Southeast, San Diego is home to a unique grassroots project called Reclaiming the Community (RTC). This project is comprised of community activists and artists in San Diego from a variety of political positions, races and ethnicities, religious orientations, and, importantly, gang affiliations.


The RTC movement was founded by local business owner and community leader, Tau Baraka in response to the murder of Courtney Graham in 2010. Since then, the movement has continued to adapt and grow and is now made up of a larger coalition of people from a variety of different, longstanding, and well-respected organizations. The activism of the RTC movement has embodied the notion of community control by mandating that local residents be the ones who regulate the administration of education, political representation, and, importantly, criminal justice.


The underlying goal of all liberation movements has been what many people call "self-determination." Self-determination in the most fundamental sense is defined as the right of members of a group to govern themselves and choose their own destiny. In the long history of liberation movements for African Americans and other people of color in the United States, this notion of self-determination has been translated to another highly important term, "community control." The RTC movement understands that global change mandates robust progressive action at the local level.