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Los Angeles students and teachers organize social justice conference

Student-led workshops to promote student activism and challenge injustices


Contact Jorge López
323-652-2511 |


LOS ANGELES (June 1, 2012) — Students from across the Los Angeles area will teach community members about a range of social justice issues—from the school-to-prison pipeline to immigration—at a June 9 conference that positions youth voice at the forefront of social change efforts.

Organized by a group of Roosevelt High School educators and students, the conference—East Side Stories: Youth Transformation Across Los Angeles—seeks to foster youth empowerment and community activism. The conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at Roosevelt High School, 456 South Mathews Street, Los Angeles. Admission is free and includes breakfast and lunch.

“In this conference, we aim to include what is often absent in the conversation on public education, which is powerful, transformative student voice,” said Roosevelt teacher Eddie Lopez.

In the conference, Los Angeles youth will share their stories of oppression and resistance and find ways to transform injustice into justice. East Side Stories will feature workshops from Roosevelt students and other high school students from areas within and beyond Los Angeles, including East Los Angeles, Watts, South Los Angeles, and Inglewood. Some of the student groups presenting workshops include the Youth Justice Coalition, the Coalition for Educational Justice, the Rosemead High School Gay Straight Alliance, the Dream Resource Center, the Labor/Community Strategy Center, Watts Youth Collective, the Black Male Youth Academy, and the UCLA IDEA Council of Youth Research. The workshops will focus on areas of student activism, including access to quality education, food justice, LGBTQ issues, and injustices facing undocumented students. Also, youth organizer and Roosevelt student Cinthia Gonzalez will deliver the keynote address, which will focus on organizing youth to change unjust policies that bolster the school-to-prison pipeline.

East Side Stories will provide a space for agents of change of all ages to converge, learn, unite and strategize. Youth leaders and activists will analyze problems and develop plans of action, generating power and finding solutions to make Los Angeles a more just place.

“The students will not simply be presenting. They will be transforming the space into a place of action,” said Roxana Dueñas, a Roosevelt teacher.

In addition to the workshops, conference attendees will be treated to craft vendors, along with performances of danza, spoken word poetry and Las Cafeteras, a son jarocho band.

East Side Stories is the first annual conference of the Roosevelt-based Politics & Pedagogy Collective. The group created the conference in order to challenge injustices facing students and communities of color, such as inequitable access to educational resources and the criminalization of young people of color.

Conference Information

When:   Saturday, June 9, 2012
Where:   Roosevelt High School, 456 South Mathews Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033
Admission:   Free
Schedule:  8 a.m. – 9 a.m. Registration and breakfast
                 9 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Opening ceremony
                 9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Workshop session I
                 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Workship session II
                 12 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. Youth panel
                 12:30 p.m. - 2 p.m. Lunch, spoken word poetry, live music, vendors, etc.
                 2 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Keynote speaker and closing speaker


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