Leap Highlights Paths to Upward Mobility for Youth

Adjunct Professor of Social Welfare Jorja Leap joined the 30 for 30 podcast “The King of Crenshaw” to discuss the role that gangs play in Los Angeles. “If our culture in L.A. is a tapestry, [gangs] are several threads that run through that tapestry — the good, the bad, the ugly and the understandable,” she said.  The podcast focused on how the life and death of rapper and community activist Nipsey Hussle deeply impacted the sports world, particularly NBA players. Leap noted that many Black youth in South Los Angeles pursue basketball and rap as paths to opportunity and hope. While not the only options for upward mobility, they don’t require any special equipment but do depend on raw ability and talent. “The minute you’re busy playing sports, you’re less busy with the hood, pure and simple,” Leap said. “You can’t take the hood away without putting something in its place.”

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