For 25 years, Leadership Development in Intergroup Relations has invested in social change through supporting the development of leaders who embrace difference. In 1992, the city of Los Angeles was embroiled in racial tensions. The brutalization of Rodney King at the hands of LAPD, the murder of LaTasha Harlins alongside shifting demographics in various parts of Los Angeles, signaled a deep need for communities to understand each other both through their similarities and their differences. These realities shaped the initial need for community work that focused on bringing community leaders together from different racial and ethnic groups together to develop skills that would enable them to support their communities to move through challenges, address systemic oppression and struggle together for a more just society. This is the legacy of Leadership Development in Intergroup Relations (LDIR). As we look back over our work, 25 years after graduating our first cohort, it’s clear that a lot has been accomplished but that there remains a lot more to do.
LDIR alumni have gone on to become leaders in the city of Los Angeles and beyond, developing connections and relationships that would serve them well beyond their four to nine months time in our LDIR programs. These relationships and this investment in social change is necessary especially in this precarious time with a federal administration that is working very diligently to remove and disrupt protections that have been hard won and have allowed communities on the margins to have more access to resources and services. LDIRs you have done a wealth of service and work to bridge gaps, heal wounds and shift culture. WE NEED YOU NOW to amplify the reach of that work and to support LDIR in doing the same. As we witness a staggering number of hate crimes across the nation alongside policy changes and instituting decision makers who have troubling track records for supporting marginalized communities, we know that now is a time for action, now is a time for us to come together and strengthen our work to create change, a lasting change that moves us closer and closer to equity and to justice.
We know that our alumni, networks and communities will show up For the Love of Justice because as Janet Mock shares in Redefining Realness, My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love and So Much More, “telling our stories, first to ourselves and then to one another and the world, is a revolutionary act. It is an act that can be met with hostility, exclusion, and violence. It can also lead to love, understanding, transcendence, and community. [It]…helps to empower [us] to step into who [we] are and encourage [us] to share [ourselves] with those around [us].” We look forward to to hearing your story, revitalizing our LDIR story and empowering our communities.
LDIRs We Need You!