Youth Voices student producers are taking part in a four-day intensive media literacy program exploring and documenting the many stories of Leimert Park using digital media. Many of the students decided to use the photography skills introduced in the media workshop to photograph the various ways residents and visitors to Leimert Park express themselves politically, and artistically.
As the Youth Voices students moved into their third workshop, the recent acquittal of George Zimmerman was front and center in their minds, as well as that of the entire Leimert Park community. Nearby a diverse group congregated in the park near the iconic fountain, demanding justice for Trayvon Martin. Signs displayed in front of local businesses asserted their anger and frustration concerning the verdict. In addition, the LAPD was making its presence felt with patrol cars and officers on foot, talking and interacting with community members. One of the students voiced his unease with the police presence and noted that everyone was being peaceful in demonstrating their dissent with the jury's verdict.
This coming together of the community reaffirmed the students' understanding of Leimert Park that they had voiced during the first Youth Voices workshop -- many had remarked how Leimert Park historically has been seen as a space for activists, artists, and the entire African American community, to come together and voice their concerns, beliefs, and dissent when necessary.
The students illustrate this concept in the following photographs, which show individuals and groups engaged in peaceful protests to express their feelings about the killing of Trayvon Martin and the outcome of the trial.