Equal Action Officially Launches the Los Angeles Worm Farm Collective

Starting an Anti-Oppressive Collective Business in LA

Equal Action is launching a new project called the Los Angeles Worm Farm Collective, a small business in which we produce worms, worm castings, and worm tea that people and organizations can use as natural fertilizers to grow their own food and plants. In this business, all the workers are business partners who own the business equally (rather than being owned by people with money who do not do the actual work) and work within a clearly-defined nonhierarchical, collective structure (rather than some of us being bosses and some of us being employees).

We want to offer better job opportunities for those who may experience limited options and oppression in the workplace, including queer and trans* folks, youth and young adults, people of color, and those from low-income and working class communities. Together, we are developing a business in which workers:

  • engage in meaningful work that harnesses community strengths to improve community health and quality of life
  • make decisions about how our work is done and how our organization is run
  • contribute to an anti-oppressive work environment that allows us to be our best selves
  • receive training and gain the skills required to actively participate in an anti-oppressive, cooperatively-owned, collectively-run vermicomposting business

Ultimately, we want to contribute to the growth of the alternative economies movement in Southern California by trying out our own business and then supporting each other and others in realizing a variety of community-minded business ideas. Some ideas we have thrown around include a coffeeshop, a power tool library, a kitchen tool library, a childcare collective, and safe space dance parties. Throughout history, there are so many ways that our queer and trans*, people of color, and low-income communities have worked together, shared resources, and cared for each other. We want to continue these legacies.

Building a New Worm Farm

LA Worm Farm Collective
Don Martinez guides the Los Angeles Worm Farm Collective on how they might set up their new worm farm in Frogtown

We first experimented with the most common method of worm farming – throwing vegetable and paper scraps into a worm bin – to discover that this system yielded an insufficient amount of worms, worm castings, and worm tea for a small business. We are now constructing a sophisticated new farm with the generous mentorship of Don Martinez, a worm farmer with a successful commercial/community operation in Pasadena. Our new worm farm setup will better mimic worms’ natural environment so that the worms will consume organic matter, produce excrement, and reproduce with each other at higher rates.

Want to support us as we set up our new worm farm? We are currently seeking the following equipment:

  • compost tumbler
  • compost bins
  • tarp
  • wheel barrow

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation of any of these items to Equal Action, please contact Stephanie at svan@equalaction.org. We are also open to purchasing equipment at low-cost or trading.

While the website for the Los Angeles Worm Farm Collective is under construction, you can check out our (very recent) past life at lawormfarmcoop.wordpress.com. Subscribe to this site to stay tuned, and we’ll migrate you over when we launch the new website.

Thanks for your support as we embark on this exciting journey into youth-oriented, qtpoc (queer trans* people of color) collective business in LA!

OUTspoken Sessions Celebrates Its 5-Year Anniversary on Friday, June 6

July 2009: The first OUTspoken Sessions, hosted by Nicholas Dorsey and Bay Nguyen

In 2009, Equal Action decided to create a consistent space for queer and ally youth to express themselves, develop their political identities, and build a creative activist community. That summer, we launched OUTspoken Sessions, a monthly open mic and safe space for LGBTQ and ally youth 19 and under.

Since then, OUTspoken Sessions has provided a platform for hundreds of trans*, queer, and ally youth and adult artists and spotlighted the work of dozens of community groups. We have also evolved in many ways, most recently becoming a bimonthly open mic that welcomes all ages while remaining youth-centered.

October 2012: Erin Davis presents the live art she painted during that night’s OUTspoken Sessions

We invite you to join us as we celebrate our 5-year anniversary!

OUTspoken Sessions: 5-Year Anniversary

Friday, June 6, 2014
UCLA Labor Center
675 S Park View St, LA 90057

Featured Artists:
For the very first time, all the OUTspoken Sessions organizers will be sharing pieces – Claudia Chen, Sergio Aguilar, Kimler Gutierrez, Stephanie Chen, Antoinette Reyes, Stephanie Van, and our wonderful MC, Dahlia Ferlito!

Community Spotlight:
Our generous home, the UCLA Labor Center

 As always, arrive by 6:30pm to sign up for the open mic.

August 2013: Claudia Chen cuts Kimler Gutierrez' hair, which he had been growing in the name of marriage equality in CA since 2008.
August 2013: Claudia Chen cuts Kimler Gutierrez’ hair, which he had been growing in the name of marriage equality in California since 2008.

Entrance + food = $3
No one will be turned away due to a lack of funds

Public Transportation: Westlake/MacArthur Park Metro Rail Station and bus lines 18, 603, 487/489, 26/51/52/352, 200, 720, 29

Questions? Contact Dahlia at dferlito@equalaction.org.

OUTspoken Sessions is a queer youth-oriented open mic and safe space. All ages and loving identities are welcomed to attend.

OUTspoken Sessions: Friday, April 4 (feat. Yumi Sakugawa and the Zine Workshop)

Are you interested in learning about zines and DIY (do-it-yourself) culture? Want to be able to express your views, educate, and be educated?

Come to our experimental *OUTspoken Sessions Open Mic + Zine Workshop on Friday, April 4th, from 6:30-9pm, at the UCLA Labor Center (675 S Park View St, LA 90057).

After our regular open mic and featured artist performances, students from Pitzer College’s Asian American and Queer Zines Class will lead a FREE workshop about personal and political zines, DIY culture, and how to make a zine.

Featured Artist


Yumi Sakugawa is a Southern Californian comic book artist and the author of I THINK I AM IN FRIEND-LOVE WITH YOU.  Her work often deals with themes of transcendence, meditation, outer space exploration, reincarnation, memory and personal identity. A regular contributor to the Rumpus and a graduate of the fine art program of University of California, Los Angeles, Yumi is currently working on an anthology of short comic stories. She also loves good coffee and the pursuit of the perfect Los Angeles taco.

Due to our love of creative forms of collective care and healing justice, Equal Action is particularly captivated by Yumi’s Illustrated Meditation Guides.

As always, arrive by 6:30pm to sign up for the open mic.

Questions? Contact Dahlia at dferlito@equalaction.org.

Entrance + food = $3
No one will be turned away due to a lack of funds!

*OUTspoken Sessions is a queer youth-oriented open mic and safe space. All ages and loving identities are welcomed to attend.

Equal Action’s New Website!

Hey all, Kimler here!

The old site was getting dusty so we decided to spruce up the place!

Please bear with the mess while we put things in place.  We will keep posting our latest news and announcements here!

If you have any questions please free to contact me at kgutierrez@equalaction.org. For questions about OUTspoken Sessions, please contact Dahlia at dferlito@equalaction.org.

Check us out on Facebook!