Youth-led tours aim to raise pride of North, West and Washington neighborhoods through storytelling

A new youth-led tour series that explores areas of North, West and the Washington neighborhoods of Long Beach kicks off this week, offering people the opportunity to learn the cultural and structural history of these less-explored areas of the city through the perspective of those who have grown up there.

The free tours were designed by youth participants of the My Hood, My City storytelling program that launched last summer in collaboration with the Youth Leadership Institute and the city of Long Beach.

The program worked with young people, ages 14-24, from communities of color living in neighborhoods that have experienced disproportionate incidents of violence, poverty and hardships from COVID-19. The goal of the program was to create a storytelling experience that raises awareness and knowledge of these areas while also honoring their cultural makeup.

Participants in the walking tour will be led by youth from the My Hood, My City program who will share personal and informational stories pertaining to the neighborhoods. Afterward, guests will get to see a digital showcase of photos, videos and other visual works created and curated by the My Hood, My City youth that further tells the story of their community.

The length of the tours vary between 20-40 minutes, with tours beginning at a library or business before venturing into the neighborhood. The tours are free to attend, though RSVP is required. Click here to register.

Schedule is as follows:

  • Washington: El Sol Bakery Plus (1503 Magnolia Ave.)
    • Thursday, Oct. 20, 4:30 to 6 p.m.
  • West Long Beach: Bret Harte Library (1595 W. Willow St.)
    • Saturday, Oct. 22, 3:30 to 5 p.m.
  • North Long Beach: Michelle Obama Library (5870 Atlantic Ave.)
    • Friday, Oct. 28, 4 to 6 p.m.


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Cheantay Jensen is reporter and award-winning videographer who covers entertainment, art, food and culture for the Hi-lo section of the Long Beach Post. And sometimes breaking news, you know, just to keep things interesting.