Tuesday, May 26, 2020




May 22, 2020, Oakland, CA – Leadership of the Oakland African American Chamber of  Commerce (OAACC), has established a resiliency relief program to assist its members affected by the COVID-19 health pandemic, announced Chairwoman Shonda Scott and President Cathy Adams. The OAACC Resiliency Relief Program will be funded by contributions from supporters committed to the solvency and survival of local African American businesses that are members of the organization (www.oaacc.org).

OAACC conducted an internal survey within its membership to assess the impact of COVID-19; results varied from severe need to no impact, according to Lynell Bevels, OAACC’s Community Engagement Partner. “Many of our businesses said they were happy that we reached out to them to see how things were going.  Further, they let us know that the outreach is a source of encouragement along with offsetting any financial shortfalls we could assist with.  It underscores what we know about the African American community, overall, that one size does not fit all despite skewed perceptions.  Some of our members have great need others do not.”

Based on expressed need and the level of support received, the Resiliency Relief Program will serve as a temporary stop gap.  Cynthia Jones, an advisor to OAACC’s Resiliency Relief Program Task Force describes the application process as such, “In an effort to support local small businesses disrupted by COVID-19, that are required to Shelter In Place (SIP)    in compliance with Federal orders, OAACC’s Resiliency Relief Program is designed to provide funding and support to members with an expressed need. This relief program is a direct response to the immediate crisis, currently in place.”

Synopsis of the OAACC Resiliency Relief Program--

Thus, and in response, Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce (OAACC) developed a Call to Action Advisory Council from its’ African American business community of entrepreneurs and small business owners to develop a relief program that will heed the call and respond accordingly. 

The OAACC Leadership Team will perform robust fund development to amass a war chest of resources that will be GRANTED to our small, African American and/or minority businesses, which will assist -- financially and emotionally, during these unprecedented times -- with ongoing business expenses to include: payroll, office rent, goods, services and related expenditures. 

The grants are subject to eligibility requirements.

While we recognize that these grants will in no way make up for all of the financial losses experienced by many of our African American business and community membership, the intent is to provide relevant short term relief.  

Grants will be made on a first come first serve basis to businesses whose application meets the eligibility criteria. There is a limited allocation of money subject to funds raised.

Grant applications for the Resiliency Relief Program are now being accepted through June 20, 2020.  Go to www.oaacc.org and click the Resiliency Fund tab.

“The Chamber has been relentless in addressing the needs of our membership.  We are doing all we can to assist them during this critical time. Although some of our businesses were able to receive SBA Payroll Protection Program (PPP) funding, some did not meet all of the requirements.  This program will help us support members that fall into that gap we aim to fill.  We are striving to make our entire community whole, states Chairwoman Shonda Scott.

Federal funds made available through the Small Business Administration (SBA) and/or the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), “somehow didn’t make it onto the financial statements of our African American businesses most in need,” explains President Cathy Adams.

Adams concludes, “The African American business community will survive this health crisis but the degree of our recovery will be determined by the financial resources and healthcare services made available.  Before we were staring COVID-19 in the face, the Black community was swimming upstream against a current of inequities and insufficient services to balance the quality of life across racial demographics.  Nonetheless, we have pushed forward.  The goal now is to recover, equally, during and on the other side of this debilitating economic and health crisis.”

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Quarantine Hobbies- Cookin' with Coolio

I'll be honest.  I've been so preoccupied with Covid, that I have been unable to write.  

What is there to say that hasn't been said?  Be safe.  Wash your hands.  Stay inside.  Social distance.  Pray.

This morning, I had such cabin fever that I went into the garage to sort through some old books.  Since I can't leave the house, I figured there might be a few favorites worth reading again.

I stumbled upon "Cookin' with Coolio," a cookbook that Coolio (yes, that Coolio) put out years ago. Like ten years ago.

As I flipped through the pages, I thought, 'well when life gives you lemons, make "Kung Fu Chicken."

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Taylor Jay Collection Presents "End of the Decade" Photo Shoot and Gathering, Sunday March 1, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.

Taylor Jay Collection Presents End of the Decade Photo Shoot and Gathering  

    Oakland, CA– Taylor Jay Collection will present the End of the Decade Photo  Shoot, taking place at Lake Merritt at 1520 Lakeside Drive on Sunday, March 1,  2020, at 10:00am, featuring Taylor Jay, lite bites and drinks, giveaways and much  more! Come dressed in your favorite Taylor Jay and photo ready!    Taylor Jay is proud to bring End of the Decade Photo shoot to the beautiful Lake  Merritt. This event is presented in celebration of Women’s Month, and Taylor Jay  Collection’s 5th Anniversary. We will feature a multi-generational, ethnically  diverse and all-body inclusive group of women who represent the beauty of  Oakland and the Bay Area.     This is a FREE Event for all TJ supporters and members of our community. If you  are a local small business owner or sustainable brand and would like to  participate by contributing to this event (sponsorship or donation of giveaway  items)please contact ola@taylorjaycollection.com so we can include you as a  trusted business partner.    Taylor Jay Collection is a local woman owned sustainable fashion brand with its  design studio and a brick and mortar location right here in Oakland. Learn more  about our brand here: www.taylorjaycollection.com 

For further information, please contact CathyAdams, CDA Consulting Group

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Rest In Peace, B. Smith - A Very Extraordinary Woman

We have lost another African American icon.

Barbara Elaine Smith (B. Smith) passed away on February 22, 2020 of early-onset Alzheimer's Disease.

B. Smith's name was synonymous with class, beauty, elegance, style.  For me, long before Martha Stewart, there was B. Smith.

At only 70 years of age, she seemed far too young to pass away of a disease that impacts many people, and in disproportionate numbers, African Americans.

This might be a good time for those of us (including myself) who haven't done the work we should toward helping to fight this monster of a disease to get busy.

I can imagine she's hosting elegant parties in heaven.

With love and gratitude to B. Smith for all she symbolized and brought to the world.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Writer's Block, New Year Resolutions and Why Black History Month Still Matters

It's been a very long time since I posted here.  Too long.

Full disclosure.  I've had a bit of writer's block fueled by pressure to change my habits in 2020.

I began to wonder if my ramblings and musings make a difference to anyone.  

And then I realized they make a difference.  The difference they make is to me because when I'm able to express how I'm feeling, even if I don't have any earth shattering announcements or events, it's part of my personal development and I'm still learning to get out of my own way.

That said, I wanted to talk about Black History Month.  

This February seemed to roll around quicker than others and I think that's a lot to do with Thanksgiving and Christmas being so close together this year and so much to do with so little time.

Black History Month still matters.  It matters because even though it may seem that we already know all of the stories that PBS is telling this month, we don't.  The fact is that in 2019 we lost a lot of important people in Black America.

Bernard Tyson, John Conyers, Elijah Cummings, Ernest James and Jessye Norman to name a few.

Who will make sure that their stories live on for the next generation and the generation after?  If we forget the past we will surely have no future.  Our imprint is important.  Our history is America's history.

We're over halfway through February.  Don't let the month go by without learning something new about someone in Black History that you didn't know.

For me, it was the story of Nellie Jackson in "Mississippi Madam" on Amazon.  

February Challenge:  Pick at least one documentary or book to watch or read before the end of this month.  It would be better if you picked at least three - but one is a good place to start.


Thursday, October 3, 2019

Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce's 16th Annual Business Awards Luncheon

Thursday, October 24, 2019

11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Scott's Seafood Restaurant

Jack London Square, Oakland

Click HERE for Tickets and Sponsor Information

A CDA Consulting Group Presentation

Email:  cathy@cdaconsultingroup.com