MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Empowerment Congress Promotes Civic Engagement
While the 1992 Rodney King riots brought a lot of tension to Los Angeles communities, it also fueled a civic consciousness among its residents.
Shortly after being elected to the Los Angeles City Council, Mark Ridley-Thomas founded the nonprofit Empowerment Congress in response to the civil unrest. It’s goal was to promote civic engagement by uniting residents, businesses, nonprofit organizations, neighborhood groups, religious institutions and community leaders.
“The Empowerment Congress really created a space for community members to be able to sit at the table, to have conversations and to create policy in the areas of interest with their officials,” said Cassandra Chase, the nonprofit’s coordinator.
Using his platform as a public official, Ridley-Thomas created an opportunity for underrepresented communities to take matters into their own hands and “continue to build together the communities [they] deserve.”… Read More