Gentrification Displaces Historically Vibrant California Communities in CITY RISING Premiering September 13 on KCET and Link TV In Partnership with The California Endowment

KCETLink Media Group Contact
JP Shields, jpshields@kcet.org, 747.2015886

The California Endowment Contact
Sarah Reyes
, sreyes@calendow.org, 559-443-5306


New Documentary Explores Displacement in Six Cities Across California By Examining Systemic Racism, Economic Roles and Social Consequences of Gentrification 

Features Key Interviews With USC’s Professor of Sociology Manuel Pastor,  Former NBA Player and Mayor of Sacramento Kevin Johnson, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, The California Endowment’s Senior VP for Healthy Communities Dr. Anthony Iton and UCLA Urban Planner Gilda Haas

Press release image for City Rising
Images Courtesy of KCETLink Media Group




BURBANK, Calif.August 10, 2017KCETLink Media Group, a leading national independent nonprofit public broadcast and digital network, announced today a new 60-minute documentary special and digital series examining gentrification called CITY RISING. In partnership with The California Endowment, the multi-platform, one-hour documentary series shows how gentrification is deeply rooted in a history of discriminatory laws and practices in the United States. CITY RISING follows the journey of California communities that are fighting gentrification and features a growing movement of advocates seeking responsible development across the state. People of color who cherish their neighborhood’s culture and sense of community are mobilizing against unsustainable rents and other forces they see pushing neighbors into homelessness. CITY RISING airs on Tues., Sept 13 at 8 p.m. on KCET in Southern California and at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Link TV nationwide (DirecTV 375 and DISH network 9410). The documentary will also be released digitally on kcet.org/cityrising and linktv.org/cityrising as six 15-minute webisodes that will stream independently on-demand also starting on Tues., Sept. 13

Supporting the new documentary will be a series of online articles and social media videos providing in-depth, critical analysis on the issues surrounding gentrification and displacement.  Additionally, a premiere-screening event hosted by The California Endowment will take place in downtown Los Angeles in September, followed by a Q&A panel moderated by and comprised of community leaders featured in the documentary.

“KCETLink Media Group is honored to collaborate with the team at The California Endowment to take a deep look at gentrification, its causes and possible solutions,” said KCETLink Media Group Chief Creative Officer Juan Devis. “Although a hot-button issue today, gentrification is nothing new; years of discriminatory housing laws continue as the rights to property, home and community are taking center stage in a local as well as global debate. We hope CITY RISING gives a voice to a movement and a reality that is rampant in cities across America.”

Included in the documentary are gentrification activists that include USC’s Professor of Sociology Manuel Pastor, Former NBA Player and Mayor of Sacramento Kevin Johnson, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, The California Endowment’s Senior VP for Healthy Communities Dr. Anthony Iton and UCLA Urban Planner Gilda Haas.

“Gentrification affects every aspect of a person’s life. In addition to financial distress, displaced residents face fragmented communities, extended commutes and a loss of social support systems and health care access. The incredible degree of disruption caused by gentrification in a person's life is far reaching and trickles into their overall health and quality of life,” said Dr. Iton.

The series looks at six California communities where residents, activists and urban planners have identified gentrification as a primary concern:

  • Boyle Heights: an urban enclave neighboring downtown Los Angeles has made itself a cultural mecca for the city’s booming Latino population.
  • South Central: a mostly low-income and under-resourced neighborhood near downtown Los Angeles that was historically African-American has since become nearly 80 percent Latino.
  • Long Beach: a coastal Southern California city whose central and western neighborhoods have a diverse population of Latinos, African-Americans, Southeast Asians (especially Cambodians), Filipinos and Pacific Islanders.
  • Santa Ana: a mostly low-income and historically Mexican city in the wealthy, conservative, anti-immigrant and predominantly white Orange County.
  • Oakland: a major port city east of San Francisco that was historically racially diverse and has seen large influxes of young professionals and waves of urban redevelopment.
  • Oak Park: a modest, working-class neighborhood in the state’s capital, Sacramento, plagued by crime and a struggling economy.

The breakdown of the six webisodes released digitally on kcet.org/cityrising and linktv.org/cityrising is as follows (*subject to change):

  • Episode One “Legacy” From taking the land of Native peoples to Jim Crow laws and predatory lending practices, we reveal a lingering history of inequi­ties in U.S. land policy and practice.
  • Episode Two “Resilience” Communities that have historically been disinvested such as Boyle Heights in Los Angeles, Santa Ana in Orange County, and East Oakland in Northern California, have established rich community networks, informal economies, and burgeoning arts and culture scenes.
  • Episode Three “Return To The Cities” Cities have become more entrepreneurial, seeking private investment that fuels large-scale gentrification.
  • Episode Four “Impact” Laws that favor property owners and real estate developers have left many renters without a safety net to protect themselves from displacement.
  • Episode Five “Mobilization” As more tenants face displacement they are recognizing their power in numbers and creating a movement advocating for their right to property and equitable development.
  • Episode Six “The Future” As more people realize they will never be homeowners, renters are thinking about their rights and refusing to yield decision-making to owners and developers.

Join the conversation on social media using #CityRising


KCETLink Media Group is a national independent, nonprofit, digital and broadcast network that provides high-quality, culturally diverse programming designed to engage the public in innovative, entertaining and transformative ways. With a commitment to independent perspectives, smart global entertainment, local communities and opportunities for engagement and social action, KCETLink depicts people and the world through a lens unavailable elsewhere in U.S. media. A viewer-supported 501(c)(3) organization, KCETLink content is distributed nationally via satellite on Link TV DIRECTV channel 375 and DISH Network channel 9410 and on KCET in Southern and Central California via broadcast and cable, as well as through various digital delivery systems. For additional information about KCET and Link TV productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit kcet.org or linktv.org. Select programming from KCET and Link TV is also available for streaming on Hulu, Apple TV and Roku platforms.

About The California Endowment

The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation, was established in 1996 to expand access to quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental affordable improvements in the health status of all Californians.  The Endowment challenges the conventional wisdom that medical settings and individual choices are solely responsible for people’s health. The Endowment believes that health happens in neighborhoods, schools and with prevention. Headquartered in downtown Los Angeles, The Endowment has regional offices in Sacramento, Oakland, Fresno and San Diego, with program staff working throughout the state. For more information, visit www.calendow.org.

Keep Reading