Apr 272019
 archive : Photoville LA

East Side Stories: Journey towards Justice, Past and Present

Joseph Rodriguez

Joseph Rodriguez

Join Joseph Rodríguez, Ruben Martinez, Dr. Jesse De La Cruz, and Rubén Martínez for a powerful educational discussion on gang violence, juvenile justice and re-entry into Los Angeles communities.

Presenters: Joseph Rodriguez Rubén Martínez Dr. Jesse De La Cruz

Location: Annenberg Space for Photography

Presented by:

  • United Photo Industries (UPI)

Join documentary photographer and educator Joseph Rodríguez, award-winning writer Ruben Martinez, and former gang member, heroin addict, criminal, renowned Court Qualified Gang expert, author, community activist and educator Dr. Jesse De La Cruz for a powerful educational discussion on gang violence, juvenile justice and re-entry into Los Angeles communities. Joseph Rodríguez and Ruben Martinez have documented stories like Jesse’s and many others, redefining their narratives in the public eye. They’ll discuss their own experiences, show visual work, and open it up to audience questions.

Presenter Bios

  • Joseph Rodriguez

    Joseph Rodriguez

    Joseph Rodríguez is a documentary photographer born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He studied photography at the School of Visual Arts and in the Photojournalism and Documentary Photography Program at the International Center of Photography.

    His work has been published by National Geographic, The New York Times Magazine, Mother Jones, Newsweek, New York Magazine, Esquire, Stern, BBC News, and New America Media. He has received awards and grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, USC Annenberg Institute for Justice and Journalism, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fund for Investigative Journalism, and others. He has authored eight books of photography, including East Side Stories: Gang Life in East Los Angeles, Juvenile, and Taxi: Journey Through My Windows 1977–1987, all published by powerHouse Books.

    Joseph is represented by Galerie Bene Taschen, Cologne, Germany. His work has been exhibited at Aperture Gallery; Reva and David Logan Gallery for Documentary Photography at the Graduate School of Journalism, Berkeley, CA; and the Bronx Documentary Center.

    He has been a visiting artist at many universities in the Americas and Europe and taught at New York University Tisch School of the Arts and The International Center of Photography.

  • Rubén Martínez

    Rubén Martínez

    Rubén Martínez is a writer, performer, and teacher. He holds the Fletcher Jones Chair in Literature and Writing at Loyola Marymount University, and he is an artist-in-residence at Stanford University’s Institute for Diversity in the Arts.

    He is the author of Desert America: A Journey Across Our Most Divided Landscape and Crossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail, and other titles.

    An Emmy Award-winning journalist, his essays, opinions and reportage have appeared in such publications as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, Boom: A Journal of California, Salon, The Village Voice, The Nation, SPIN, Sojourners, and Mother Jones.

    He is the recipient of a Lannan Foundation Fellowship, the Loeb Fellowship from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, a Freedom of Information Award from the ACLU and a Greater Press Club of Los Angeles Award of Excellence.

  • Dr. Jesse De La Cruz

    Dr. Jesse De La Cruz

    Dr. Jesse De La Cruz was raised in the barrios of California. At the age of 12, he began a journey that led him to join a neighborhood street gang, heroin addiction, prison and eventual membership into a violent prison gang. He served approximately 30 years in numerous California State Prisons from Soledad to San Quentin. After his final release from Folsom State Prison on April 2, 1996, Dr. De La Cruz committed himself to a residential drug treatment program in June 1996 and has been clean and sober ever since.

    In the spring of 1997, Dr. De La Cruz enrolled in a community college. He had not attended school since his December 1968 expulsion from high school as a sophomore student. In 2001, he graduated with his Baccalaureate Degree in Sociology. From there he went on to obtain a Masters of Social Work Degree in 2003. After a seven-year hiatus, he returned to college and obtained the highest degree possible in his chosen field, an Educational Doctorate (Ed.D) at California State University, Stanislaus in 2014. His dissertation was a study of gang members titled: Mexican American/Chicanos Gang Members’ Voice on Social Control in the Context of School and Community: A Critical Ethnographic Case Study in the City of Stockton, CA.

    In 2011, Dr. De La Cruz published his memoir Detoured: My Journey from Darkness to Light which chronicles his involvement in gangs, drugs and eventual incarceration. He has lectured students, teachers, and community leaders about his experiences with gangs, drugs, crime, and our immense judicial and prison system and gives possible solutions.

    A natural storyteller, Dr. De La Cruz reveals during his presentations a deep and rich understanding of the causes and conditions that bring about gang involvement, criminal behavior, drug addiction and our nation’s huge incarceration problem.


  • United Photo Industries (UPI)

    United Photo Industries (UPI)

    United Photo Industries (UPI) is a New York based nonprofit organization that works to promote a wider understanding of, and increased access to, the art of photography.

    Since its founding in 2011, UPI has rapidly solidified its position in the public art landscape by continuing to showcase thought-provoking, challenging, and exceptional photography from across the globe. In its first seven years, UPI has presented the work of more than 2,500 visual artists in gallery exhibitions and public art installations worldwide.

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