You’re invited to experience the real LA

For changework, local context is essential.

And you can’t get that context from a simple site visit. What you need is an insight visit that shows you how all of the pieces fit together to create lasting change. That’s the inspiration for LA Inside & Out.

LA Inside & Out tours are deep-dive immersion experiences thoughtfully designed in collaboration with community leaders across Los Angeles. Each half-day tour takes you on a journey of social innovation into the heart of LA’s most dynamic neighborhoods where you’ll have the chance to participate like a local rather than just observe as an outsider.

Registration will open later this summer for the limited-space tours, all of which take place the morning of November 14 before Upswell officially kicks off.  If you ask us, we can’t think of a better reason to arrive in LA early!

Learn more about LA Inside & Out:

LA Inside & Out Tours

Historic Filipinotown

Just west of downtown LA, Historic Filipinotown (HiFi) is one of the city’s most bustling, culturally rich, and ethnically diverse communities. You’re invited to jump in a Jeepney for a two-hour arts, culture, and equitable development driving tour. You’ll learn about the creative side of addressing gentrification, explore a lively affordable housing community space, and meet the organizers leading movements focused on workers’ rights, human trafficking, and immigration justice. Learn more.

Skid Row

You’ve heard that homelessness is one of the most devastating challenges facing LA. On the front lines, the Downtown Women’s Center and Skid Row Housing Trust are rapidly innovating their way toward a better future. On this tour, you’ll get to know formerly homeless residents and experience firsthand how groundbreaking approaches to permanent housing are transforming lives.

Little Tokyo

Only three Japantowns still exist in the United States, and Los Angeles’ 134-year-old Little Tokyo isn’t just persevering – it’s thriving. Thanks to a community-driven sustainability initiative, Little Tokyo will be healthy, equitable, and culturally rich for generations to come. On this tour, you’ll explore the impact of public redevelopment and investment projects, taste some of Little Tokyo’s most delicious food, and experience the community’s vibrant arts scene. Learn more.

Southeast LA

The Southeast Los Angeles Collaborative is comprised of eleven agencies that leverage their expertise to support and empower local residents in 10 different municipalities and unincorporated areas. You’ll meet the Collaborative members who work together to improve nonprofit capacity and increase civic engagement in local communities. Over lunch, you’ll learn about regional issues dive into pressing issues like regionalism, social justice, equity, local accountability and collective impact. Learn more.


Sitting at the edge of the gorgeous San Gabriel Mountains, Pasadena might be best known as the home of the Rose Bowl. But the town has a fascinating social history that has been shaped by wealth, war, and major demographic shifts. You’ll explore sites in Pasadena with a special focus on local African-American community and culture. Throughout the day, you’ll meet longtime residents and nonprofit/philanthropic partners who will share stories of the past, the future, heroes, politics, and resounding community strength. Learn more.

El Monte

There’s a poetic quality to the words “El Monte Transit Center – One of the busiest bus stations west of the Mississippi.” That’s where you’ll start your tour of El Monte, 17 miles east of downtown L.A. and home to a collective of multi-year, place-based initiatives that aim to create a college-going culture and healthier neighborhoods among its predominantly Latino and Asian immigrant families. After exploring vibrant community spaces, your tour makes its way to the Jeff Seymour Family Center, a former elementary school that now acts as a bustling hub for a dozen nonprofit agencies. Learn more.

Downtown LA

You don’t have to venture far from the InterContinental to experience some of Los Angeles’ most important history. Join Walk Ambassador and historian Victoria Bernal of @LAHistory on a journey that honors women whose influence and leadership shaped today’s LA. You’ll chart a course through a series of historic downtown sites where well-known (and not so well-known women) left their marks. Learn more.

Magnolia Community Initiative

You’re invited to visit a groundbreaking community where children from LA’s most vulnerable neighborhoods are shattering records for success in their education, health milestones, and the family economic stability. You’ll explore the Pico Union, West Adams and the North Figueroa Corridor neighborhoods just south west of downtown Los Angeles and learn how building neighborhood resiliency and civic engagement goes far beyond the traditional multi-service strategy of neighborhood change. Learn more.

Leimert Park

LA native and Oscar-nominated director John Singleton calls Leimert Park “the black Greenwich Village.” The neighborhood, once home to Ella Fitzgerald and Ray Charles, is widely regarded as the thriving epicenter of African American arts and humanities in LA. On a walking tour, you’ll meet local residents, business owners, and artist. And, if you’re up for it, you’ll participate in an immersive arts experience, too! Learn more.

Arts District/Industrial Corridor

How are the arts and the green economy interwoven? This tour will show you! First, you’ll visit Homeboy Electronics Recycling, a social enterprise that provides on-the-job training and employment for men and women who face significant barriers to employment. Then, you’ll explore the Los Angeles Cleanteach Incubator (LACI), a nonprofit organization that accelerates the development of cleantech start-ups. Learn more.