Los Angeles Human Library

submission by shannonsijcc
Los Angeles Human Library

About Your Application

Organization(s) name(s):

Silverlake Independent Jewish Community Center

Organization(s) website(s):


Organization(s) twitter handle(s):


Organization(s) facebook handle(s):


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Please share the direct link for voters to sign up for your newsletter(s):


Describe Your Organization(s)

Non-profit organization

For-profit organization


Other (please specify below):

In one sentence, please describe what your organization does.


The Silverlake Independent Jewish Community Center (SIJCC) is a leading center for arts, culture and Jewish education on the east side of Los Angeles, and strives to connect people of all different backgrounds through arts & cultural programming.

In one to three sentences, please describe your proposal.


The SIJCC proposes LA’s first city-wide Human Library initiative. The Library provides a forum for people to engage in difficult conversations and gain a deeper understanding of diverse human experiences. Participants “check out” individuals who have volunteered to act as “books” labeled with titles that specify a topic or neighborhood they represent. Through guided conversation, participants are better able to connect to others in their community.

Where will you be working? Please be specific (e.g. Third Street Middle School; Boyle Heights; LA County).

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA


South Bay

Antelope Valley

County of Los Angeles (countywide)

City of Los Angeles (citywide)


Other (please specify below):

How do you plan to use these resources to make change? (check all that apply)

Conduct research

Engage residents and stakeholders

Implement a pilot or new project

Expand a pilot or program

Mobilize for systems change

Advocate with policymakers and leaders

Implement and track policy

Other (please specify below):

How will your proposal improve the following “Connect” metrics? (check all that apply)

Rates of volunteerism

Voting rates by race

Adults getting sufficient social & emotional support

Median travel time to work

Attendance at cultural events

Number of public transit riders

Participation in neighborhood councils

Percentage of Angelenos that volunteer informally (Dream Metric)

Government responsiveness to residents’ needs (Dream Metric)

Transit-accessible housing and employment (the share of housing units and percentage of jobs that are located near transit)

Total number of local social media friends and connections (Dream Metric)

Attendance at public/open streets gatherings (Dream Metric)

Residential segregation (Dream Metric)

Access to free wifi (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to connect.


This project will connect individuals from different backgrounds and regions of Los Angeles and put them in thought-provoking conversation with one another. By categorizing the “books” with a variety of experiences and identities, we will encourage discussion of normally taboo topics in a safe space, facilitated by trained volunteers. These conversations will serve to connect disparate parts of Los Angeles’ diverse community, and foster empathy and understanding between us and our neighbors.

Through our arts and cultural programming, the SIJCC has established itself as a place where people connect. Our reach extends far beyond just the local Jewish community to bring together people of all faiths and backgrounds.

We wish to hold a Human Library on our campus, with other pop-up Libraries taking place across the city in public libraries, community centers, parks, and other public spaces. We will culminate the experience with a storytelling event held at the SIJCC, where individuals will share stories of their own experiences and/or those they’ve learned from others through this project. The storytelling event will build upon the experiences gained and lessons learned by participants throughout the various human library events around the city, and will serve as another opportunity to connect community members from across Los Angeles.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.


Our ultimate goal is to connect individuals from different backgrounds who wouldn’t normally interact with one another. We’ll measure this success in a few ways: by the number of people and organizations we connect with before the Library events take place, the number of events that are held around the city, and the feedback received/word of mouth generated afterward.

Success is connecting with at least 20 organizations to partner on this event in various capacities, and organizing 6 or more Human Libraries in LA.

Success is a well-attended storytelling event at the SIJCC at the end of this project.

Success will also be measured through surveys given to participants to learn about their experiences and will be seen in the community’s response once the events have ended (i.e. : if we’re contacted to partner on a future Human Library or other project, or if we hear other communities are implementing this idea.)

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed? (check all that apply)

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)


Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research

Other (please specify below):

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Submission Began
Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Submission Ended
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
at 07:00 PM UTC

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Voting Began
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Voting Ended
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
at 08:00 PM UTC

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Winner Announced
Tuesday, December 08, 2015