USC Price School of Public Policy

Rawjee Family Student Conversations

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The Rawjee Family Student Conversations series provides undergraduate students distinctive opportunities to interact outside the classroom with a variety of community leaders in the Los Angeles area. Students gain new perspectives on important social issues, cultivate new interests and passions, discover potential career opportunities, and create lasting friendships with their peers and mentors. Through these enrichment opportunities, undergraduate students have met with city managers, debated ballot initiatives, addressed health policy issues, and toured landmarks.

Recent Rawjee Conversations include:

  • Dodger Stadium Tour, where students visited the iconic baseball stadium nestled in the Chavez Ravine area of L.A., followed by a discussion – led by Dr. Lisa Schweitzer – on the history of and the impact that Dodger Stadium has had on the surrounding community.
  • Black Lives Matter Panel, where leaders from BLM, the LA Community Action Network, and the ACLU engaged in a timely discussion – moderated by USC Gould Law Professor Jody Armour – on the social movement.
  • LA River Tour, where students met representatives from the LA River Revitalization Corporation to learn more about projects such as river clean-ups, litter abatement, and vegetation management; and took part in a paddle tour of the river.
  • Historic DTLA Walking Tour, where students explored downtown landmarks and learned about how architecture tells the story of the city’s growth from the 1890s to the present, including the current trend of conversions of vintage office buildings into loft-style apartments and condos.

Past Events and Site Visits

Homeboy Industries Tour

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Price students toured Homeboy Industries, including the Homegirl Cafe, Homeboy Bakery, and their local garden. A guide generously shared his own story, and discussed the nonprofit’s inspirational approach to social and community development.

Homeboy Industries serves at-risk and gang-involved youth in L.A. By running four businesses that serve as job-training sites, it provides training and free social services that support former gang members and recently incarcerated men and women who are committed to re-establishing themselves as productive citizens within the local community.

 

DJM Capital Partners, Inc. Real Estate Development Tour

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Students joined USC Price alum Stenn Parton of DJM Capital Partners, Inc., a leader in private equity investment, development and asset management services, for a tour of two recent development projects.

The first stop on the tour was Pacific City, a 191,000-square-foot retail environment on Pacific Coast Highway overlooking the Pacific Ocean. They went on to Lido Marina Village, a 130,000-square-foot restoration and redevelopment site, in which residences from the 1940s were converted into boutique retail and creative office spaces.

 

Arts District Graffiti Walking Tour

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Led by Professor LaVonna Lewis, Price students visited the Los Angeles Arts District for a 90-minute tour of some of the world’s best unsung and emerging graffiti artists. Hosted by Graff Tours, the discussion spanned the boundaries these artists challenge and the beauty they create, as well as the history of graffiti and topics in public art.

Graff Tours is the first tour company dedicated to graffiti and street art in North America, with tour guides in Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia. The Downtown L.A. Arts District Tour is designed to give visitors a historical overview of street art, with particular emphasis on differentiating terms such as graffiti, murals, street art, and public art.

 

The Growing Experience

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Price students participated in a behind-the-scenes tour of The Growing Experience, a seven-acre urban farm reclaimed from a vacant lot within the Carmelitos Housing Development in Long Beach.

Using sustainable methods, the organization grows produce year-round and makes food available to the community.  As part of the California Green Jobs Corps Program, low-income residents may use the grounds to grow their own food and for educational events. The Growing Experience is a joint collaboration between the Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles, and the University of California Cooperative Extension.