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Can Boyle Heights Save America?


May 27, 2021 • 6:30 pm PDT

Boyle Heights may be divided up by L.A. freeways and thoroughfares, but its people have a remarkable record of maintaining solidarity across racial and ethnic lines. What explains the ability of Boyle Heights residents to stick together while constantly integrating immigrants and incorporating newcomers? How has Boyle Heights kept its distinctive identity in the face of social upheaval, political transformation, and waves of gentrification? And what can a more diverse America, and a more globalized world, learn from the history of this magical and multiracial neighborhood in the center of Los Angeles?

Josefina Lopez, author of Real Women Have Curves and Founding Artistic Director of CASA 0101 Theater in Boyle Heights, joins USC professor of American Studies, ethnicity, and history George J. Sanchez, author, most recently, of Boyle Heights: How a Los Angeles Neighborhood Became the Future of American Democracy, at Zócalo to examine whether the neighborhood that birthed him might point the way to a better future for the United States.

Photo credit: Metzli Garcia/Las Fotos Project.