Al Jazeera Covers the Power of Art in Watts

One hot, summer day this past July, students from Inspire Academy High School and staff from Watts Community Studio were walking along 103rd Street pointing out different places and things that they consider to be assets in Watts. One student, Rynisha Alexander, pointed out how she considers Watts to be art and that the different forms of art in Watts is one of the neighborhood’s biggest strengths.

Apparently, Ms. Alexander is one among many who feel the same. Two days ago, Al Jazeera reporters released this awesome video on how street art in Watts build bridges across all colors, cultures and artificial boundaries that exist. Please take a minute and check out the video below!

Al Jazeera Covers The Power of Art in Watts

On Healing Divisions in Watts

Reflections from a WCS Survey Administrator:

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The Mother of Humanity, a 16 ft tall bronze sculpture and water garden in Watts created by Nigel Binns.

“Today’s experience was wonderful. I can really relate to what some of the residents of Watts are saying, because I myself am a resident of Watts and see many of the same challenges that they do; for this reason, I like the survey work even more because we get to hear these problems and help out the community. Many of the Mexican/Hispanic people I surveyed were concerned about racism. Their comments made me remember when I was in middle school and I had to deal with a lot of that. I don’t deal with that as much as I did but it is still a big challenge in our community; nevertheless, I have to recognize the improvement that Watts has made since that time. To summarize, I can say that Watts has improved; nonetheless, more improvement is necessary.”

This survey administrator is a 19-year old Watts Resident and a fun-loving Pisces.

The Watts Community Studio is halfway through administering the resident and small business surveys in the Watts neighborhood. Over 250 surveys have been collected and the issue of black-brown* tension has been a recurring theme. The Council District is aware that this is an issue in the Watts community and is ready to support initiatives that promote peaceful resolution and community building. The five-year strategic plan for Watts, currently being created, will address this issue.

At this time, the WCS has met with the City of Los Angeles Human Relations Commission, a city department that has done great work to drastically reduce violent crime in Watts. Progressive programmatic and policy solutions are all being considered.

*’Black-brown’ is how Watts residents talk about African American and Latino relations in the community.

“Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him”. “At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love.“

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.