PO Box 70351, Oakland, CA 94612 • t: 510 ONE LOVE (663.5683) • f: 510.420.8364

Legacy for LoEshé and the Saving Lives Theater Project

Let's be real: Violence won't be stopped in one days work, but with love, strength, and honesty to oneself and the right motivation, we all will become leaders and we can't change anything unless we change ourselves.

Juanita Vega, age 21

In the summer of 1997, after one of LoEshé Lacy's friends, James Valery (Nu Nu) was killed, she asked her father to help her create a play written by young people about their experiences with violence in Oakland. Tragically, she herself was killed later that year.

The LoveLife Foundation was created based on LoEshé's vision for this healing forum. We have presented the play, "Legacy for LoEshé," each year since 1997 throughout the Bay Area in theaters, schools and at special performances in juvenile hall. The play is written and performed by Oakland youth about their experiences with violence and other issues important to today's youth. It is a powerful exposé that has had a profound effect on the individuals who have seen it.

With the increasing violence and rising murder rates in the city of Oakland, this poignant message of the devastating effects of violence and murder needs to be seen as often as possible. Post-performance discussions serve as a healing and bonding forum for the larger community to gather and communicate directly. Parents and youth have the opportunity to engage in inter-generational dialogue that helps bridge the communication gap that often exists between youth and adults.

In 2002, we collaborated with the Ex'pression Center for New Media in Emeryville, a state-of-the-art media training school, with a live web cast of the production. In 1999, the play aired repeatedly on KTOP-TV to thousands of viewers.

"Legacy for LoEshé" is the primary play in the LoveLife Foundation's Saving Lives Theater Project, an ongoing vehicle for youth to direct their peers away from violence, using their own words and experiences. The medium of theater is a powerful and much needed outlet for youth to come to grips with the violence around them. Through the Saving Lives Theater Project, the LoveLife Foundation is planning series of performances that will put Oakland on the map as a showcase outlet for local youth to present their diverse talents.