East LA Interchange: A Story of Community and Change

Manuel from El TepeyacEast LA Interchange tells the story of working-class, immigrant Boyle Heights, the oldest neighborhood in East Los Angeles. The question of whether an evolving Boyle Heights can preserve its unique culture and history along with a desire to create new opportunities for its residents is one that many communities throughout the country are currently facing. In East LA Interchange, NYU historian John Kuo Wei Tchen says, “Places like Boyle Heights are literally on the cutting edge of what this country is becoming. It’s not based on making more money, moving further and further away from other people. It’s based on the new kinds of social relationships that can happen in a mixed and mingled kind of community that really makes up the promise of what this country should be about.”

East LA Interchange tells the story of how one neighborhood found its political voice in its fight against the largest freeway interchange system in the nation. Though there are different issues today, these activist residents are still organizing and speaking out for their rights as a working-class, immigrant, community of color. The film asks if Boyle Heights as we know it will survive the next round of challenges from environmental pollution, industrialization, development and gentrification. East LA Interchange provides a compelling look at what the future of America can be if communities like Boyle Heights work together to secure our nation’s pledge of providing justice for all. learn more

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Community Works Institute (CWI) provides resources, professional development, and collaboration opportunities for educators. Our focus is on place based education, service learning, and sustainability.
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