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About Us

(en Espanol?  Quiénes Somos)


We call it ParTour (see official project description)and we hope you will join us.  Participants will be sent on quests as storytellers, explorers, photographers and urban mappers.  All you need is a regular cell phone -- no smartphones required!  If you'd like, we can notify you about  future events.  We're on Twitter @RideSouthLA.

Our goal is to strengthen the grassroots storytelling network in Los Angeles neighborhoods, tied to community organizations, residents, and local media.   We seek to advance positive social change by harnessing new media and mobile technology toward building community.  This project extends 10 years of research at USC, and many more years of civic engagement in local communities across LA.  Have questions?  See our frequently asked questions page, or contact us.

Primary partners include:

(1) The Mobile Urban Mapping Project at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is a joint effort of two groups.  One is the Metamorphosis Project led by Prof. Sandra Ball-Rokeach, and the other is the Mobile Lab led by Prof. Francois Bar. The project is supported in part by the Annenberg Innovation Lab.   Our research considers the storytelling network in three parts: residents, community organizations, and geo-ethnic media (media aimed at a local geography or ethnic population--see diagram at left).  To learn how your organization can apply some of these research techniques and findings, the Metamorphosis project recently released the MetaConnects (take a look -- and if you're a LA-based nonprofit, sign up for our mailing list).

(2) T.R.U.S.T. South LA was established in 2005 as a permanent and democratic steward of land in South Los Angeles that works toward community-focused development.  Recently they have partnered with CicLAvia and a number of community stakeholders to bring CicLAvia to South LA and work toward the expansion of the route into the heart of South LA. Read more about their CicLAvia effort.  

Special thanks go to VozMob, which is many things including the technology platform we are using to use everyday cell phones to capture pictures and stories.  More importantly, thanks go to the amazing PCT worker volunteers, IDEPSCA staff, and USC students who have put in countless hours in an effort to design a platform to give voice to the voiceless.

Our core team includes (alphabetically): 
  • Sandra Ball-Rokeach
  • Francois Bar
  • Tafarai Bayne
  • Teresa Gonzalez
  • Cesar Jimenez
  • Otto Khera
  • Benjamin Stokes
  • George Villanueva
Our other community partners involved:Thank you to everyone who contributed, especially our volunteers with everyday phones who took pictures on the day of the event!

Subpages (1): Quiénes Somos
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