Welcome to the Alena Evolution

Update: Alena Museum Lease Dispute!

Welcome to the Alena Evolution. Take part in our transformation by joining us as a Volunteer and Supporter of Alena Museum. As we build on our legacy as an institution which values and provides critical safe spaces for the Black Diaspora to express their cultural identity in the face of gentrification, we are putting out a call for immediate action. We know gentrification kills cultural diversity, and Alena Museum is on the frontline holding space to prevent it from being obliterated. As an anchor organization in the Bay Area as an arts and culture space, we are rallying those who are ready to work with us to fight against the rapid homogenization and gentrification surrounding Oakland and the Bay Area-- as we face our own direct displacement. We need you in this fight. Together we can continue to proclaim Alena: We are here!  

Update: Alena Museum Lease Dispute!After six months of attempting to secure a long-term lease at our current location in West Oakland, owners Lynne and Diana Glassman have taken measures to evict us as of April 1, 2018. While it is, of course, painful and destabilizing to be uprooted from our work here, we will not let the forces of gentrification win. We are in a historic period of time where the complex layers of white supremacy are being examined and openly challenged. Gentrification is one of those layers working to simultaneous displace black bodies and appropriate black culture, here and around the globe. We see the plot, and we will rise above it.  

Preserving and cultivating our cultural identity is our Black Panther struggle of today and Alena is excited to be on the front lines of this struggle by providing safe spaces for Black Cultural identity to thrive!  

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” 
-Desmond Tutu


As a Bay Area resident, you have a choice to make. We all have a choice to stay passive or act in the face of injustice. If you see the rapid erasure of our Black community and cultural equity as clearly as we do, the choice to act is an obvious one. Only through action can we stop the oppressor in their tracks and stand on the right side of history. As a community, we will NOT choose the side of the oppressor because this is Oakland, aka Wokeland, Aka Oakanda, aka Black Panther territory. Standing idly by as we watch the spirit of Oakland change right before our eyes is not an option. We’ve continued to thrive through this struggle, and we will continue to do so but with so much work left to do, you can help us move to where we want to be by getting involved with us as a volunteer, donor, or both! (volunteer link)



In an effort to get to where we want to be, we have to be honest and real about where we are. Alena is going public with our direct experience with the injustices of displacement and eviction. We hope to give inspiration and hope to the countless individuals, families, art spaces, and businesses that are dealing with this non-inclusive makeover of Oakland. In this gentrifying climate of city officials, landlords, and developers choosing money over the lives of Black artists and co-opting our culture for profit, we must act now to prevent our own displacement so we can keep our place and do our work. As a developing nonprofit, our own direct experience with displacement is the catalyst from which we will take our mission to the next level and expand our vision and impact. In order to keep our place, work, and Black artists in Oakland and the Bay Area, we are launching a 3-Part Campaign, in which we will work to: 


Create an Alena Board of Advisors to Harness Our Collective Expertise. In an effort to execute our next steps sustainably and effectively, we are reaching out to those who can help us do this work with the highest level of professionalism and effectiveness possible. We are building our Board of Advisors with consideration of elders, professionals, and peers for their guidance, expertise, and mentorship. Click the link to view our “Alena Advisory Board” list of needs.


Raise Capital and Access Resources to Secure a Property that we own.  Alena’s mission is all about creating safe spaces for Black Cultural identity to be celebrated and cultivated. It’s time that we own the spaces that we activate so that we are never in danger of being displaced again. In addition to program support, we will tap our network of private donors, foundations, community partners, and other allied sources to raise the funds needed to purchase our own building and actualize one of our core values as a nonprofit.


  • Making A Donation: Your tax-deductible donation will go directly to helping us fulfill the mission of this campaign.
  • Sending us any leads on spaces that would be possible temporary transitional spaces for Alena to call home (i.e. commercial buildings, churches, open land, etc) 
  • Joining our Real Estate Advisory Board
  • Volunteering on our Alena Space Activation Team by offering your trade skills and sharing your time to help with space clean up, space staging, carpentry and infrastructure tasks


This is a 5 part event series will address the Issues of Black Displacement in Oakland and globally. We seek to effectively bridge our collective creative voices and tell our stories. Through this series, we will give a platform to our community and a flagship cause around which to everyone can strategically rally. Click the link for more information about our upcoming events and how you can get involved. 

Thank you,

Hager Seven Asefaha  
Founder & ED of Alena Museum


Click here to donate to the Campaign