Oakland Digital in the Media
  • Google’s Community Space in the Bay Area

    Editor’s note: Today we’re opening the doors of Google’s Community Space, located in our 188 The Embarcadero office in San Francisco, which offers Bay Area nonprofits free access to event space and co-working areas. Since January, we’ve run a pilot program with more than 50 organizations who have hosted 100+ events to ensure that the space and resources are flexible and beneficial to the needs of local organizations. As part of today’s opening, we’re also sharing that in 2016 alone, supported Bay Area nonprofits with $50M in direct grant funding, and Googlers have volunteered over 89,000 hours of their time to local organizations.

    This post comes from Shaun Tai, the Executive Director at Oakland Digital and Product Lead at He talks about his experience hosting weekly programs in the Community Space and the many ways he and his team are supported by and Googler volunteers.

    Every Wednesday this year, Oakland Digital has brought a group of community college students to Google’s 188 The Embarcadero office so they can collaborate, learn, and work on community-benefit projects. These students are part of BRIDGEGOOD—an online hiring platform that connects under-resourced creatives (e.g., graphic designers and artists) with real-world design and marketing projects generated by businesses and nonprofits throughout the community.

    Oakland Digital has proudly participated in a pilot program that has been running for 50 local organizations to provide feedback for their new Community Space. Nonprofit organizations know that finding affordable space in the Bay Area is a constant and growing issue. Working in close collaboration with local organizations, Google’s 8,400+ square feet of event and meeting space is an absolute game changer. It’s flexible enough for nonprofits to host collaborative brainstorming sessions to larger capacity, full-day seminars. Since the pilot started, there have been more than 100 events in the space, and in true Google fashion, their teams have “launched and iterated” by taking feedback and implementing changes into the space so it could better suit our needs. Other perks: the space comes fully-stocked with a microkitchen, a conference room, an area to hold workshops, a maker’s space, Chromebooks, VR equipment and more.

    Google’s support of Oakland Digital started in 2012 when Googlers Mary and Steve Grove educated small businesses at Oakland City Hall about the power of technology. Each year, our relationship and community impact has grown—from board membership, thought leadership, and in 2015, funding. Google shares Oakland Digital’s belief that creativity can change the world— and recognized that an overlooked pipeline of creative talent comes from community colleges.

    As such, provided significant support—a multi-year, six-figure grant for us to build, design, create, and deploy our BRIDGEGOOD web application. Oakland Digital is most proud that local students are a part of design and engineering process—having access to Google’s community space has inspired and boosted the confidence of our beneficiaries. The equipment, the technology, and the space itself has allowed us to work more productively together.

    The energy that exists at, combined with access to this new Community Space and its nonprofit-driven programs, is fueling positive change and will make a difference. It’s that same combination of energy and access that will help other local Bay Area social entrepreneurs further their scale and impact.

    So to my fellow Bay Area nonprofits and social good innovators, I invite you to come check out Google’s Community Space and apply for membership to start the process to host your events and programs in the space today at Membership for the space is free—just click on “Become a Member” at the top right. The website also includes details on what is included in the space and programs that will coordinate throughout the year.

    Stay inspired, continue to spread inspiration, and remember that with creativity and leadership, anything is possible.

    Originally posted at

  • 2017 TechCrunch Crunchies “Social Impact” Finalist, Oakland Digital

    “Diversity is much more than numbers… we need tech to respect us as people. There’s more talent from pipelines that tech doesn’t know yet,” says Oakland Digital Arts & Literacy Center (ODALC)‘s Executive Director Shaun Tai at TechCrunch‘s 10th Annual Crunchies.

    OUR ANNUAL CELEBRATION OF STARTUPS AND TECHNOLOGY: TechCrunch kicks off 2017 with the 10th Annual Crunchies Awards Show, the award ceremony to recognize and celebrate the most compelling startups, internet, and technology innovations of the year.

  • Increasing & Expanding Impact: Oakland Digital 2017

    Programs & Initiatives for Businesses (entrepreneurs) and Creatives (student designers):

    • 1-on-1 Support – personalized digital literacy and tech training for small businesses; by appointment – $50 /hour (scholarships available), contact
    • – Businesses, post 7-day projects for local design students (get started at
    • GOOGxBG – Designers & Creatives, see what it’s like to work as a UX/UI/Visual designer at Google – join us each Wednesday through March (must register at www.bridgegood.comDiscover, Free Events)
    • Inspire Oakland 2017 – Annual region-wide billboard competition; Instructors & educators, to participate or have Oakland Digital visit your school, contact or call 510-435-2945, ext. 0
    • BRT Project – design and marketing for 200 small business owners spanning 9.5 miles of International Blvd and East 14th St (Q2 – Q4)
    • #StudioForGood – open labs for entrepreneurs and students to work on professional and personal projects; every 2nd & 4th Fridays (must register at

    Stay connected with Oakland Digital’s daily grind, +

  • Dec 3: Inspiration Awards 2016 — celebrating leadership, inspiration and positive change in our community




    Creativity JASON MAYDEN (Accel Partners)
    BusinessROWENA TOMANENG (Berkeley City College)
    TechnologyJUSTIN STEELE (


    7th annual gala celebrating leadership, inspiration and positive change in our community, benefiting 2017 programs of Oakland Digital.

    WHEN: Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 6pm

    WHERE: Oakland Asian Cultural Center (388 9th St #290, Oakland, CA)






    Limited sponsorships available. We look forward to inspiring, together!

    CONTACT: Shaun Tai (510.435.2945,


  • Oakland Digital uplifts Bay Area through BRIDGEGOOD


    Written by Tiffany R. Lew

    Founded in 2009 by Shaun Tai, Oakland Digital Arts & Literacy Center (Oakland Digital) is a community-based, non-profit design and marketing studio. With Tai as the executive director, the team has been working to bridge the opportunity and digital literacy divide in the Bay Area.

    The students selected at Oakland Digital are not software engineers from well-known universities; instead, Tai and his team have chosen to hire local students with diverse backgrounds. The summer 2016 cohort of their digital design internship is comprised of 73% people of color, 80% female, 7% male, and 13% gender nonconforming, all working towards positively impacting small businesses and the local economy. The US Census Bureau estimates that women make up 59% of the US labour force, but only 30% of the technology industry. Comparatively, the local population includes 66% ethnic minorities, 45% male, 49% female and 6% gender nonconforming.

    Design & Marketing for Businesses

    Oakland Digital is excited to launch BRIDGEGOOD on August 30th, 2016. BRIDGEGOOD is the new media platform “for the creatives, by the creatives” that serves to connect community college and early stage creatives with professional opportunities through collaboration with graphic art and multimedia projects. With outreach efforts reaching 150 local businesses, they are provided with affordable custom design and marketing services, completed in 7 days. BRIDGEGOOD’s scope of services includes 18 creative services including flyer design, basic video editing, and 1-hour digital literacy educational sessions. & Golden State Warriors

    Through the leadership of Oakland Digital’s Board of Directors, their organization boosted the local economy by $3.2 million since the non-profit’s inception in 2009, and is excited to scale their vision with BRIDGEGOOD. The non-profit’s success is due in large part to major partners such as Golden State Warriors Community Foundation and their multi-year grant benefactor

    Creativity for the Win

    In an industry dominated by coding and programming initiatives, BRIDGEGOOD aspires to build a diverse, design-driven community that uses creativity as a means of economic empowerment. The ultimate goal for the BRIDGEGOOD platform is to bridge the opportunity divide, by solving economic inequalities for students and early stage creatives through connecting them to professional opportunities in the Bay Area.

    To learn more visit To get involved and support the platform, contact Executive Director Shaun Tai

  • creatives celebrate Golden State Warriors – #InspireOakland billboards!

    ‪#‎WARRIORSGROUND‬ : creatives celebrate the Golden State Warriors with 60-foot billboards! On your way to see the Dubs beat OKC, check out Oakland Digital Arts & Literacy Center (ODALC)‘s INSPIRE OAKLAND designs!!


    • I-880 Nimitz Freeway, half a mile north of Hegenberger Exit, right next toGolden State Warriors Oracle Arena through May 22nd.

    Original designs by ‪#‎BRIDGEGOOD‬ creatives Myles, Gabi, Ynhi & Mauricio. Learn more and get involved,


  • SUCCESS: Warriors Hoops 4 Kids & Oakland Digital

    Warriors Hoops For Kids Program to Donate $530,000 for Underserved Youth in the Bay Area

    Club to Host Recipients at Tonight’s Game against Memphis; Warriors to Hold On-Court Check Presentation; Team Grants Over $1.5 Million During 2015-16 Season

    The Warriors Community Foundation, in partnership with the Koret Foundation, Taube Family Foundation and Pacific Gas and Electric Company, this season continued the Hoops for Kids program, where Warriors achievements on the court support underserved youth in the Bay Area, it was announced today. Through Hoops for Kids, every Warriors three-pointer made during the 2015-16 regular season yields $500 toward eight organizations working locally to improve educational opportunities and life outcomes for kids. To date, the Warriors have hit an NBA-record 1,057 three-pointers this season (as of April 10, 2016), the first team to reach over 1,000 three-pointers in a single season, raising $530,000 and counting for Hoops for Kids.

    “It is tremendous that we are able to donate over a half of a million dollars to our Bay Area youth through our Hoops For Kids program, and over $1.5 million in total from the Warriors Community Foundation,” said Warriors Co-Executive Chairman and CEO Joe Lacob. “Donations of this level would not be possible without our partners like the Koret Foundation, Taube Family Foundation and PG&E who believe in the same mission as we do to make a lasting impact on our local youth.”

    During pre-game of tonight’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies from 5:00p.m. – 6:00 p.m., the Warriors Community Foundation will host a reception in the Atrium Lounge for Hoops for Kids presenting sponsors and beneficiaries. In addition, the program will be recognized on-court with a check presentation during a time-out during tonight’s game.


    Including the Hoops for Kids program, the Warriors Community Foundation will have committed more than $1.5 million in total giving over the 2015-16 season to youth development. On November 24, 2015, for the second year in a row, the Foundation announced $1 million in grants to support 36 Bay Area organizations working in college access and readiness, elementary literacy and early childhood development for underserved youth in Alameda and San Francisco Counties. For more detailed information on the grantees and their projects, please visit

    This year’s Hoops for Kids program supports:
    Boys & Girls Clubs of Oakland – provides safe places to learn and grow, life-enhancing programs and hope and opportunity
    Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco – inspires and enables young people to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens
    East Bay College Fund – increases college enrollment and success for underserved students by providing college access services, scholarships, mentoring and support networks
    East Oakland Youth Development Center – develops social and leadership capacities in youth to excel in education, career and service to their communities
    Hidden Genius Project – trains and mentors black male youth in technology creation and leadership to become high-performing entrepreneurs
    Oakland Digital – provides students with technical training, mentoring and real-world design and marketing experience with local small businesses
    Playworks – provides play and physical activity at low-income schools, helping children connect with other kids and grow physically, emotionally and socially
    Youth Radio – launches students on career and education pathways by engaging them in media production, creative expression and academic support services

    About the Warriors Community FoundationThe Warriors Community Foundation is dedicated to making a meaningful and lasting impact on the lives of underserved youth in the San Francisco Bay Area. Specifically, the Foundation strives to improve educational outcomes among children in Alameda and San Francisco Counties. Established in 2012 under the new Lacob and Guber ownership group, the Foundation extends the team’s impact locally and continues a longstanding tradition of community involvement. It is sustained by generous contributions from Warriors owners, players, partners and fans. For more information on Hoops for Kids, visit

    About the Koret FoundationBased in San Francisco, the Koret Foundation supports civic, cultural, and educational organizations that promote a vibrant and distinctive Bay Area. Koret focuses its giving in two major areas: strengthening Bay Area anchor institutions and fostering Jewish connection and identity. Since its founding in 1979, Koret has invested nearly $500 million to contribute to a higher quality of civic and Jewish community life. For more information visit

    About Taube PhilanthropiesTaube Philanthropies was established in 1981 by its founder and chairman, Tad Taube. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, with an office in Warsaw, Poland, the Taube Foundation makes philanthropic investments primarily in the Bay Area, Israel and Poland. These include scholarships, youth programs, heritage preservation, arts and culture, education, and community building. Taube Philanthropies is committed to collaborative giving to enhance charitable impact and actively partners with individual donors, foundations and other charitable organizations.. For more information, contact Vera Hannush, or visit

    About Pacific Gas and Electric CompanyPacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), and the PG&E Corporation Foundation strive to power strong communities throughout Northern and Central California. In 2015, PG&E contributed more than $25 million to nearly 1,300 charitable organizations, including matching the generosity of employees who donated more than $7.9 million and volunteered more than 86,000 hours to company-supported events. Community investments are funded entirely by the company’s shareholders. For more information, visit

  • Women of Color: Making Moves with Oakland Digital


    Women of Color: Making Moves


    You never know what your presence and appearance means to someone. Being a woman of color interested in the Business industry, it is vital to see an example to look up to. People of color and more specifically women of color have a hard time competing in the Business world. To know, but more importantly, to SEE women of color, doing things that you wondered if they even existed is life changing. We know the opportunities present themselves but the possibility of us actually getting these opportunities are hard to imagine, even if we are told that it is possible everyday.

    Today, I attended a panel at my school titled “What’s Next In Tech” and the panelists were all women of color. It was exhilarating to meet such humble women who were excited to share their experiences in the world of technology. If I wasn’t interested before in the tech industry before, I am now. Here is a list of the things I learned.

    1) There are a such thing as “meet ups”.  – I have heard of Viners meeting up and engaging with their fans but it never occurred to me that people in Business do this tool.

    2) The 30 second commercial – In 30 seconds, you should be able to tell someone your name, your title, what you do and what they should come to you for. This is different than an elevator pitch because you are telling the person what they should come to you for.

    3) You are a student, USE IT! – Use the fact that you are a student to gain learning experiences from professionals in the field you are interested in. The worst thing they can do is say no.

    4) Conferences! – Look for conferences in your area that have to do with the field you are interested in. These can be networking and learning opportunities.

    I truly would like to thank the women who showed up today to be present and be involved in passing along messages to the next generation. If no one has ever told you, it is greatly appreciated.


    #WhatsNextInTech #CSUEastBay #WomenOfColor #DiversityInTech #CalStateEastBay

    @tiyannalong @adejireb @LindaPoeng @Chelseabron Valerie Williams, Maria Chavez Cantu

    @ODALC @Googleorg @Airbnbdesign @Airbnb @OaklandDigital @pandoracareers
    @BRIDGE_GOOD @twitter @CalStateEastBay @shaun_tai @BankoftheWest

  • Feb. 9: What’s Next In Tech: Women & Diversity in Technology


    Join Oakland Digital Arts & Literacy Center (ODALC)‘s discussion about Women & Diversity in Tech at the first-ever “What’s Next in Tech” event. WNiT takes a comprehensive look at technology career options with a focus on creating a pipeline of new, diverse talent. Moderated by Board Member & Googler Chelsea Seabron and featuring panelists from Airbnb, Pandora,Google, Bridgegood, and more.

    Be a part of the Live TV audience at Cal State East Bay’s Pioneer TV Studio on Feb 9, 12:15pm, Library 1092 (Library Annex lower level), Hayward Campus – FREE event, early arrival suggested!

    To learn more about Oakland Digital, visit

  • Working Towards My Dreams : A Student Reflection

    A Personal Reflection by Dominique Smith

    I first met Shaun Tai, the executive director of Oakland Digital, at Diablo Valley College where he presented the 2015 “Inspire Oakland” billboard competition to my Art Digital Media class. The competition immediately captured my interest, not only because I could possibly have my art displayed on a billboard, but because I could also have the opportunity to visit a major company and perhaps network with their employees, as well as have the chance to become an intern at Oakland Digital.

    DominiqueSmith-OaklandDigital I was originally hesitant to participate in the competition, because I am not a digital design major. Typography and drawing are not skills of mine, and I did not know much about Illustrator or Photoshop. The reason those conflicts did not prevent me from going forth with the competition is because I remembered I am skilled in other ways, I am skilled at using my imagination to create ideas, stories, images and understand complex concepts. That’s what I thrived off of and used those skills and photography to execute my billboard design.

    Shaun and the Oakland Digital team were much more receptive to my design than I expected, but my design still fell short of the others. For my participation I was rewarded with the opportunity to join Oakland Digital on a tour to the Twitter headquarters in San Francisco, which was an inspiration in itself. I left Twitter more motivated and excited for my future than I ever had been. From my experience at Twitter I learned that whatever industry one pursues there has to be not only hard work put in but passion as well. Getting a job at a place like Twitter doesn’t just happen overnight. It has to do with more than the skills one brings to the table, but the people one knows, and the experience one has.

    Shortly after going to Twitter with Oakland Digital there was a period of time that had elapsed where I only stayed up to date with them through social media and I had not really stayed in contact with Shaun at all. In late November, as my semester at DVC was nearing the end, I reached out to Shaun curious to know if Oakland Digital had anything to offer me not for a career in digital design, but for a career in Public Relations. As I expected, Shaun welcomed me with open arms and asked me to volunteer at Oakland Digital’s 6th annual Inspiration Awards 2015. I accepted the role and it was an honor to work with Shaun and the rest of the Oakland Digital team.

    The Inspiration Awards was truly inspiring, the speakers were amazing, people were very warm and open to conversation, and it felt good to surrounded by people who believe in chasing after their dreams. Shaun had a lot of trust in me that fueled me to successfully get the job done. The award ceremony itself evoked a great amount of emotion in me, because it was another reminder that I have so much to look forward to in life and I truly appreciate Oakland Digital for giving college students like myself the opportunity to work towards our dreams.