Key Art of "Summer of Rockets" featuring Keeley Hawes and Toby Stephens.

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L.A. River Ramble: Entering the Backcountry of Los Angeles

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Last summer the Los Angeles Urban Rangers in conjunction with MOCA's Engagement Party hosted the River Ramble, an urban nighttime hike exploring the Los Angeles River. The event served to inform the public of the river's presence and expose nature in Downtown L.A., with family activities and enthusiastic guides leading a unique journey.

As part of our StoryShare initiative, Departures collected over 30 stories from the urban hikers, many of whom were experiencing the L.A. River for the first time. Many came with media-informed ideas of the river, from movies like Grease and Terminator, but left with a renewed perspective. As downtown bridges stretched into the horizon, together with the concrete walls a geometric portrait of nature was formed from the river's banks - an illustration of industrial beauty in contrast to the river's dismal reputation as a sewage ditch. 

The Los Angeles River may be the most famous forgotten river in America, but with our collective efforts we can change that.

River Ramble- Exploring the Los Angeles River

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Chiqui Diaz at work advocating to end social isolation | Courtesy of Chiqui Diaz

Youth Leaders Making a Difference Honored by The California Endowment

The Youth Awards was created in 2018 to recognize the impact youth voices have in creating change throughout California. Learn more about the positive work they're accomplishing throughout the state.
A 2011 crime scene in Tulare County, where one of Jose Martinez's victims was found. | Courtesy of Marion County Sherff’s Office via FOIA/Buzzfeed

California's Unincorporated Places Can Be Poor, Powerless — and the Perfect Place to Commit Murder

It's time to do better by communities that don’t even have local police to call, let alone defund.
Protesters confront police outside the 3rd Police Precinct on May 27, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota after the George Floyd killing | Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

In California, A History of Young, Powerful Voices in Journalism Emerge

In the Golden State, the youth have a long history of storytelling that uncovers little-heard narratives.