Photo by Momo Chang
2 Brothers at the Lake founders Onsayo Abram and Kenzie Smith.
Kenzie Smith and Onsayo Abram — the two men targeted in the #BBQBecky incident at Lake Merritt — are launching an organization, 2 Brothers at the Lake, which will focus on youth leadership and job training.
“We know in today’s society, a lot of youth and young adults have things in their lives that affect them,” Smith said. “What we want to do is to get them early and actually help them with leadership skills.”
Their mission reads, in part, to “significantly improve Oakland so that residents can thrive.”
Along those lines, their first step will be focusing on education. “We’re trying to create leaders and focus on the education of youth and young adults,” said Smith. Part of the education aspect will be learning about Oakland and Bay Area history. “We’ll be taking them to different parts of Oakland. We want to preserve the history and educate them on the history. It’s about keeping your community and knowing your community.”
This might entail taking them on neighborhood tours through Chinatown, Dimond, Fruitvale, East Oakland, and West Oakland, Smith said.
Smith and Abram also plan to give youth summer jobs. “In order to get their attention, you have to pay them,” Smith added. “It’s a community organization. We pride ourselves on trying to impact lives in the community, as well as trying to improve the city at the same time.”
Smith said they are still securing funding and may launch a crowdfunding campaign down the line. Their goal is to launch 2 Brothers at the Lake mid-summer.