Having access to healthy food is increasingly difficult in many of our local neighborhoods, especially in less affluent regions. This short video was created by the influential Los Angeles-based social enterprise organization, Public Matters; the group offers some insight into what can be done to help green some of our food deserts.

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Creating Sustainable Change through Civic Engagement

Public Matters builds communities and strengthens local neighborhoods by using civic engagement, new media, public art, education and direct action. They work directly to empower local youth and residents through “designing and implementing long-term culturally-based programs…community building, economic development, neighborhood identity, youth leadership, and public health”. They promote change by working with different groups to create community-defined public identities.

Public Matters

Some of the organization’s goals include: building social capital, bringing forward unknown aspects of community life, and giving future leaders a diverse and effective set of skills to work on behalf of their communities. Reanne Estrada, one of the founders of Public Matters, explains their work like this:

“A key component in what we do is that we work with community members to create media about their neighborhoods. The goal is to connect them to the places they live and work, and in so doing, develop in them a sense of ownership over these places and a belief that they can directly shape their neighborhoods’ future. The media about their neighborhoods that they help create are meant to advance a specific community-defined agenda or initiative (for example, healthy food access in South + East LA and increased public awareness of immigrant contributions in historic Filipinotown). The media content reflects and benefits the community that has helped create it.”

Public Matters

For more information about Public Matters please visit:



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