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Get to Know Liberty Hill's 2018 Leaders to Watch

Remember what it was like to be a kid? What would you have done, at 12 years old, if you couldn’t breathe because of the oil drilling site next door? What if, at 16 you were sent to jail for being late to school? What would you do today if you lost your home because the landlord increased your rent beyond your means?

Would you be paralyzed by fear or would you fight back?

Honoring a Civil Rights Hero

“Tell them they have to have hope, no matter what. If they get knocked down, they have to get back up.” That is what Congressman John Lewis—this year’s recipient of Liberty Hill’s Upton Sinclair Award—told me when I asked him what he would say to our youth leaders in L.A.

Queer Youth Leaders Mobilize for GSA Day of Racial Justice

In February 2018, Liberty Hill partnered with the Genders and Sexualities Alliance (GSA) Network of Southern California—one of our grantees fighting to empower and train young LGBTQ leaders—to call on Los Angeles County elected officials to address issues of disproportionate criminalization and abusive treatment of LGBTQ youth of color.

My Fight For Youth Justice

If someone offered you $100,000 and two years to think deeply about how to solve a big problem, what problem would you tackle? As a recipient of the 2018 Stanton Fellowship, I have just that opportunity. For me, that big question is how we create a youth development system that gives our kids a chance to lead productive lives, and to be the brothers, the fathers, the friends, the leaders they were meant to be.

Student Organizing At UCLA—Lessons Outside The Classroom

I remember vividly the very first protest I participated in at UCLA. It was fall 2006. I was a freshman, and it was the first day of class. “What’s all the commotion about?” I wondered. I walked by the protest and saw members of the Afrikan Student Union (ASU) yelling something on bullhorns. I couldn’t make out what they were saying, but I felt their passion and conviction and was impressed by the hundreds of students they had organized.
This was my first glimpse at successful organizing, which would eventually serve me well—both as a UCLA Afrikan Student Union leader and later as a program assistant/intern at Liberty Hill.

Black Infants' Health Tied to Mothers’ Health

It shouldn’t be any surprise that mortality among African American babies is significantly higher than among other babies.
In fact, nationwide, African American infants have 2.4 times the mortality rate as non-Hispanic white babies. This troubling statistic and many others are readily available on the website of the Office of Minority Health, an office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Given poverty in this state and county, our tattered safety net, the lack of access to decent medical care with which many African American residents contend, inadequate awareness around health, the troubled school system, the toxic substances and tainted water found in some neighborhood environments—not to mention the stresses of life that cause hardships on the body—of course Black babies often start life with compromised health, and others die at or shortly after birth.