SLATE-Z and Partners Contemplate the Soul of our Work

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On August 23rd, 2019, SLATE-Z welcomed its newest implementation partners with a trip to the Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power Exhibit at The Broad museum in downtown Los Angeles. We were reminded of the immensity of the history and struggle for civil rights. The exhibit’s art pieces were not only interesting insights into parts of American history, but also poignant reminders that the work to achieve social justice continues today. 

The trip was inspiring, reflective, and informed the group about many important aspects of our nation’s past.

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The Soul of a Nation exhibit was unique in that it amplified voices that have been historically underrepresented. The experience allowed us to take a nuanced view on forms of activism and expression. Not only could we begin to understand the legacy of the civil rights movement, but we could also see the spirit of it. 

It was interesting to ponder how art can inform our work, help us to think outside the box, and inspire us to make change as we continue to do work in South Los Angeles. Furthermore, the exhibit reminded us of the value in creative pursuits.

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The SLATE-Z team was joined by representatives from: A Place Called Home, People for Parks, LIFT Communities, LA United Methodist Urban Foundation, LA Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Worksite Wellness LA, Life After Uncivil Ruthless Acts, The Grantsmanship Center, Holman CDC, and LA Trade Technical College. 

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We were brilliantly hosted by The Broad’s associates who provided an in-depth look at the context for each art piece, explaining the different ways in which the artists incorporated social commentary into their works. Thank you to the Broad for sharing this experience with us. 

What role does art play in your community?

Photos courtesy of Josie Clerfond and Alexia Armstrong Cortés 

Find out how you can visit The Broad here

Just Transit Pilot Project Aims to Eliminate Hundreds of Dollars in Monthly Transit Costs for SLATE-Z Students

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Meet Jessica. Before this program, she was paying $4 a day to get to school and her after-school activities. That meant $20 per week, and yes—$80 per month. The burdensome cost of transportation is a significant barrier to success for many South LA residents. 

“My parents work.” She said. “So they don’t have the time to take me themselves.” Jessica’s story is a reality for many students coming of age in this fast-paced city. 

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We can change this.

September 9th 2019 was the official launch of the Just Transit Pilot Program, which gives a select group of high school juniors access to unlimited free rides with 9 Los Angeles County Transit agencies for the entire academic year. 

The group of students are from Manual Arts High School, which is located near Exposition Park in South LA. This is the first program of its kind within the South Los Angeles Transit Empowerment Zone.

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A Partnership of Organizations Made this Possible:

LA Promise Fund

LA Metro 



Manual Arts High School (LAUSD)

Funded by a grant from the 11th Hour Project 

This pilot is of great significance for Los Angeles residents. Importantly, it serves as a model for future expansion which could bring affordable and climate-friendly transit to students across South LA and the greater Los Angeles area. We look forward to its success in moving students to opportunity, and reducing barriers to educational and economic advancement. 

The Just Transit Pilot Program enhances opportunities for students by helping them get to after-school jobs, internships, college prep activities, and more. It increases their mobility and access to the cultural opportunities that greater Los Angeles has to offer. The program serves the broader goals of the Transit Empowerment Zone, because we believe that mobility contributes to economic justice.

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Transit programs that all LA County students can take advantage of now:

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Photos courtesy of Josie Clerfond

Read more about this program in these media stories: LA Sentinel, KPCC/ LAist, ABC7