The Empowerment Congress held its 23rd Annual Summit recently, drawing over 1,200 people from all over Los Angeles to learn about and discuss issues important to their communities. A project of Community Partners founded by LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the Empowerment Congress event included informative workshops, inspiring speakers (including Dr. Cornel West) and the involvement of several other Community Partners projects.
Chairing this year’s summit was Cassandra Chase, project lead of Read Lead. A rousing opening by the Get Lit Players was followed by keynote speaker Dr. Cornel West, who addressed the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and how to cultivate love, justice, and integrity in the face of oppression. Workshop topics covered a range of issues, from living wage campaigns to fighting sex trafficking to supporting the arts and the environment. A final panel discussion featured Dr. West, Areva Martin, Dr. Melina Abdullah, Carl Douglas, Maria Elena Durazo, and Mark-Anthony Johnson of Dignity and Power Now, also a project of Community Partners.