Walk the Talk

WALK THE TALK ARCHIVE Visit this new website, created by Rob Ochshorn, which provides on-line access to the 68 people whose real-world accomplishments — from 1970 until 2020 — have been celebrated in Walk the Talk.

Download the tabloid newspapers:
April 21, 2018
May 28th, 2016  
May 24th, 2014
May 26th, 27th, 28th, 2012

Walk the Talk is no ordinary walk. It’s a biannual parade!
LA Poverty Department brings Skid Row to life with performances along the parade route that pay tribute to neighborhood initiatives and the men and women whose contributions to the community call for a big, blaring celebration!

Project History

WALK THE TALK is the continuation of a 10 year process of community engagement including performances, exhibitions, public conversations, interviews, drawing, writing, singing and improvising. The conception of this project is to honor people who live and work on Skid Row and who have made it one of the most significant areas for solving the problems that other people have given up on. One of the original goals of Los Angeles Poverty Department is to create community on Skid Row and to employ the voices of the people who live on Skid Row to communicate the experience of living there to the larger community of Los Angeles and to the nation. This project started in 2002 with the LAPD installation / performance series Is there History on Skid Row? and continued with 2006 to 2011 activities: UTOPIA / dystopia where, in preparation for the performance, LAPD created events that engaged community brainpower to identify initiatives and people who had made positive contributions to the neighborhood. We invited some of the most widely recognized social visionaries from the neighborhood, and they were asked to speak about other people and initiatives that they valued. The input led to the installation, Skid Row History Museum, at The Box Gallery, which included more performance and public conversation events, to solicit further community input.


May 30, 2020: Walk the Talk Online Celebration & Live Launch of Walk the Talk website.

Normally, Walk the Talk is a parade with a New Orleans Second line brass band and attendees dancing down the street from one performance site to the next.

THIS YEAR we celebrate this year’s honorees with new performances and portraits all wrapped inside THE PUBLICATION OF OUR WALK THE TALK WEBSITE. The website, created by artist / technologist Rob Ochshorn, includes: hour-long video interviews and transcripts of the interviews, for each honoree as well as videos and scripts of the scenes distilled from the interviews and performed by Los Angeles Poverty Department in each Walk the Talk performance / parade.

2020 Skid Row visionaries are: community organizer Coach Ron Crockett, a leader of the Skid Row Brigade that is monitoring the City’s Covid-19 deployed port-o-potties and hand washing stations,  social entrepreneurs Danny Park and Andrew Kang of Skid Row Coffee and The Skid Row Peoples Market,  public interest lawyer Gary Blasi, grass roots advocate Angelia “Big Mama” Harper,  informal multi-service provider, Stephanie Arnold Williams, musician and Co-Founding Director of Urban Voices Choir, Leeav Sofer, and deceased, beloved community organizer Leslie Croom.

THE PARADE stops along the way: Gladys park, the former Drop in Center, San Julian park, Skid Row People’s Market, The White House at the corner of  5th and San Pedro street, Wesley Health Center and last but not least: the DPSS office on 4th Place. With PORTRAITS made by Man One.


April 21, 2018 – Eight Skid Row visionaries were honored with a parade & performance:
Steve Diaz, Bobby Buck, Eddie H., Pastor Cue, Vijay Gupta, Demetra Wilson-Washington, Andy Bales and Tiffany Rose.  The PARADE was headed by Street Symphony’s brass marching ensemble, PERFORMANCES by LA Poverty Department and PORTRAITS made by CruShow Herring.


May 28, 2016, Eight more Skid Row visionaries joined the Walk the Talk hall of fame:
General Dogon, Becky Dennison, AJ Martin, Carol Sobel, Hayk Makhmuryan, Christopher Mack, Katherine McNenny and KevinMichael Key. We will celebrate them with a PARADE headed by PARADIGM brass band, PERFORMANCES by LAPD and PORTRAITS made by Pairoj Pichetmetakul.


May 24, 2014 – Eight additional Skid Row visionaries celebrated in a PARADE with PERFORMANCES and a mobile EXHIBIT about Skid Row’s history inside the MIKE KELLEY Mobile Homestead, stationed at MOCA from May 29 – June 16. Portraits of the honorees created by Brian Dick.


May 26, 27, 28, 2012 – 36 Skid Row visionaries were celebrated with 3 DAYS of PARADES and PERFORMANCES with PARADIGM BRASS band, traveling 3 routes through the Skid Row neighborhood with portraits of honorees created by Mr. Brainwash.