SOOAKLAND

 

Shayla "Shaylabang" Jamerson


 
 

Shayla Jamerson aka “ShaylaBang” overflows with enthusiasm for her hometown of Oakland, CA. Like the symbol for Oakland, the Oak Tree, Shayla’s roots run deep in the town. Both Shayla’s grandparents and parents were raised in Oakland, as was she.

After graduating from Skyline High School, Shayla moved out of state, first to North Carolina for college and then to Georgia, but was pulled back to Oakland because there was no comparison for her. Culturally and ethnically diverse, forward thinking, and beautiful, Shayla returned to spearhead a movement.

Shayla’s background is in fashion, both beauty and design. She has talents as a makeup artist and fashion stylist. For 6 years she ran an accessories company called HeadBanger that focused on bold styles. Bang was used as an adjective to convey female confidence and self-expression when customers donned their accessories. Shalya and her co-owner added Bang to each of their names to promote their brand, and the nickname stuck: ShaylaBang.

Returning to Oakland, ShaylaBang longed for the many activities that were available to her younger self. She and friends used to spend time at the now closed Malibu Grand Prix and the drive-in at the Coliseum, riding up and down "the strip" where a bunch of friends and familiar faces would gather in parking lots, socializing and shopping at Eastmont Mall and her favorite memory of listening to music and being a part of the community that attended the Festival of the Lake every year (which ended in 1997). These nostalgic memories sparked her passion to start SoOAKLAND, a company/ a movement producing positive events for Oakland Natives to network and have a good time.

SoOAKLAND was launched in 2015. Quickly ShaylaBang realized there were many more Oaklanders who were looking to enjoy the city the same way she was. 1,800 showed up for her May 2016 SoOAKLAND house party! Strength in numbers, the crowd epitomized the unity, beauty, positive vibes of all the events of the past that ShaylaBang wished to recreate.

Always an activist (2016 Indie Award nominee for Social Change), Shayla continues to dream up new events unifying the community singing, dancing, socializing, building connections, feeling safe, peaceful and free to celebrate and promote the city her grandparents still call home. In a city that is steadily in a state of transition, ShaylaBang isn’t going anywhere