THE BLOG

Not Coming Home... It's Time for #Black Spring

06/17/2015 09:35 pm ET | Updated Jun 17, 2016

As is true with all political and social justice movements, activists and artists alike pour into the streets and pour out their hearts in an effort not simply to capture a moment but to create it. The marriage between art and activism is indelible. And it was on full display in Los Angeles last month at an extraordinary exhibit entitled MANIFEST:JUSTICE, which featured paintings, photography, sculpture, a garden designed and installed by community gardener and green activist Ron Finley in the parking lot, a music stage and a robust line-up of programming that created a community of discussion, reflection and hopefully further action -- as we all grapple with where we are now in this pursuit of justice in the face of the unrelenting violence plaguing nearly every American city.

The Manifest:Justice Exhibit -- served many roles: It was a place to gather; it was a walking meditation; it was an interactive learning experience and all in the context of artists making art that speaks directly to the complicated, heartbreaking and clear cry for the change being heard across the country -- and that we know is coming...

So we decided to create a video to acknowledge the power of the exhibit and celebrate the artistry and activism of one of Los Angeles' most impactful organizers -- Mike de la Rocha. Mike is first and foremost a talented musician, performer and songwriter. But he is a skilled political thinker, activist and advocate. Mike is the Founder of Revolve Impact, a daring social impact agency that combines organizing and the creative arts to drive communities to action, and advises members of the U.S. Congress and other state and local elected officials on criminal justice issues. Before that, he was the Director of Strategic Partnerships for Californians for Safety and Justice and spent four years as the Legislative Deputy for then-L.A. City Councilmember (and now Congressman) Tony Cárdenas. Mike knows how to get things done and he epitomizes the intersection between art and activism.

His song "Not Coming Home" speaks to the violent landscape and injustice across our cities and communities. So it seemed fitting to film it among images, sculptures and installations created by other artists with the same intention.

We want to give our heartfelt thanks to the organizers of Manifest:Justice for allowing us to film there... please pass this on... not just the video but the ideas as well. And please... download the brand new Mobile Justice App from The ACLU. Available on the App Store or Google play...