Everyone In South L.A. organizer Quincey Coleman knows that real change is not built overnight. To inspire communities to fight for justice, you need to go one door at a time and build relationships that last.
“Organizing sparks the fire of progress,” he says. “We can’t afford to burn out.”
Quincey grew up in South Central L.A., and made it through the riots, gang violence, and homelessness. He kept his head down and worked hard, but hard work isn’t always a ticket away from structural poverty and violence. On his way home from an SAT prep course one day, Quincey saw an innocent friend shot dead in the crossfire of gang violence.
“Even at a young age,” he says, “I had to look at it and say this is something that’s on a systemic level.” It made him think about more than survival, but how to change broken policies and practices that made his neighborhood unsafe.
While at Crenshaw High, Quincey became active in student groups, absorbing lessons from Malcolm X writings and Spike Lee films along the way. He later joined the SEIU and the L.A. Black Worker Center as a labor organizer, knowing that the well-being of working people is essential in the fight for equality and social justice.
Today, Quincey works with neighborhood leaders, local advocacy groups, and elected officials to get supportive housing approved in South L.A.