More than 2,000 community leaders — elected officials, constituents, business owners and local organizations — gathered at Bovard Auditorium on the University Park Campus on Jan. 19 for the 21st annual Empowerment Congress Summit, a public event designed to engage Angelenos in high-level civic dialogues. The event coincided with the holiday weekend celebrating the birthday of civil rights pioneer Martin Luther King Jr.
USC President C. L. Max Nikias gave opening remarks, commending Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas PhD ’89 on founding the Empowerment Congress.
“More than two decades ago, it was the vision of this Trojan to … realize the potential of the community’s citizens through civic engagement and civic discourse,” Nikias said. “He recognized that true empowerment only begins when citizens and communities believe they can make a difference.”
The event also included a mayoral debate with the five LA mayoral candidates: City Council President Eric Garcetti, City Controller Wendy Greuel, Kevin James, City Councilwoman Jan Perry and Emanuel Pleitez.
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