The stars have aligned, and together, they’re focusing their combined brilliance on Oakland youth.

Long underserved by a public school system struggling under the constraints of ever-shrinking budgets and diminishing resources, the young people of Oakland are largely a forgotten demographic – almost as likely to drop-out as they are to graduate. A crucial piece missing from the failing Oakland educational formula is the lack of opportunity for creative expression and learning through participation in the Arts. Now, powerful women of Music are looking to change that.

51Oakland and the Elevate Hope Foundation, a Los Angeles-based NPO Co-Founded by acclaimed recording artist Sheila ‘E.’ Escovedo and her business partner Lynn Mabry – a former background vocalist for bands such as Sly and the Family Stone, Parliament Funkadelic, and Talking Heads – are teaming up to create Elevate Oakland’, a unified effort designed to ensure Art and Music remain an important part of the Oakland Public School curriculum.

“Teaming with Elevate Hope was important on a number of levels,” Co-Founder Jason Hofmann explained, “The Foundation has very similar goals, is equally passionate about their work, and their leadership has strong Oakland roots. It’s a perfect match and the possibilities are exciting.”

Listen to Jason Hofmann’s interview with Efren Sifuentes on 96.5FM KOIT radio ‘Today’s World’ program