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Change Happens When We Work Together

September 21, 2017
    Dear Friend, Last week I told you about changes happening in our juvenile justice system and how The Unusual Suspects are part of that change (click HERE if you missed it). In Part 2, I want to introduce you to Jean Carlos, a young man who joined our program last year while he was

Can We End Juvenile Incarceration?

September 14, 2017
Dear friends, Together with the Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network, The Unusual Suspects are on the front lines of a groundbreaking change for the Los Angeles juvenile justice system. It’s called the L.A. Model and we are part of the pilot program happening now at the juvenile detention

“How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime”

September 7, 2017
In the spirit of our September series on Campus Kilpatrick and the LA Model, we are pleased to share this TED Talk entitled “How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime” (September 2014) by Nadine Burke Harris, filmed in San Francisco,

“A Culture of Care for All: Envisioning the LA Model”

September 6, 2017
In the spirit of our September series on Campus Kilpatrick and the LA Model, we are pleased to share the introduction from a policy report (2017) commissioned by The Children’s Defense Fund and written by Hailly T.N. Korman (Bellwether Education Partners), Carly B. Dierkhising (California

One Play at a Time

August 24, 2017
  Incarcerated youth present their original play, Reflection: The Rico Story, at Camp Gonzales, June 2017. Moving California Forward One Play at a Time As part of Elevate California, our Executive Director, Melissa Denton, and Board Member/Alumna, Tameka Carter, wrote an Op-Ed sharing their

California’s nonprofit sector is key to addressing economic insecurity

August 8, 2017
by Melissa Denton and Tameka Carter (Photo Credit: Cam Sanders) Thousands of nonprofit organizations are working in California’s poor neighborhoods and schools. If California is going to address the growing gap between rich and poor, communities will need to be more effective in helping young

What role will you play with US?

July 20, 2017
    Reflection: The Rico Story An original play written and performed by incarcerated youth at Camp Gonzales       Incarcerated youth perform their original play, Toxicity in the Family, at Camp Gonzales, June 2015.   Show your support as an audience member on

School’s Out for Summer

June 22, 2017
School’s out but we stay busy! US teaching artists & volunteer performers prepare for a Page Play at Camp Gonzales, June 2017. The LA Model – Arts Education & Juvenile Justice Reform US Executive Director Melissa Denton with AIYN partners touring Campus Kilpatrick, fall 2016.

A Gala picture is worth a thousand words…

May 16, 2017
Our 9th Annual Gala: Be Unusual was an incredible night…  Thank you to our dedicated honorees Markese Freeman & Kirsten Vangsness, our dynamic hostess Melissa Peterman, our generous sponsors and all of YOU who made contributions before, during and even after the big event!! Through your

Gala Thank You from the Corner Office

May 5, 2017
Thanks for Being Unusual with US! Dear friend, Tuesday night was amazing! Our youth and alumni were surrounded by warmth and compassion, and truly felt heard, valued and respected. Their smiles lit up the room! Thanks to your contributions leading up to and during the night, we met our fundraising

Can we tell you a story about gummy people?

April 12, 2017
  Fear, Family, and Finding Acceptance Written by The Unusual Suspects Fall 2016 playwriting students at Edison Middle School SCENE 4 TIME:12 PM | PLACE: School cafeteria AT RISE:  KRIS sits at the lunch table flipping through a book KRIS (reading) Chapter one: once upon a time there was a

Meet Edwin

April 5, 2017
  Meet Edwin… Edwin is a young man we met at a juvenile jail last summer. One night, fueled by alcohol, Edwin and his friends had taken things too far. They were charged with destruction of property and arson which led to Edwin’s incarceration. While serving his sentence, he
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