South LA Democratic Space: Advancement Project

Janice Burns, Research Analyst and Community Research Lab Manager for Advancement Project.

Advancement Project is a public policy change organization rooted in the civil rights movement. We engineer large-scale systems change to remedy inequality, expand opportunity and open paths to upward mobility. Our goal is that members of all communities have the safety, opportunity and health they need to thrive.

Originally painted by Elliot Pinkney in 1972 and restored in 1997, the Mafundi mural represents the logo of the Mafundi Institute. Emerging from the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1965 Watts Rebellion, the institute was created in 1967 by a group of writers, dancers, film-makers and actors in order to use arts to express sentiment about their community’s conditions and issues. Today, the building houses a community center, school, and the soul food joint, Watts Coffee House.

Janice, who has worked in South LA for 7 years, chose the Mafundi mural because it “represents my introduction to what research and planning by the community can do for the community. The collaboration of different community members and organizations brought arts and community voice to the rebuilding process after the 1965 Watts rebellion and even helped build some of the new housing that my family later moved into.”

El Advancement Project es una organización con raíces en el movimiento de derechos civiles que promueve cambios en las políticas públicas. Su objetivo es que todos los miembros de todas las comunidades tengan la seguridad, la oportunidad y la salud que necesitan para prosperar.

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