CSULA Public History Project – 2013

CSULA Update

On June 10, 2013 board members Walter Dominguez, Shelley Morrison, Betty Huebner, Greg Ramirez, and Keith Rice attended a presentation by “Public History and Community Engagement” students on the campus of California State University, Los Angeles. The students presented proposals for public history projects and exhibitions, based on their interviews with our board members. The board members were very impressed by the ability of the students to “think outside of the box.” They discovered extremely creative ways to connect neighborhoods from the Valley to Watts through their past participation in social justice movements. We have provided audio clips from the presentations, so that you can experience the sense of pride we feel for these exceptional history students who will be graduating from CSULA this month.

Marc MeehanMarc MeehanNicole PastenNicole Pasten

Taryn BoydTaryn BoydKatherine YangKatherine Yang

Idania and MatthewIdania and Matt

Zach BridgefordZach Bridgeford

Mike TirellaMike Tirella

Stefan OgbacStefan Ogbac

Tyler MillerTyler Miller



CSULA Public History Project Update

On April 20, 2013 board members Leonora Barron, Greg Ramirez, and Keith Rice welcomed Professor Mark Wild and his “Public History and Community Engagement” students to the Museum of Social Justice. The board members introduced the students to the history of La Plaza UMC and its service to the community over the last 100 years. The Museum of Social Justice was born out of La Plaza’s commitment to social justice and public service. The tour consisted of a presentation of a short documentary on the Church and Museum produced by Board President Walter Dominguez, a tour of the Church sanctuary, and an introduction and presentation by Leonora, Greg, and Keith, followed by a question and answer session. To better understand the processes of how institutions like the Museum emerged, and the skills required to make them work, the students will conduct oral history interviews with board members. The results of the interviews and proposals created by the class will be available on our website in May 2013.

CSLA Public History 1CSLA Public History 2Leonora and Keith CSLA 2Leonora and Keith CSLA


CSULA Public History Project

Mark Wild, History Professor at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA)
and a Museum of Social Justice advisory board member, will bring his senior seminar
class to the Museum of Social Justice to explore the civic role of history in nonacademic
settings.  The course, “Public History and Community Engagement,” is a capstone of
the undergraduate history major at CSULA.  At the end of the program, students will
apply the skills they have learned to address the role of public history in civic life and
the engagement of community participants in historical projects outside the classroom.
Like all students at CSULA, these students represent a wide variety of Los Angeles’
cultural communities and will reflect their diverse set of experiences and perspectives in
their work.  These students will learn about the long history of La Plaza United Methodist
Church, the history of their surrounding neighborhood, and the ways in which the
Museum and other nearby institutions use history to promote community empowerment
and social justice.  They will pay particular attention to the processes on how institutions
like the Museum emerged, and the skills required to make them work.  A key feature
of the course will be intensive individual interviews with key personnel involved in the
Museum.  Based on this work, students will devise proposals for public history projects
addressing the complex history of Los Angeles; they will share these proposals with the
Museum as it develops its own programming for the first years of its life.


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