connect / 2018
Larchmont Social Justice Alliance allows youth to speak up for social justice with a literary voice.
Please describe the activation your organization seeks to launch.
We will launch a way for ALL KIDS in Los Angeles to join a movement for social justice. We live in an unequal society and we see it on our streets every day. We walk over homeless people to get to school. We know too many of our classmates are hungry. As a group, we can change the forces that keep low-income students trapped in poverty and activate citizens for life. We, the kids, will build up our community, and Larchmont Social Justice Youth Alliance will collect our voices and set them free.
Which of the connect metrics will your activation impact?
- Attendance at cultural events
- Government responsiveness to residents’ needs
- Total number of local social media friends and connections Angelenos have
Will your proposal impact any other LA2050 goal categories?
- LA is the best place to LEARN
In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- Central LA
- City of Los Angeles
How will your activation mobilize Angelenos?
- Advocate for policy
- Increase participation in political processes
- Influence individual behavior
- Connect Angelenos with impactful volunteer opportunities
- designed to activate youth
Describe in greater detail how your activation will make LA the best place to connect?
As the world has seen, high school students in Parkland, Florida, have made their community, and the world, a better place. Florida is notoriously gun-friendly place, yet the students were able to lead common-sense gun law reform when their voices were raised and heard. Larchmont Charter School believes student voices need to be raised and heard on social justice issues in Los Angeles. Our student population is 40% low income, and we serve students from all over the city. They KNOW what poverty is, and are confronted by its confines every day. Larchmont Charter School, a grades K- 12 school, has established itself as one of the top performing public schools in Los Angeles. Unique among public charter networks in our focus on racial, ethnic, and socio-economic diversity, Larchmont Charter School aims to provide a richly diverse community of students with a high quality public education. Social justice is woven into the mission of our school, and who better to rally youthful members of the community to fight injustice but our students? The Larchmont Social Justice Alliance will pivot from this deeply held value system into an activist platform. Joining student voices toward social justice, our Poetry Slam Competition (already a prominent feature in our curriculum and in student life in the upper grades) will support a new level of community activism. Our students can reach more students through guided use of social media, events, civic-minded field trips, and historical perspective on the importance of politics. We want to empower young members of the community with literary avenues for their voices, as well as rallies, service learning, and spoken word. This alliance seeks to use the power of student voices for social change. Homelessness, environmental degradation, and immigration are 3 issues that affect our population. Those are 3 among many our students want to improve. We plan to measure how many new students are reached with a pro-change message, how many new members of the community join us, and what impact we have in the community through social media analytics and surveys. We are happy to join the initiatives of My LA2050 to drive a strong, united, youth-driven message for social justice.
How will your activation engage Angelenos to make LA the best place to connect
Our activation will require strategic effort to make student voices for social change heard. We plan to make use of our talented faculty, and this grant will allow us to deploy the brain power and leadership of our educators in service of the student voice. Our budget includes funds to pay our selected faculty to help student leaders strategize effective social change. This will include 1.) prioritizing top issues around which to rally, with relevant research (including student-led research) on what bills and local initiatives need ballot support or protest; we are interested in gathering youth around the common cause of social change and the action required to make it; timelines for activation need to be built; with student leaders, we will define goals and build a media strategy to achieve them; we will use strategic social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, etc.) to promote our events, rallies, partnerships with other youth groups, issues, literary interpretations of events, and historical and political context for our initiatives. We will also build a sense of unity with tee shirts and field trips that include students from all over the city. We will use flyers, video, social media, and publicity to support the student voices.
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your activation.
We will document how many students compose the founding membership of Larchmont Social Justice Alliance. We will then measure how many people join our initiatives, attend our events, see our social media impressions, and engage with our interpretations of our challenges (via spoken word performances and competitions, comments on essays or literary postings via Medium, Facebook, and other social channels) and the issues we plan to effect. We will use surveys and social media engagement to determine specifically whether our efforts affect change. We will also measure how many students and youth become connected with other My LA2050 initiatives as a result of our campaigns and output. Our faculty will also evaluate and support the literary and artistic value of the work produced.
Where do you hope this activation or your organization will be in five years?
In five years, all of our high school students will be able to vote. We anticipate that over 90% of them will be enrolled in college, where they can continue their social justice work. 600 students, plus their extended families and the other students they influence, can be part of a leadership movement for social justice stemming from the very heart of Los Angeles.