Oakland Digital in the Media
  • 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.


  • #Hoops4Kids & Oakland Digital

    “Through Hoops for Kids, Golden State Warriors achievements on the court benefit underserved students around the Bay Area. Each Warriors 3-point basket this regular season will generate $500 for local organizations that work to improve opportunities and outcomes for kids. Thanks to the Koret Foundation, the Taube Family Foundation and PG&E, our team’s success is now our community’s success!”and support networks.

    Oakland Digital provides students with technical training, mentoring, and real-world design and marketing experience with local small businesses.

    Learn more by visiting

  • Dec 10: Inspiration Awards 2015

    Inspiration Awards 2015 is taking place Thursday, December 10th, 6pm at Oakland Asian Cultural Center located in Chinatown’s Pacific Renaissance Plaza. Join Oakland Digital Arts & Literacy Center (ODALC) as we celebrate leadership, inspiration and positive change in the community. On this special night, we recognize four Bay Area champions:

      1. Golden State Warriors Community Foundation, Executive Director Jose Gordon [Community Leader]
      2. California State University East Bay (CSUEB), President Dr. Leroy M. Morishita [Business Leader]
      3. Laney College, President Dr. Elñora Webb [Education Leader]
      4. VSCO, Co-Founder & CEO Joel Flory [Technology Leader]

    Featuring an exclusive dinner, live entertainment headlined by R&B sensation Netta Brielle, and full-access to the awards ceremony hosted by KPIX CBS San Francisco Bay Area’s Emily Turner.

    Limited table sponsorships available,, or contact Executive Director Shaun Tai,, 925.297.9370.

  • Twitter employees support BRIDGEGOOD

    Twitter invited Oakland Digital and a group of 20 thought leaders, engineers, designers, and community advocates to discuss next steps for our hiring platform, BRIDGEGOOD. Creatives from Facebook, Google, and San Jose State joined the whiteboard session offering encouragement, constructive criticism, and new ideas essential to bringing our project one step closer to reality.

    BRIDGEGOOD Press Release:

  • SJSU NEWS: San Jose State introduces

    “SJSU students are getting a lesson in entrepreneurship by alumnus Shaun Tai. Tai is the Founder and Executive Director of Oakland Digital, an award-winning non-profit community building organization. Oakland Digital bridges three gaps: Digital Literacy, Opportunity and Tech Inclusion. It’s been operating since 2009 and just recently, received a grant from to build an app called BRIDGEGOOD.”

    Alumnus Shaun Tai carries tremendous inspiration and passion for community, technology and design. As the founder and executive director of an award-winning non-profit community building organization, Shaun will teach you effective methods to be a strong voice and advocate in your community. You’ll discover how to make an impact by strengthening your leadership and inspiring change!

    Spartan Voices is a Spartan Success Series event, hosted by the Student Alumni Association:

  • Awarded Multiyear Grant from

    Oakland Digital Awarded Multiyear Grant from Attendees included the City of Oakland, Golden State Warriors, NewCo and Twitter

    Oakland, CA, October 12, 2015 — Oakland Digital Arts & Literacy Center (Oakland Digital), a not-for-profit design studio for good working to bridge the digital literacy and opportunity divide, received news that, the charitable arm of Google, will award the nonprofit with a multiyear grant. The funds will build and deploy BRIDGEGOOD, a web-based hiring platform that connects community college designers with real-world job opportunities in the fields of tech and business, while Oakland Digital’s seven-year track record provides the trust and guidance for success.

    Oakland Digital Executive Director Shaun Tai considers BRIDGEGOOD an “absolute game changer.” BRIDGEGOOD answers the “What’s Next?” question that faces 8 million students attending community college: freelance for income, schedule flexibility, and a trajectory of career-oriented jobs,” he stated to stakeholders Thursday. “We are seeking three additional funding partners to raise an additional $100K per year.”

    In collaboration with, BRIDGEGOOD will successfully complete proof of concept and effectively scale Oakland Digital’s mission, vision and, community impact. The beta launch date is March 2016, and aims to enroll 2,000 active design students by the end of 2018 while encouraging at least one of three pathways: 1) entry-level role in tech, 2) higher education earning a Bachelor’s Degree, or 3) earning a living wage as an independent contractor with meaning and purpose.

    About Thousands of Googlers call the Bay Area home, and since 2010 we’ve given more than $100 million to local nonprofit projects. We look for opportunities to increase social impact in our communities, particularly around the challenges of income inequality and housing displacement.

    About Oakland Digital Arts and Literacy Center: Launched in 2009, Oakland Digital is an award-winning, not-for-profit digital marketing agency that trains design students to create social media marketing campaigns for under-resourced women-owned small businesses. Oakland Digital’s programs (INSPIRE, DIGITAL EQUITY, and TECH INCLUSION) have boosted the local economy by $3.2 million and have directly impacted the lives of over 4,000 under resourced Oakland and East Bay entrepreneurs.

    To schedule a meeting with Oakland Digital to discuss BRIDGEGOOD, contact Executive Director Shaun Tai,, 510-435-2945.

  • Oakland Digital “EDUCATION” Winner at East Bay Innovation Awards 2015

    “Isee the future of the East Bay, breaking the mold, breaking this idea that everything has to be done a certain way. The biggest source of inspiration for us, and talent, are the students that make up the local community colleges… get those young people to be successful, to give back to communities through companies they create,” says Oakland Digital Executive Director Shaun Tai.

    ARTICLE – Education: Private sector initiatives which pioneer innovative connections between the world of work and the world of learning to develop.

    Shaun Tai, executive director of the Oakland Digital Arts & Literacy Center, compares the challenges of being an entrepreneur to his first ascent of Mt. Diablo as a new bike rider. “Everything in business seems easy after riding 44 miles and climbing 4,000 feet in elevation,” laughs Tai.

    Tai, whose mother had a small business in Oakland, grew up there and graduated from California State University East Bay in 2009. He founded the nonprofit Oakland Digital in Oakland’s Chinatown to bridge the digital literacy and opportunity divide. In the process, Oakland Digital is also bringing together the generations and entrepreneurs that reflect the city’s diversity.

    “In the 21st century, a small business’ ability to use social media and online technology tools is absolutely necessary to their survival,” says Tai. Many small business owners need to learn how to put digital technology to use, says Tai, and students need the experience of building a resume to find jobs in the East Bay’s growing tech sector.

    The award-winning digital marketing agency trains young talent to create social marketing campaigns for under-resourced small businesses, while preparing them to connect to the jobs pipeline. Students learn career-related skills, have their resume and design portfolio reviewed by tech professionals and receive paid internships.

    Download the East Bay Innovation Awards magazine: