UCLA and Zócalo Public Square, the Los Angeles-based ideas exchange that blends live events and humanities journalism, have formed a two-year partnership that will create a new destination — both on the ground and online — that will enable Angelenos to explore the most important issues facing Southern California today.
Through events and journalism, Thinking L.A. will explore the global, national and local issues that affect life in Los Angeles, use first-person stories to analyze larger regional trends and grapple with the innovations and ideas that have the potential to change our city.
Through seven free public programs per year and in four published pieces per week, UCLA and Zócalo will ask questions about public policy and culture, science and the arts. Pieces will be published at zocalopublicsquare.org and distributed to Zócalo’s national media syndicate of more than 110 outlets, which reach a combined monthly readership of 40 million. These outlets include USA Today, the Gannett newspapers, Time.com and Popular Science, as well as 28 news organizations throughout California, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Sacramento Bee, Los Angeles Daily News and Orange County Register.
Thinking L.A. will create a much-needed place where all Southern Californians are invited to discuss, debate and come together around the future of our city and its place in the world. The reach and influence of the institutions that once connected Los Angeles' diverse communities are waning. Zócalo, which in 10 years has built the most diverse civic forum in the nation, and UCLA, California's largest university, are stepping in to help fill that void.
The partnership's inaugural event, "The State of L.A.’s Plate," will be held on Nov. 18. Reservations can be made at the Zócalo website.
Becca MacLaren, former speechwriter to California Attorney General Kamala Harris, has joined Zócalo as associate editor to lead the Thinking L.A. project.