Man in blue attire, woman in multicolored attire sitting outside on sunny day

Roy and Henderson on Warring Perceptions of Life on the Streets

The Los Angeles Times published an extended conversation between two key figures at the UCLA Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy that revealed the growing solidarity between movement-based scholars and unhoused public intellectuals as Los Angeles grapples with the crisis of homelessness. Ananya Roy, the institute’s executive director, spoke with Theo Henderson, this year’s UCLA Activist-in-Residence, about warring perceptions about life on L.A. streets. What city officials call “cleanups” of homeless encampments are actually dehumanizing sweeps of people and their belongings that do not provide lasting housing solutions, said Henderson, founder of the podcast “We the Unhoused.” “They’re doing it because the public does not want to see poor people,” he said. The two spoke of art as a tool for empowering Los Angeles’ diverse network of community advocates. “We need creative releases to be able to keep the movement going, the spirits up, the morale up and to hope for a better day,” Henderson said.


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