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Last night, the heart of Oakland showed up for the 9th annual Oakland Indies award ceremony. Located in Jack London at appropriately dubbed Indie Marketplace, Oakland came out hard, honoring the local economy  and thriving art scene. From live performances by Netta B, Jennifer Johns and Fantastic Negrito, among others, Indie Marketplace was the spot to be last night. The event was produced by Beneficial State Bank, founded by Tom Steyer and Kat Taylor, with a longstanding history  and ethos of social responsibility.

[RELATED POST:  Meet the Nominees of the Oakland Indie Awards]

Wear Your Voice Magazine was proud to be key media sponsors, as well as nominees for the Social Changemakers awards. While we didn’t win our category, some quite amazing (and inspiring) people did–here’s a list of the winners of the 9th annual Oakland Indies Awards Festival. Be sure to head out to Wear Your Voice next week for a full recap of the awards show. See you next year, Oakland!

Category: Greenie Award/Winner: American Steel


American Steel Studios provides affordable space in which artists and entrepreneurs can create and inspire.

Category: Job Creator/ Winner: Zachary’s Chicago Pizza

Image Credit: Flickr user Caitlin Childs via Creative Commons

Zachary’s Chicago Pizza was founded by Zach Zachowski and Barbara Gabel in 1983. When they decided it was time to retire, they sold their company to their experienced crew, rather than a third party company. With every bite of Zachary’s Pizza, is the love, spirit and generosity of Oakland.

Category: Oakland Soul/ Winner: TIE 1. Cafe Gabriela, 2. The New Parkway Theater

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Cafe Gabriela was named after Gabriela Silang, a revolutionary Filipina leader, Cafe Gabriela strives to keep her courageous and independent spirit alive by making a conscious effort to support and promote local businesses in the East Bay. The The New Parkway Theater is a movie theater and event space for local artists and community members.

Category: Innovative Newcomer/ Winner: Qeyno Labs


Qeyno Labs goal to bring STEM education to youth in low-opportunity communities, preventing them from being left behind in the growing technological economy.

Category: Oakland Pillar/ Winner: Geoffrey’s Inner Circle


For almost 20 years, Geoffrey’s Inner Circle has been an integral staple to Oakland downtown’s thriving arts and entertainment scene.

Category: Ripple Effect/Winner: TIE 1. Concept 47  2. OwlNWood

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Concept Forty-Seven and OwlNWood are both local boutiques here in Oakland. Concept 47, which began as an organic beauty line, specializes in organic beauty and lifestyle boutique. At OwlNWood, you can find local design, international brands, second hand and vintage products.

Category: Social Changemaker/Winner: Regina’s Door


Regina’s Door is a customer-service oriented boutique specializing in vintage dresses, and is in partnership with the Bay Area Anti Sex Trafficking Organization, Love Never Fails. Founded by Regina Evans, a survivor or sex trafficking, Regina’s Door’s mission is to eradicate sex trafficking in the Bay Area and beyond.

Featured Photo: Photo Credit: Wear Your Voice Magazine. Syd Ames interviews Mercedes Gibson, Oakland Soul winner on behalf of The New Parkway Theater. 

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Originally from the Bay, I was uprooted from my eclectic surroundings and forced to spend my formative years in conservative San Joaquin County (Stockton) after Loma Prieta. Earthquake central couldn't deter me, and in 2010, I relocated to San Francisco. After a year of not being rich or knowing how to code, I moved to Oakland, where my momma and my momma's momma were born. Oakland has changed A LOT from when I was growing up, and I love getting reacquainted with my roots. Like our city's logo, Oakland grounds me, it's where I've rediscovered myself and unleashed my creativity. If I were a tattoo, I'd be eyes on my eyelids so I can snooze the day without anyone noticing (which I do often.) If I were a street in Oakland, I'd be Skyline Blvd, because, the view. Favorite spot in Oakland? I love it all! But I'd have to say Redwood Regional Park...or Raj Indian in Piedmont.

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