Transformational change is possible. In my lifetime, I have witnessed it.

Typically, movements begin because people reach a point of saturation; tired of an inequitable status quo that keeps opportunity out of reach. I see young people taking to the streets demanding change on an issue that policy-makers and many of us have been unable to make a dent. These young people are very aware of the power of their voices and actions, which they are demonstrating by speaking out and by engaging in early registration to vote at the turn of their 18th birthdays in 2018. This is inspiring and needs to be supported.

What about transformations that can actually change the gamut of opportunities and experiences for young people in their neighborhoods so they feel supported all the time? Transformational change is a systems approach, deriving its power from unity—from a shared vision of what could be. Interestingly enough, if someone asked you, what does transformation look like in your neighborhood? The answer will mostly be based on some basic principles of fairness, safety, compassion, and opportunity. Isn’t this what we all deserve?

At CHC we have been asking ourselves these same questions and focusing on policy actions,issues and strategies that can lead to real transformation for our youth and their families. One of the most common and important types of social movements is the reform movement, which seeks gradual, though still significant, changes in some aspects of our political, economic, and social systems. Some of the most important social movements in U.S. history have been reform movements. The change we seek looks to overturn the existing order of things, one neighborhood at a time, and create something that is innovative and almost revolutionary—a new paradigm that is resident-led.

Creating transformational change through reform is not for the faint-hearted. It involves taking bold steps into an uncertain future. And, if what we truly seek is catalytic change, history shows us that transformation can only happen when there is an integrated range of approaches and methodologies. It is not an overnight sensation. It is a process that requires a commitment to collectively engage in a ground-up approach that includes residents, organizations, coalitions and networks, public officials, government entities, and progressive movements; mobilizing people through facts, analysis, and critical thinking; while equally engaging through our deepest aspirations for a more just future.

In this issue, we highlight some of the activities/initiatives that are part of our team’s deepest aspirations for a transformed South LA.

Veronica Flores, MA
Chief Executive Officer
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