More than two weeks later, I still can’t stop smiling.
On March 5 and 6—a sunshiny South Los Angeles weekend—more than 250 neighbors gathered to listen to the heart of their community. A heart we discovered and shared through one very simple question: What do you hope for?
This was our first ever Hope Gallery—the culmination of six months of working with the incredible Ánimo Pat Brown Charter High School in Los Angeles and chance for one community to be immersed in hopes that they all share. I so wish you ALL could have been there, but for those of you who couldn’t make it to the event (or even for those of you who did), I’m excited to share a little taste of what we experienced during that amazing weekend.
First, here’s a quick video slideshow that will walk you through the experience: from our wonderful gallery of Hope Journals to our “forest” of hopes from neighbors all over South LA.
Then, take a look at the personal responses of our student Community Listeners. Stories of individual transformation just because of one simple question.
Also, our rockstar photographer Madison Garcia put together a beautiful set of images she captured during the event.
The Hope Gallery also featured a “Hope Graffiti” wall that HUNDREDS of people signed. I’ve put together a little photo gallery of my favorites.
Finally, everything that you see here today…we want to take that one step further. So, I’m excited to invite EVERYONE to host an event like this one with their school, club, organization, or house of worship. Please visit our new “Host An Event” section to sign up for more information and plan a project for your group.
The weekend was full of moments etched into my memory. Students walking their families through the Hope Journals. Kids and adults—together—writing their hopes on our wall. Visitors spending minutes, sometimes hours quietly reflecting on the stories of their neighbors. Two students curled up together in an armchair reading a Hope Journal aloud—laughing, crying, smiling, and always listening.
This was nothing more than unforgettable.
But one silent moment hovers above it all.
I was cleaning up on Saturday night after everyone had gone home and snapping pictures of all everything for my own records. I was walking past the Hope Graffiti wall when I caught a glimpse of the picture on your left.
I stared at it for a second, grabbed a red marker, and wrote that big “AMEN.”
What Lynnette wrote perfectly captured everything that we do at The Hope Chronicles—a deep desire to never stop understanding our neighbors, no matter who they are or where they come from. A challenge that can only be met through listening.
So, thank you Lynnette, whoever you are, for your words.
Thank you to our amazing volunteers who helped build the gallery. Thank you to the incredible staff at APB who believed in this project. And most of all, thank you to the Ánimo Pat Brown students, who took a risk, started listening to their neighbors, and taught me so much in the process .
To everyone who supports the work we do: much love, many blessings, and be well.
Founder and Community Listener