Oakland to All is a collaborative that seeks to continue to foster an inclusive space for the house-ballroom community of the Bay Area and surrounding areas. The ballroom scene is primarily comprised of black and latino LGBTQ individuals [communities that continue to be underserved] and our collaborative creates an inclusive atmosphere for LGBTQ+ black and brown individuals, and their allies, to express themselves in a fun, safe, and creative way, while integrating access to resources and linkage to care through our partnership with local LGBTQ community based organizations.
Our vision for Oakland to All is to provide a permanent safe space for the Ballroom Community. We seek to continue to offer a spectrum of programs, resources, advocacy, and to outreach to the ballroom community by holding support groups, classes, events, and fostering an environment where expression and exploration of one's self is safe and free from oppression. We envision a space where love comes first and important dialogue, critical feedback, and support continues to aid in the growth and positive change in the community. We hope to continue cultivating a safe, warm, and welcoming space where the ballroom scene, especially its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community members, can thrive free from homophobia, sexism, transmisogyny, and racism.
Oakland to All (formerly OTA Oakland) was founded in Oakland, CA in June of 2021, because of a need to rebuild the ballroom community in the Bay Area. Oakland to All began with vogue classes, donation based open format dance practices affectionately called "vogue sessions", and a ball that worked as a catalyst, specifically dubbed the "Back With a Vengeance Ball", named for the return of mainstream ballroom to the Bay Area. After the disappearance of SMAAC Youth Center, which previously acted [unofficially] as a hub for the Bay Area ballroom scene and of Bay Area based ballroom promoters, Shireen Rahimi began hosting Vogue classes to teach the next generation if QPOC youth and allies how to Vogue. The collective began to build as she invited guest teachers (other ballroom personalities) to host classes and events alongside her. Oakland to All continues to run as a grassroots organization, putting on not-for-profit events for the community, producing community forward performances for large organizations and companies, moderating panels on community issues and ballroom education, whilst still prioritizing effective penetration of the needs of the ballroom community through its partnerships with local LGBTQ+ Nonprofit Organizations.