Skip to main content

On Saturday May 25, the Walk the Talk performance/parade begins at noon at the Skid Row History Museum & Archive, 250 S. Broadway, in downtown LA, and concludes at Gladys Park, 808 E. 6th Street.
Download the Walk The Talk newspaper here

Put on your high heeled sneakers — make that your walking / dancing shoes — and get ready for Los Angeles Poverty Department’s (LAPD) 2024 “Walk the Talk” parade/performance, celebrating people who love the community and prove it every day. Jubilation is the cadence of the parade, with the Torrence Brannon & his Everything with Soul New Orleans style Brass Band! leading the way. Portraits by artist Hayk Makhmuryan will be carried aloft as the parade dances through neighborhood streets from one performance site to the next. Below, are this year’s “Walk the Talk” honorees, whose stories will be told in scenes created and performed by LAPD’s Skid Row resident performers. Walk the Talk is a high energy blast and an exercise in place keeping. This is a celebration of Skid Row as a community, a neighborhood and its profound ideas and initiatives. The honorees are chosen by their peers —the residents of the Skid Row neighborhood. Performance sites are chosen by honorees as THE PLACE that means the most to them and their work.

The Walk the Talk 2024 honorees are:
Clancey Cornell began her engagement in Skid Row as a volunteer at the LAMP arts studio (now the People Concern’s Studio 526) and then with LAPD, where she’s played an important role as the first archivist at the Skid Row History Museum & Archive and in producing the Festival for All Skid Row Artists.

Kayo Anderson. From Detroit, Kayo is a former Skid Row resident and dedicated to the well-being of all Black and oppressed people using music and the arts as a medium for individual and community wellness and growth. Currently, he is the minister of music and artistic development with The Row Church Without Walls and Creating Justice LA.

Lorinda Hawkins Smith transitioned from being homeless in Skid Row to housed and completed an MBA from the University of Phoenix. She’s an actor, singer, video maker, author, playwright, and advocate against domestic violence. Currently Lorinda has leading roles with the Open Mic at the Skid Row History Museum and was the MC of the Festival for All Skid Row Artists.

“Mama” Linda Leigh is an artist who creates rituals and ceremonies integrating song, the written word and visual art for healing and consciousness raising. She has been involved with Street Symphony, Urban Voices Project, Studio 526, Skid Row Coffee, LA CAN Food and Wellness Committee, Skid Row Community Refresh Spot and the Skid Row Action Plan. 

Adelene Bertha grew up in Skid Row, and was part of the United Coalition East Prevention Project  (UCEPP) youth program. Currently she is a Senior Peer Support Specialist with LA’s Downtown Women’s Center and Co-chair of the LA City Skid Row Park Advisory Board.

“Downtown” Gary Brown is a musician and painter, active for 20+ years in Skid Row. In 2023 his work was showcased at The Grove L.A and is currently at The Wende Museum. He doesn’t toot his own horn — well, he does amazing toots on his saxophone (and jingles those piano keys) but he’s very humble and quiet about his talent.

Sieglinde von Deffner is L.A. County Skid Row coordinator for the Department of Health Services. Sieglinde has helped lots of folks get off the streets and get services. She is always keeping an eye out for the most vulnerable people that she has sheltered.

Sir Oliver brings the community together in the spirit of Bob Marley, but more so in the spirit of knitting the community and arts together in the most grassroots approach. He has produced numerous Bob Marley Day, and Jamaican Independence Day festivals in Skid Row. Oliver is responsible for the City of LA’s recognition of Bob Marley Day.

Biennially, since 2012, LAPD has produced “Walk the Talk,” celebrating Skid Row community builders, chosen by a vote of Skid Row community members. Performance- and interview videos of all Walk the Talk honorees generated throughout the project’s 12-year history are available online on the Skid Row History Museum & Archive’s dedicated website. Additional materials are accessible in the Museum’s archive, which is open to the public Tuesday and Thursday: 10am-6pm, Friday from 12-5pm and by appointment, [email protected].Visit for more information.