A Bridge Toward Unity

Back and white photo LA streets on fire

 A Bridge Toward Unity: Lessons on Racial Politics from Los Angeles, 1992 to 2022
Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022
Von der Ahe Family Suite (Hannon Library, level 3)
3:40 p.m. PT

We welcome participation in-person. 

  • A Bridge Toward Unity: Lessons on Racial Politics from Los Angeles, 1992 to 2022

    This panel presentation revisits Los Angeles Civil Unrest of 1992 to draw lessons on how to build a more just, fair, and inclusive city. Presenters will be drawn from community leaders, political activists, and academic scholars for whom the events of 1992 caused them to dedicate their lives to the pursuit of bringing positive change to the city. As Los Angeles emerges from another tumultuous period, this panel invites us to revisit our history, generate insights for our time, and to renew our commitment to a more just and inclusive future.

    About the Bellarmine Forum

    The Bellarmine Forum is LMU's annual celebration of the life of the mind, offered by the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts. The 2022-23 Bellarmine Forum will reflect on ​the themes of previous ​forums and ​explore the evolution of ​the work ​that has been undertaken at LMU and in our communities at large.

  • Erin Kaplan, Panelist

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    Erin Aubry Kaplan is a journalist, essayist and author who has been writing about race, politics, culture, individuality and the confluence of all those things since 1992. She has been a weekly op-ed columnist for the Los Angeles Times (the first Black person to hold the position), staff writer and columnist for the LA Weekly, and contributing writer to the New York Times opinion and Politico. She is the author of two books, 'Black Talk, Blue Thoughts and Walking the Color Line: Dispatches From a Black Journalista' (2011) and 'I Heart Obama' (2016). In 2001 she won the PEN USA West Award for Journalism for her essay, 'Blue Like Me.' Her work has been widely anthologized in essay collections, notably 'Rise Up Singing: Black Women Writers on Motherhood,' which won an American Book Award in 2004. Erin was born and raised in Los Angeles, and lives in Inglewood with several dogs.


     Do Kim, Panelist

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    Do Kim is president of The K.W. Lee Center for Leadership, a nonprofit dedicated to providing Koreatown youth with the tools and opportunities to become future leaders. For over twenty-five years, Do has trained thousands of youth to use community organizing to empower themselves and their community. Do was a member of the Black-Korean Alliance, a coalition of African American and Korean American community leaders dedicated to resolving conflicts between Korean American merchants and African American customers. In the wake of Sa-i-gu (Korean for 4-2-9, meaning April 29, 1992 Los Angeles civil unrest), he worked with the Korean American Inter-Agency Council to provide relief efforts to affected Korean American merchants. Aside from his community work, he is also a civil right attorney, specializing in police misconduct, prisoner abuse, employment discrimination, wage theft, and human rights. Do graduated from Harvard College with a joint degree in Afro-American Studies and Sociology and attended UCLA School of Law, where he concentrated in Critical Race Studies and the Program in Public Interest Law & Policy. Do immigrated to Los Angeles at the age of three and has been a life-long resident of Koreatown.


     Rubén Martínez, Panelist

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    Rubén Martínez is a native of Los Angeles and the son and grandson of immigrants from Mexico and El Salvador. He is a writer, performer, teacher, and the Fletcher Jones Chair in Literature and Writing at LMU, with a joint appointment in the departments of English and Chicana/Chicano and Latina/Latino Studies. He is the author of Desert America: A Journey Across Our Most Divided Landscape, Crossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail and other titles. He is the recipient of an Emmy Award, a Lannan Foundation Fellowship and a Loeb Fellowship from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.


    Marne Campbell, Moderator

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    Marne Campbell is currently Associate Professor and Chair of the African American Studies Department at Loyola Marymount University. Campbell graduated from UCLA for her undergraduate, graduate, her M.A., and her doctorate degrees in History with a focus on Afro-American Studies. She has published essays in the Journal of Urban History, the Journal of African American History, and the American Studies Journal discussing topics such as race, gender, and crime in early Los Angeles. Her book, "Making Black Los Angeles: Gender, Class and Community 1850-1917," was published in 2016; emphasizing issues of politics, labor, and culture that intersect within Los Angeles diverse community. She teaches several courses at Loyola Marymount University that center on her African American history focus such as “Introduction to African American Studies”, “Race, Gender, and the Law”, “Black Women’s History”, and “Civil Rights in America.”


     Ed Park, Introductory Remarks

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    Edward J.W. Park is a professor and the chair of the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies at LMU. His current research topics include migration studies, race relations, urban studies, and economic sociology. His recent publications examine the transformation of Koreatown since the Los Angeles Civil Unrest of 1992, migration policies in the U.S. and East Asia, and the role of transpacific linkages in Asian and Asian American economic lives. His publications include Probationary Americans: Contemporary Immigration Policies and the Shaping of Asian American Communities (Routledge, 2005) and “A Divergent Path: Korean American Politics in an Age of Globalization.” Journal of Global and Area Studies (Volume 4, Number 1, 2020).