Skip to main content

Join us for the Walk The Talk parade/performance on Saturday, May 28, 2022
The parade starts at noon at the Spring Street Community Garden, 220 S. Spring St. LA 90012 , at 250 S. Broadway, and travels to Gladys / Gen. Jeff memorial park.

Download the Walk The Talk 2022 tabloid newspaper here.

Los Angeles Poverty Department will honor eight BEAUUUUUUTIFUL, creative and innovative community members with performances along the parade route, based on their interviews.

Meet the honorees in – order of the parade route:

Pancake is a soldier and a part of most events in Skid Row. He is warm and loving and he blesses people with his singing. Pancake has a song or a smile for everyone he meets – he doesn’t have to know you, even better if you are a stranger. He is one of the bold few who are out in the street waving people into the organic market on Thursdays at LA CAN, dressed as a cucumber and it’s 85 degrees! Pancake also has a religious side to him, and he meets people wherever they are at. He is a soldier for the community.  You’ll hear “BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE” ringing of the buildings of the Historic Core. Pancake is the guru of Skid Row: a healer and spiritual giant.

Suzette is a Skid Row resident voice for Black women. The first resident elected as board member for LA Community Providers C (LACPC). Suzette has been continuously active speaking up for women in Skid Row and for Black history in downtown. She has also been very active in creating the “No Place to Go” report. And she’s on many peer mental health committees with Department of Mental Health. It’s time to acknowledge her for her powerful poetry and activism.

Chella is a kick ass organizer and artist, who has been participating in liberation work for many years. Chella’s relationship with Skid Row and with people she organizes with is characterized by honesty, thoughtfulness, and combined with attention to her own needs. Over the years she’s had a consistent presence in numerous projects from the Festival for All Skid Row Artists to Stop LA Police Dept Spying Coalition, while also practicing and performing with her band, blocking Sunset Boulevard for a Trans Day of Vengeance concert, or performing on zoom from a small room.

Unkal Bean is a rapper extraordinaire! He is an accomplished rapper in Skid Row and he’s the Empresario at the King Eddie open mic evenings. Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Lorenzo Punchello Hollis Unkal Bean Kwansi was blessed to be introduced to music at a young age and has been inspired by all genres of music, releasing his first album in 1998. Focusing on the living dream, Unkal Bean performed at numerous events and has opened up for some of the biggest names in hip hop. As a member of the Skid Row Community for over 20 years, he has participated in nonprofit events and performed at The First Occupy Skid Row Concert that took place on Skid Row in 2012.

Kate Richards is a music therapist, and a big part of Urban Voices. Kate has been phenomenal in her commitment to the people in the community. She first came to Skid Row 6 years ago discovering Urban Voices Project at the Skid Row Artist Festival in Gladys Park. She immediately jumped into the Urban Voices Project program and now functions as the interim Executive Director. She is a leading voice for wellness through the arts. Kate cares deeply for the Skid Row artists she works with and represents the work being done in Skid Row around arts and healing at many national and international summits, amplifying the voice of Skid Row. Kate helped hold people together who were afraid and emotionally drained during the pandemic. She is dedicated to helping and healing the Skid Row community, and does it with love, grace, humility, and passion.

Crushow is a talented performer, an amazing artist, advocate and athlete, responsible for many murals in Skid Row. He is a great rapper and community activist standing up for the community and doing community work with the Sidewalk Project. He was an unhoused resident for a time and still proudly lives in Skid Row. His art permeates the community. He helped bring Venice Beach Street ballers to collaborate with Skid Row. Most definitely the bomb-est “hood artist” brings cultural liberation to community in rare artist fashion.  He’s been decorating the community with portraits of freedom, block by block for decades. Crushow organizes community members and gets jobs for the people.

Alisa did amazing work as Mayor Garcetti’s Homeless Policy Director from 2016 until 2018. Alisa was the first person in power who had the nerve to listen to the community and do what they asked for: create the ReFreshSpot! The Skid Row ReFresh Spot is an important example what can be achieved when a community led project is supported with City funding. Alisa is a tireless advocate for the spiritual and material conditions of women and all members of Skid Row community. Alisa is a compassionate heart and bright light of hope and healing. She is a trusted friend of many Skid Row organizations.

Ray is the leader of the Ase Ashe drummers. He has been in the community for over a decade and participates in LA CAN actions, is a fellow with Street Symphony, and performed in LA Poverty Department’s performance, “I Fly!” (at REDCAT Theater) and the Festival For All Skid Row Artists since its inception in 2010, where he now leads the festival’s ‘house-band’. He’s also a victim of police brutality. He has studied African healing techniques and shares them with the community in workshops at community events.