challenges, for all the things that sometimes make other SF residents fearful of coming here, I wouldn’t choose to live anywhere else.

New neighbors may be drawn to the Bayview because it is affordable, but we choose to live here because of the neighborhood. Because of the neighbors.

Wei Ming at a garden groundbreaking. Photo: Footprints

So it makes me think, what SF State coming into the Bayview is just as much an opportunity for the university to grow and change as it is for the Bayview to do so?

SF State has a lot to learn from the Bayview.

This relationship has already begun; growing forward, we need to both be good neighbors. We will need to be present, to look out for each other, and to learn what we can from each other.

Members of the community are invited to make their own suggestions on Neighborland , a digital platform for open discussion, to ask the community how SF State can help improve the neighborhood. 

SFSU is already here

Wei Ming Dariotis

Moving In? SF State is Already Here

SF State is already in the Bayview and we already have a deep relationship. So many Bayview residents are SFSU alums, or are the parents and grandparents of SFSU students. So many of us who live here also work and teach at SF State. SF State faculty are already involved in community and environmental projects in Bayview/Hunter’s Point.

So, yes, SF State is already here. Then the question becomes, how do we make that existing presence become a force for positive change, to provide more and deeper educational opportunities? To tie education to real career development? To help more entrepreneurs develop stronger community-relevant businesses?