Oscar Grant 8th Vigil 2017

January 1st marks the 8th anniversary of the murder of Oscar Grant III by then BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle. As in years past, Oscar’s family, friends and the Oakland community will gather at Grant (Fruitvale) station on Sunday, January 1, 2017 from 12-4 pm to honor the life of Oscar J. Grant III.

In the early morning hours of New Year’s Day, Oscar was making his way home from San Francisco with his friends when they were pulled off the train by BART police officers. Within minutes, the unarmed Oscar was called a racial slur, punched, handcuffed, slammed to the ground and ultimately shot in the back. The BART police officers were so violent and escalated the situation so quickly that train passengers pulled out their phones and captured the entire tragic incident. The videos of Oscar’s murder sparked a grass-roots community led movement with an international reach and forever changed the way families and communities organize against police brutality.

Indeed, the Black Lives Matter Movement of today can easily be traced back to the three-year struggle led by Oakland community members as they struggled for justice for Oscar. That struggle eventually led to the first time in California history, an on-duty police officer was arrested, tried and convicted for the shooting of an unarmed black man.

“This is a vigil – a celebration of my son’s life. We will stand in unity with our community and with a prayer that the violence ends today – and that no other family ever has to endure what we have managed to survive.” Let this day be a reminder for ourselves and for others where we stand in the struggle for justice. As we honor Oscar, we also honor ourselves. We are all Oscar Grant!

Performances featuring Mark Bamuthi Joseph, Candice Antique, Ryan Nicole, Young Gifted and Black, Kev Choice and other special guests.

About the Oscar Grant Foundation (OGF)

The Oscar Grant Foundation (OGF) was established in August 2010, as a Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation after the criminal trial and subsequent conviction of former B.A.R.T. Police Officer Johannes Mehserle for the January 1, 2009, unlawful killing of Oscar Julius Grant III. Oscar’s mother, Rev. Wanda R. Johnson, now heads the Foundation, and its mission is to help bridge the gap of distrust between individuals in at-risk communities and law enforcement. The goal of the OGF is to be a resource for those in need.

About Uncle Bobby

Cephus Johnson, a.k.a Uncle Bobby, is a social justice activist at the forefront of ending police brutality in America. After his nephew, Oscar Grant, was murdered by a Bart police officer in 2009, Cephus founded two social justice organizations, the Oscar Grant Foundation and Love Not Blood Campaign. Since then, Cephus has received many prestigious awards for his activism, including The Fannie Lou Hamer Award 2016, The Hero of Forgiveness Award 2016, The Henry Moskowitz Award 2015, The Kwame Ture Black Star of Labor Award 2015, The Black Organizing Project Award 2014, The Martin Luther King Jr Gene Young Award 2014, and many others. He was a consultant for the movie Fruitvale Station, and has served as a leading expert on the creation of the Motherhood and Fatherhood Movement of children murdered by police. Over the years, Cephus has appeared on many national and local television shows and radio stations as an expert in police brutality, including Katie Couric’s “Race in America,” MSNBC’s “Caught on Tape”; and many others. He is a sought-after speaker who has delivered workshops on topics such as, “Knowing your Rights; “How to survive if stopped by the police”; “Criminalization of young people by the justice system”. Cephus has presented on these topics, and others, at The Left Forum conference, US Human Rights Conference, The Netroot Nation Conference, The ACLU Conference, The Free Mind Free People Conference, The National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE), The Congressional Black Caucus Conference, Teachers for Social Justice Conference, and The National Bar Association Conference. He has also spoken at universities, high schools, and community events, and served as the West Coast Organizer of the United Nation Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent visiting the United States at Merritt College, Oakland 2016. Known as the “People’s Uncle,” Cephus is a much beloved presence and invaluable resource for families suffering from police violence around the globe. He has been active at high profile protests — and has supported many high profile families — around the country, including those of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Emmett Till, Freddy Gary, and many more. “He considers ending police brutality and supporting families who have suffered at the hands of police his life’s work, and deeply believes that when families work together, families heals together creating lasting sustainable change.”