Connecting Revel Members to Each Other, And to Oakland

November 18, 2019

Kelley Nayo-Jahi is 51, and found that as she sought out new experiences in the Bay Area, she wasn’t finding many women her age in the room. “I might do a dance class, or other event, and I was often the oldest person there,” she says.  

Kelley wanted to find a way to connect with other women over 50, and came across Revel via friends in the investment community. By day, Kelley is a consultant and owner of Nayo Partners, providing business management for creatives. Revel immediately resonated with her. Kelley said: “I love community. I love my home city of Oakland. And I love exploring things.” 

Women over 50 in Oakland California
photo courtesy of Kelley Nayo-Jahi

She begun regularly hosting events for Revel, including the new Revel First Sundays (the next one is Dec. 1 in East Bay), where members gather at various coffeeshops to have a meaningful conversation about their lives and interests. To facilitate the conversation at the first gathering, Kelley says, “we talked about things we were celebrating, thing we were looking forward to, and anything that was a challenge.” 

Kelley says it was helpful to have the group’s input on a challenge she was facing – what to do with her daughter’s room now that she had left home for college. “The women have such vast experiences,” Kelley says. “I appreciated getting their feedback – how to engage my daughter in the process. People were so willing to share.” 

Scouring bookstore listings for possible Revel gatherings, Kelley found the book launch for “Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law,” with author Haben Girma Nov. 16 at Books Inc. in Berkeley. Haben grew up in Oakland with progressive deafblindness (the condition worsened as she aged) and fought discrimination at every stage of her life, eventually becoming a disability rights lawyer. “I love the idea of coming together at a reading or book discussion,” says Kelley. “You can come whether you buy the book or not, and have a meaningful conversation after.” And on Nov. 27, Kelley will lead Revel members on a walking tour of one of her favorite places – Lake Merritt in Oakland, a 3-mile shoreline in the center of the city. “I grew up going to Lake Merritt, riding my bike alongside my mom,” Kelley says. The walk is being offered as a way for members to decompress before the Thanksgiving holiday. “The holidays often bring anxiety,” she says. “This is an opportunity to break away and connect with people.” The walk is flat and appropriate for all abilities, and the three-mile stretch will offer plenty of opportunity for meaningful conversation.

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