Issue Track Areas

Justice Reinvestment 


Over 70% of the people incarcerated by Los Angeles County have co-occurring mental health and/or substance use disorders. This new data point coupled with decades of pressure from base-building community-based organizations have pushed the County to finally see the public health crisis inherent in the criminal justice system. Join this track to get the historical context of how the carceral system got to this place and the rundown on what reforms are moving in the landscape. Following that time we will strategize how to mobilize people power to engage key players in the fight for justice reinvestment to build a robust, community-centered social safety net.

Building Civic Power 


In 2020, the fate of south LA will be determined at the polls through a slate of important elections starting in March with primaries and ending in November. While the election for the next U.S. President is important, all local representatives in South LA are up for election in addition to historic legislative reform including closing a loophole that has allowed corporations to benefit from not paying their fair share in property taxes. This track looks to work with residents and voters in developing strategies to ensure the voices of South LA residents are taken to the polls in 2020.

Educational Equity

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Our schools are facing an immense budget deficit in the midst of an ever-growing set of unmet student needs. As the Los Angeles County school districts undergo a tremendous amount of change that will determine the fate of students for generations to come, the UCLA Black Male Institute will sponsor this year’s education track to focus specifically on the myriad of circumstances that plague students in urban schools. The purpose of the education track will be to engage participants in issues tied to homelessness, foster youth, policing in schools, and community safety. The track will feature researchers, policymakers, students, teachers and community members working together to equip school personnel with the strategies they need to better serve students in South Los Angeles.

Artivism: Empowerment Through Art


Throughout history, America’s most powerful social movements have integrated art and culture into its overall strategy. Proving that art is a critical tool in building a sustainable social justice movement. Whether it’s the songs of the Civil Rights Movement, theater in the farmworkers movement, artistic cultural expression during the Harlem Renaissance, or the use photography to bring attention to poverty in the south, art has been used as a vehicle to educate and accelerate change. This track will explore the role of artivism within the social justice movement and will allow participants to engage in art-based practices to creatively express their visions.