The Watts Labor Community Action Committee (WLCAC) is a non-profit, community-based, human social services organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for South Central Los Angeles residents.

In 2015, WLCAC aims to lead by example. As we continue to move toward achieving our mission with an internal look, so we can be the best we can be: Improving ourselves so we can better help others.

We hope you'll check back often for updates on events, initiatives, and news.

The Better Watts (BWI) Initiative: A collaborative for environmental justice in Watts

​WLCAC launched the "Better Watts" Initiative in 2016. Our first Town Hall meeting, was held on January 31, 2016 and introduced community members to these pressing issues. Our second Town Hall meeting occurred on Thursday, March 31, 2016.

Join us along with our partners Black Community Health Task Force, Physicians for Social Responsibility LA, LA Right to Housing Collecting and Cal State University, Dominguez Hills, as we host Senator Isadore Hall, Assembly Member Mike Gibson and many others, for our third Town Hall meeting on Saturday, May 7th, 2016 from 9am-12noon in Phoenix Hall as we continue the process to bring about environmental justice in Watts.

END HARM – Elected officials and local and state agencies are accountable to the Watts community in ensuring clean land, air and water. These same officials and agencies have an obligation to communicate and engage residents of Watts in understanding the environmental context and potential health risks of where they live, work, study, play and worship. 
HONOR NEED – Equitable Development in Watts must focus on the needs of its current residents. Any investments in the community and all new developments shall cause zero displacement of the existing community, and instead contribute to the need for affordable housing, jobs growth, clean and green spaces, and community health assets.
INFORM PEOPLE – Building-by-building, block-by-block, the community of Watts has a right to be co-powered with information, analysis and resources of how the environmental affects their health and well-being. Furthermore, we must honor the right of residents to self-determine the future of their community.

ORGANIZE – Build a broad movement of support for the environmental justice work currently going on in the Watts area, including the formation of an advisory committee to guide and support the current collaborative in key areas of work moving forward;
WHAT NOW – Generate consensus on challenges faced by Watts and where future work needs to focus;
EVIDENCE – Bring awareness of the current environmental justice struggles facing the Watts community to stakeholders and elected officials;
ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE CHAMPIONSHIP – Offer space to allow elected officials and agency decision makers to champion solutions for environmental justice in Watts.

9th Annual HomeWalk

The  United Way of Greater Los Angeles’ 9th Annual HomeWalk was one of our most successful HomeWalks in history! Nearly 12,000 people participated and raised over $1.1 million! 
  • The WLCAC Team met our fundraising goal!
  • 20 WLCAC staff and friends attended: One of our team members won the run!
Every single dollar raised will go towards housing friends, families and veterans in need. 

There were so many memorable moments, but a few highlights include: hearing passionate civic and elected leaders talk about the possibility of a region without homelessness, experiencing the faces and issues of homelessness on route through our educational journey, and meeting a few of our formerly homeless, but now thriving, friends.

Watts Village Theater Company's Riot/Rebellion

​In remembrance of the 50th Anniversary of the 1965 Watts Riots the Watts Village Theater Company reimagined our production of Donald Jolly's RIOT/REBELLION. 

RIOT/REBELLION revisits the historic six days in August 1965 when the struggle of race, class and power exploded in the once-ignored section of Los Angeles known as Watts. First person interviews are weaved together in a theatrical piece that seeks to make harmony from the discordant voices of a community that refused to be silenced. Riot/Rebellion was commissioned, developed and produced by Watts Village Theatre Company. 


On Tuesday August 11th, 2015 WLCAC hosted a day of sharing, learning, reflecting, building, envisioning and releasing. The theme of the event was Voices of Rebellion, and all events aimed to highlight an unfiltered community perspective.

The day began at 9am with a live broadcast of KPCC's Take Two, an audience-interactive piece centered around an interview with WLCAC President & CEO Tim Watkins and other community leaders. 

Panel discussions followed: 
  • Luncheon and historic perspective from 1955 to 2015 from the agencies formed in Watts following the rebellion (11:30am)
  • Inter-generational dialogue looking back at 1965 and forward to 2065 (1:30pm) 
  • Dialogue with formerly incarcerated men's perspective of historic events of the last fifty years (3:30pm) 
The evening closed with an exhibit opening of photos, sculpture, ephemera and conceptual design that present views of Watts through different lenses, followed by a dinner reception. 

KPCC Radio Take Two Program Broadcast Live from WLCAC!

On this key anniversary, Take Two explored the riots’ impact on Watts with a live broadcast at the Watts Labor Community Action Committee (built in response to the unrest in 1965). 

Hosts Alex Cohen and A Martinez as well as a panel of guests discussed memories of the time, the evolution of police and community relations in the area, the changing neighborhood and what the future of Watts looks like today. ​

Click for more information on the Take Two program.

What is a riot really?

​"But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear?...It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity."- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Riot vs. Rebellion vs. Uprising vs. Revolt

riot   noun ri·ot \ˈrī-ət\
: a situation in which a large group of people behave in a violent and uncontrolled way

rebellion   noun re·bel·lion \ri-ˈbel-yən\
: an effort by many people to change the government or leader of a country by the use of protest or violence
: open opposition toward a person or group in authority
: refusal to obey rules or accept normal standards of behavior, dress, etc.

uprising   noun up·ris·ing \ˈəp-ˌrī-ziŋ\
: a usually violent effort by many people to change the government or leader of a country

revolt   verb re·volt \ri-ˈvōlt also -ˈvȯlt\
: to fight in a violent way against the rule of a leader or government
: to act in a way that shows that you do not accept the control or influence of someone or something

Tell It Theater Programs

Watts Talks

Nov. 16th, 2015 The concept of a newly inclusive articulation of the American Dream: A 21st Century reflection of how the founding father’s declarations can uplift and propel our nation forward into true health, happiness and fortune.

Movie Nights

Thought-provoking films aimed to inspire healing by highlighting common human experiences. Many of the films offered will spark candid discussion about the problem of violence in all its forms (Physical, institutional, sexual, emotional, economic, spiritual, cultural, political, and environmental) so healing can become the focus.  

November 20th, 2015 Trouble the Waters

WLCAC and Ford teamed up for Jam Sessions in Watts and it was a great success!

Spring 2015 and September 2015 editions of Bones & Blues were fabulous! Check our website for updates on 2016 plans.

Book Phoenix Hall for your next event! 

Call 323.563.5639 for details.

Rebuilding Watts: In the 50th Anniversary year of the Watts Rebellion, community gathers for historic groundbreaking for streetscape improvements on 103rd Street, once known as "Charcoal Alley" 

Monday March 16th, 2015, WLCAC joined our neighbors in Watts, Council Member Joe Busciano (CD15), the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, The Watts Towers Arts Center Campus Artists in residence, City of Los Angeles Public Works Department, and LAPD to celebrate a new Gateway Monument and signage, breaking ground on much needed improvements to 103rd street. The Watts Our Town project envisioned a new look for the historic Watts train station, as part of a connection point from Central Avenue to the Watts Towers Arts Center Campus to encourage visitors to make the most of their time in Watts.

Though the Our Town project funded conceptual design only, thanks to creative thinking and effective collaboration the Watts neighborhood will be able to see part of this dream come to fruition. Our Town design elements and artist input will be incorporated into the design for an existing streetscape improvement project.

The new monument has been designed by artists in Watts and will be built by Street Services, part of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles.

Major improvements planned along 103rd street include the Frank Gehry -designed Children's Institute facility, the Jordan Downs redevelopment, MudTown Farms construction, and Roy Choi's new restaurant: More than a billion dollars will be invested in Watts on 103rd Street in the next few years. 50 years ago it was nicknamed Charcoal Alley after the destruction of the 1965 Watts Rebellion.
We are so honored to see artists designing the environment for all residents and visitors to Watts to enjoy! 

Sold-out reading reflected a great partnership between WLCAC, the Watts Village Theater Company, and the Center Theater Group. 

More than 150 visitors came from all over Southern California to WLCAC in Watts for a rich night of history, art, networking and fun thanks to the California Plays Project and WLCAC's partners.

​The night started with a powerful and emotional tour of the Civil Rights exhibit, an experiential journey through American history. Following the tour, the reading started promptly with a phenomenal cast executing the challenging and exciting work of playwright Evangeline Ordaz.

Immediately after, the audience enjoyed a rare moment of history in sharing feedback with the playwright before going on to enjoy delicious tacos under the stars on WLCAC's Patio del Sol. 

The Story of This Land: 
Over 150 years, four families with ancestry in different parts of the world make their home on one particular plot of Southern California land now known as Watts. A host of old curses and blessings, traditions and recipes, loves and betrayals travel down family lines from the 19th to the 21st century, forcing each successive generation to ask in times of hardship, “Should I stay or should I go?” Los Angeles native Evangeline Ordaz crafts a rich and complex web of diverse characters who through triumph and despair discover how deeply they are rooted in the dreams of their ancestors and the land on which they stand.
The California Plays Project
Fascinated by the landscape, people and politics of our home state, Center Theatre Group recently commissioned four Los Angeles playwrights to write four plays on California themes.  To aid in each play’s development, CTG is partnering with four Los Angeles cultural institutions to bring these California stories to different corners of our city—and to make a wide range of Los Angeles audiences such as yourself a part of the creative process. 

Click for more information about the California Plays Project , Center Theater Group or the 
 Watts Village Theater Company 


WLCAC Youth Services System

  • Are you looking for your first job?
  • Do you need help getting back into school?
  • Interested in exploring your career options?
  • Looking to further your Education or start vocational training?

Watts Our Town Project

The Watts Labor Community Action Committee (WLCAC) is engaged in creating a new design to improve the area near the 103rd Street train station called Watts Station, pictured below.
Watts Station (103rd Street and Graham, Los Angeles, circa 1920)
Watts Station (103rd Street and Graham, Los Angeles, circa 1980)
The design will include an artistic pathway between 103rd Street and the Watts Towers Art Center Campus, as well as a Visitors Center to celebrate the cultural history of the Watts Community.
Design coming soon!
This project is supported in part by an award from
the National Endowment for the Arts.
If you have questions about the project, or would like more information,
please contact WLCAC at 323.563.5639.
The Watts Our Town Project includes esteemed partners:

Title VI Compliance

WLCAC se ha comprometido a ofrecer excelente servicio al cliente y alta calidad de atención sin ser descriminado. Cualquier persona que sienta que ha sido discriminado en base a raza,color u origen nacional por WLCAC puede presentar una queja bajo Título VI completando elformulario disponible en la parte de abajo de esta pagina.

WLCAC is committed to providing excellent customer service and quality of care on a non-discriminatory basis.  Any person who feels they have been discriminated against on the basis of race, color, or national origin by WLCAC may file a Title VI complaint by completing the form provided below.