A cover image reading: Behind Closed Doors: How the Los Angeles City Council Recording is a Case Study in the Exercise of Political Power through Racism in the U.S.

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Behind Closed Doors | Part 1

This four-part webinar series took place from December 2022 to March 2023. It was hosted by the USC Price School and its Center for Inclusive Democracy, the California Black Freedom Fund, the Latino Community Foundation, and the AAPI Civic Engagement Fund.

The first part of these moderated sessions explored the entrenchment of racism in U.S. politics, and its impact on political power and representation in communities. Titled “Behind Closed Doors,” these sessions served as a public space for open and challenging conversations examining the nation’s entrenched relationship between racism and politics, a situation recently brought further into the spotlight by the secret recording of a meeting of Los Angeles City Council members making racist remarks. 

“The leaked recording in Los Angeles was just the tip of an ever-present iceberg, providing a very public example of just how deeply rooted racism is in our electoral system and overall power structures,” said CID Director Mindy Romero. “It’s time to have more candid, elevated and open discussions about these realities and what can be done to meaningly address them moving forward.”  

Watch the full video below, or click here to watch the webinar highlights.


Mindy Romero, Founder and Director, Center for Inclusive Democracy, USC Price


  • Manuel Pastor, Distinguished Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity and Turpanjian Chair in Civil Society and Social Change, USC Dornsife
  • Odilia Romero, Executive Director, Comunidades Indigenas en Liderazgo (CIELO)
  • Erika D. Smith, Columnist, Los Angeles Times