Executive Message

Message from the Executive Director

 

Welcome and Thank You

 

¡Bienvenidos and Welcome! On behalf of the staff, youth and parent leaders, families and the Board of Directors of InnerCity Struggle, I would like to welcome you to our website! This year we are very proud to be commemorating 23 years of Community Organizing in the Eastside by recognizing the achievements of InnerCity Struggle since 1994 in successfully building a community-led movement for social justice in the Eastside.

 

Our Roots


In 1994, InnerCity Struggle became an independent organization with the aim of building and promoting a safe, healthy and non-violent community in Boyle Heights and the entire Eastside. InnerCity Struggle began organizing working families in Boyle Heights on issues of education, immigration, violence prevention, and welfare policy reform.         

 

Building a Movement for Change


InnerCity Struggle youth, parents and their families have worked side by side to create change and improve the quality of public education in the Eastside. This intergenerational approach to organizing has become recognized across the country as a model for movement building around educational justice issues.

 

Parents and youth working together have resulted in several gains for public education. Together, the parents and youth of InnerCity Struggle have fought for and won the construction of the first new schools in East Los Angeles in over 85 years, and a mandatory A-G college track curriculum for ALL students in LAUSD!


More recently, we have won the passage of policies that have: begun to put an end to the school-to-prison pipeline, funded the creation and expansion of school-based Wellness Centers that will provide wrap-around health services for students and community, and demanded an equitable distribution of school funding for our highest need schools. 

 

The Urgency of NOW


As our community confronts challenging times given the hostile national climate and the adverse impact of the latest real-estate boom in Los Angeles leading to the displacement of residents, InnerCity Struggle will continue to bring youth and families together to solve problems impacting their schools and community including: joblessness, poverty, lack of health-care and affordable housing, poor education and repressive immigration policies. 


We are ready to continue the movement forward through the leadership of youth and families. We will continue to demand high expectations and increased opportunities  for Eastside students. Our relentless determination has resulted in significant changes for our communities. For over a decade, we have held the school district accountable to making the A-G college preparatory requirements mandatory for graduation. We are encouraged that the 2016 graduation rate in the Eastside stood at 83% with graduating students completing the A-G requirements! 


For the coming year, we will also launch a major renovation of our new building. We will create a permanent intergenerational community organizing center for the Eastside's future generations.  A place where youth and families will continue to be developed into effective leaders for social change and be connected to needed services. 

 

We draw great inspiration from our members. We are also filled with gratitude for your support. The past 23 years would not have been possible without our supporters and allies. I hope that you will continue to stand with us.

 

In the Spirit of Struggle, 

 

Maria Brenes

Executive Director