Santa Monica Dispatch

The Santa Monica Dispatch is an independent newspaper founded and edited by Peggy Clifford. Our objective is to give voice to the community.

Monthly archives "January 2012"

JAZZ BAKERY LIVES!

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From LA Observed

The non-profit Jazz Bakery received approval today from the Culver City city council to develop a new Frank Gehry-designed theater next to the Kirk Douglas Theatre on Washington Boulevard. The Jazz Bakery has been trying to find a home since being displaced from the Helms Bakery complex in 2009. From a Culver City Times blog:

According to the agreement, the property was given to the Jazz Bakery at no cost, with the understanding that they will develop on the site according to plans the Jazz Bakery submitted on January 13th of this year. The proposal included not only the 250-seat theater, but also a smaller “black box” theater, a bakery/cafe, rehearsal studios, community meeting rooms, a lobby gallery space, and a roof top deck.

According the proposal, the Jazz Bakery plans to offer about 250 shows per year and to charge approximately $35 per ticket.

The project is estimated to cost $10.2 million and will be paid for in part by $2 million grant from the Annenberg Foundation. The Jazz Bakery plans to launch a capital campaign to raise the funds for the rest of the project.
An old house occupies the property just east of the Kirk Douglas, the website says.

The Jazz Bakery performance space was launched by jazz vocalist Ruth Price in 1992.

PLANNING COMMISSION REVIEWS ESPLANADE PLANS

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January 31, 2011 — The Santa Monica Planning Commission will look at updated plans Wednesday for the proposed Colorado Esplanade.

The proposed plan would remake the western end of Colorado Avenue to comfortably accommodate streams of pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles.

The current traffic congestion that now afflicts the entire town was first noted at the intersection of Colorado and Ocean by then-Planning Director Suzanne Frick in 1996. She went on to say that the City was working on a traffic plan that would ensure that the congestion would be contained.

Later she went to Long Beach, but the same consultant who counted cars then is still counting them today, and the City has hired landscape architect Peter Walker Partners to design the $12 million Esplanade.

Q&A ON REDEVELOPMENT AGENCIES

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Mark Lacter • LA Observed

Tomorrow is the day that more than 400 local agencies are scheduled to go out of business. Last year, the legislature signed off on a much-criticized plan by Gov. Brown to eliminate the redevelopment process. California Watch has a good rundown on what happened and why. Here’s a snippet:

Why did Gov. Jerry Brown push to end redevelopment agencies? Brown argued that the state could no longer afford redevelopment in a budget crisis. Redevelopment is contentious because of the financial advantage it provides redevelopment agencies and their community sponsors, primarily cities, over school districts, counties and other property tax recipients. He argued that the money would be better spent directly on schools and core city and county services, such as police and fire protection. The state also has been footing the bill indirectly. Since voters approved a proposition requiring minimum funding for education in 1988, the state has had to make up the difference for some of the money reallocated from schools to redevelopment agencies. There also have been examples of abuse and questions raised about how effective redevelopment agencies have been at combating blight. A few examples were noted in a recent report by the state controller.

Why are cities objecting? By ending redevelopment agencies, the state has effectively seized control of billions of dollars of property taxes previously controlled by the cities that established redevelopment agencies. In addition, many critics of the decision are pointing out flaws in how the Legislature has proposed dissolving the agencies. The California Redevelopment Association is concerned that the process will lead to litigation, bond defaults and a waste of public funds.

LONG BEACH OPERA BREAKS NEW GROUND…AGAIN

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Founded in 1979, the Long Beach Opera may be the oldest professional opera company in the Los Angeles/Orange County orbit. but it continues to break new ground.

It has performed more than 90 operas, ranging from the earliest works of the 17th century to contemporary operas, and has done site-specific stagings in parking structures, a trendy nightclub, the hull of an ocean liner, an Olympic swimming pool, and a furniture warehouse, as well as appearing in traditional theaters, in its continuing effort to give its audiences rich and challenging fare and showcase opera in a thoroughly new light, while hewing to its traditional standards.

Through its diverse productions, special concerts, and film screenings at multiple locations in this area, an active education program, and student matinees, LBO continues to make opera accessible to an ever-expanding audience.
In that spirit, it began its new season Saturday night with the premiere of a new production of Piazzolla’s MARIA DE BUENOS AIRES.

Its second and last performance is scheduled for Saturday night, February 4, at the Warner Grand Theatre, marking LBO’s first performance in San Pedro.

A now legendary opera that combines the passion of Astor Piazzolla‟s revolutionary “nuevo tango” and Horacio Ferrer’s mesmerizing libretto, this latest iteration of MARIA DE BUENOS AIRES is set during Argentina‟s “Dirty War” (1976-1983) when the country was governed by military juntas, upwards of 30,000 people “disappeared,” and countless others were tortured, abused and imprisoned.

“These themes are implicit in Piazzolla‟s radical music and Ferrer‟s ingenious poetry,” Andreas Mitisek, LBO’s Artistic and General Director, said. “The new production delves into the soul of this work and gives it a contemporary meaning beyond clichés and stereotypes. Our María represents the passion of the Argentine women who were as seductive as the tango while resilient and strong enough to overcome dictatorship in a country where the machismo culture predominates.

“Taking the tango to its most brutal extreme, the ‘Dirty War’ was a dance of torture, covered in blood, and danced by the highest echelons of society and power. In María, the tango is a dance of life and death. Piazzolla embraced the tango in an extreme way. He took it to a deeper level. He intensified everything about it — the harmonies, the form, the noises, the jerks; he created a revolution within the tango.

“Piazzolla’s María is the ultimate metaphor for the heart and soul of Argentina and, for me, also a metaphor for love, hope, fear and resilience, In our production, María falls victim to the ‘Dirty War,’ but she is reborn in the protests of the thousands of ‘Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo’ whose children ‘disappeared.’ It is a paradox that those who were treated the harshest by the dictators remained the strongest. It was these mothers and others like them whose fight for justice eventually brought the military to its knees.”

Piazzolla and Ferrer subtitled their first collaboration, MARIA DE BUENOS AIRES, a “tango operita.” However, its music was unlike any conventional tango. Piazzolla took the tango off the dance floor by creating a new style, “nuevo tango,” which incorporates counterpoint, dissonance, extended harmonies, and elements of jazz and classical music.

The opera premiered at the Sala Planeta in Buenos Aires in May,1968 with Piazzolla’s ten-piece orchestra, Amelita Baltar as María, and Ferrer as El Duende. The opera had its U.S. premiere at Houston Grand Opera in 1991. LBO staged the West Coast premiere in 2004, but the new production differs markedly from its 2004 version.

Astor Piazzolla was born in Mar del Plata, Argentina and in 1925 moved with his family to New York. He grew up listening to everything from Bach to jazz. When he was eight years old, his father gave him a bandonéon, a German concertina that had became very popular in Argentina and Uruguay. By the time he was 13, Astor was sufficiently proficient on the instrument to impress the famous Argentine singer Carlos Gardel, who asked him to take a small part in one of his movies and tour with his band, but Piazzolla‟s parents refused to allow the young Astor to go on the road. Gardel and his entourage were subsequently killed in a plane crash while on the tour.

In 1936, the family moved back to Argentina. As a young man, Piazzolla played in local cabarets, conducted several dance bands, and wrote a number of tangos. Moving on, he studied classical music, in the style of Stravinsky, Bartok, and Ravel, and in 1953 the French government gave him a scholarship to study with Nadia Boulanger in Paris.

Rejecting his scores from the previous ten years, she said, “I can‟t find Piazzolla in this!” He told her about playing the bandonéon in cabarets and performed some of his tangos.

She said, “You idiot, that’s Piazzolla!”

Piazzolla said, “I took all the music I composed, ten years of my life, and sent it to Hell in two seconds,” and returned to Argentina to compose his own unique music, blending classical influences with the tango style.

He played in a number of ensembles, collaborated with other artists and wrote several film scores. Although a leading figure in Argentina, his new musical forms were scorned by the orthodox “tangueros” or tango masters. There was an Argentine saying “in Argentina everything may change – except the tango.” But, in spite of the continuing resistance, he continued composing original concert pieces, and though he spent time in both Italy and New York, he always went back to Argentina.

In 1968, he collaborated on his only opera with poet Ferrer. MARIA DE BUENOS AIRES, a mystical, surreal journey through the streets of Buenos Aires with María a metaphor for the Argentine people.

In the 1980s, Piazzolla’s compositions increased in popularity across Europe and the United States, buoyed by his recordings and collaborations with Gary Burton, Lalo Schiffrin, Mtislav Rostropovitch, and the Kronos Quartet. He died in 1992.

Today, his pieces are regularly performed by major orchestras around the world. The cellist Yo Yo Ma recorded “Piazzolla: Soul of the Tango” and, recently, violinist Gidon Kremer has championed Piazzolla’s work and recorded MARIA DE BUENOS AIRES, the Grammy-nominated HOMMAGE A PIAZZOLLA and EL TANGO, among others.

Born in Montevideo, Argentina, Horacio Ferrer began writing songs, plays, poems and tangos at an early age, often accompanying himself on the guitar. An uncle who lived in Buenos Aires introduced him to the city’s street life and cabarets. While studying architecture in Uruguay in the 1950s, he started a weekly radio program called “Seleccion de Tangos” where he defended the new, avant-garde tango styles. In 1955, he met Piazzolla and was inspired by him to study the bandonéon. In 1959, his first book, “El Tango, Su historia y evolucion,” was published and he began to appear on radio and television shows, and co-wrote “La ultima grela,” which brought him recognition as a lyricist.

On hearing the 1967 recording of Ferrer’s poems, “Romancero canyengue,” Piazzolla invited him to collaborate on the operita MARIA DE BUENOS AIRES. Their work on a series of “baladas” in 1969 brought Piazzolla his first major success in Argentina. The two men continued to collaborate until 1973.

Ferrer’s three- volume edition of EL LIBRO DEL TANGO, ARTE POPULAR DE BUENOS AIRES is considered the definitive work On Argentine tango music and dance.

America’s fingerprints were all over Argentina’s “dirty war,” which began during the Presidency of Juan Perón’s third wife, Isabel Martínez de Perón (1974-1976), and was marked by ever-escalating violence. On March 24, 1976, a military junta ousted her and took control of the country. The seven-year period of their rule was named the “Dirty War” by its leaders.

After the coup, the junta staged the “National Reorganization Process,” in which thousands of so-called dissidents and subversives were perceived as enemies, and tortured, imprisoned and killed. Young mothers were arrested and killed and their babies handed over to followers of the regime.

The junta’s loss of the Falkland War to the British was the beginning of its end. It was succeeded by a civilian government in December, 1983.

On LBO’s 2012 season’s schedule are Poulenc’s THE BREAST OF TIRESIAS, Martinu’s TEARS OF A KNIFE, Golijov’s AINADAMAR, and Nyman‟s THE MAN WHO MISTOOK HIS WIFE FOR A HAT.

In September 2012, the first production of Outer Limits, a new chamber opera series, opens with Gavin Bryars’ PAPER NAUTILUS at the Aquarium of the Pacific.

For tickets or, more information, call 562 432 5934, or email:
www.longbeachopera.org.

CAFE SAMO, 2012 EDITION, OPENS FRIDAY AT SAMOHI

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The Choral Music Program of Santa Monica High School, under the direction of Jeffe Huls, is one of the most accomplished in the region. It has won many awards, competes in state and national vocal music competitions, and tours nationally and internationally. Approximately 175 students participate in the five choirs in the program.

Every year, the Choir Program produces Café Samo, a cabaret-style musical that features dozens of students creating and performing their own musical acts.

Café Samo 2012 will be presented three times: Friday, February 3 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, February 4, at 3:30 in the afternoon and again at 7:30 in the evening in the Humanities Center Theater, second floor, English Building, Santa Monica High School campus.

DONATION $10 (at the door). Food, desserts and drinks are for sale before the performances and during intermissions.

For more information: www.samohichoir.org; 310-­‐395-­‐3204

Two Samohi Soccer Players Win College Scholarships

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Repeating its success of last year, the Samohi girls soccer program has produced two more college scholarship winners this year. Lidia Battaglia will attend the University of Hawai’i and Kristen Vasquez will enroll at the University of San Francisco.

The two players’ accomplishments will be acknowledged at ceremonies at the school’s college and career center on Thursday, February 2, at 2:30pm. Players, their parents, the Athletic Director and Samohi Principal will attend.

FIRESIDE AT THE MILES

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Fireside at the Miles continues through February 25th, offering an eclectic line-up of the spoken word, singer/songwriters, contemporary dancers, classical and jazz music maestros, and other artists. Audiences are treated to lounge seating beside the massive stone fireplace, organic coffees and teas, pastries and an eco-friendly java log fire in Santa Monica’s Miles historic theater in Reed Park.

Fireside Weekend 3: Opera and Singer/Songwriters, Friday February 3, A Night of Arias with the Pacific Opera Project

Popular opera arias and scenes with highlights from the Pacific Opera Project’s 2012 Season, which featured Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti, and Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, and selections from Mozart’s Il barbiere di Sivilgia and Bizet’sCarmen. Artistic Director Joshua Shaw (Opera Fairbanks, Capitol Opera Sacramento, Opera Las Vegas) directs.

Saturday February 4, Local Singer/Songwriters, David Poe, Amy Raasch, and Brendan Hines

Three singer/songwriters perform songs of love, loss, and the perfect sandwich. Back by popular demand, Poe and Raasch wowed audiences at last year’s Fireside program. They are joined by Hines, an idiosyncratic songwriter with a new collection of songs.

Doors open at 7:15pm and performances begin at 8pm. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students, seniors and youth 17 or under, and can be reserved by calling (310) 458-8634 or sending email to milesplayhouse@smgov.net. Please bring cash to the door and plan to arrive by 15 minutes before showtime to retain your reservation. Late seating is not guaranteed. All seats are first come, first served. All events are suitable for adults and mature teens, and most are also appropriate for children. For more information, the Fireside Series website is http://fireside.milesplayhouse.org.

The Miles Memorial Playhouse is located at 1130 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90403. Free event parking is available at the pink granite-faced subterranean garage serving 808 Wilshire, entry on Lincoln. Important: mention “Miles” when parking to receive a validated ticket.

CONSERVANCY MAKES 2012 PRESERVATION AWARDS

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As it does every January, the Santa Monica Conservancy will recognize exemplary contributions to the preservation of Santa Monica’s architectural and cultural heritage by honoring individuals, building owners and a local business with Preservation Awards at its annual meeting Sunday.

The Conservancy’s President’s Award will be presented to local historian Ernie Marquez for his commitment to the preservation of Santa Monica’s early history and that of the families of the Rancho Boca de Santa Monica. Marquez is the author of several books on Santa Monica history including “Santa Monica Beach, a Collector’s Pictorial History” and the recently published “Noir Afloat” about the gambling ships of Santa Monica Bay.

Barbara Stinchfield will receive the Conservancy’s Outstanding Service Award for her recognition of the value of Santa Monica’s heritage as Director of Community and Cultural Services of the City of Santa Monica. Stinchfield’s leadership in balancing preservation values and other stakeholder interests has resulted in outstanding projects. These include the Annenberg Community Beach House, the strategic plan for Palisades Park as a landmark, the renovation of Miles Playhouse, and the Urban Forest Task Force, and the preservation and adaptive reuse of the 1890s Shotgun House that is slated to become a Preservation Resource Center operated by the Conservancy. Stinchfield recently retired after 31 years with the City.

The Spanish Colonial Revival Builders Exchange Building at 1501 1509 4th Street will receive a Restoration Award. The building, at the southeast corner of 4th and Broadway, is widely noted for its beautiful “Churrigueresque” ornamentation. Specifically, the Award recognizes architect William Dale Brantley’s restoration after the 1994 earthquake and the C. Belle Grischow Trust’s ongoing commitment to maintaining and enhancing the building.

Vincent Landay and Cheryl Clark, owners of 2450 25th Street, have been selected to receive the second Restoration Award. The 1907 American Foursquare Style home, in danger of demolition, was moved from its original location at 1140 7th Street to Sunset Park. Following their extraordinary initial effort to relocate and sensitively restore the home, the owners have shown an ongoing commitment to protecting its architectural integrity.

Susan Connally will receive a Stewardship Award for her exceptional dedication as owner of the Charmont and The Sovereign, two of Santa Monica’s most iconic apartment buildings. Connally’s exemplary devotion to the repair, renovation, maintenance and enhancement of these two 1929 Spanish Colonial Revival-style buildings, designated as City Landmarks and listed on both the National and California Registers of Historic Places were cited.

A second Stewardship Award will go to Don Kidson, owner of Busy Bee Hardware at 1521 Santa Monica Boulevard, one of Santa Monica’s oldest commercial establishments. Kidson has maintained the authentic, historic character of vintage hardware store, affirming its continuing relevance to and role in Santa Monica in the 21st century.

Finally, Phyllis Conkle will receive the 2012 Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service as creator of the Conservancy’s receptions and parties in historic places. She has dazzled Conservancy members and friends with events that are beautifully and gracefully executed, with every detail of the logistics, decor and refreshments carefully thought through.

The meeting will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday at the historic John Byers-designed Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica at 1260 18th Street (corner of 18th and Arizona).

In addition to the Preservation Awards and Board of Directors election, the program will include an update on plans for the Preservation Resource Center.

Space is limited. Immediate reservations are advised. Register online, by sending email to rsvp@smconservancy.org, or by leaving a message at (310) 496-3146.

The Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica is located at 1260 18th St (corner of 18th St and Arizona). Additional information about John Byers and the history of the Church can be found with the event announcement on our website.

Questions? Call 310-496-3146 or email info@smconservancy.org.
Mailing Address: Santa Monica Conservancy, PO BOX 653, Santa Monica, CA 90406 US. Contact Name: Santa Monica Conservancy
Telephone Number: (310) 496-3146

PROFESSIONAL BUILDING’S FUTURE IS UNCERTAIN

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As far as I know, I’m the only person in Santa Monica who doesn’t like the plans for the addition to the Professional Building on the southeast corner of Wilshire and Seventh Street.

It’s old, ornate and very graceful, the tallest building in the area. There are shops on the first floor, offices on the upper floors. It rules the intersection, which it shares with a 7-11, a corner of Reed Park, and a non-descript two-story rectangular building that the late Herb Katz jazzed up with an ersatz, but decent Streamline Moderne façade some years ago, It rules not because it’s taller than the other buildings, or more beautiful, though it is, but because it’s magnificent.

The building is straight out of a Raymond Chandler novel — a bit worn, shabby, but still wholly present, and mildly, wonderfully sinister. It has character of the moody sort. And it’s a true professional building. I love that about it – especially as professional buildings in Santa Monica are being crowded out by the amateur variety. It’s also a City landmark.

I have always believed that if its owners were truly savvy, they would leave the exterior intact, remove all but the bearing walls from the interior, scrub it back to stone, and then outfit it with large, distinctive, airy offices and studios. It would be an overnight sensation, an instant legend, the building in which everyone wanted to be. The owner would profit, the new tenants would prosper, and those of us who simply love looking at it would be grateful.

Unfortunately, either the owner believed that bigger is better, or more lucrative, or grander, and so the owner and architect Howard Laks, and City staff and the Landmarks Commission and now the Planning Commission have spent years fiddling with what should remain a grand landmark, but seems to be on its way to becoming merely grandiose.

Rationalizing all the way, they’re preparing to turn this beloved professional building into a very large hotel — 55 rooms in the original building and 285 in a new building that they plan on wrapping around the original building. There will also be a bar and pool on the roof, and a large underground parking structure.

The new building consists of a series of plump cylinders that are not as tall as the original building, but, in the architect’s renderings, seem to reduce its height and increase its girth. In the renderings, the original building looks exactly like what it will become — a star that has been reduced to an extra.

But disturbed as I am about the diminution of this singular building, I am equally disturbed by a bizarre turn that swamped the aesthetic discussion at a lengthy Planning Commission hearing on Wednesday night.

The City proposed including a living wage ($10.64/$11.81 an hour) in the development agreement that would put neither the proposed new hotel nor existing hotels at a “competitive disadvantage.” All of a sudden, speakers were talking, not about the design, but the living wage. Everybody, including the President of the Chamber of Commerce, wanted the hotel, but no one wanted the living wage – except some hotel workers.

Several local business owners claimed that requiring a living wage for hourly workers in the proposed hotel would wreak havoc on local hotels and other businesses. The chair of the Chamber of Commerce, a car dealer, said the Chamber objected to the City’s including salary standards in development agreements (DA).

All of the Planning Commissioners were surprised to find the living wage addressed in the draft DA, and some of them were disturbed that the community at large had not been informed of this new wrinkle in the DA process and had not had an opportunity to discuss it.

The wage issue is not new. For as long as there have been businesses, business owners and their employees have debated it. The City put a City-wide living wage ordinance on the ballot some years ago, but it was clobbered by hotel owners and other businesses who spent about $1 million to kill it. Since then, after extended and vigorous struggles, workers at four local hotels have formed unions.

Several hotel workers spoke eloquently Wednesday night on behalf of the living wage, explaining that it enabled them to live here and raise their children here rather than having to commute long distances every day. In the view of the City, the more workers who live here rather than having to endure the daily commute, the healthier and more stable and complete the town is, but, thanks to the tourism and technology booms, the cost of living in Santa Monica is higher than it is in most of Southern California. Here and now, the daily transient population of our town is over 300,000 – more than three times the permanent population.

The City of L.A. runs “maids” buses out Sunset — one or two in the morning east to west, one or two west to east in the afternoon, dropping off and picking up maids in Beverly Glen, Westwood, Bel Air and the Palisades. To my knowledge, no one has been crass enough to say out loud that the Expo light rail will bring hourly wage workers into Santa Monica in the morning and take them home in the afternoon, thus freeing the hotels from any obligation to pay their hourly workers a real living wage, and the City from building more than the minimum quantity of affordable housing required by the state.

Clearly, a City-wide forum on the issue of fair wages is long overdue. Hotel operators eager to cash in on the boom are lining up in the Planning office. A Convention & Visitors Bureau representative was at the Planning meeting Wednesday to plump for the proposed hotel. But, if, as hotels and other tourist-driven businesses allege, they can only make money by exploiting some or all of their employees, then they shouldn’t be in business, and the City shouldn’t be cheering them on.

We have danced around the issue for too long. It’s time to face it, and resolve it – but not at a Planning Commission meeting.

PARENTS, STUDENTS, COMMUNITY CALL FOR ANTI-RACISM MEASURES AT SAMOHI

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A week ago, a number of Latino and African American students became embroiled in conflicts around the Santa Monica High School campus. While school administrators categorized the conflicts as problems between certain groups on campus, and mainly problems between groups off-campus, to many students the fights represented another thread of the assaults on African American students at Santa Monica High School.

A group of concerned citizens known as the Committee for Racial Justice (CRJ) has called for the District to get to the root of the problem. They are insisting that the School District address the school’s climate of racism. CRJ formed last summer after an incident that took place in May, 2011 involving members of the Santa Monica High School Wresting Team.

On May 4, 2011, an African American member of the Santa Monica High School wrestling team was held against his will by two Caucasian team mates while there were chants of “Slave for sale” and a noose was hung nearby. The school staff members and the school district administration never notified the mother of the victim. This racially charged incident and the District’s slow response were the catalyst for the formation of the Committee for Racial Justice. The Committee consists of parents of students at Santa Monica High School, students, community members and clergy.

“To quote Reverend King, a threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” says Gina Frazier, mother of an 11th grader at Santa Monica High School. “And what we see on campus is injustice to the African American students. Many non-African American students don’t understand how their attitudes towards African American students have caused a climate of hostility.”

Since its inception, the Committee for Racial Justice has met with Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District Board members, the superintendent, the principal of Santa Monica High School and other district officials.

“Of course, a major concern of parents is their children’s safety, but we are equally concerned about their educational progress” said Frazier. “The parents are alarmed by the consistent decline in test scores of Black youth. We need the teachers, students and administrators to become aware of how racism plagues the classrooms. And we’ve called upon the District board members and staff to launch a vigorous plan to address both the cultural and educational needs of the students.”

The Committee has hosted several racism awareness workshops including presentations by Fluke Fluker from The Village Nation, UCLA professor Jerome Rabow, Reverend James Lawson, (a former colleague of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.), and students from Santa Monica High School to talk about their experiences with racism.

“Whether it’s the issue of racial tensions between Black and Brown students or the chaining a student to a locker, we need the staff and students to understand the dynamics of racism and we need them to become allies of the African American students on campus,” said Frazier. “That’s why we are calling on the School District to bring in programs that have a solid track record in building racial awareness and expanding the appreciation of cultural differences.”

The Committee for Racial Justice hosts racial awareness workshops the second Sunday of each month 6:00-8:30pm at The Church in Ocean Park located at 235 Hill Street, Santa Monica, Ca 90405. For more information email sanctuaryofchange@yahoo.com or call Rev. Janet McKeithen at 310-399-1631.