USC Dornsife College Of Letters Arts and Sciences

University of Southern California

Trust Talks: A Dialogue on Police and Race in Los Angeles

Trust Talks: A Dialogue on Police and Race in Los Angeles

Trust Talks: A Dialogue on Police and Race in Los Angeles


Trust Talks is a faith community-led initiative that brings together all sides of the Downtown Los Angeles community—including representatives of Skid Row, condo owners and renters, police, business owners, and activists—in discussions around race and policing.

With police-community relations becoming a national conversation since the shooting of Michael Brown at the hands of a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, and other officer-involved shootings of unarmed black men, faith leaders in Los Angeles wanted to create a space for all sides to be able to talk together about how to move forward.

Delonte Gholston, a pastor at New City Church in DTLA, was joined by Eddie Anderson, Senior Pastor at McCarty Memorial Christian Church, in organizing the talks. Downtown Los Angeles’ Skid Row has the country’s largest concentration of homelessness, with its associated challenges of mental health, addiction and violence. The police and Skid Row residents have always had a tense relationship, and in early 2016, the police shooting of Charly Leundeu Keunang, known as Africa on the streets of Skid Row, exacerbated this relationship. Meanwhile, due to gentrification, professionals are increasingly moving into loft spaces downtown and becoming neighbors to those who reside in SROs and tents on the sidewalk. In this arena, the Trust Talks attempt to create a “sacred space for community transformation” and restore the humanity on all sides.

This video is part of CRCC’s “Reimagining Religion: Stories of Religious Creativity in L.A.” series, part of the Religious Competition and Creative Innovation project. The project was made possible through the support of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the John Templeton Foundation.

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