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The Oak Park Story Documentary Film
Blue Ribbon Award Semi-Finalist

San Francisco State University Asian American studies faculty and students collaborated with two community groups, the Oak Park Tenants Association and New Hope Community Church, to produce a documentary film about the low-income tenants at the Oak Park Apartments in Oakland, California. The Oak Park Story tells the story of Latino and Cambodian immigrants and refugees who formed a unique cross-cultural alliance and in 2000 won a settlement against their landlord.

Both of the community partners were key organizations in the struggle for safe and affordable housing at Oak Park. One faculty member, who was a resident and a main organizer in the lawsuit against the landlord, facilitated meetings and interviews with the tenants and acted as a liaison to the community.

Community members contributed as translators, production assistants, and consultants, their feedback and insights helping to shape the project. Several students served as production assistants, transcribers, and research assistants working on publicity, outreach, a website, and a curriculum guide.

SFSU and community members have benefited through viewing the completed documentary, learning about this significant example of community organizing, and understanding the ways in which creative work can support and implement movements for social change. Many students and community members found working together on a project relevant to their own lives to be especially meaningful.

Valerie Soe, Asian American Studies
San Francisco State University

Russell Jeung, Asian American Studies, San Francisco State University, Oak Park Tenants Association & the New Hope Community Church

Key words: immigrants, housing/homelessness, refugees, Chicano/Latino/Mexican, Asian/Asian American/Asian Pacific Islanders, San Francisco, Northern California

Content Contact:
Judy Botelho
(562) 951-4749
Technical Contact:

Last Updated: May 06, 2016