Monthly Archives: September 2023

Harry Potter’s Beloved Dumbledore,Michael Gambon, Dead at 82

Michael Gambon as Dumbledore, with long grey hair, seated on a chair.
Still photo of Michael Gambon in character as Dumbledore from Harry Potter by photographer Jaap Buitendijk

Sir Michael Gambon, a highly respected and awarded actor, passed away on Sept. 27, 2023, in Witham, UK. He suffered from pneumonia and ultimately passed at the age of 82. 

Gambon had a very successful acting career in both the theater and on the big screen. After the passing of actor Richard Harris, Gambon would take over the notorious role of Albus Dumbledore in the movie “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” After landing the role in the third installment of the movie series, he would continue until the eighth and final movie of the series. 

Growing up, Gambon had humble beginnings with his seamstress mother, Mary Hoare, and engineer operative father, Edward Gambon. By the time Gambon was 21 years old, he followed his father’s footsteps with a career in engineering. However, this career path would end up changing as he made his theater debut in the 1962 production of Othello at Gate Theatre. 

Although his role as Dumbledore may have been one of his most well-known, Gambon was an amazing actor whose work has inspired and touched the hearts of many over the course of six decades. He is survived by his wife Anne and his son Fergus, who were at his side when he passed. His legacy will live on through his wife, son, and his expansive body of work.

From Physical Shelves to Virtual Carts:  Students Weigh In On the Bookstore’s Closure

Now that Chabot College’s bookstore has transitioned to a new virtual platform, students share their mixed reactions and concerns ranging from accessibility and convenience to nostalgia about all the great things the in-person store used to offer.

Our bookstore was part of one of the many Barnes & Noble Education bookstores. Barnes & Noble Education, or BNED, is a spinoff corporation of the Barnes & Noble Retail bookstores. The company has operated over 700 college-campus bookstores. However, many of these stores are closing and turning virtual due to financial stress, Chabot’s being one of them. 

Now, books are available for purchase online in the new virtual bookstore. An email was sent out in late August to all students with instructions on how to get to the online bookstore, set up an account, and highlights some new features.

I asked students for their initial reaction to hearing about the bookstore closure and got a range of emotions. “I’m sad the bookstore is closing. The staff was always super friendly,” stated Amirah. 

Another student, Saroyah, was not concerned about its closing, “It’s not a huge deal to me, but I hope they turn the space into something productive.”

A concern was raised for our students who don’t have an address. How will they get these books shipped? Since the online bookstore offers no in-store pickup options, a shipping-only model could present a challenge for many. Fortunately, you can have your books delivered to the campus library, which is still open. The address for the library is Chabot College, Attn: Library, 25555 Hesperian Blvd Hayward, CA 94545.

One student made a point about potential issues with certain majors. “[The virtual bookstore] is more convenient for hybrid and online students, but it makes it harder for art students to buy their supplies now,” stated Giselle, an art student at Chabot.

Another concern for others is navigating the new website. For many who loved the bookstore’s welcoming environment and friendly staff, losing that to a website can be disheartening. Not to mention, in-person options are great for those who don’t have easy access to technology or may not be as comfortable using it without help. 

When you first go to the new site, knowing where to start can be a bit overwhelming and difficult. If you are already familiar with the school website, you can search “Bookstore FAQ” and the first link will take you to a page showing you how to set up your account with screenshots as an aid to get you started. The campus library also offers support with the bookstore website if needed.

Navigating a new virtual platform has been a concern for many. A Chabot student agreed with this sentiment saying, “The virtual bookstore is a bit confusing, and I miss the snacks. The search engine isn’t very effective.” 

The online platform also comes with a few logistical hiccups and concerns. Logan, another Chabot student, shared his concerns, “I think it’s inconvenient. I like a place to go to purchase my books [in person], and the online site has a lot of shipping issues. I liked having the option to buy scantrons in person.”

The financial implications of the bookstore’s closure also raise eyebrows. Tyler, another student, pointed out the potential contradiction, “It’s contradictory to use the money from closing the bookstore to use on the library. It’s pretty inconvenient for me, but hopefully, it’s convenient for others.”

While there are still many logistical and technical concerns to be addressed, one thing is clear; the online bookstore will be Chabot’s new normal in an increasingly virtual world. Students will continue to voice their opinions but it remains to be seen how Chabot will address the concerns of their diverse student body. 

Beyond the stars: Mayan Nights at Chabot College Planetarium 

On September 21, Chabot College Planetarium hosted an exclusive event that explores the fascinating world of ancient Mayan science and culture. It’s shed light on the Mayan’s advanced understanding of astronomy and timekeeping.

The event was organized by Scott Hildreth, a knowledgeable Chabot College professor of Physics and Astronomy and NASA researcher, who guided students through the rich heritage of Mayan knowledge and history.

“They didn’t have calculators, they didn’t have Seikos, they didn’t have smartphones, but they took records over so long that they were able to figure out there are approximately 29.530 days in one lunar month. And this is a thousand years ago,” explained Prof. Scott Hildreth.

The show started with a splash of the sound of Mayan cultural music that brought viewers back 1000 years ago to indigenous cultures, highlighting the existence of vinyl records from regions including Mexico and Guatemala, showing many of the musical instruments used by these cultures, such as flutes and drums, likely remained unchanged until now.

One of the central parts of the event was the connection between the students and their potential Mayan ancestry. Prof. Hildreth touched upon the idea that, even if people couldn’t directly trace their lineage to the Maya, the influence of this ancient civilization might still be present in their bloodline or through connections with friends and family.

‘’I also was very amazed to learn that the Mayans did scientific studies which were not only way ahead of their time but included it as a part of their daily lives,’’ – shared Brian after visiting 7 Wonders of the World.

One of the most astonishing revelations was the Mayan’s intricate understanding of time. They precisely recorded the position of the sun throughout the year, tracking its rising and setting locations. They developed a calendar system based on 260 named days and a 365-day solar calendar, along with a detailed system for associating characteristics with specific birth dates.

‘’I did not know that the ancient Mayan civilizations were so obsessed with astronomy and the sky, and they were such strong observers. It’s amazing that they based all of their architecture on the sky, and I think that’s what my biggest takeaway is,’’ – said Chabot student Emmanuel Garrido.

Mayan Nights
Mayan Nights at Chabot Planetarium

The Mayans’ written records contained detailed depictions of astronomical events, historical records, and intricate artwork that told stories of battles, conquests, and the lives of their rulers.

The event concluded with an exploration of Mayan artistry and craftsmanship, including their beautifully detailed stone glyphs and pyramids. They didn’t build it in one place. They built pyramids all over the Mayan area, and these pyramids are not accidental because they’re aligned to the directions of the Sun. 

“They’re aligned to when the moon rises and sets in particular places on the horizon: the highest or lowest of the sky,” – explained Prof. Scott Hildreth.

Mayan legacy left behind such as their specific methodology for counting days in a year on the pyramids is both fascinating and practical. These architectural structures served as both monuments and astronomical observatories with specific characteristics:

“91 steps on all four sides. What’s four times 91? They had to bring a calculator? It’s 364. The top step is 365. You think that’s an accident? No, no. Well, a quarter of the year on each side”, – noted Prof. Scott Hildreth.

All in all, Chabot College Planetarium is an exclusive place in the Bay Area academic neighborhood. None of the most famous local universities such as Berkeley or Stanford has this sort of facility. Luckily, Chabot College has. 

‘’I think it’s a very inviting atmosphere, a very learning atmosphere. I think I feel safe being curious and asking questions because I think the professor was very well, he was very eloquent with everything and seeing as this is my culture, these would be my ancestors. I felt just very interested overall,’’ – shared Emmanuel Garrido. 

Therefore, all the students were offered a unique opportunity to journey into the heart of ancient Mayan science and culture. Through the insights of passionate and captivating exploration of Mayan achievements, all the students not only gained a newfound appreciation for the intellectual richness of this remarkable civilization but also celebrated Hispanic heritage month.

“La Bienvenida” Marks 40 Years of Inclusivity

Chabot College celebrated 40 years of “La Bienvenida” as the fall semester kicked off, focusing on inclusivity. The event on Sept. 18 drew students and staff together.

Javier Espinoza, an anthropology instructor and Vice President of the Chicano Latino Education Association, explained the event’s importance for the students: “Getting them to know that we’re here, to know that we want to help them through the process and navigate through the college system because a lot of students are first-generation and they need us to help them get through, and we’re here for that.”

This event aimed to highlight the culture, background, history, and identity of Latinx students on campus.

Chabot College has a huge background in supporting students. Sandra Hera, counselor for the Puente Project, recalled the event’s long history: “Puente started right here at Chabot College over 40 years ago, and that was because a counselor and a teacher got together and said, we need to do better for our growing Latinx community and have a learning community specifically dedicated to them.”

Bienvenida means “welcome.” Our house is your house, and it’s a cultural opportunity for all students to come together around food, music, and each other, to welcome each other, and to get to know who’s in the same space. “In the Latino culture, we always want to know who’s in the room,” Sandra Hera explained. 

At “La Bienvenida,” all guests enjoyed music, networking, and burritos. The tone reflected the community in terms of the students, faculty, administrators, and classified professionals. The main goal was to make spaces available for students so they feel comfortable.

“I can support students in creating a student education plan, whether they want to earn a certificate or transfer or get an associate degree. I can also support students in recommending services on campus and resources, or if they need help filling out any forms for financial aid or admissions and records,” explained Jasmine Garcia. She is a counselor at Chabot. Her office is located on the second floor of the 700 building, so she can support students in drop-in counseling services or make student appointments. 

There were a lot of opportunities for students to meet representatives of different organizations, such as “El Centro,” the Student Resource Center for all students on campus with a focus on the cultural background of the Latinx community. “The Dream Center” has information and resources for students who are undocumented and need counseling appointments. They provide access to legal services, like meeting with a lawyer. 

“The STEM center” focuses on students pursuing careers in math, biology, and physics. Financial aid department reminded everyone about the opportunities to apply for the financial resources available to pay for books, supplies, and transportation to pass your classes successfully. It’s trying to bridge the gap between the Hispanic population and number of students getting access to higher education. 

Overall, celebrating the 40th anniversary marked a milestone for the Chabot College family. The Chabot College team showed how they connect students to the right services, the right spaces, and the support they need not to feel alone.

Banned African American Books in Red States and Why

Books depicting the African American experience from Alex Haley, Alice Walker, Ruby Bridges, and more black authors are banned in the U.S. Schools, Libraries, and prisons from Tennessee to Arizona (Mostly red states).

They’re banned because of the violence, language, and adverse effects they might have on young readers. Another reason why is because of the Critical Race Theory (CRT). It’s a Cross-disciplinary examination by social and civil rights activists of how social conceptions of race and ethnicity shape laws, social and political movements, and media.

Whether books or teaching, the number of banned subjects related towards CRT continues to grow across the US. Several red states believe it teaches that America was founded on racism and inequality and that white supremacy is embedded in this country.  

The Autobiography of Malcolm X

The Autobiography of Malcolm X is a nonfiction book based on the actual events of the Muslim Minister and civil rights activist. The book was written by Malcolm and Alex Haley.

The novel touches on black pride, The African American experience from the 1920s through the 1960s, racism, religion, coming of age, black separatism, and Jim Crow. Along with Malcolm X joining the Nation of Islam (NOI), a black nationalist organization that teaches Islamic tradition and black separatism.

The NOI was started in 1930 by founder Minister Wallace Fard Muhammad, then after he died in 1937 and led by Minister Elijah Muhammad from 1937 till his death in 1975. Muhammad was Malcolm X’s mentor. The novel mentions when Malcolm X left the NOI and went to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and the events when he returned.

When Malcolm left the NOI due to disagreements about where the organization was heading with Muhammad, Malcolm went to Mecca for his true conversion into a Muslim.  Malcolm X changed because of what he saw, and he saw Muslims of all different colors and races without discrimination against each other. 

The book is  regarded as one of the most influential in the U.S. as of  2012. The Library of Congress named it “One of The Books That Helped Shaped America” in 2021. The book was published on Oct. 29, 1965, just eight months after Malcolm X was assassinated at 39. 27 years later, the book was produced into a film starring Denzel Washington as Malcolm X and was directed by Spike Lee.

Dr. Jamal Cooks, Vice President of Academic Service at Chabot College, said this about the book “Malcolm was changing before going to Mecca. He began to not only see the world in black and white, but he also began to see it in terms of those that were for the progress of humanity and those that were not. The book spoke on brotherhood, embracing humans, and somehow it got lost in translation.”

The novel is banned in six red states, including Arizona, Texas, and Tennessee. According to an article on the Vice website, Tennessee Prison Rejects Book Donations Because Malcom X is Not Allowed, states that  Malcom X’s bio book is banned in the prisons of Tennessee because of CRT law that’s been placed in that state and how it may incite a riot. The book is claimed to be inconsistent with rehabilitative goals.

An autobiography not banned in those same red states is German Nazi Party Leader, Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf. Translated in English is titled, My struggle, is claimed to not have anything to do with the CRT laws.

When Department of Criminal Justice Chief of Staff Jason Clark asked why he allowed the Hitler book in the Texas Prisons, he replied, “Mein Kampif is approved because it doesn’t violate our rules, it doesn’t stir up readers’ minds.”

In an excerpt from Mien Kampif on page 134,  “The Jews are the master of lies…. Jews are people of robbers…. they are beneath us like rats.” This extremist racist German organization imprisoned, tortured, and killed over six million Jews during the holocaust.        

Malcom was all about helping the African American race. He was never about violence. He was a separatist, but he changed when he returned from Mecca. He wanted to ally with other civil rights leaders he once called “Uncle Tom,” a derogatory word that meant a sell-out to their race. He wanted help from Dr. Martin Luther King, Adam Clayton Powell, and white people who wanted to help.

The Color Purple

The Color Purple is a fictional book by Alice Walker. The book guides the trauma and victory of Celie Harris Johnson, an African American woman raised in Georgia during the early 20th century. The book takes place during Celie’s teen years and ends into her adulthood. In the novel, Celie is bullied, discouraged, and has low self-esteem due to her husband and stepfather, yet she overcomes it and stands up for herself.

The novel was published in 1982, and the following year won a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and The National Book Award for Fiction. In 1985 the book was produced into a movie starring Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Danny Glover. With Steven Spielberg as the director.

The book is banned in six red states like Florida, Mississippi, and Texas due to the book subjects on racism, lesbianism, rape, teenage pregnancy, and sexism. An article titled, Texas Prison Bans the Color Purple, on the Guardian website states, “The book is banned because the author leads the reader to believe her father rapes the main character.”

North Carolina Brunswick County Commissioner Pat Sykes wrote in her request in 2021 to remove the novel from the state. She said, “Trash in, Trash out. The immorality, the filth, you need to be 21 to drink, but they provided porn. Reading this as part of their curriculum in High School is Wrong.” The school board voted 3-2 to keep the book in school.

In an article on the Oprah Daily website, Oprah Says She Wanted to Be in The Color Purple More Than Ever, Oprah stated, “When I read the book for the first time, I loved it. It embraced womanhood; the book is cultured. So, when I found out about the audition for the movie, I went out and brought copies, handed them to people, and told them I was going to be in the movie. The book is so meaningful and deep.”

A musical movie of the book is set to be released in theaters on Dec. 25, 2023. Fantasia Barrino will be portraying the character of Celie. 

Ruby Bridges Goes to School

Ruby Bridges Goes to School was written by Ruby Bridges herself and published in 2009. It’s an autobiography about Bridge’s experience of being the first African American to be integrated into an all-white school in New Orleans, LA 1960.

The book is banned in Texas, Tennessee, and Florida due to the CRT law. Moms Against Liberty (MAL) is a conservative nonprofit organization that advocates for what it sees as parental rights in schools; they advocated for the ban of the book.

In an article on titled Moms Against Liberty Against Ruby Bridges, stated MAL’s comment, “The book is too uncomfortable for young white children… There are no black heroes in the book. Such as Justice of the Peace Clarence Thomas, Actor Morgan Freeman, and Secretary Ben Carson.”

The book focuses on Bridges and what she had to overcome as a six-year-old in 1960. This is 31 years before Thomas was Justice of the Peace in the U.S. Supreme Court, 57 years before Carson served as the 17 United States Secretary of Housing, and 11 years before Morgan Freeman made his acting debut.

Dr. Cook chimes in on what the MAL chapters in Arizona, Texas, and Tennessee comment about that novel, “Life is uncomfortable, and life is in no one’s favor…. The book explains to the readers how taking a stand for what you believe in is very important. You can stand up for whatever you believe in at any age, and to me, that’s a hero.”

The novel represents never forgetting the past or those who were there to help a better future. In the first chapter of the book she stated, “A Long time, black children and white children could not go to the same school. I Helped change that and along my journey I made friends too. Some white children did not judge me because of my color. They judge me because of my character.”

Others’ Opinions

Books from the African American Experience inform young, old, black, and white readers of the obstacles they faced in U.S. history. Those obstacles deal with racism, segregation, unjustified laws, slavery, and more that are still brutal to the black race today.

Umoja member and Chabot student Christian Green expressed, “It’s a toleration of white guilt and ignorance. The CRT theory is for black people specifically. Allowing this to happen in allowing any other forms of the practical racial, sexist, homophobic system to continue because someone doesn’t want race and anything else to be talked about in general.”

Libraries are meant to serve the public and all prospective points of view. Chabot head librarian Pedro Reynoso expressed, “Anytime you censor any author, specifically minorities, it’s a way of erasing people’s contribution to this country….as a librarian, I always support and defend freedom of speech and collecting books from prospective that present the full spectrum of the community.”

There is a letter obtained by the Texas Tribune from the Texas House of Representatives stating, “These books might make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish,” and then continues, “They’re too young for children to be part of the school curriculum dealing with race and Black Lives Matters Moments.”

Books are supposed to, at times, leave readers questioned, informative, and create their own opinions. As an educator, Dr. Cook mentioned, “My point as an educator is that part of what we do is to be able to expose young people to a variety of topics at an appropriate time. Exposing them to different topics lets them walk away from their perspectives.”

Umoja member and Chabot student Makaylih Chan Welch voiced, “It’s dumb. Why erase or ban books of events that happened? Racism, slavery, and Jim Crow happened over 100 years ago. Years you can’t erase the black experience that happened 100 years or less years ago. There are people alive today that were involved in civil rights. Doing this removes their voice, and young people from different races need to hear or read that.”

More books about the African American experiences from black authors include A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines, Beloved by Toni Morrison, I Know Why a Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, and more, continue to be banned from red states due to the CRT Laws in those states.

Books, fiction or nonfiction about the black experience, uplift the race, reminding readers of the realities that African Americans faced through their own words. They not only highlight the negative but showcase the positive as well. The continuation of the book ban will further erase black stories for the future generations.

Cafe Dad: Empowering Fathers for Success in Hayward Schools

Cafe Dad is part of the Hayward Unified School District’s (HUSD) Fatherhood Initiative, where fathers and father figures meet to learn about resources and topics focused on fatherhood and helping their children succeed in school. They meet every month on the second Thursday at 6 p.m. at different locations in Hayward. 

The meeting was held on Sept. 14 to help fathers and father figures learn how to prepare their children for success. Family engagement specialists Eduardo Picazo and John Maris lead the monthly meetings with workshops and events to help engage fathers in their children’s lives. 

“HUSD has been involved with encouraging fathers to participate in students’ academic life and career,” said family engagement specialist Eduardo Picazo. 

“Mom is usually the first point of contact. If fathers feel welcome at school, we believe students would be more successful if fathers were involved with student events and participation. That’s why the school district started this program,” continued Picazo. 

Cafe Dad holds workshops for fathers to learn financial literacy, investing, helping with legal support, and helping empower dads in different ways. The Cafe Dad also holds events for fathers to spend time with their children, like miniature golfing, bowling, or going to the movie theater. The program has also become a safe space and support system for fathers. 

“What we do is we try to create a safe space for fathers to come and discuss topics that are relevant to them,” said family engagement specialist John Masis. 

The next meeting for Cafe Dad will be held on Oct. 12, where they will be discussing bullying prevention and digital safety. Fathers are welcome from outside of the HUSD if they would like to benefit and learn from the workshops of Cafe Dad.

Gladiators Show Promise but Fall Short in 26-34 Loss to Reedley

The Chabot Gladiators football team lost their first home game to Reedley Community College on Saturday at 1 p.m. with the final score of 26-34. This game is their second loss so far this season

Chabot head coach Eric Fanene said this about the loss, “We improved from last week, but we still made mistakes. You can’t have turnovers on special teams. We gave them a short field, and much of our defense was backed against the wall. We did have some good stops, but they weren’t enough. We’re going to need more discipline. This is the new Chabot. We’re going back on the uptrend.”

Gladiators Cheering On Before Game. Photographed by: Jared Darling

The Gladiators came out strong in the first quarter, scoring the first touchdown in just under 30 seconds. On defense, they made it impossible for the opposing team to score a touchdown and only let them score a field goal, ending the quarter with 7-3.

During the second quarter, Reedley made a touchdown with no field goal, making it 7-10. Gladiators’ offense came back with another touchdown thanks to receiver Carlos Franklin’s taking back the lead 13-10 at halftime.

Reedley scored a touchdown in the third quarter, taking back the lead 13-17. Chabot came through again, though, thanks to wide receiver Manny Higgins, who made a reception leading to a touchdown, taking back the lead,20-17. Reedley scored another touchdown at the bottom of the quarter, regaining the lead 20-31.

In the first minute of the fourth quarter, Franklin ran a touchdown, making it 26-31. Then, at the bottom of the quarter, Reedley made a touchdown, which won them the game, ending at 26-34.

Manny Higgins wide receiver making great touchdown. Photographed by: Jared Darling

Franklin said this about Saturday’s game, “I feel like I played well, but as a team, I feel like we could’ve finished it. The mistakes we made were dumb penalties. I honestly feel like we just got to get back in the gym  and come back and win next week.”

Next week, the Gladiators play at Sacramento City at 1:00 p.m. To watch Saturday games or future Chabot games, go to, and for more information on the Chabot Football team, go to The Chabot website.

Community Unites at Castro Valley’s Fall Festival

Festival goers waiting in line for kettle corn and drinks. Photo by Josefina de la Torre

Castro Valley Boulevard transformed into a bustling hub of local culture and commerce during the 51st annual Fall Festival, held on Sept. 9 and 10 and hosted by the Castro Valley and Eden Area Chamber of Commerce.

Local vendors, artists, and booths were selling homemade goods and merchandise and sharing information with the community, such as and CV Sanitary. A small zoo and festival rides were provided for children for their entertainment.

Local dance performances and live entertainment were enjoyed by the public. Southern food and kettle corn were sold at the festival for everyone’s enjoyment.

Jenn DeJanes, owner of local online bakery Jenn’s Cupcakes, praised the festival’s impact on the community. “We’ve been doing this event for almost nine years now. It is the best event Castro Valley has and brings the biggest crowd to town,” DeJanes said.” I love seeing all of our clients that we met over the years and the families that have grown and just getting to see the whole community come together as one.”

“We’re representing our organization. We’re also a community place, so we want to get the word out about what we are doing in the community. So this is a great way to give us exposure,” said Nimone Li-Hardisty, CEO of “The Castro Valley Festival is a very popular event.”

Despite challenges with limited parking spaces and heavy traffic, the festival still managed to attract a robust turnout this year. Attendees navigated the congestion to enjoy various activities, vendors, and performances. The difficulties in transportation did little to dampen the community’s enthusiasm for the annual event.

As the festival wrapped up, local resident Jill Rich summed up the sentiments of many attendees. “I’m looking forward to seeing all the small businesses and what Castro Valley offers.”

Back to Black to School

Performer T.O.A. (The Original Artist ) raps to the crowd.

Black to School was an event held on the Chabot campus on Sept. 6 from noon to 1:30 p.m., located between buildings 700 and 800. The event provided insight into what Chabot offers African American students, whether it’s programs, organizations, or just services. The Black Education Association hosts a welcoming event for Black students at the start of each Fall semester to foster a sense of community and belonging.

There were games, free food, music, and a performer named T.O.A. (The Original Artist). Black to School was hosted and sponsored by LaKesha Stewart, the Coordinator for the Black Cultural Resource Center (BCRC) and Program Coordinator.

This event is the second time the up-and-coming rapper T.O.A. has performed on campus this semester. “I’m glad to be back here at Chabot L.J. The D.J. from KCRH invited me. It’s good to see new faces, maybe some new fans. I hope I get invited back again.” said T.O.A.

There are many organizations and programs that are mainly targeted to African American students to help them succeed, such as Umoja, Striving Black Brothers Coalition (SBBC), and the Black Cultural Resource Center. There were even programs targeted to any student on campus, such as Restorative Integrated Self Education (RISE), Cal Fresh, and TRIO Aspire.

“I’m glad to be here. I want people to continue having fun. I want to thank everyone who put the time and effort into making this event happen. Hopefully, this will be an annual event,” said newly elected President Dr. Jamal Cooks, who attended the event.

Some African American students are not aware of the programs and services that are for their culture.

“I’m glad to see Black people here today organizing and bringing something positive for the African American students such as myself at Chabot. I didn’t know anything about Umoja, or SBBC. I want to see more events like this on campus,” said Chabot student Treyvon Campbell.

Along with food and music, there were games such as Chess, Scrabble, Jenga, a huge Connect Four set, and a Double Dutch game that caught the eyes of many attendees.

Ms. Stewart had this to say about Black to School, “I want to welcome our students back on campus. I hope they learn about the Black Cultural Resource Center here on campus. The center is for black students but open to all. I would like our Black and non-Black students to be able to access the space to learn about Black Culture and engage with fellow black students,” said Stewart.

LaKesha Stewarts thanks the attendee's for coming along with her is  Marvin H. Thompson III owner of Throne Vision Clothing (a religious clothing line).

Along with programs, services, games, food, and music, there was also an African American entrepreneur. Marvin Thompson III selling T-shirts with bible quotes under his Throne Vision Clothing brand and other clothing items.

“I’m showcasing my Throne Vision Clothing brand at Chabot at LeKesha’s invitation. I want to spread positivity, inspire people to embrace royalty and Christ’s vision, and encourage students from all backgrounds. It’s great to see the support for my clothing line and be part of this event,” Thomas said.

This event started from the idea at the BEA, Black Education Association, to welcome back our Black students at the beginning of each new Fall semester. The event started in 2007.

Mixing Cocktails for Good: Ukrainian Lawyer Supports Orphans Via Blagomay Fund

While the entire country of Ukraine feels the everyday pressure of war with Russian Aerial bombardment terrorizing civilians and the rising prices of goods and services, hardworking Ukrainian citizens have not let the war stop them from using their talents in a collective effort to raise funds for important causes and getting those funds to the people who desperately need them. 

Ukrainians like Evgeniy Komarov have managed to do just that by working through the night to raise money and awareness for Blagomay, which then gives their donations to abandoned children in orphanages. An event was held on Aug. 12 for this purpose at the Green Bar, a restaurant located at Khoryva St, in Kyiv, Ukraine. Evgeniy, a business law professional by day and cocktail bartender by night, has been working toward this goal since 2011. 

He works a guest shift for the event, meets with a marketing team to create a flyer, and then promotes it to his and the establishment’s patrons. Sometimes, he makes a set drink list; other times, it will be a percentage taken from the entire night of all cocktails sold. In this case, it was both, and when a customer purchases a drink at the event, the sales percentage is subtracted from the overall profits from the night and given directly to the Blagomay Fund.

I asked Evgeniy why he does this, and he replied, “First, you try charity, and then you know that you can never stop. It is a life position, a state of your soul. When you see the results, you understand that you can change something and help someone; it motivates you to do more and more.

As a lawyer, once a week, I become a bartender. For my friends, clients, and owners of the bars, it’s entertainment to see a lawyer shaking, dancing, and serving drinks. It’s a chance to meet with my friends and other people at the bar. Give them my tasty cocktails, talk with them, and have some fun. For the children of the orphanage who receive the generated funds, it’s essential and can be life-changing.”

Blagomay provides many resources for children, including educational, medical, facility reconstruction, and emergency programs. We are inspired to work to provide a new standard of living and opportunities for children deprived of parental care, children in difficult life circumstances, displaced children, children of fallen heroes, and all children affected by the war in Ukraine. The foundation’s programs include educational, medical, emergency, critical needs, shelter, and rehabilitation programs,” according to the Blagomay website.

Blagomay Fund is a Ukrainian charity that has improved children’s childhoods in over 100 orphanages in Ukraine for 11 years. The fund is dedicated to providing a better future for orphaned children who could have been abandoned or lost their families, some directly resulting from war and genocide in Ukraine. “This includes needed supplies and education so these children can still have the opportunities to become professionals in their different spheres of interest,” said Evgeniy.

One specific cocktail of the night was named after “Black Lives Matter” because Evgeniy felt strongly about the racial injustice many African Americans face daily. The cocktail was made to suit the guest’s taste for sour or sweet and included M&M’s. The night also featured a record-spinning guest DJ who played popular classic tracks like “Ridin” from Chamillionaire.

Profits on this night given to the fund were 3000 UAH (Ukrainian Hryvnia), which equals $81.29 in the U.S.; in total, from the previous event bar sales and this night equaled 6875 UAH from the sales of cocktails, which is about $186.15 US. While this is not a large amount of money in the U.S., it is a good profit in Ukraine for kids in orphanages, and every little bit counts. 

The Blagomay Organization can be reached for further donations at or