Civic Engagement and Leadership

The Oakland Housing Authority (OHA) is committed to providing opportunities, venues and programs that allow motivated residents to develop their leadership skills and potential.  Whether through volunteering at OHA and community events, serving in a leadership capacity in a local community group or board or by participating in a workshop series, the Family and Community Partnerships Department (FCP) works to provide residents with opportunities to participate, network and avail themselves of ideas and best practices for civic engagement and community involvement.

Civic Engagement Activities

Resident Advisory Board (RAB) - The OHA Resident Advis​ory Board​​ (RAB) was created as a resident organization that represents the interests of residents at large and participates in the annual planning process. The first RAB was recruited, nominated and trained during the 1999-2000 fiscal year and since that time the RAB has met regularly and continues to provide valuable input to OHA's Annual Plan and HUD reports, as well as other issues that have impacted the agency over the years. The RAB is actively engaged in several projects, including providing editorial oversight of the OUR Voice newsletter and most recently, developing and opening the first city-wide Resident Leadership Center.

RAB meetings are held the first Thursday of every month, with every other meeting currently reserved as a working session. Meetings are held in the Board of Commissioners Room at OHA's main administrative building at 1619 Harrison Street, Oakland, CA from 5:00PM-7:00PM. Refreshments are served at 5:00PM.

To learn about RAB membership click to read m​ore​​


Volunteer Program- the Volunteer Program provides residents the opportunity to build community and promote civic involvement in the OHA community. The Volunteer Program is designed to provide support to community efforts, and build and foster positive relationships with community members. Volunteer activities may include:

  • ​Event and Workshop Support
  • Office Support
  • Outreach and Relationship Building

Leadership Development Activities

Resident Leadership Program- provides residents the opportunity to build community and promote civic involvement within the OHA community and throughout the City of Oakland. The objective is to create safe forums where trust and respect can be fostered among community members to address the many concerns and challenges that residents face each day.

Neighborhood Leadership Institute (NLI)- OHA has partnered with Attitudinal Healing Connection, Inc. to provide a 12-week, 60 hour leadership curriculum specifically designed for OHA residents.  Participants in the program have the opportunity to earn college credits through the Peralta Community College District. The interdisciplinary curriculum includes restorative justice, facilitation skills, conflict mediation, public speaking, community problem solving, asset mapping, and civic engagement.

Parent Ambassador Program - ​​provides opportunities for residents to serve as leaders within the local school system. The participating parents serve at seven partner schools, select throughout the district, that pilot our attendance improvement and parent involvement efforts. The Parent Ambassadors work in partnership with OHA staff and the principals at partner school sites to identify tasks and projects that meaningfully contribute to the entire school community, with an emphasis on increasing attendance for those struggling with chronic absenteeism. Parent Ambassadors are role models who exhibit “good neighbor” qualities in support of the full service community school model.


Resident Leadership Center- Available to OHA residents who have completed the Neighborhood Leadership Institute and to Resident Advisory Board Members, this innovative space provides our Resident Leaders a place and resource to work to create positive changes within the City of Oakland. Developed by and for our resident leaders who work on civic engagement activities, these leaders have access to state of the art facilities to conduct meetings or training, participate in workshops, access computers, and obtain office support for various projects in this professional office setting.  Staffed by Resident Leaders, the center will also be a place that nurtures community empowerment and local initiatives to create​ an inclusive, healthy community for all.

To learn more or to get involved, please call (510) 587-5104 or email​.