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Candice Elder ’06 Takes Pride in Serving Her Local Community

February 17, 2021

Quick Facts
Degree: BS, political science with a minor in African American studies

Currently: Executive director, The East Oakland Collective; member, Black Alumni Association

Born and raised in Oakland, CA, Cal alum Candice Elder ’06 has a background in law and philanthropy and uses it to serve her community every day. Elder is the founder and executive director of The East Oakland Collective, a nonprofit organization that addresses and focuses its efforts on racial and economic equity in East Oakland. She was appointed by the mayor of Oakland in November of last year to a new advisory commission on homelessness as the city’s crisis escalates.

As an undergraduate at Berkeley who appreciated the campus’s rich history of activism, Elder served as the editor-in-chief of the Onyx Express, Cal’s Black student newspaper. She earned her degree in political science with a minor in African American studies.

Berkeley alum Candice Elder distributing food to the most vulnerable in Oakland | Courtesy of Candice Elder

Currently, Elder is working to alleviate food insecurity across Oakland—which has deepened due to COVID-19—through the Fill Hotels, Not Graves Emergency Shelter Program. The initiative helps move unhoused individuals, seniors, veterans, low-income families, and people with a compromised immune system into hotel rooms in Oakland. They receive meals donated by restaurants, groceries from the local food bank, personal hygiene supplies, visits from volunteer medical professionals, and more.

Elder is an active member of the UC Berkeley Black Alumni Association (BAA). Having served on the board of directors for BAA for several years, she remains involved with the chapter by attending events. “Cal alumni are everywhere, and I always find myself connecting with [them] through the course of my work and personal journeys.”

Connect with Elder on LinkedIn, and connect with your fellow alumni in the Cal Alumni Association’s LinkedIn group.


Please join UC Berkeley’s Black Alumni Association (BAA) in its strategic initiative to “Look Back, Give Back.” BAA’s mission is to advance the needs of the Black Cal community (alumni, students, university, and Black community) by providing opportunities for meaningful and lifelong engagement, and partner with the University to promote our core values.

What are the Black Alumni Association’s core values?

  • Champion Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Education
  • Promote Healthy Living for Black Cal Community
  • Stimulate Economic and Political Empowerment
  • Leverage Our Collective Knowledge, Experience, Strengths, and Connections
  • Realize Social Justice

For more information, follow the UC Berkeley Black Alumni Association on Facebook.