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Finding Aid for the Michael de la Rocha MECHA Collection 1971 - 2003
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Papers related to his work as a journalist pertaining Mexican American issues
Offering an alternative view of dealing with youth violence, Mike de la Rocha has emerged as one of the country's top new voices on youth development and juvenile justice. He has been acknowledged for integrating social justice, the arts, and his personal experiences to bring diverse communities together to promote alternatives to social inequity and youth violence. With over a decade of experience in coalition-building, non-profit management, and implementing innovative youth development programs, Mike's work provides a multi-contextual framework for empowerment and education, addressing issues of cross-cultural communication, juvenile justice, and spirituality. As a legislative deputy for Los Angeles City Councilman Tony Cardenas and a former policy advisor for the City of Los Angeles Human Relations Commission, Mike has over 5 years of legislative experience. He currently advises Councilman Cardenas on all juvenile justice legislation and facilitated the City Council's Community Engagement Advisory Committee, an internationally-renowned group that developed the nation's first comprehensive "Community-Based Gang Intervention Model." Congresswoman Diane Watson recently incorporated the model into legislation designed to provide a nationwide approach to reducing youth violence. In 2006, Mike co-created and co-facilitated Breaking the Cycle with Dignity, an extensive 6-month training to help identify and diffuse racialized-gang conflict within the Los Angeles County Probation Department. As a result of the training, he co-founded the Joint City and County Juvenile Justice Task Force, a nationally-recognized multi-disciplinary partnership that provides a model for sustained coordination of government and community resources and services. In 2008, the Task Force was awarded the John Anson Ford Award from the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission for significantly impacting better human relations in the Los Angeles community and beyond. Mike also worked as a Program Coordinator for the Asian Pacific American Dispute Resolution Center where he supervised over 800 mediations and was instrumental in decreasing school suspension rates by over 40% at various Los Angeles schools. He served four years as the Managing Director of Equal Opportunity Productions, a non-profit arts outreach program that produced original theatrical productions written and performed by at-risk youth. There, Mike directed over seven theatrical shows, including national and international performances at the Windybrow Theatre in South Africa, the Apollo Theatre in New York, and various venues throughout Los Angeles, while increasing the organization's budget by over 60%. Mike has conducted hundreds of workshops in schools, community centers, juvenile detention centers, and universities. In response to the need to bring the youth voice to the forefront of national discussions, Mike teamed up with veteran filmmaker and social entrepreneur Michael Skolnik to create Dot 2 Dot, a network of young leaders with the goal of inspiring and empowering the emerging generation to build a movement for social change in America. Mike also co-founded Bruins for Change, a network of politically active UCLA alumni and students that promote policies that advance the struggle for social justice at UCLA and beyond. Mike sings in Broken Ornaments, an electro rock act making headlines in Los Angeles whose album will be released in fall 2009 as well as working on several literary projects to compliment his musical and political career, including an anthology of poems scheduled for release in 2010. He continues to speak and perform at numerous events across the country and around the world, including speaking engagements in Mexico, South Africa, Germany, and Canada. Mike serves on the Board of Directors of Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural and Divine Forces Media and is a consultant for UCLA's Community Programs Office, Youth Speak Collective, and the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department. Mike received his Masters from Cal State University Dominguez Hills and his Bachelor degree from UCLA where he served as the 1999/2000 Undergraduate Student Body President. At UCLA, Mike was awarded the Charles E. Young Humanitarian Award for his efforts to increase student initiated outreach efforts. From his website: http://mikedelarocha.wordpress.com
1.5 linear feet
For students and faculty researchers of UCLA, all others by permission only. Copyright has not been assigned to the Chicano Studies Research Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Archivist and/or the Librarian at the Chicano Studies Research Center Library. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.
Collection is open for research.