The Civil Unrest was a watershed moment for many residents, activists, organizations and for the progressive movement in Los Angeles.

In 1992 Community Coalition was in its second year when the Civil Unrest erupted on April 29 on the intersection of Florence and Normandie.

The impact it had on Coalition founders and early leaders was profound, as it was for many individuals in South Los Angeles and beyond.

Until this moment, African American and Latino residents living in South L.A. had been voiceless: unable to express their frustration against the injustices they confronted on a day-to-day basis.

Unfortunately, reacting to the verdict to acquit four police officers in the beating of Rodney King, violence became an outlet to express decades of pent up anger against the racism, injustices and inequities they faced in their daily lives.

Fortunately though, visionary residents and leaders heeded the call to action in the immediate aftermath of the Civil Unrest. A renewed community spirit arose from the burning embers and spurred many individuals and organizations to action and change. A concerted effort was made to build solidarity and unity across racial and ethnic lines, to create safer and healthier neighborhoods, and to fight for economic equality and police reform.

Spurred by the galvanized spirit in the neighborhoods affected by the Civil Unrest, Community Coalition and residents led a successful campaign to “Rebuild South L.A. Without Liquor Stores.” Their campaign targeted nuisance liquor stores that fomented crime, violence, prostitution and nuisance activities in affected neighborhoods. They effectively got the City of Los Angeles to stop the rebuilding of 150 destroyed liquor stores burned down during the riots and converted 50 of those sites into positive-use businesses such as laundromats and markets.

This website shares 20 reflections from different visionary leaders, elected officials, community activists and residents whose voices tell a story that is little-known to many.

We will be unveiling new stories from the month of March until April 29th, 2012. Please keep visiting and add your voice!

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