Donate to Our 2nd Annual Back to School Party this Summer 2019

Following the great success of this event in East Hollywood last year, it’s my pleasure to announce a 2nd Annual Back to School Party in our community! Back to School 2 (BTS 2) will feature more live art for youth, renter’s rights for parents, live music, raffle prizes for the kids + more workshops and resources. As with our first Party, your donation will support rental space, tacos for all, backpacks, a scooter & bicycle, helmets, printed photography, art supplies & more. Our event will once again bring different members of the community together, from new business owners to long-time residents, discussing how we can support one another for a “richer” and more inclusive neighborhood experience overall. Please click the button below to make your donation!



And to be sure, for any questions or concerns, our team is just a contact sheet away.

You can also make your donation through our Facebook Fundraiser.

J.T.

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Introducing J.T. The L.A. Storyteller Podcast, Episode 1

In our first official podcast ever, Ed and I describe community organizing in East Hollywood, fundraising for our 2nd annual Back to School Party, and facing down other challenges in grassroots coalition building through Los Angeles. We also tell you a little bit about ourselves and why our experiences matter for our work with youth and education.

J.T.

Waiting Again, Los Angeles

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We wait and we wait and we wait. Patiently. Lovingly. Anguished.

We wait for our schools to be safe,
For our streets to be cleaned,
For our vecindades to have jobs,
And for our families to walk through these spaces without being criminalized.

We wait for our neighbors to stop leering at us,

For their dogs to stop barking at us,
And for them to stop acting as if WE entered their havens.

We wait for our landlords to answer our calls,

For the faucets to have clean water,
For our roofs to stop caving in on us every time it rains,
And for real estate agents to stop selling these buildings out.

We wait for the clinics to admit us without first labeling us,

For our doctors to work with instead of just getting rid of us,
For our ‘coverage’ to stay put without our having to reapply,
And for healthcare that isn’t based on our (in)ability to pay.

We wait for the few jobs we do have to pay livable wages,

For our superiors at work to stop bullying us,
For interviewers to stop merely using our names to cross off some checklist,
And we wait to work for the people of our communities rather than just the owners.

We also wait for billionaires to stop bloating our veins,

For our ‘checks and balances’ to check and balance the polluters,
For the GMs and the Exxon Mobiles, to be reined in,
And for ‘leaders’ who don’t call for these things only when it’s election season.

We wait also for courtrooms to stop feeding on our people as these other waits hold,

For any allies in our resistance in these struggles to view us as partners rather than peons,

We wait for another way of life to finally arrive,

And we wait for it to get here before it’s too late for another one of our babies.

We wait patiently. Lovingly. Anguished.

But the past has yet to die.

When is it time, Los Angeles.

J.T.

To Lincoln Heights,

Tomorrow I’ll be returning to Central Juvenile Hall for the first time in nearly ten years for a special program with the InsideOUT Writers. I spent my sixteenth and my brother’s fifteenth birthday at Central, and also sat through the holiday season of 2006 and the New Year’s eve of 2007 there. Through the other eighty-six non-holidays that my body was detained inside of the facility’s walls, I met the wrath of the state, alongside a generation of other black and brown youth from Los Angeles in custody.

We weren’t alone, as our families lost just as much time in our separations from one another. But in the end, none of it was time lost; it was time learning. Tomorrow I return as a freedom fighter, there to stand before another generation as proof that light is in fact at the end of the tunnel when we choose to see it.

I’ll stand not only for my family, but also for the families of others caught in the grips of the system, as well as for the freedom fighters at I.O.W. who have helped guide yours truly to this point. Until we’re all free, we are all locked down. But we will be free. We are free, and we are not alone.

With so much love,

J.T.