In Memory of Antonio Ramos

Antonio Ramos painting at the West Street Mural.

Antonio Ramos painting at the West Street Mural.

One year ago today, the life of our beloved artist Antonio Ramos was taken away. Antonio was a creative and loving artist, passionate about using art to heal our community from the very same violence that claimed his life while working on the West Street Mural, the third in a growing series from our #OaklandSuperHeroes Mural Project

AHC Staff and community members at West Street Mural

AHC Staff and community members at West Street Mural

Today our team gathered in front of the West Street Mural to have a moment of silence and recognition of the beautiful energy and gifts he shared with our community. The West Street Mural, which helps us remember Antonio's life, continues to fill our community with love, light, peace and hope that the senseless murders in our city, nation and world will someday come to an end.

West Street Mural

West Street Mural

We ask you to please join us in remembering Antonio as a beautiful and talented being, by lighting a candle and sending loving energy to his family, friends and community.



With Love,

Attitudinal Healing Connection, Inc.


Get your Yoga on with Barefoot Movement

Win a 30-Day Yoga Membership

Our friends at Barefoot Movement in Oakland have donated a 30-Day Membership Pass for the silent auction at our 27th Anniversary Gala: "The Art of Building Legacy"

Yoga is one of the biggest health trends to hit the US in recent years, with origins going back thousands of years in ancient India. It is a physical practice with a meditative and spiritual core that can bring a wide array of health benefits to your mind, body and soul including:

  • Increased muscle strength, agility and flexibility
  • Balanced blood sugar levels
  • Improved immune system functionality
  • Strengthened cartilage and stronger joints
  • Increased Focus
  • Stress Reduction
  • Enhanced memory and cognitive function
  • Mindful awareness and increased compassion
  • Improved self-esteem

Our friends at Barefoot Movement in Downtown Oakland have donated a 30-Day Membership Pass to the silent auction at our 27th Anniversary Gala: "The Art of Building Legacy." The studio offers a large selection of classes and workshops to choose from, like Bodywork Classes, Prenatal Yoga for pregnant women and a partner, and Handstands Practice to name a few!


This pass would make an excellent gift for yourself or a loved one.
Check out the full class schedule here and don’t miss out on your chance to win!

Real-Life Super Hero Feature: Mike Brown jr.

One of our ArtEsteem Alumni stopped by last week to visit us at the AHC Office!

Mike Brown was a 7th grade student at Lowell Middle School and participated in our ArtEsteem program during the 2004 / 2005 school year. He worked with instructor Rodney Ewing to create his #SelfAsSuperHero portrait entitled “Glorothon,” which is also featured on pages 74 and 75 of our #SelfAsSuperHero Handbook.

Glorothon is a half alien and half machine.  Inside his head is where he controls what his arms and legs do. He has the power to do anything he wants, and what he wants is peace.  He has different weapons, such as Respectoaro, which he shoots into the sky and people find it so beautiful that everyone begins to respect each other.  Cupid beams help people who are in denial of love, fall in love with each other.  Life beam is a weapon of mass devotion that gives life to any being or thing.  The Peace Bomb Glorothon shoots out into the atmosphere and when it comes back to earth it explodes into stars and glitter everywhere.  It is so beautiful that all beings - humans, aliens, animals and all creations - live together in peace.  It even makes lions become vegetarians.  They make a holiday called Unification Day!

We caught up with Mike, and this is what he had to say about his time at ArtEsteem:

ArtEsteem was more than a program. It was a way of life for me. It helped me get my creativity flowing, and I learned how to express myself on canvas. That was important for me because I get bored really easily. I was always taught that a busy mind, and a creative mind, is a good thing that should never go waste. So I did what I could to stay creative, stay busy, stay positive and have fun.
From Left to Right: Executive Director Amana Harris, Mike Brown III, Mike Brown Jr., and Art Esteem Program Manager Christina Samuelson

From Left to Right: Executive Director Amana Harris, Mike Brown III, Mike Brown Jr., and Art Esteem Program Manager Christina Samuelson

Mike Brown went on to graduate from Skyline High School in 2010, and became a real life super hero by joining the Navy in 2011. He is currently stationed in San Diego with his wife Ebony Nicole Brown and son Mike Brown III.  We are so proud of you Mike, thank you for being awesome, and most importantly thank you for your work and serving our Country!


See more stories & PORTRAITS at

our #SelfAsSuperHero Exhibit on October 1st.

Make sure to RSVP



Win 2 tickets to the SF Ballet at our 2016 Gala!

Do you like ballet? Well we've got a treat for you!

Our generous friends at the San Francisco Ballet have donated 2 FREE tickets to a select performance during the upcoming 2017 repertory Season, which runs from January - May 2017. Some performances to look forward to include Swan Lake, Cinderella, and the North American Premiere of Frankenstein! Check out the full list of performances here:

Founded in 1933, the SF Ballet is America’s oldest ballet school, and is known for being one of the world’s finest dance companies for its uncompromising commitment to artistic excellence in providing the highest caliber of dance training in its school.

Yuan Yuan Tan and Tiit Helimets in Tomasson's Swan Lake. (© Erik Tomasson)  

Yuan Yuan Tan and Tiit Helimets in Tomasson's Swan Lake. (© Erik Tomasson)


Steven McRae as The Creature and Federico Bonelli as Victor Frankenstein in Liam Scarlett's Frankenstein. (© 2016 The Royal Opera House. Photo by Bill Cooper)

Steven McRae as The Creature and Federico Bonelli as Victor Frankenstein in Liam Scarlett's Frankenstein. (© 2016 The Royal Opera House. Photo by Bill Cooper)


The tickets have an estimated value of $168, and will be part of the silent auction at our 27th Anniversary Gala: The Art of Building Legacy. Don't miss out on your chance to win!





MA Middle school Creates mural & Art Book To Benefit AHC

We received an amazing art book called "Be The Change," and a $100 donation from the Dover-Sherborn Middle School all the way out in Massachusetts!

We are so humbled honored to know that our work is able to inspire artists and youth, all the way from the Bay to MA! The book shows pictures of art and a temporary mural that was inspired by our Oakland Superheroes Mural Project.  

Here is a note from Dover-Sherborn Middle School's visual arts teacher, Cathy Simino.

"Dear members of the Oakland Super Hero Mural Project, after learning about your fantastic community art program, our students at Dover-Sherborn, MA Middle School were inspired to create their own temporary mural to promote peace. We are so sorry to hear of the loss of Mr. Ramos. Our heartfelt condolences g out to you. please accept our small donation and a copy of our book we created in support of all you are doing."


The book was featured at Dover-Sherborn Middle Schools annual arts festival.

The event featured visual art displays, poetry readings, and performances from the middle school's jazz bands, and several small breakout vocal groups.  The event was featured an article which you can read in full here


On Monday, June 6, the Dover-Sherborn Middle School held its annual “Arts Festival.” The event featured visual art displays, poetry readings, and performances from the middle school’s jazz bands, and several small breakout vocal groups. In addition, there was a student-led fundraising initiative from the Community Action Group’s Empty Bowls, which featured hand-made ceramic cups filled with lemonade and iced tea for a $10 donation. All proceeds went to Project Bread, which helps with community-based solutions, health center programs for children and adults, community supported agriculture, school breakfasts, chefs in schools, chefs in Head Start, and building sustainable food systems and informing public policy.

In addition, “Be the Change,” a book that was created to benefit the Oakland Superheroes Mural Project, was on sale for $20. A few of the books, which showcase much of the middle school’s art from this year and quotes from famous people and D-S Middle School students, is still available. To purchase a copy, email Cathy Simino at


We need your help

Our impact at home and abroad is possible because of your support.

Please consider making a donation today, or purchasing tickets to our
27th Anniversary Gala: The Art of Building Legacy.




#SelfAsSuperHero Feature: "Pooky the Hate Destroyer"

Every year, we team up with 100's of Oakland Youth and ask them to re-imagine themselves as superheroes with powers to transform their community. The result is a colorful art exhibition that provides a creative platform for Oakland families, artists, and youth to come together through a journey of discovery, self-exploration and community empowerment. 

Since July 21st, select pieces created by our ArtEsteem students have been on exhibit at Flax's Art & Design store in Oakland. The life-sized portraits are for sale, with 50% of the proceeds going directly to the student artists, and the other 50% going towards the future work of ArtEsteem.

- - -

Pooky the Hate Destroyer, uses his "Hate GPS" to overcome fear & destroy hate all over the world.

Pooky the Hate Destroyer, Tomme Lee, 2016

Pooky the Hate Destroyer, Tomme Lee, 2016

One day, Pooky The Hate Destroyer appeared out of nowhere in the streets. He felt afraid of everything that was moving. A stranger eyed him like Pooky was an alien. Pooky felt nervous because he thought he did something wrong already. One thing he saw while he was walking was there was a lot of hate going on. He saw a fight and tried to stop it. The “arguers” were arguing about who crashed into who's car. He had gotten pushed out of the conversation and failed trying to stop the fight. Zeus the Sky Heaven saw what Pooky did and decided Pooky was a special person. Zeus hid two items called the “hate GPS” and the “hate destroyer.” Pooky traveled through the world and found those items. When he found them he decided his destiny was to destroy hate. A hero was born. As Pooky was traveling, he overcame fear and destroyed hate all over the world.
Tommy Lee
Pooky the Hate Destroyer
6th Grade
Willie Brown Middle School

Come see Pooky the Hate Destroyer, meet our student-artist Tommy Lee, and so much more as we celebrate another successful art exhibition at the Closing Reception of our #SelfAsSuperHero Exhibit: "The Bravery of Love & Legacy," on Saturday, October 1st from 1pm - 3pm at FLAX Art & Design! 





Back to School is Here!

The 2016-2017 school year is fast approaching, and we are gearing up for our in-school and after-school Art Enrichment and Education programs, for both students and teachers. Our classes offer lessons in Visual and Cultural Art, that combine Attitudinal Healing concepts in an art integrated curriculum linked to Common Core.

We will begin this academic year serving 11 Oakland and 4 San Francisco Schools, including:

  1. Hoover Elementary
  2. Lafayette Elementary
  3. Martin Luther King Elementary
  4. Carl B. Munk Elementary
  5. Laurel Elementary School
  6. Howard Elementary School
  7. West Oakland Middle school
  8. Frick Impact Academy
  9. Westlake Middle School
  10. Street Academy
  11. Oakland Tech High School
  12. Malcolm X Elementary (SF)
  13. Carver Elementary (SF)
  14. Willie Brown Middle School (SF)
  15. Thurgood Marshall Academic Highschool (SF)


Since 1995, ArtEsteem’s Art and Literacy programs have impacted thousands of students in schools throughout the Bay Area. By offering art classes to under-funded schools, ArtEsteem is able to address the impacts of socioeconomic conditions that negatively impact academic and personal achievement of our youth.  

 Click here to learn more about ArtEsteem.

A Special Goodbye from Erica Wheeler-Dubin

It is with sadness that we announce departure of Erica Wheeler-Dubin, our ArtEsteem Program Manager.  Erica has worked with AHC for the past 5 years, and brought an amazing energy and passion to our ArtEsteem program.  We wish Erica the best of wishes as she works towards her dreams of becoming a Counseling Psychologist!

Erica Wheeler-Dubin, ArtEsteem Program Manager

Erica Wheeler-Dubin, ArtEsteem Program Manager

My journey with AHC began in December 2011 when a friend asked me to volunteer and phone bank for the 13th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. I sat in the front room diligently working through the call list, with nearly 20 djembe drums and student artwork holding the space. At the time, I knew very little of the powerful connections I would make and profound impact the people and vision would have on me in the following years. However, in that moment, I felt driven, with a purpose and also at home. 

Throughout my time, AHC has supported my other passion, playing soccer. I was able to travel to play professionally in Sweden and Italy and still return to AHC to pick up where I had left off. Right now, life has pulled me in another direction yet again, but this time to play footvolley (a popular sport in Brazil) that will be in the Olympics for the first time this August, as well as returning to school which will further my dream of becoming a Counseling Psychologist. Afterwards (and perhaps during), I hope to contribute again with a new set of skills to the AHC and Oakland community that has proven itself to be one of the most passionate, diverse, open-hearted and minded, determined, wise, and deeply rooted groups of people that I have ever known in my young life.

AHC's work is direly needed for everyone: youth and their families, artists, educators, residents, law enforcers, policy makers, the community and the world, especially in the midst of a rapidly changing Bay Area. The time and effort put forth that is necessary to develop and empower young people and their families that are systemically oppressed by the powers that be, work that AHC has done over the past 27 years, is gravely underestimated. The vision and dream to make AHC's work forever sustainable is truly made possible through the support of individuals who believe in the transformative power of art, community building, and nonviolent communication. 

I am deeply grateful and blessed to have played a part.

"Since love is eternal, change need not be viewed as fearful"

-Erica Wheeler-Dubin

AHC to receive Community Peace Award

Our 4th award this year! We are excited to announce that on September 26th, Attitudinal Healing Connection will be the recipient of the 2016 Community Peace Award. Each year, the State of the 18th Assembly District holds an Address and Awards event, to recognize and celebrate the diversity, generosity, and contributions of individuals and organizations in the 18th Assembly District (which include Alameda, Oakland and San Leandro).

There are 12 categories of awards which include, Woman of the Year, Veteran of the Year, Community Advocates of the Year, and Outstanding Organizations of the Year.

This year, Assemblymember Rob Bonta will present AHC with the Community Peace Award, in recognition of our critical work that empowers the community to reject violence, and work together to bring healing through art, music, and other forms of creative expression.