Saturday, July 11, 2020
Youth join together to battle racial tension
By Sentinel News Service
Published October 1, 2009

Youth join together to battle racial tension

Phi’LA actors during rehearsal practice – Brittani Tilford for Sentinel

Phi’LA actors enjoying a moment during rehearsal practice – Brittani Tilford for Sentinel

The Speakes 4 Them Foundation in collaboration with Jesse Jackson and Rainbow PUSH-LA are proud to present the highly anticipated stage play, “Phi’LA The Musical!”

With racial tensions and violence between African-Americans and Latinos greatly increasing among LA’s youth, high school performing arts students have a powerful message of racial unity to share.

Written by Los Angeles Unified School Teacher, Jamal Y. Speakes, Sr., “Phi’LA The Musical” addresses overwrought racial contention and its’ affect on friendship and family for the diverse teenagers of Los Angeles.

Part “High School Musical”, part “Romeo & Juliet” with a dose of Hip-Hop and Spanish melodies, “Phi’LA” is the social story of a naive, Black teenager who moves to Los Angeles from

Philadelphia. He is confronted with racism and is threatened because of romantic interest in a Latina classmate. As tensions in the community rise, his street-wise younger brother takes matters into his own hands and fate forces the collision of two diverse worlds. This “edutainment” experience confronts prejudices, sparks debate and evokes change in the community.

The audience is taken on a journey that will push the envelope, spark debate and ultimately evoke change in the community.

Racial gang violence is an epidemic that the youth of Los Angeles have learned to accept; it has become a part of everyday life. According to the Gang statistics of Los Angeles, in 2008 there were 328 homicides in the city and 190 of them were gang related.

The cultural and communication gap between African-Americans and Latinos continues to increase among Los Angeles youth … but solutions do exist.

The play will reach an estimated 7,000 students during its performance at the Nokia Theater and the newly renovated ICM Foundation Performing Arts Center, October 12-18, 2009.

Since the premiere production last spring, “Phi’LA” has gained the support of a diverse group of community organizations and political leaders like Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa and the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr. of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition Inc., who have become some of our strongest proponents.

The foundation would also like to present an unconventional marketing opportunity for companies to promote their organization or brand in conjunction with an upcoming stage play production.

The Speakes 4 Them Foundation (the parent non-profit of Phi LA The Musical!) is looking for companies who are interested in supporting this production and cause through donation or sponsorship to advance the goals of upcoming stage plays and productions.

For more information please visit



Categories: Theater

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