sweet alice harris photo credit- leroy hamilton copy

Photo Credit: Leroy Hamilton

A community organizer through and through, Sweet Alice Harris is an icon in Watts. Her work has improved the wellbeing of the neighborhood and inspired many young people to pursue higher education.

Harris herself came from a background of hardship—she was a mother by the age of 14, homeless by 16, and had moved from Detroit to Los Angeles to care for her ailing mother. The individuals who helped her through her adversity growing up inspired her to pay it forward, and she has done so and more. After the Watts Revolt, Harris opened her house as headquarters to help rebuild the community. A mother of seven, she later founded the Black and Brown Committee with the purpose of creating a connection between Black and Latino neighbors. Today, the organization is called Parents of Watts and is an influential and positive community asset, operating more than 15 programs. POW provides emergency food and shelter, family counseling, tutoring, parenting classes, employment training, literacy courses, college and career preparation, and housing assistance for anyone who needs it.

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