OUR PRIMARY GOAL IS TO DEVELOP YOUTH COMMITTED TO LIVES CHARACTERIZED BY SELF-DISCIPLINE, INTEGRITY, LOVE AND HOPE IN THE PURSUIT OF JUSTICE AND EQUITY FOR ALL COMMUNITIES.
The Roses in Concrete Community School is a K-8 school in East Oakland functioning as a center of health within the neighborhoods surrounding it, providing wrap-around services in education, health, housing, and job training. The long-term goal is to create a model for urban education that prioritizes the needs of youth and families as the pathway to building healthy and sustainable communities across the U.S. and around the world.
The name of the Roses in Concrete Community School was inspired by the book of poetry based on the writings of Tupac Shakur released in 1999, The Rose That Grew from Concrete. This vivid image captures the need to celebrate the tenacity and will of the rose that against-all-odds, finds a way to grow in the inhospitable and toxic environment of the concrete that it might transform the concrete into a rose garden.
When East Oakland High School suddenly closed in 2007, a cohort of students taught by Jeff Duncan-Andrade rallied around the idea of forming their own school where they could come back to the community and contribute to growing the next generation of change agents in Oakland.
They also realized that starting this work in high school was too late. They wanted to teach younger kids and provide opportunities for growth much earlier. They wanted a place where they would send younger kids, including their own children, to access the transformation they experienced as young adults.
With the support of the community, families, and friends, the Oakland Unified School District approved the school in October 2014. Because of the uncommon success of the high school program, some of the city's and the nation's most accomplished teachers have said, “When you launch, I am coming."
Former students, long term community partners, award winning teachers, and progressive education researchers are coming to East Oakland to invest their time and talent at the Roses in Concrete Community School.
Roses in Concrete Community School is located at 4551 Steele Street in Oakland, CA.
The school is on the 6.9 acre campus of the former Tilden and John Swett Schools. It is situated in East Oakland, at the foothills near the junction of I-580 and CA-13. Mills College sits just opposite on the other side of the I-580 freeway, and High Street lies three blocks to the west providing easy circulation and public transportation.