Laney EcoFest features music, dancing to celebrate Earth Day

By KR Nava
Design Editor

Bright beams of warm sunlight danced across the Laney College campus alongside a diverse mix of musical performers and concerned citizens, all gathered to celebrate the 11th Annual EcoFest Sustainability Festival.

Throughout April 20 — already a “green” day of celebration across the country — bold music swept across Laney, a symphony conducted by the college community and the city of Oakland alike.

Ecologically minded local purveyors set up booths that boasted sustainable coffee, information on bee-keeping, and even electric cars. To fuel the EcoFest’s guests, the Laney Culinary Arts Program kept food flowing, preparing and serving it all.

This year’s EcoFest also featured four non-stop hours of entertainment. These included the day’s DJ, DJ Yaddos, a Bay Area staple; the College of Alameda Dance group, embodying Vietnamese aesthetics; and Desirae Harp, a Mishewal OnastaTis (Wappo) Nation singer-songwriter using her music to preserve her indigenous language.

SambaFunk!, a mix of professional and volunteer “Funkquarians” pictured at left, danced and played throughout the event. They aim to showcase the “cultural connections between Mother Africa and the daughter cultures of Brasil and Black America.”

Khafre Jay, pictured above in red, performed his special brand of “hardcore, revolutionary, anti-misogynist, and community-oriented” hip-hop. The founder and director of HipHopForChange, Jay uses his music to foster culture among disadvantaged youth across the Bay Area.

His socially-minded music reflected the spirit of the EcoFest celebration: creative minds working to make a better future.