Shayla "Bang" Jamerson

Eight rounds of chemo couldn’t stop Shayla “Bang” Jamerson’s energy. In 2015, she founded SoOakland, a community organization dedicated to preserving the culture of Oakland through events, and community service, while creating safe, authentic spaces for the Black and Brown communities. Through a breast cancer diagnosis and a pandemic, she kept the organization going strong – SoOakland crowdfunded in early 2020 and provided grants to multiple small businesses and families. 

SoOakland began with multiple community events throughout the year, and the City of Oakland gave the pioneering organization props by proclaiming July 30 as the official “SoOakland Day” each year. (The eventual goal, post-pandemic, is to get back to a day-long festival that generations can enjoy in August 2022.) 

Shayla has brought Oakland together in tremendous ways,” says Paul Owusu, who nominated her for the Hall of Femme. “From raising money to support marginalized groups and holding space for domestic violence victims to leading social causes - all while building a brand and battling cancer. She’s very deserving of this recognition.”

Find her on Instagram.