2024 Context

By Bruins, for Bruins...

“Before World War II, there were over 40 historical Japantowns in California alone. Today, LA’s Little Tokyo is one of just four remaining in the entire U.S.” – Little Tokyo Service Center brochure 

The UCLA Alumni Changemakers 2024 event, “Advancing Social Change and Preserving Culture in an Evolving Urban Landscape,” took the Changemakers series into the community of Little Tokyo, Los Angeles and uplifted the work of Bruin leaders at Little Tokyo Service Center. Founded in 1979 by Japanese American activists, this organization provides culturally relevant social welfare and community development services to people in need, contributes to community revitalization and cultural preservation in Little Tokyo and the Southland, and provides resources to neighboring Asian Pacific Islander and other low-income communities.  

Thank you for joinng us as we continued to celebrate the power of alumni voices in effecting positive social change. Our featured speakers will discusseds the founding and evolution of Little Tokyo Service Center and share insights into how the Center responded to discriminatory property laws and immigration policies, and the displacement of elders and low-income families caused by gentrification. They will also share stories of how they ignited self-determination for Little Tokyo by preserving legacy businesses, working with local residents to ensure greater community control, and engaging in critical solidarity work with other communities of color facing housing insecurity to build over 1,000 affordable housing units.  

Thank you for being a part of this enlightening conversation, as we explored the power of collective action in creating a better, more equitable world.  

You can learn more about how local residents, business owners, and community leaders, including Little Tokyo Service Center, mobilized against gentrification in Little Tokyo through this podcast episode featuring UCLA Professor Paul Ong.  

UCLA Alumni extends a special recognition to Rafu Shimpo, the nation's leading Japanese newspaper that has served the Los Angeles community since 1903. In addition, UCLA Alumni would like to highlight Rafu Shimpo’s CEO, Alumni Sophia Cole ‘15. For a featured article recapping the highlights of Changemakers 2024, please see the following link.

UCLA Alumni Association programs and services are made possible by Bruins like you. To ensure the future of signature events like this, please consider making a gift today.


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