Hard Knock Radio

The Concept of Black Woman Being God; and The Future of Youth in Oakland

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On today’s program, we discuss the new exhibit, “Black Women Is God” with Karen Senferu and Melorra Green. Later we talk about the future of Oakland’s youth with Liz Derias-Tyehimba, the executive director of West Oakland Youth Center.



Karen Seneferu is a self-taught artist that was born and raised in Oakland California. She received a BA in English from University of California, Berkeley. Interested in how individuals can be a part of mainstream society andmaintain cultural integrity, Seneferu created a program that removed fear andanxiety for Foundational Students called Take Flight at Berkeley City College, where she teaches. The program incorporates art, technology, reading, writing and gallery visits. At the center of the program is the idea that narrative is art and art is narrative.

Senferu artwork is a cross section of her teaching, where every space has the potential for creative output, education, and healing. Thus, every space has hidden meaning; what enters into that space can be dictated by that meaning, or can transform the meaning of that space.


Melorra Green, Curator for Inquiry and Impact. Melorra is a curator whose bold vision is deeply rooted in experience building community, supporting risk, and inspiring social change and cultural learning through art. She will help SOMArts develop, produce, and present new work in the visual, performing, literary, and interdisciplinary arts, and serve Bay Area citizens through curatorial residencies, productions, education and incubation.

If you would like to welcome or connect with Melorra, she can be reached at [email protected].


Liz Derias-Tyehimba, the executive director of West Oakland Youth Center. She is committed to economic and community development for youth and families.  She believes when provided access, resources and leadership opportunities, communities can be healthy and sustainable.  She has over 15 years of national and international social justice, youth and community organizing, popular education training, and policy and advocacy experience.  Liz has served as the Healthy Policy Coordinator with the Greenlining Institute leading advocacy efforts for affordable and accessible healthcare for California’s communities of color.  As the Educational Program Coordinator for SOUL, she led national training programs in popular education and youth and community organizing.  In 2008, Liz led the very first  West Oakland Youth Center Planning and Development Project in collaboration of Leadership Excellence and the City of Oakland.  Liz fought for educational justice and finance reform for California’s public school students through the Kids Count campaign of Youth Together, and has  served as a National Training Director with the Praxis Project; a Washington, DC based intermediary organization focused on economic and community development.  She is an avid social justice writer, and has been published on Feminist.wire and A-rab.net.

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