LA Convergence 2017 Resource Manual



Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative

On Tuesday, April 4, 2017, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion instructing the Arts Commission, pending funding allocations as part of the County’s budget process in June, to begin implementation of four of the 13 recommendations: developing a County Cultural Policy, requiring cultural organizations that contract with the County to include statements, policies or plans for cultural equity, creating access to work-based learning opportunities for teens, and an expansion of the arts internship program for community college students. This report frames and motivates the work of Arts for LA.


REVITALIZE: Collectivity and Community Trust

Los Angeles is currently facing critical issues focused on housing and gentrification due to increased cost of living and unfettered development within communities. In this session, invited speakers will give "pecha kucha" style presentations in order to share best practices and strategies for community investment in place-keeping, housing and community identity and provide solutions that can revitalize communities. Following the short presentations, participants will have the opportunity for a facilitated question and answer discussion with speakers. 

Themes: Displacement/Gentrification, Housing/Homelessness, Unfettered Development, Cost of Living Increases, Racial & Economic Stratification

General Resources:


AMY PERKINS, MSW, Director of Strategic Partnerships, LA Family Housing


TRINI RODRIGUEZ, co-founder and Executive Director, Tia Chucha’s. Producer of “The Hummingbird Cricket Hour” podcast 


ELIZABETH TIMME, Co-Founder and co-Executive Director,LA-Más



SASHA ALI, Manager of Exhibitions and Communications at the Craft & Folk Art Museum 



EDUCATE: Investing in Our Youth 

The "school-to-prison" pipeline has become a disturbing national trend in which children are funneled into the juvenile justice system through "zero-tolerance" and other destructive policies that are implemented in schools. In this session, participants will hear from leaders who are advancing youth leadership development and skill-building in order to shift the paradigm from the "school-to-prison" pipeline to the "school-to-creative economy" pipeline. The session will begin with a short, facilitated panel discussion which will focus on how we proactively invest in our youth, followed by round-robin small group discussions with each speaker to discuss best practices and strategies for youth leadership development, investing in creative, career pathways and workforce development. 

Themes: School to Creative Economy Pipeline, Preparing Students for the Workforce, Arts as a Preventative Tool, Parent Resources, Physical and Emotional Safety, Youth Leadership Development


FABIAN DEBORA, Community Connection Director, Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network


DENISE GRANDE, Los Angeles County Arts Education Collective


ERIC V. IBARRA, Executive Director, Las Fotos Project


SARA LONCKA, Director of the Fellows Program in Public Affairs (FPPA), Coro Southern California


CAMILLE SCHENKKAN, Program Director for Next Generation Initiatives at Center Theatre Group & Managing Director at the new-works development company Circle X Theatre Co.



CHARLIE JENSEN, Program Director, UCLA Extension Writers’ Program 


SAFIYA COOPER, Student Ambassador, Center Theatre Group



ACTIVATE: Local Empowerment 

In preparation for the upcoming election, this session will focus on tangible strategies for civic engagement and empowering local leaders. Invited speakers will give "pecha kucha" style presentations in order to share best practices and strategies regarding advocacy opportunities for non-profit organizations, getting out the vote, and empowering local leaders to advocate for change in their communities. Following the presentations, participants will have the opportunity for a facilitated question and answer discussion with speakers. 

Themes: Local Empowerment, Advocacy 101, Voter Registration/Get Out the Vote

General Resources: 

Voting Solutions for All People

The California Voter's Choice Act


GIPSY ALVARADO, Civic Engagement Coordinator, InnerCity Struggle 


MARILÚ GUEVARA, Executive Director, League of Women Voters of Los Angeles (LWVLA)


JEFF KLEIN Manager, Voter Education, Outreach & Community Relations, LA County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk 



TREVOR DAVIS, Co-Chair, Empowerment Congress Arts & Culture Committee


ILIA LOPEZ, Director of Strategic Relations, Cornerstone Theater Company



CONNECT: Building Alliances & Connecting Our Stories 

Participants are invited to interact with speakers in a small-group setting to discuss some of the main challenges facing Los Angeles and learn how to support individuals and organizations advancing the cause. Each group will feature an invited speaker to facilitate a discussion and offer information and resources to participants interested in their issue area. Participants are invited to sit with a single group for the duration of the session or "float" around the room to connect and inform themselves on a range of issue areas, including: Immigration & DACA, Food Justice, Women's Rights and Environmental Justice. 

Themes: Allyship, Cross-Sector Collaboration, Groundswell Advocacy


SHIRLEY ALVARADO-DEL AGUILA Community Engagement Manager, AF3IRM Los Angeles




JESSICA HUERTA Information and Referral Specialist, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights


NEELAM SHARMA, Executive Director, Community Services Unlimited



HEAL: What Makes a "HEALTHY" Community?

A health indicator is defined as a characteristic of an individual, population or environment which is subject to measurement and can be used to describe one or more aspects of the health of an individual or population. In this session, participants will join small group discussions facilitated by a leader in one of the four health-related topics: Food Justice, Mental Health, Environmental Justice, and Social Justice. Each group will tackle a different topic and discuss what makes a "healthy" community and how their topic affects the overall health of a community. Following individual small-group discussions, leaders from each discussion will bring their group's thoughts into a larger conversation about how each of these topics are interconnected and how they impact the overall health of our communities. 

Themes: What do we NEED to have a healthy community? Health Indicators


MICHAEL GRAFF-WEISNER, VP of Strategy & External Relations, Chrysalis


LUKE IPPOLITI, Agency Relations Manager, Food Forward 


ROSEMARIE MOLINA Civic Engagement Director, Community Coalition


CINDY MONTAÑEZ, Chief Executive Officer, TreePeople 



ERIKA NUNO Founder, Nunovations


ZOE SILVERMAN Specialist for University Audiences, Hammer Museum at UCLA

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