Throwback Thursday: The Diverse Perspectives of a Tenant Organizer and Developer
March 5, 2020
In November 2018, our team of 9th and 10th graders who were learning (and doing something!) about issues renters face in Los Angeles visited with Sylvie Shain, a long-time resident of the Villa Carlotta apartments in Hollywood that led an organizing effort amongst her neighbors after being evicted. Sylvie generously welcomed our students into her apartment before she was even able to unpack boxes after recently moving back in.
The Social Innovation Program always seeks opportunities for students to hear and reconcile various perspectives. A few months later, students met with Gidi Cohen, founder and CEO of CGI, the firm that purchased the Villa Carlotta property in 2014. They learned about the financial realities that the company faces and their values in historic architectural preservation.
Students spent months reconciling the perspectives of Sylvie, Gidi, and other stakeholders. By the end of the year, students created a choose-your-own-adventure story in which users are faced with tough decisions renters might face.