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Becoming a Neighborhood Saver: Engaging the Community in Los Angeles
Unformatted Document Text:  1 BECOMING A NEIGHBORHOOD-SAVER: ENGAGING THE COMMUNITY IN LOS ANGELES Pepper Glass UCLA Studies of alternative cultural spaces conceptualize them by external structures to the neglect of the internal workings, actions and understandings of participants on their own terms. This study considers how participants in two radical community centers in Los Angeles engaged a local community. Members defined themselves in three categories, those of “activists,” “organizers” and “community members.” While activists were white, idealistic and flighty, organizers were Latino, practical and grounded. Although marginal participants, community members – the local, Latino population – were important to the goals of the organization. This led to conflicts, as organizers saw the activists as a liability, alienating the local people and impeding their progress.

Authors: Glass, Pepper.
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Pepper Glass
Studies of alternative cultural spaces conceptualize them by external structures 
to   the   neglect   of   the   internal   workings,   actions   and   understandings   of 
participants on their own terms.  This study considers how participants in two 
radical   community   centers   in   Los   Angeles   engaged   a   local   community. 
Members   defined   themselves   in   three   categories,   those   of   “activists,” 
“organizers” and “community members.”  While activists were white, idealistic 
and flighty, organizers were Latino, practical and grounded.  Although marginal 
participants,   community   members   –   the   local,   Latino   population   –   were 
important to the goals of the organization.  This led to conflicts, as organizers 
saw the activists as a liability, alienating the local people and impeding their 

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