Grappling with the Past

The Los Angeles civil unrest of 1992, which followed the beating of Rodney King and the acquittal of the police officers involved, observed its 30th anniversary this year. To ensure this pivotal moment in American history is not forgotten, the City of Los Angeles Human Relations Commission reached out to USC Annenberg to collaborate on a podcast. Four journalism students, Elle Davidson, Daniel Hahm, Hanna Kang and Celine Mendiola, volunteered.

“We didn’t necessarily want an explainer podcast about the history of the uprising but wanted to look at how it’s affecting us in Los Angeles in the present,” said Mendiola, who graduates in 2023.

The three-episode podcast, “Forward Together,” is hosted by journalist Lisa Ling and launched in collaboration with Los Angeles’ Civil + Human Rights and Equity Department, as well as the Human Relations Commission. The series, recorded in Studio B at USC Annenberg’s Media Center, gave listeners the chance to hear real conversations between Angelenos of different backgrounds about what has — and has not — changed in the past 30 years.

“We want people who weren’t even born during the unrest, like myself, to have accurate representation and documentation of what happened,” said Kang, who graduated in 2022 with an MS in journalism.

For more information, visit the podcast homepage. Learn more here.