Youth Voices student producers are taking part in a 4 -day intensive media literacy program exploring and documenting the many stories of Leimert Park using digital media. Student producer LewaNana Pinkney very quickly decided she wanted to use the tools and skills offered in the photo workshop to document Leimert Plaza Park. It's a beautiful area, originally designed by the Olmsted brothers in the 1930s, but Lewa has concerns about the homeless population now in the park. Her photos highlight this situation but also note the importance of the park as a community gathering place.
I've been living in the Leimert Park area for nine, almost ten years. It's the place that helped shape me into who I am today. It gives me a culture to identify with, a place to see friends, and something to do instead of sitting at home all day. It's my HOME...yet.
I have concerns about the condition and future of Leimert Plaza Park, especially the large homeless population. I feel like more has to be done to help the people there and make the park a place that is more welcoming to kids and families to just enjoy and have a good time.
The Park is also important because it is a place where people can come together to celebrate or protest events that happen in the community. The death of Trayvon Martin and the trial that found George Zimmerman innocent of killing him sparked outrage in our community. People were able to meet in the Park and voice their anger and sadness in a peaceful manner.
Lewa is a sophomore at Hamilton High School. She has lived in Leimert Park for over nine years. She is an avid photographer whose goal with Youth Voices is to explore Leimert Plaza Park and examine how it could be changed to create a more family friendly space where the community can come together to have fun and find comfort in hard times.