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AMP: Grassroots²

California

Ashley Land with Community Coalition


What do you do? I do communications for Community Coalition. Community Coalition works to help transform the social and economic conditions in South LA that foster addiction, crime, violence and poverty by building a community institution that involves thousands in creating, influencing and changing public policy. My specific role is working with community members to use their story and voice to make change.

What is your why? Why do you do what you do? I’ve always wanted to tell our stories. I’m motivated to do this work because South Central, L.A. is like the South Side of Chicago where I’m from. They both have this reputation of being “hood,” which in a lot of people’s minds means that we don’t care about our community, but when you talk to people what you hear is their concern for family and safety. Without our stories, we can’t make change. Period. I like being out talking to community members and capturing their stories because without their stories we wouldn’t know about how bad it is for our people. We wouldn’t know, for example, that voter suppression is a community wide & systemic problem. If we don’t hear and tell these stories, how can anything change?

How has your work been different over the past year? This moment has been a great agitator for organizing. But we are forced to always be in reactive mode and and I want us to get to a proactive place because our vision is what will mobilize our community for the long haul. It’s what’s going to get our communities and this country to a better place. Always reacting is exhausting but it gives me a reason to keep fighting. There are still many many people who don’t think their voice matters because they’ve been done wrong for so long. Big question I’ve been grappling with, knowing that without my organization I would not have had this understanding, what will it take for other people to feel that they matter enough to get engaged.

The ask:  Become a member of Community Coalition so that you can help build the people power necessary to create a safer, stronger South LA. Your contribution goes toward our programming, our mass-based events and helps to train community leaders, empower students, and strengthen families. We always need volunteers to help us canvass, phone bank or join one of our many campaigns.