Marc Brown is an award-winning journalist from Los Angeles. He is the co-anchor for ABC7 Eyewitness News at 5pm and 11pm. Marc has won four Emmys, a Golden Mike, an Associated Press award and a Radio and Television News Directors Association award. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California. He is active in the community as a speaker at schools and a Master of Ceremonies for community events. He has emceed Community Coalition’s Gala Dinner for many years.
Mary Lee is a longtime South Los Angeles activist and the Deputy Director of PolicyLink. Ms. Lee is a practicing attorney with more than 20 years of experience working in communities throughout California, with special emphasis on issues of housing, land use, and community economic development. A former L.A. Transportation Commissioner, Ms. Lee has long worked for the legal and civil rights of the low-income people of her city. Ms. Lee’s broad experience advising community groups and advocacy campaigns make her a key liaison in the organization’s health, housing, infrastructure, and civil rights efforts.
Saul Sarabia is a long-time social justice advocate and activist, formerly the director of Critical Race Studies Program at UCLA School of Law and before that the Program Director at Community Coalition.
Aurea Montes-Rodriguez is the Vice President of Organizational Growth at Community Coalition, a social justice non-profit based in South Los Angeles. Born in Mexico but raised in South L.A., Aurea is responsible for the development and sustainability of the organization. She is a passionate advocate and community organizer focusing on building black and brown unity who has been working in South L.A. for nearly fifteen years.
Celia Castellanos is a resident of South Los Angeles. She is an active community organizer who joined Community Coalition’s efforts to clean up the 39th and Western community in 2008. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Southern California.
Walter Smith is a long-time resident of South Los Angeles and a relative caregiver who was active in Community Coalition’s Kinship in Action program. He is an advocate for relative caregivers, having raised not just his own children but his grandchildren as well.
John Kim currently serves as the Co-Director of the Advancement Project and the Director of the Healthy City Project. Through his work on Healthy City, John has provided direct policy and research support to local elected officials, philanthropic entities, and countless community-based organizations throughout the region. John has long focused on social justice and community development issues in both Oakland and Los Angeles.
Karen Bass is the U.S. Representative for California’s 33rd congressional district. Prior to her serving as the current Congress member for CA-33rd, Karen Bass made history when the California Assembly elected her to be its 67th Speaker, catapulting her to become the first African American woman in the country to serve in this powerful state legislative role. In 1990 Bass founded and ran Community Coalition, a community-based social justice organization in South Los Angeles to empower residents to get involved in making a difference.
Yasser Aman is the President and CEO of UMMA Clinic. UMMA was created in the wake of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, when seven UCLA medical and graduate students decided to use their talents and skills to help heal the riots’ devastating social and economic repercussions. Since that time, UMMA has continued to provide a wide range of health-related services to children and adults in South Los Angeles.
Please share your stories and reflections of the 20th anniversary of the Civil Unrest: what do you think led to the Civil Unrest? What progress has South L.A. made since then? What do we still need to work on?