I am a 17-year-old activist/arts advocate and have been participating in marches, protests and petitions since I was 5 years old. I serve on Mayor Garcetti's Youth Council for South LA. And have generated a petition to ban factory farming in California with over 55,000 signatures. I organize community events and get teens like me connected with social justice issues and activism all over LA.
A hidden secret in the city of LA on Washington off of Normandie. This cafe is GORGEOUS! (And healthy)
Funky Art is everywhere and everything is so well put together!! It feels super comfortable once you walk in and you can sit anywhere and order your self some lunch or breakfast!
There are games out for anyone to play and 8 tracks on display along with records and comic books. It’s like a little wonderland once you walk in! And there’s open mic nights!!
I have never seen any place like this in my area (Mid City) this coffee shop is the only one around and there’s nothing like it I’ve seen before!!
We need more places like this around here.
Blu Elefant stays open today (Labor Day) and caters to there customers we did this from scratch. They put the customers first. They want this to be a place where you remember your experience here not like a Starbucks where you grab your mocha then scram.
My mom the owner Inri and I continued talking for 20 minutes on how we need more places like these to bring the community together. 20-30 years ago nobody would come down here it was mainly gang territory but now it’s very different.
Very cute atmosphere and nice people. Open mic Monday’s!!:)
In this area it’s mainly upholstery and auto body stores but the Blu Elefant is one of the first to change that and make this area what it’s supposed to be, a community
Recently i had the great opportunity to write an article about what its like to be a young activist and interview some fellow activists my age for the Larchmont Chronicle magazine (which serves the areas of Hancock Park, Windsor Square, Fremont Place, Park La Brea, Larchmont Village and Miracle Mile) http://larchmontchronicle.com/
My interest in activism started early—I was only five when I attended the “Day Without Immigrants” march in 2006—but I was interested in what it means to other students my age. So I sat down with Heavlynne Richard, 14, and Jordan Cain, 15, to interview them on the topic.
I started by asking them what social issues currently have their attention.
“Definitely racism, feminism and LGBT issues,” says Jordan, who is a student at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts.
“For me,” says Heavlynne, “it’s Black Lives Matter! Racism is prevalent, and my family and I have experienced it directly.”
Heavlynne says her brothers have complained about racial profiling while they’re out with friends, and her father too: “Why do police pull over my dad—a security guard—when he did nothing wrong?” she complains.
I next asked them if they felt people take their activism seriously, being only 14 and 15 years old.
“Well, look what happened today,” says Jordan. “We made signs for the anniversary of Michael Brown’s death, which read ‘No Justice, No Peace’ and ‘Black Lives Matter.’ We held them up as we walked through the streets of L.A. and I was amazed by the response. Some yelled back ‘all lives matter’ while others gave us a thumbs up.”
Heavlynne says she recently attended West Adams Neighborhood Council’s “Storied Streets” screening and discussion on homelessness and was surprised by what she found.
“I learned there are myths about the homeless. People assume if someone is homeless it’s their fault. But the lack of affordable housing is the main reason. There are many homeless with college degrees, or veterans. Some worked all their life and had everything taken.”
“Then people shame them,” said Jordan, “by telling them to ‘just go to a shelter.’”
“Yes! But the thing is,” says Heavlynne, “those shelters are crammed! There are some who inflict cruelty on the homeless and then go post about it on social media; but tomorrow, those bullies could be in the same situation.”
The three of us chat for more than 40 minutes, and I leave feeling encouraged.
For me, activism is important because it helps people recognize what is going on in the world, and makes many topics public. This is our planet, and in order to make it a better place we need to get our hands dirty, whatever that means to you.
Because that’s what activism means to me: to be a part of the change you look for, not just the change you hope for.
Let’s keep making this world a better place.
Larsen, 15, is a student at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, and is a self-proclaimed adolescent activist. Raised alongside her family business (an arts non-profit for youth), Lily serves on the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council, helping to spread awareness for worthy causes. Her petition to end factory animal farming has garnered more than 15,000 signatures. You can follow Lily at adolescentactivist.com.
WHY I WENT OFF SOCIAL MEDIA. (coming from a teenager)
One thing i did this summer besides go vegan was deleted ALL my personal social media accounts. (e. instagram snapchat facebook) Now most would think “oh big deal anyone can do that”. Well, Lets find out if that’s true here.
I use to constantly obsess over “how i wish i was in any decade but this one” i really prefer the aesthetic of other decades (70s clothes, 50s architecture etc) and how everything wasnt so dependent on phones and computers. But i realized just recently it’s not about the decade or time, you have to appreciate the time you’re in and be in the present. Alot of people these days have some sort of social media account and way to access it.
Instagram Facebook & Snapchat are essentials to having asocial life now a days, just sitting in your room or at a restaurant liking other people instagram posts or watching other people’s snapchat stories. Basically if you don’t have a social media account and your in highschool and everyone you know does..your technically considered weird and live under a rock.
One thing i noticed before getting of social media was how much time people would spend on their phones!! And i mean it’s like 24/7. When you’re hanging out with a friend or group of friends it’s always fun to go places and do stuff!!! But what i noticed when i hang out with peers nowadays and a lot of kids these days who hang out with there friends too is that there just on there phone the whole time!! snapchatting everything and sending it to there friends !!! Or on vine looking at videos for hours on end.
I noticed this a lot with so many people my age, younger and older!! It made me think of what teens would do before cell phones and instagram all that stuff. What about the 70s or the 20s?? Well when i asked my dad what they used to back in the 1970s he said ” We were outdoors a lot, fixing our skateboards, riding bikes we were all in a pack and would bike around the area go to different peoples houses” There’s always stuff to do, start a band or make crafts or just lie on the floor and listen to music! (one of my favorites).
Now i’m not saying social media is a bad horrible thing. It CAN go BOTH ways. Its a good way to spread things around or get people to know about things or maybe feeling good when someone comments on your selfie. But also how fast information can get twisted, cyber bullying etc. one of the main reasons i got off was because it was just straight up waste of time i mean seriously.. That selfie would take an hour to snap then edit and post and think of caption. I realized no one is going to remember that selfie or post of coffee its not worth the time. And the constant need to be on it 24/7 to see if anyone has posted anything or liked your photo.
Also on instagram and other apps that include picture taking i felt my self esteem and confidence in my face go down because it was all fake, The edited selfie all that stuff . It lowers your self esteem in how you appeal to others because the feel that you have to edit or photoshop yourself. Its not your true self and then i would feel that if there was someone i knew from instagram or snapchat but never met and saw them in person i would feel that i don’t look like what i do in the picture i had posted.
I also felt that everybody has such a great life only thinking this based on a post of there friends or updating their status about a event they went to. It would turn me against people without them even knowing it because of how fake and “perfect” everything would seem when maybe they actually got in a fight with someone that day or is actually very sad and depressed. You dont know things like that. I also noticed how people would risk something just for that video to post on vine or picture for instagram. Or post certain things that can be very dark and depressing for personal attention. Many of these programs are very addicting and triggers a part of your brain that is also triggered by dopamine eek!
When i did have an instagram i would sometimes log off and give myself a break for a day but then you start to worry “i bet a bunch of people snapchatted me i really should check it” or “what if someone is hacking my instagram right now” i better check it” I couldn’t live like that. The best thing was to just cold turkey get off of everything.. PERMANENTLY!!
At first didn’t want to delete my instagram this was because of my feed. (i know… really?) It was because of all my photos and how cool everything looked on it. That’s why a couple of my friends haven’t deleted there instagram “its to precious, like a baby” same with snapchat “but so many people watch my story i would lose all that”
The thing is once you deleted your facebook or instagram whatever you use, You just forget about it a week later.
After i got off i was also SO much happier. And started to really appreciate things more and appreciate my life more. And it’s very easy for me to talk to people i also read books and do crafts knowing that a lot of my friends go straight on the phone after school. Also being off has helped myself become more organized. Its so weird but in a great way. Many could think “oh they don’t have instagram or vine they are so not cool…” the thing is being off of that stuff is cool!!! It shows how much of a life you have and is not just behind a screen all day and night.
My friends were actually proud that i did knowing none of them have gotten off yet, but i think if they do they’ll have the epiphany i did. For some reason getting off has also made me super comfortable in my own skin wherever i go yet super nice to people and appreciative at the same time. I’m not constantly thinking ” oh i should totally instagram that or snapchat this or tweet that” wherever i go. I no longer have that need to take a selfie anywhere. I’m more focused on my life and the life of others through real eyes not a screen! And how adventurous life is.
I suggest you try it for a while and see how it goes. !!!!!!!!!!!
NONE of these pictures are mine. I got them off of google images.
Warning: graphic pictures below of these poor helpless animals:( . credit from google imgs.
If you didn’t know factory farming is the confinement of animals in tight rooms, boxes, metal crates, wire cages the list can go on. They get barely any water and fake/processed antibiotic food. Then they are given no space so they can’t sit or lie down so these poor pigs and cows are standing constantly crammed next to each other with sharp metal wire right up next to them too. It also hurts the environment and causes pollution.
With minimal to no access to air These helpless animals are also fed antibiotics that makes them produce more milk/eggs and changes the way their body functions that some chickens die from being overgrown. Then they get transported to a slaughterhouse without food or water and get dragged/ have their throats slit while still alive and conscious. This is just one version of what goes on behind those walls and i can’t live happily knowing that these animals NEED our help.
PLEASE sign this it will change our state and we would influence other states to do the same. These Animals should not have to deal with this stand with me to make a difference, we will fight this and to whomever signs this YOU may be the reason why farm factory will be banned!
Before you drink that glass of milk think of the torture that mother cow had to go through its baby didnt even get its own mommys breast milk. They were teared apart from each other the mothers are FORCED into giving birth. Its basically raping cows. HORRIBLE.
Farm factoring isn’t even considered an issue on the white houses website, lets change this. More people need to be aware and know whe re theirmeat is coming from and how. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Lily Larsen age 15.
If you are planning on looking at pictures of factory farming please be aware it is very graphic, sad and sickening. This is the only one i could find that is some what appropriate yet it is still miserable and depressing.
FACTORY FARMING CAUSES ANIMAL TORTURE AND SUFFERING AND POLLUTION TO OUR ENVIRONMENT AND CAUSES PROBLEMS TO YOUR BODY SUCH AS HEART DISEASE AND HORMONE GROWTH.
For more information look up factory farming online and you will learn about the harm it has on the world and so much more.
Supporting small businesses is always a good idea!
Whether it’s a local thrift shop, a family owned restaurant or a coffee shop that supports local artists – like the one I’m going to tell you about today – in this era of Big Box/Mega/Super Stores, it is critical to keep these small businesses alive! Today we are enjoying Home Boy Cinnamon Coffee Cake at HOLY GROUNDS Coffee & Tea located on Alhambra Ave in the East Los Angeles Area (El Sereno). Holy Grounds is no regular coffee shop and as far as you can get from the ubiquitous Starbucks on every street corner. (My mom calls, the McDonalds of Coffee).
I would have to say this place is actually feels sacred – true to its name! When you first walk in, you are struck by vibrant and colorful art everywhere: including a wall filled with arts & crafts for sale, from Local Artists in the El Sereno/East Los Angeles/Alhambra area, like Andrew Cervantes. The two women serving us are sweet and welcoming! You you can order your homeboy coffee cake and latte or tea together 5$ Hey, I know you may think that’s expensive if you’re on a budget like me, but it’s worth it! Always better to support a small business than a corporation!
Once you want into the patio you literally find yourself NOT in Los Angeles anymore. Sort of like you’re in the middle of Oregon and New Mexico combined. There’s a big water fountain and small wooden chairs and tables spread out so you can enjoy a little snack with your friend or hopefully working on YOUR activist blog. There is art out here too, adding a folksy quaintness and magic feel, along with the gorgeous painted wall fountains.
There is also a mini stage with two paper mache skull senoritas where fellow Angelinos can come do some spoken word or stand up comedy and screen movies. Steve, the owner, has created a wonderful venue to bring the community together, one of his main goals. He is caring and community-minded and he built this magical oasis right in the middle of nothing! No coffee shops in this industrial enclave!
My purpose today is not only to recommend that you think FIRST of your local small business for all things. But next to SHOUT OUT this wonderful place. Holy Grounds!
Hope you like the photos! Come here and take beautiful photos for yourself and discover the Magic of Holy Grounds!
My first project as an activist began in kindergarten. The Million Man March happened up the street from my house – suddenly this wash of marchers in white t-shirts came up Wilshire Boulevard – I saw it from my Dad’s shoulders. It was like a wave….
I asked my parents what was happening. They told me that people were marching peacefully to say that they wanted to see changes in the way things were for them, their families, and their children. I wanted to know more about my neighbors from Mexico, South and Central South America.
At the ripe age of 5, I decided to interview people in my neighborhood who had emigrated to Los Angeles in their lifetime. I wanted to know what their stories were, and they were happy to talk to me and my mom.
Here are their stories:
Coffee House owner, Olvera Street
I was born in the city of Los Angeles,at the Los Angeles Hopspital which doesn’t exist anymore.
My father came from Guadalajara in the 1920s. They lived in a hacienda. My grandfather was an accountant estate for ranches during the Revolution. He knew he had to protect what he knew he to protect what we knew. He became at exporter.
My father became a citizen in Italy in the back of a truck in WW 2; FDR gave him his citizenship because he fought for the U.S. – this is how we became a U.S. citizen, so it’s ironic when people say all Mexicans came here illegally or jumped the border guard. That isn’t always the case.
What is unique and exciting about my community is that we are the majority now. I have confronted racism and ignorance and heard people say “Go back to Mexico” and my response to that would be that if you’re saying that, you need to do your homework and know the history of this area – because clearly—if you’re saying that, you don’t!
I don’t agree with the “Chicano” movement; I didn’t relate to it because they proclaim peace but the way they go about it, to me, isn’t working.
I have never been to my parents home in Guadalajara. I grew up in San Marino, CA.
waiter, Olvera Street
My name is Santiago. I am a waiter in Olvera Street.
and I came from Mexico City. Our house was adobe with Spanish Tile. I was here since 1986.
My favorite food is mole. I come from the mountains, like here.I was 17 hours walking here. I was alone, no amigos.
People must understand there is always a very good reason we would need to walk 17 hours, leaving our families behind to come to a strange place and take any job we can. We don’t wake up and decide this. If we want to help our families, this is the sacrifice.
I like the quality of life here, it’s better I miss my family the most.
I have no family here.
clerk in store downtown.
I was born in Sinaloa, the village is called Los Mochis. We moved here when I was 6 years old. . In Sinaloa, a train track was close to my house and the street was dirt and rocks.
The education here was why my parents moved us. We moved for the economy and for us to have a better life.
We all came together across the border. I remember running a lot in Tijuana. One time we almost died. There were rats and my brother got bit. But we made it here and we were so happy.
My culture is conservative; other cultures are more liberal.
My favorite food from where I grew up were the mangoes.
My name is Miguel. I came from Juanajuato. The sierras are green and a lot of water, the earth has much rain.
The economy is difficult, my family didn’t have shoes. The house was made of adobe with blocks – red color, hard ot make money.
There was no work. We starved a lot.
For 18 hours I walked to Rumorosa. It was difficult. Ten years ago. At times I worked and times I didn’t work. I was alone coming here, no friends. Now here I have a little friends.
My favorite food is Posole – mas fresca in Juanajuato. I like California. I am glad to be here. I miss my mother. She cries for me to come home, but she knows I can earn better wages here and it will help. I just want to help my family.
I never got the name of this Man
Although, I wish i had.
I am so grateful to have met these hardworking people and learn about them. I wish them all the best! Its been a decade since i have seen them!