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9 Calif. L. Rev. Online 1 (2018)

handle is hein.journals/callro9 and id is 1 raw text is: 










Sitting in the Front of the Bus: Belonging

  at  the   East Bay Community Law Center


                           Tirien Steinbach*


     It was a weekday  afternoon, and my  last meeting of the day was  a
community  forum  in Oakland hosted by Alameda  County  Supervisor Keith
Carson to discuss African American achievement. The convening  was at an
Oakland  high school that was not on a BART  line. But rather than drive, I
decided to  take the bus. AC   Transit buses were  my  primary  form  of
transportation in my youth, taking me to and from school and out and about with
my friends. I was reminded of those days as I boarded the bus, looking around
at the eclectic mix of old and young, Black and brown and white students,
workers, shoppers, retirees. I smiled to myself seeing the group of teenagers in
the back seats with their backpacks full of books, taking up space and making
noise, practically bursting with bottled-up energy after a day spent in tightly
regulated classrooms. I remembered that feeling: when the bus meant freedom.
     That day, I sat nearer to the front with the older folks, feeling like a grown-
up in my gray suit. An elderly African American gentleman boarded the bus and
sat in the seat across from the driver, chatting amiably with people near him and
greeting passengers with a nod or smile. In his sharp cap and coat, he reminded
me of my grandfather.
     The  bus route took us past the original storefront of the East Bay
Community  Law  Center (EBCLC)  offices on Shattuck and Woolsey, where our
Economic   Security &  Opportunity  clinics operated before moving   last
December.  Reflexively, I looked over at the office with the EBCLC name,
colorful logo, and tag line, justice through education and advocacy, painted
across the windows.
     As we rolled past, the older gentleman pointed out the window to EBCLC
and said to the driver and other passengers generally, You know that place? The
law center? If you need a lawyer, that's the place to go for help.
     Of course, my ears perked up, and I leaned forward to hear more.


        DOI: https://doi.org/10.15779/Z38W950N78
        Copyright © 2018 California Law Review, Inc. California Law Review, Inc. (CLR) is a
California nonprofit corporation. CLR and the authors are solely responsible for the content of their
publications.
     *  Executive Director, East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC).


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