The East Oakland Collective (EOC) is a member-based community organizing group invested in serving the communities of deep East Oakland by working towards racial and economic equity. With programming in economic development, civic engagement and leadership, we help amplify underserved communities from the ground up. We are committed to driving impact in the landscape, politics and economic climate of deep East Oakland.
Who We Are
The East Oakland Collective is a membership cohort of millennials-plus invested in the state of deep East Oakland. We are community members comprised of natives, homeowners, residents of East Oakland/greater Oakland and allies. We are invested in working towards a better future for the underserved populations and communities of deep East Oakland.
We strive to build upon the following focus areas in deep East Oakland:
Candice Elder is a native of Oakland and long time resident of East Oakland. She currently resides in District 7 of East Oakland. It was the looming possibility of gentrification and the daily drives through underserved neighborhoods of East Oakland that ignited Candice to form The East Oakland Collective in January 2016.
After being a legal professional for nine years, Candice made a career change to work full time in the non-profit sector as the Partnerships Manager for the Women's Funding Network---the largest philanthropy network of women's funds and foundations in the country. In addition to working full time to make a better world for women and girls, Candice served on the advisory committee for Breaking the Silence Town Hall on Women and Girls of Color in Oakland. The Breaking the Silence dynamic model and initiative is spearheaded by the African American Policy Forum under the great leadership of renowned feminist Dr. Kimberle Crenshaw.
Candice is the 2016 finalist for the Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA) Top 6 Under 40 HerStory Empowers award in the arts and entertainment category. It is Candice’s passion for Black art and culture that motivated her to lead the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) Vanguard as president between 2014-2016 and serve on the board for five years. Vanguard is MoAD’s young professional and membership auxiliary group committed to supporting the museum through distinctive art, social, education, and philanthropic events that build membership and elevate fundraising.
Candice is the 2016 recipient of a Community Leader Award from the Black Elected Officials and Faith Based Leaders of the East Bay. She received her award alongside Hon. Larry Reid, District 7 Councilmember and Pastors Brondon and Maria Reems, Center of Hope Church.
Candice holds a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science with a minor in African-American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley; and a Masters of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati. Candice currently serves on the Board of Directors for the UC Berkeley Black Alumni Club. Candice enjoys hiking with her rambunctious dog, reading, exploring and engaging with the community.
Chief Strategy Officer
Laksmi Lagares’ purpose is to help people realize they are more than their environment or conditions predispose them to be.
Laksmi is a Civic Leader, C Level Strategist, owner and Principal Consultant at Lagares Consulting. Her firm supports impact and partnership needs of private and public sector companies, schools/ universities, nonprofit and philanthropic organizations. Her career includes; 15yrs experience in all aspects of Business Development and Public Relations within: Civic Engagement, Tech, Education, Social Justice, Finance, Advertising and Marketing. She is the curator of Application versus Theory workshops, which have been featured at college campuses across the U.S. including Mills College, UC Santa Cruz and Stanford University. She is a subject matter expert in Diversity and Inclusion with an emphasis on race and equity and her communications styling, crosses cultural and socio economic divides; translating needs to create strategy supporting mutual wins. Laksmi is a Hive Global Leader, Co-Director of New Leaders Council Oakland, a key planner of Oakland’s Breaking the Silence Town Hall; an initiative of Dr. Kimberle Crenshaw and the African American Policy Forum, acknowledged by the Obama Administration; and Host Committee member of a three part workshop series facilitated by Dr. Monique Morris, author of Pushout.
Urban and Regional Planning Officer
Marquita “Keta” Price is a native of Deep East Oakland. She currently resides in the Stonehurst neighborhood located in district 7. Her civic engagement is driven by her lifetime witnessing of socioeconomic disparities and decline in the inner city of East Oakland and similar low-income neighborhoods across the nation.