USC Annenberg helps lead Los Angeles collaborative $2.25 million federal partnership to help the Northeast LA River communities

Editor's Note: This event was rescheduled for Thursday, Feb. 14. USC Annenberg’s Metamorphosis Project, directed by Professor Sandra Ball-Rokeach, is a key collaborative partner on a project that aims to remake the Northeast Los Angeles (NELA) River and its surrounding communities into a focal point of community revitalization, environmental stewardship, sustainable civic engagement, and economic growth for the entire city. City leaders, including City Council members Eric Garcetti, Ed Reyes, Tom LaBonge and Community Development Department General Manager Greg Irish, will announce the grant at a 9:30 a.m. news event on Feb. 14 in Marsh Park, 2960 Marsh St., in Elysian Valley, Los Angeles. The press event will include speeches by city leaders, collaborative members, and local youth—as well as activities for the community to engage in conversation about what they want to see develop from the planned grant activities within the NELA Riverfront study area, which overlaps the communities of Atwater Village, Cypress Park, Elysian Valley, Glassell Park, and Lincoln Heights. Metamorphosis will develop the civic engagement work focused on community-based research, popular education, media/technology, and evaluation. George Villanueva, PhD candidate and Metamorphosis member, will head the activities. “The key objective is to fully engage the local communities in the planning grant not only through door-to-door research, but to also design civic engagement activities in the neighborhood that empower the residents with knowledge and strategies to inform the policy recommendations that will be put forth to the city for adoption,” he said. Unique to the initiative is its interdisciplinary team of city agencies, local non-profits, the private sector, universities, local schools, public media, and community members that will make up the NELA Riverfront Collaborative. The collaborative was awarded the $2.25 million competitive grant by the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, led by the federal agencies HUD, DOT, and EPA. HUD’s LA representative Michael Salazar also will attend the event. The NELA Riverfront Collaborative is made up of the City Community Development Department, Workforce Investment Board, Department of City Planning, Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, Urban Environmental Policy Institute, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism’s Metamorphosis Project, KCET Departures, LA River Revitalization Corporation, Tierra West Advisors Inc., and the LA Conservation Corps. For more information visit: Metamorphosis Project Sanda Ball-Rokeach