June 20, 2019 

By Danny J. Bakewell Sr. and Jeffery T.D. Wallace 


Bakewell Media, owner of the Los Angeles Sentinel and LA Watts Times, in partnership with LeadersUp, a proven talent development accelerator, are teaming up to tackle the staggeringly high unemployment rate among mid-career African Americans, young adults and other people of color in South Los Angeles.


The two companies have aligned their missions to identify and unite corporate and civic leaders, celebrities and other influencers to create pathways to full-time jobs with benefits to ensure that South L.A. residents capitalize on job opportunities generated by major infrastructure projects, including the Automated People Mover, civil service, and construction related to Super Bowl 2022 and the 2028 Summer Olympics.


With access to jobs and resources, South L.A.’s unemployed represent $500 million in untapped economic potential for L.A. County. South Los Angeles currently has an unemployment rate 39 percent higher than the national average.  Deemed unacceptable, the two companies merged, launching an ongoing movement convening dignitaries, celebrities, CEOs, community leaders and other influencers, who can move the needle as it relates to economic empowerment of South L.A. residents.


“LeadersUp is honored to partner with the Sentinel in helping to elevate the talent and opportunities that are right here in South L.A.,” president and CEO of LeadersUp, Jeffery T.D. Wallace said. “We look forward to shifting the narrative on what is possible for communities in South L.A. and help drive the economic growth by investing in the young people who will shape the future of Los Angeles.”


LeadersUp will identify, train and connect diverse talent with employer partners, including members of LeadersUp’s Fair Chance Coalition of companies that have adopted inclusive hiring practices such as #banthebox, to consider a candidate’s qualification and not their arrest or conviction record. At Taste of Soul Family Festival, on October 19, LeadersUp will host the Taste of Opportunity jobs pavilion again this year. Job-seekers will be able to speak with employment counselors and register to attend the LeadersUp Future at Work Summit the following week. There, job-seekers will have a chance to interview and get hired on the spot for careers in transportation, construction, retail, healthcare, technology, and entertainment.


“It’s time for a CALL TO ACTION. There are opportunities to advance the conversation, practices and outcomes for our future workforce. If talent is left behind or remains disconnected, all communities throughout Los Angeles will suffer. Connecting the talent and potential of South L.A. residents to our growing economy is a true investment in the future of Los Angeles. It’s not too late; in fact, it’s about time,” said Bakewell, Sr.


About LeadersUp


Established in 2013 by the Starbucks Corp. and forward-thinking business leaders, LeadersUp is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit and talent development accelerator that works to address the burgeoning opportunity divide and national youth unemployment crisis. LeadersUp provides professional development training and career opportunities via its Future at Work Summits in Chicago, Los Angeles and the Bay Area/Silicon Valley, to connect young adults who are out of work and not in school with employers in need of talent.



For the last five years, uplifting the untapped potential of young adults has been a social and economic imperative that the organization has been committed to by addressing business -hiring needs with a pipeline of ready-to-work young adults. For more information, visit leadersup.org.



About LA Sentinel


LA Sentinel, owned by Danny J. Bakewell, Sr., president & CEO of Bakewell Media, is an 86-year-old African American Newspaper and multi-media hub, embedded in the heart of South Los Angeles’ Black Community.  Bakewell is also a civil rights and community activist, and entrepreneur who is committed to the improvement of the community, the welfare of the youth, and lowering the unemployment statistics of African Americans and other people of color. 

Category: Business