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Public voting in the the 2020 My LA2050 Grants Challenge has been postponed until Monday, July 13, 2020.

Check out the finalists!

LA2050

Happenings

Our 2020 Time Capsule — Starring You!

Posted June 23, 2020 by Team LA2050

2020 is already deserving of a whole chapter in history books and guess what? It's only half over.

To commemorate this momentous season, we are putting together a digital time capsule and we need your help. Send us a picture that sums up your 2020 so far: your empty train on your way to your essential job, the sidewalk art you've done with your kids, the homemade masks you've worn to march in the streets. Whatever you have, send it in with a few words about why it sums up 2020 for you.

You can submit your photos in any way that's easiest for you:

Use this form

Tag @LA2050 on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter

Use the hashtag #2020TimeCapsule

We'll share our favorite stories on social media and highlight you in our 2020 time capsule video. And then we'll all look back and marvel at how we lived through this historic time.

The 2020 My LA2050 Finalists Adapt to COVID-19

Posted June 13, 2020 by Team LA2050

Our 2020 My LA2050 Grants Challenge finalists completed their submissions before we had full information about the longer-term trajectory of COVID-19. Today, our communities are hurting in different ways due to the economic impacts of the crisis and it appears that large group events won't resume for a while. With that in mind, we reached out to the finalist organizations and asked them how they will modify their proposals in these circumstances. Read on to see how organizations are pivoting.

CONNECT

Creative Acts is preparing to bring its Art Attacks program into juvenile camps virtually. The core programming will stay the same: using activities and lessons rooted in the arts to help students find their voice, harness its power, and become civically engaged members of their communities.

Boyle Heights Beat / Radio Pulso is continuing with its programming virtually. Mentors continue to meet with students on Zoom calls and students report and conduct interviews online and by phone. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty of the future, the organization will focus its storytelling and reporting to highlight the changing and emerging needs of the community resulting from the pandemic and its economic, mental, and social aftermath.

LA Forward understands that it has never been more important to provide regular Angelenos with resources and tools to advocate for policies that ensure a just and equitable recovery. The organization's LA 101 proposal already relied largely on digital materials and distribution, but the community workshops planned for 2021 will be converted into Zoom meetings, broadening the range of people who can participate and allowing for easy recording and distribution.

Ready to Succeed's community-building programming, workshops, and events for RTS Scholars and SFLA youth will now take place via virtual engagement opportunities. Digital programming will allow RTS to directly serve more youth, increasing the number of students served from 90 to 155, and reach even more youth with digital content such as videos.

Union Station Homeless Services' Community Allies program believes that creating opportunities for authentic human connection is more important than ever in light of COVID-19. The organization has adapted its programming and expanded opportunities for virtual connection through new pilot initiatives such as “Phone Pals," in which new friendships are facilitated over the phone.

CREATE

Flintridge Center will adapt and expand its Apprenticeship Preparation Program model to meet emerging community needs and address disparities. Instructors will facilitate the program virtually over 7 weeks; in addition to individualized support, program participants will receive the necessary technology to complete the course, industry-recognized credentials, and weekly stipends. Recognizing that there may be potentially fewer opportunities in union construction because of the pandemic, program scope will expand to support individuals in seeking employment in emerging industries.

Grid110 has successfully pivoted to an online program model, while still offering the same curriculum, resources, and support for its entrepreneurs. The proposed South LA programs will launch in part or entirely as an online program this summer if necessary, in addition to the organization's events, office hours, and other community-focused efforts.

LA Sanitation and Environment is adding an innovative challenge for upcycling enthusiasts to design reusable PPE with textile scrap to its HUB recycling proposal. This would create a win-win situation in both protecting the environment by reducing the amount of waste going to landfills and supporting its frontline workers.

Las Fotos Project remains focused on mutual-aid, post-COVID19 support for its students, and women-owned businesses. In the interim, the organization will begin the launch of its project by supporting students and women-owned businesses with safe, at-home product photography services in the upcoming months until the Foto Student can be safely and adequately opened in person.

Lost Angels Children's Project began a campaign for hunger relief in April 2020, providing 2000 meals per week to over 200 families. In the next phase of CA reopening, LACP hopes to bring back its cohort of 10 students who are learning the Industrial Arts through Good Life Mfg., using social distancing and PPE to ensure students stay safe.

LEARN

The Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) is providing support to families experiencing hardships with the following services and programs: the Immigrant Families Fund, food distribution, virtual legal services, and information distribution. CARECEN will be there to ensure that its community recovers and thrives in spite of this crisis.

The Los Angeles Audubon Society has increased its organizational capacity by adapting existing programming into online environmental education activities that provide ways for students, teachers, and community members to stay connected to nature and STEAM learning The organization plans to further expand its online learning opportunities in the coming school year, blending guided science and art activities that promote a connection to nature at school, at home, and in local neighborhoods.

Southern California College Access Network's counseling staff was quick to transition to remote advising. Project SOAR counselors have maintained contact with students through texting, phone conversations, email, and video conferencing. The staff is also in the process of building out a text messaging and artificial intelligence platform that will be integrated into Project SOAR advising practices this summer and into AY 2020-2021. The organization will return to in-person, socially distanced advising on-site once cleared to do so.

Pediatric Therapy Network continues to deliver exceptional high-quality early education and therapeutic programming. PTN migrated nearly all of its programs to a telehealth platform, including the Best We Can Be early intervention and parent support programs. In addition, the team developed relevant, digitally accessible resources for families isolated at home that can be accessed for free via its website and YouTube channel.

Reading Partners is providing bilingual content-rich virtual resources to families, students, and schools via online platforms and text, including biweekly live storytime for students. While all of its school partners have requested the onsite presence of staff during the next school year, the organization will also continue to provide remote, individualized tutoring to students.

LIVE

Crop Swap LA will require its staff to wear masks, gloves, and to evaluate themselves as to whether they are healthy enough to assist in garden installations. Only minimal staff/volunteers are to be present for installations, and interactions with the home residents will remain scarce. The West Adams Farmers Market also continues to run with approval from the city having visited to observe containment tactics.

Jenesse Center, Inc. has responded swiftly to continue to provide clients with services, switching to virtual formats to connect with clients when possible. During the pandemic, Jenesse is also experiencing an unprecedented number of calls to its crisis hotline. In response, the organization has added phone lines to assist callers, contracted with two local hotels to house survivors, and hired 5 additional Case Managers and one Client Service Specialist.

Safe Parking LA will activate a series of grassroots volunteer opportunities as planned. In response to the current landscape, Neighbors for Home activities will move forward with some modifications. The organization will work with partners as they are willing and available while shifting its focus to building a stronger community engagement infrastructure and developing a neighborhood volunteer community through networking and digital outreach.

Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE) understands eviction prevention has become an even higher priority as the COVID-19 pandemic. Its easy-to-use and multi-lingual online resources and tools can help tenants effectively document and respond to issues of harassment and slum housing conditions - two major drivers of displacement.

Clinica Msr. Oscar A. Romero is on the front lines of the health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, playing a key role in both prevention and diagnosis of the virus. The clinic aims to: purchase equipment to provide primary care and mental health services through telehealth, provide remote health education related to COVID-19 for high-risk groups and educate underserved community members, provide sanitation supplies to homeless patients visiting its site for weekly showers, and facilitate medication delivery for high-risk patients.

PLAY

The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks is shifting location of its mobile programming to serve LA city parks that are not offering Summer 2020 Youth Programs. Approximately 30 sites will host the vans this summer, with programs focused on outdoor activities that allow for social distancing such as field hockey, tennis, and track and field.

The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation is currently evaluating the Gonzales Park project completion timeline and at this time, there have been no changes made to the project scope or design. The organization envisions a significant grand opening celebration in spring 2021 honoring Jackie Robinson and uplifting the Compton community.

Los Angeles Maritime Institute's Ocean Adventure Together Program launches in July 2020. If outdoor gathering is permitted, LAMI will follow capacity guidelines and, if necessary, reduce the number of participants and increase the number of events and voyages offered. If not, LAMI is prepared to create enjoyable, immersive, and educational virtual adaptations of engagement plans, and suspending in-person activities until it is safe to do so.

Public Matters knows that traffic safety has become more urgent due to the pandemic as people who walk, bike and roll are using streets differently for outdoor recreation. The organization will enhance the project's digital mapping and communication products for community mobilization, education, training, and to promote social cohesion and will also adapt public performances and events for safe distancing.


The Urban Warehouse switched its after-school programming to online, virtual programming. For example, the organization is now using an online “Game of Skate" Zoom program, providing one-on-one tutoring online, and holding digital entrepreneurial workshops. The organization has also been responding to increased need in the community during its Food Bank Fridays.

Celebrating and Learning on Juneteenth

Posted June 13, 2020 by

In honor of Juneteenth this week, and in light of the ongoing fight for racial equality in our country, we wanted to elevate a few educational resources, events, and articles related to this often overlooked holiday. While organizations like Twitter and Square recently adopted Juneteenth as a company holiday, not enough people understand the historical significance of June 19th for Black Americans and descendents of slavery, and some states still do not recognize it as a holiday. As we continue conversations about systemic and structural racism in our city and beyond, we'll be using Juneteenth as an opportunity to educate ourselves further.

If you're looking for historical background on Juneteenth, check out these resources:

The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth

Nine Things to Know About the History of Juneteenth

What is Juneteenth?

Local Events:

Pies for Justice - Juneteenth Charity Bake Sale

Six Nineteen - Movement for Black Lives Events in Culver City, Thousand Oaks, and more

Juneteenth Community Bicycle Ride - Inner City Cycling Connection

Juneteenth Celebration for Teens with the Los Angeles Public Library - Watts Branch


Books about Juneteenth and the history that follows:

Stony the Road, Henry Louis Gates

Juneteenth, Ralph Ellison

All Different Now, Angela Johnson

We Were Eight Years in Power, Ta-Nehisi Coates


Other Good Reads:

A Juneteenth of Joy and Resistance

You can find more resources to assist Angelenos who are interested in learning more about anti-racism work and taking concrete action in our racial justice resource blog. It includes recommendations for reading and listening, ideas for how to get involved, and "know your rights" information for protesters.

Resources in the fight for racial justice

Posted June 10, 2020 by Team LA2050

The following resources are here to help Angelenos who are interested in learning more about anti-racism and taking action in support of the Black community. We've compiled these resources from our partners in Los Angeles, frontline advocacy organizations, and leaders in the fight for racial justice; we acknowledge that it is not an exhaustive list, but just a start.

If you know of other resources, please submit them through this form. Note: LA2050 is not coordinating the efforts on these lists. We are compiling and amplifying the resources sent to us.


Educate yourself:


Take action:


Know your rights and care for yourself:

A Career With Impact

Posted May 28, 2020 by Amanda Liaw

We are excited to share our conversation with Michael O'Gorman, Executive Director of the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC), a national nonprofit that works with veterans to cultivate a new generation of farmers and food leaders. Michael has been farming since 1970 and first began FVC in 2008 out of the back of his pickup truck.

Q: What motivated you to start your career in social impact?

A: Even as a young kid, I've always thought about what I will do in my life that will be impactful. I farmed because I loved it but also because I wanted to do something that was real, difficult, and that would give me a platform to have an impact. Farming had no hype to it. In a way, throughout my entire farming career I have thought about impact, about the people who worked for me, and the people who ate my food. Coming after 9/11 was the convergence of two major things – men and women serving in the military who were coming from farm towns, and our farms that lacked men and women. I put two and two together and it seemed to amount to something greater. I knew I was onto something that no one else was doing and that would be impactful. But it became more than I ever imagined. And it had a major impact on me.

Q: What do you do in your current position?

A: As Executive Director I oversee the project, but I also think a lot about what we can do that will actually be of help to the most veterans. I try to assist them with any challenges. Having spent my career in agriculture, I think about veterans who want to start a life in agriculture and how we can help them succeed and stay with it.

Q: What one skill or resource has been indispensable to your career thus far?

A: As a vegetable farmer, I was attracted to the interplay of growing food and people. Vegetable production was like a team sport or group activity. People worked in unison with a common goal of creating a farm producing vegetables together. It took directing people to grow food as a communal creation. That lent itself to FVC; it's like my crew – we're all growing food together and instilling a sense of common purpose and shared joy.

Trends in the 2020 My LA2050 Grants Challenge

Posted May 28, 2020 by Megan Loughman

In this year's My LA2050 Grants Challenge, we received 285 proposals to make LA the best place to LIVE, LEARN, PLAY, CONNECT, and CREATE. We saw so many unique proposals working on every issue imaginable - civic engagement, food systems and sustainability, criminal justice reform, obesity, mental health, diversity in media, film, and television, homelessness, COVID-19 relief, and many more. If you didn't catch our last few blogs, we recapped trends in the proposals from each goal category: LIVE, LEARN, PLAY, CONNECT, and CREATE.

This week, we announced the 25 finalists in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge. Each of the finalist proposals will be up for a vote June 8th through June 15th. The results of voting will determine the size of the grant that each organization receives. But before we get to voting, here's some of the data we've gleaned from proposals to this year's grants challenge.

Types of Organizations

We're thrilled to have received 130+ more proposals than last year's grants challenge. We're grateful to every organization that participated in this year's challenge, especially given the uncertainty in our world. Of the 285 proposals we received in the challenge, 80 percent were from nonprofit organizations. About nine percent of proposals came from for-profit organizations, and another nine percent came from fiscally sponsored groups. We received five proposals from social enterprises or B-corps and three proposals from government entities. 60 percent of applicants had never applied to the grants challenge before.

Organization Size

A majority of organizations that applied to the grants challenge are on the smaller side in terms of staff with 70 percent of organizations reporting fewer than 20 employees. 43 percent of applicants are even smaller, reporting between zero and five employees. But, when it comes to organizational budgets, there was more of a range with 58 percent of applicants reporting annual operating budgets under $1 million. Of those organizations, 18 percent reported budgets in the range of $100,000 - $500,000. 42 percent of applicants have budgets greater than $1 million.

Type of Proposal

72 percent of applicants to the challenge sought funding to expand an existing program at their organization. 20 percent of proposals were seeking funding for a pilot program, and six percent were looking to fund the lateral application of a solution to a new issue area. Only one percent of proposals were seeking funding for research projects.

Regional Impact

We asked all 285 applicants to indicate which communities they would reach with their proposals. Applicants were given the option to select more than one geographic area or to select an overarching region — Los Angeles County, the City of Los Angeles, or the LAUSD. Nearly half of all proposals selected all of Los Angeles County, 38 percent of proposals selected South LA as a focus of their work, 32 percent selected Central LA, and 27 percent selected East LA.

Impact Area and Metrics

In order of popularity, the most commonly selected metrics across goal categories were:

Top Metrics

#

Goal Category

Social and emotional support

40

CONNECT

Arts education

37

LEARN

High school graduation rates

36

LEARN

College matriculation

35

LEARN

Resilient communities

26

LIVE

Volunteerism

26

CONNECT

Public arts and cultural events

25

CONNECT

Food insecurity

24

LIVE

Minority- and women-owned businesses

23

CREATE

Homelessness

21

LIVE



Next Steps

Starting on June 8th, it's up to YOU to choose which organizations win funding for their projects. Just pick your favorite project from each category, login, and vote. The organization with the most votes in each category wins $100,000 to implement their project, second place wins $50,000, third place wins $25,000, fourth place wins $15,000, and fifth place takes home $10,000. We are excited to see your picks!

Announcing the Finalists in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge

Posted May 25, 2020 by Team LA2050

After much consideration and in collaboration with our evaluation partner SVP Los Angeles, we are excited to announce the 25 finalists for the 2020 My LA2050 Grants Challenge!

Below you'll find the five finalists in each of the LA2050 goal categories: learn, create, play, connect, and live. And don't forget – you get to vote which idea receives funding of $100,000. Voting starts on June 8, so stay tuned for more information on how to best support these organizations!

Please note: Our finalists completed their submissions before we had full information about the longer-term trajectory of COVID-19. Accordingly, we are giving them an opportunity to explain how they plan to modify their proposals under the current circumstances. Their responses will be added to submission pages before public voting begins on Monday, June 8, 2020.

Finalists in the LEARN Goal Category

Organization: Central American Resource Center

Project: CARECEN's Parent and Youth Center

CARECEN promotes the human and civil rights of Central Americans and all immigrant communities through educational services, legal services, advocacy, and organizing to transform educational, immigration, and labor policies. The goal of the organization's proposal is to strengthen the capacity of its Parent and Youth Center, which provides leadership and civic engagement skills for immigrant parents and their children through teaching parents to be effective advocates for their children and offering youth academic enrichment services, college admissions assistance, and more.


Organization: Los Angeles Audubon Society

Project: Los Angeles Audubon - Urban Nature Network

Los Angeles Audubon promotes the enjoyment and protection of birds and other wildlife through outdoor education programs, bird-friendly activities, and hands-on conservation initiatives. The goal of its proposal is to expand its Urban Nature Network, which aims to grow the next generation of environmental stewards by engaging students in environmental education activities and providing a pathway for higher learning opportunities, internships, and career development.


Organizations: SoCal College Access Network

Project: Project SOAR: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Through Education

SoCal CAN is a network of 85 organizations working together to increase the rate at which low-income students access and complete college. Its proposal seeks to expand Project SOAR, which turns the college and career dreams of students living in public housing into reality by placing three counselors on five public housing sites in East and South Los Angeles to provide one-on-one college advising to 1100 students and families.


Organization: Pediatric Therapy Network

Project: Best We Can Be Early Education Program

Pediatric Therapy Network leads the way in helping children, families, and communities reach full capabilities through innovative therapy, research, and education programs. The organization seeks support in expanding its "Best We Can Be" Early Education Programs to promote school readiness and enhance functional abilities among children with, and at-risk for, developmental delays and disabilities. This project will enhance its evidence-based educational and therapeutic interventions and provide parents with the knowledge, tools, and resources they need to help their children reach their fullest potential.


Organization: Reading Partners

Project: Reading Partners LA: The Path to Fourth Grade Reading Proficiency for 1,000 Children

Reading Partners helps children become lifelong readers by empowering communities to provide individualized instruction with measurable results. The organization proposes expanding its core program to reach 1,000 students by 2022 to deepen local impact on 4th grade literacy achievement through data-informed, curriculum-driven, one-on-one volunteer tutoring.


Finalists in the CREATE Goal Category

Organization: Flintridge Center

Project: Apprenticeship Preparation Program

Flintridge Center's mission is to break the cycle of poverty and violence through community planning, innovation, and action. The organization applied for its Apprenticeship Preparation Program (APP), which prepares formerly incarcerated individuals for careers in union construction trades. The APP is an evidence-based intervention that integrates workforce development with trauma-informed care to create life-changing opportunities.


Organization: Grid110

Project: Grid110 South LA

Grid 110's mission is to foster a thriving, equitable, and inclusive community for entrepreneurs in Los Angeles. Grid110 provides free accelerator programs to early-stage founders, connecting them to a growing community of fellow entrepreneurs, mentorship, and critical resources. The organization is expanding its programs to South LA in the hopes of supporting more founders from historically marginalized communities.


Organization: LA Sanitation and the Environment

Project: LA Industry: Circular Textiles

LA Sanitation and Environment (LASAN) protects public health and the environment through three program areas: Clean Water, Solid Resources, and Watershed Protection. The organization seeks funding for LA Industry (its pollution prevention team). This project aims to create a centralized hub where material byproducts from businesses can be repurposed instead of going to landfills.


Organization: Las Fotos Project

Project: A Girl-Powered Foto Studio by Las Fotos Project

The Las Fotos Project elevates the voices of teenage girls through photography and mentorship, inspiring them to use cameras to explore their identity, advocate for their community, and create their future career. The organization proposes opening a youth-centered photography studio in the heart of Boyle Heights, where teen girls can build up their professional skills and earn an income by providing culturally relevant services for the community.


Organization: Lost Angels Children's Project

Project: Good Life Manufacturing

Lost Angels Children's Project provides low-income and at-risk youth with a safe, educational after-school program that promotes critical thinking and team-building through vocational skills training in Classic Car Restoration and Art opportunities. The organization proposes expanding Good Life Mfg., its 12-week industrial arts vocational training and skills development program that serves opportunity youth ages 18 to 24 in the Antelope Valley.


Finalists in the PLAY Goal Category


Organization: Public Matters

Project: University Park Slow Jams

Public Matters bridges the trust gap between institutions and marginalized communities of color by designing strategies that transform the culture, practice, and experience of civic participation, making it accessible to all. In collaboration with Los Angeles Walks, USC Kid Watch, and individual faculty members at USC, the organization proposes University Park Slow Jams – a multifaceted education, engagement, and leadership development strategy that enables local stakeholders to participate in creative public acts; document safety conditions; and take action to make LA's streets safer for children and people who walk.


Organization: Urban Warehouse

Project: Skate-4-Education

The Urban Warehouse educates inner-city youth to value education through its after-school program, which incorporates art activities and treats skateboarding as an academic incentive. In collaboration with Allstate, the organization proposes expanding its Skate-4-Education program, which uses skateboarding as an academic incentive for inner-city youth by exchanging skateboarding gear and skate ramp time when they meet specific educational goals.


Organization: City of LA Dept. of Recreation & Parks

Project: Mobile Recreation Program

The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, in collaboration with LAUSD, proposes launching a Mobile Recreation Program to bring a variety of outdoor activities to communities in need. It envisions providing a safe and accessible park system for all residents by using Mobile Recreation vans to provide themed programs, ranging from Olympic and Paralympic sports to skateboarding and creative activities, thereby enhancing the lives of the youth and adults that participate.


Organization: Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation

Project: Bigger than Baseball

The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation proposes collaborating with Kershaw's Challenge, the City of Compton, the Annenberg Foundation, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the LA84 Foundation, Security Benefit, the Leon Lowenstein Foundation, the Office of Supervisor Mark-Ridley Thomas, and the Water Buffalo Club to unveil three Dodgers Dreamfields at Gonzales Park. With these Dreamfields, the organization aims to revive baseball and softball play in the area in addition to including features such as Fitness and Training Zones, solar elements on scoreboards, PV carports and EV charging stations, and the Science of Baseball curriculum for grades 3-8.


Organization: Los Angeles Maritime Institute

Project: Ocean Adventure Together!

The Los Angeles Maritime Institute empowers youth to discover their greater potential through extraordinary at-sea experiences aboard educational sailing vessels built to train and equip young people with 21st-century leadership skills and inspire maritime and STEM career paths. The organization proposes launching its Ocean Adventure Together Program to break the barriers that keep some people from enjoying LA's coasts and ocean. Through this program, middle school-aged participants discover the life-changing experience of a 5-day and night summer voyage at sea, and their parents are invited to witness and share in their new skills and positive transformation.


Finalists in the CONNECT Goal Category

Organization: Creative Acts

Project: Art Attacks

Creative Acts heals trauma, build community, raise power, and amplify the voices of the most marginalized through art. The organization proposes expanding its 'Art Attacks' program to increase voter turnout among incarcerated and formerly incarcerated young people by engaging and inspiring them through community art, spoken word, and poetry, as well as connecting them with both program alumni and organizations whose work directly affects their communities.


Organization: Boyle Heights Beat / Radio Pulso

Project: Voices/Voces

Boyle Heights Beat is a bilingual community news project produced by youth. Voices, its story-sharing project, aims to build and strengthen relationships between youth and the elderly by training youth to be community reporters and tell the stories of both young and old.


Organization: LA Forward

Project: The LA 101 Guide to Local Government and Civic Engagement

LA Forward provides Angelenos with the resources and training they need to take constructive action and organize to make LA a better place. The LA 101 campaign, a collaboration between LA Forward and Inclusive Action, aims to transform LA into one of the nation's most civically engaged places by providing resources that lower the barriers to entry for individuals who want to take their first steps into local activism and advocacy.


Organization: Ready to Succeed

Project: Creating Connection & Community for Youth in Foster Care

Ready to Succeed supports and empowers youth impacted by foster care with the resources, relationships, and opportunities they need to launch successful careers and lead meaningful lives. The organization proposes establishing a sustainable and effective partnership with Stepping Forward LA to provide youth aging out of foster care with dedicated social and emotional support in addition to connecting them with the people and networks they need to advance in the modern workplace.


Organization: Union Station Homeless Services

Project: Union Station Homeless Services Community Allies Program

Union Station Homeless Services helps individuals and families rebuild their lives and end homelessness across the San Gabriel Valley. The organization proposes expanding its Community Allies Program, which aims to increase housing retention rates, improve community connection, and foster community integration between homeless individuals in bridge housing and formerly homeless individuals in permanent supportive housing by pairing individuals with a supportive community volunteer ally in addition to providing social and recreational activities.



Finalists in the LIVE Goal Category

Organization: Clínica Msr. Oscar Romero

Project: Telehealth for Medically Underserved LA Neighborhoods

The project from Clinica Romero aims to address the current health crisis by utilizing technology (telehealth) to provide quality, affordable, and culturally-sensitive health care and other services to the underserved communities of Greater Los Angeles regardless of their ability to pay.


Organization: Crop Swap LA

Project: Create a Residential Garden District in Los Angeles

Crop Swap LA plans to select 15 homes on a residential street to install professional gardens and rainwater harvesting systems on their front yards, back yards, and available rooftops, in addition to training and hiring a green team of gardeners to become a fleet of hyper-localized specialists.


Organization: Jenesse Center, Inc.

Project: Domestic Violence Intervention and Prevention Program

Jenesse Center aims to restore families impacted by domestic and sexual violence through holistic, trauma-informed, culturally responsive services, and advance prevention initiatives that foster and sustain healthy, violence-free communities.


Organization: Safe Parking LA

Project: Neighbors for Home

Safe Parking LA's Neighbors for Home is a grassroots initiative that aims to mobilize local residents to act around the problem of vehicular homelessness in their own neighborhoods. This proposal proposes working with Neighborhood Councils to change the landscape for people living in their vehicles by pairing specialized case management with community support otherwise unavailable to safe parking clients.


Organization: Strategic Actions for a Just Economy

Project: Eviction Prevention Tool, During Coronavirus and Beyond

Strategic Actions for a Just Economy and JustFix propose creating an “Eviction Prevention Tool" to connect eligible tenants with newly available eviction prevention resources and conduct an outreach/education campaign informing tenants. This proposal aims to increase tenants' ability to remain in their current homes and reduce homelessness.





Trends in the PLAY Goal Category

Posted May 21, 2020 by Megan Loughman

In this year's My LA2050 Grants Challenge, we received 25 submissions to the PLAY goal category. This goal category depicts a Los Angeles where people of all ages have easy access to clean, safe, and sustainable venues to enjoy the natural environment, arts and cultural resources, local beaches, and waterways. You can see a summary of every single PLAY proposal categorized by issue area here.

Here are a few trends we noticed in submissions to the PLAY goal category:

  1. Proposals to the PLAY goal category tended to focus on building community and activating neighborhood spaces for play. Through pop-up events or volunteering, the goals of these proposals were to get people engaged with their communities, create safe, walkable neighborhoods, and increase the number of open space and park facilities. Organizations like the Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative, the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, Nature for All, and CicLAvia make us hopeful for a time when we can all gather together again!
  2. The most commonly targeted metric in the PLAY category was 'youth sports participation.' This year 13 organizations aimed to improve the physical fitness of young athletes of all abilities through sports like lacrosse, baseball, and skateboarding. In doing so, they also hope to teach participants essential life skills and support their educational progress. These organizations include Harlem Lacrosse, the Dodgers Foundation, the Urban Warehouse, and others.
  3. We also saw a trend in PLAY proposals encouraging Angelenos to get active not just for their physical health, but also for their mental wellness. Projects from the American Heart Association, Up2Us, Inc., and Cedars Sinai Medical Center specifically highlighted how spending time outdoors and engaging in sports and recreation activities can improve the social and emotional health of participants.
  4. This year, we received more than double the number of proposals in the PLAY category compared to both 2018 and 2019. Although PLAY is still the smallest category in this year's challenge with 25 projects, we were excited to see such an increase from the previous two years.

Making LA the Best Place to Play

Posted May 18, 2020 by Team LA2050

Last but not least, we're excited to introduce the 25 organizations that submitted proposals to the PLAY category in this year's My LA2050 Grants Challenge! This goal category depicts a Los Angeles where people of all ages have easy access to clean, safe, and sustainable venues to enjoy the natural environment, arts and culture resources, and local beaches, waterways, and open space.

We've grouped projects by these smaller issue areas: mobility and open space, arts and culture, safety, mentorship, and sports.

Click here to see all the projects from the LIVE, CONNECT, LEARN, and CREATE categories.




Mobility and Open Space

CicLAvia aims to catalyze vibrant public spaces, active transportation, and good health through car-free open street events. The goal of the organization's proposal is to rebuild joy around public gatherings after COVID-19 and shape a more inclusive LA by introducing a large-scale polling activation during its Heart of LA event on 10/11/20, featuring workshops and a voting opportunity to foster community. The organization also aims to share actionable results from its activation with key local stakeholders to help make the use of public spaces more equitable in Los Angeles.

The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, in collaboration with LAUSD, proposes launching a Mobile Recreation Program to bring a variety of outdoor activities to communities in need. It envisions providing a safe and accessible park system for all residents by using Mobile Recreation vans to provide themed programs, ranging from Olympic and Paralympic sports to skateboarding and creative activities, thereby enhancing the lives of the youth and adults that participate.

Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative revitalizes neighborhoods by working with residents, businesses, community groups, and local leaders to create walkable, green, and safe neighborhoods. The goal of the organization's proposal is to strengthen local intergenerational ties, create community-enhancing public art, and attract visitors to the Byzantine-Latino Quarter, Watts, and El Sereno neighborhoods through creating small-scale public murals, or “selfie spots," to be designed and executed by local artists and community volunteers.

Bicycle Kitchen/La Bicicocina aims to promote the bicycle as a fun, safe, and accessible form of transportation, to foster healthy urban communities, and to provide a welcoming space to learn about building, maintaining, and riding bicycles. The organization proposes partnering with People for Mobility Justice, Bikerowave, the Los Angeles Public Library, and the Los Angeles LGBT Center to identify underserved individuals who lack access to transportation and provide them with bicycles, safe riding classes, and instructions on properly maintaining their bicycles to help them successfully ride on the streets of Los Angeles.

Nature for All aims to build a diverse base of support for ensuring that everyone in the Los Angeles area has equitable access to the wide range of benefits that nature can provide. The organization seeks to achieve equitable investment in healthy communities through expanding its Leadership Development program, which trains community members and leaders in communities of color and low-income communities to advocate for more open parks, open space, and transit options for their communities.

East Side Riders Bike Club aims to improve Watts and keep local youth out of gang and drug activity through community service, charity work, and bike programs. The organization proposes expanding its Urban Cycling Collective project, which seeks to increase urban cycling ridership in South LA through bike/trike and equipment giveaways, bike safety training, marshaling rides, and establishing new bicycle clubs, by scaling in Watts and to four surrounding communities.

The Los Angeles Maritime Institute serves to empower youth to discover their greater potential through extraordinary at-sea experiences aboard educational sailing vessels built to train and equip young people with 21st-century leadership skills and inspire maritime and STEM career paths. The organization proposes launching its Ocean Adventure Together Program to break the barriers that keep some people from enjoying LA's coasts and ocean. Through this program, middle school-aged participants discover the life-changing experience of a 5-day and night summer voyage at sea, and their parents are invited to witness and share in their new skills and positive transformation.





Arts and Culture

POPS the Club seeks to create a safe, empowering space within high schools for the children and other loved ones of the incarcerated. The organization proposes combining its existing program with Defy Ventures to create a collaborative project with the aim of healing the pain of the prison system for currently and formerly incarcerated people and their family members through art-based workshops, community events, and more.

Jail Guitar Doors USA provides rehabilitative songwriting workshops to help incarcerated individuals develop essential life skills that will support them both while incarcerated and when they return to their community. In collaboration with the Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network, its proposed Community Arts Programming & Outreach Project aims to create arts opportunities for youth who have been engaged in the justice system to foster the positive socio-emotional, behavioral, and decision-making tools that will help them fight recidivism and prepare them for successful employment.

Harmony Project harnesses the transformative power of music to increase access to higher education for underserved students by removing the systemic barriers to achievement through academic and social support. The organization seeks support in expanding its music program by enrolling more students, thereby engaging over 3,500 students in sequential music instruction, opportunities to learn alongside their peers through ensembles, and comprehensive academic and social support, in addition to incorporating parent engagement, opening student performances to the public, and building a strong network of partners.



Safety

The American Heart Association proposes collaborating with the Los Angeles Police Department, LA Department of Recreation and Parks, the District Music Group, Economic Empowerment Congress Central Area Neighborhood Development Council, and the offices of the 8th and 9th Council Districts to ensure equitable health. The organization seeks support for its Community STEPS project, which brings law enforcement and the community together to connect, discuss issues, and work toward solutions while getting exercise through healthy activities and wellness events, including health information booths and blood pressure screenings.

The USC Sol Price Center for Social Innovation aims to develop ideas and illuminate strategies to improve the quality of life for people in low-income, urban communities. The organization's proposal seeks to promote a deeper understanding of and engagement with crime data by expanding its Neighborhood Data for Social Change Criminal Justice Data Initiative to include Santa Monica and Long Beach. Through collecting, cleaning, and publishing public safety data from law enforcement agencies; hosting free, publicly accessible monthly training; conducting community listening sessions; and co-producing data stories in partnership with community-based organizations, the organization hopes to support vibrant and safe communities regionally.

Public Matters aims to bridge the trust gap between institutions and marginalized communities of color by designing strategies that transform the culture, practice, and experience of civic participation, making it accessible to all. In collaboration with Los Angeles Walks, USC Kid Watch, and individual faculty members at USC, the organization proposes University Park Slow Jams – a multifaceted education, engagement, and leadership development strategy that enables local stakeholders to participate in creative public acts; document safety conditions; and take action to make LA's streets safer for children and people who walk.



Mentorship

Woodcraft Rangers provides children and youth from some of LA's lowest-income neighborhoods with after-school enrichment programs, summer camps, and workforce development programs to guide them as they explore pathways to purposeful lives. The organization seeks support in providing free enrollment in its summer day camps for up to 600 participants, enabling more students to learn and play together with adult guides and mentors through arts, sports and wellness, STEM, leadership, and academic support.

Project Blue supports officer-led holistic youth outreach programs that enable kids to transcend obstacles by creating safe and supportive environments built on positive relationships between the community and the police officers who serve them. In partnership with the Los Angeles Police Department, the organization seeks support for its outreach programs in South and East LA that inspire kids to reach personal success through coaching and mentorship with LAPD officers.



Sports

Harlem Lacrosse – Los Angeles uses an innovative, school-based model to provide student-athletes with opportunities, relationships, and experiences that put them on a path to success as athletes, students, and citizens. The goal of the organization's proposal is to expand its existing programs and launch its “Keep Playing" initiative, which aims to retain students in its current programs and serve them over longer periods of time by keeping middle school students engaged with year-round programming and creating new pathways for alumni to stay involved and engage directly with mentors and coaches.

Angel City Sports aims to create sports opportunities for individuals with physical disabilities, encourage physical activity, and demonstrate leadership to strengthen the adaptive sports movement. The organization's proposal seeks to empower physically disabled individuals in cultivating a healthy and independent lifestyle by expanding its programs, which include year-round clinics for adaptive athletes and The Angel City Games.

The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation proposes collaborating with Kershaw's Challenge, the City of Compton, the Annenberg Foundation, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the LA84 Foundation, Security Benefit, the Leon Lowenstein Foundation, the Office of Supervisor Mark-Ridley Thomas, and the Water Buffalo Club to unveil three Dodgers Dreamfields at Gonzales Park. With these Dreamfields, the organization aims to revive baseball and softball play in the area in addition to including features such as Fitness and Training Zones, solar elements on scoreboards, PV carports and EV charging stations, and the Science of Baseball curriculum for grades 3-8.

Cedars Sinai Medical Center, in collaboration with Stanford University, Arts Center, Discovery Cube, Garmin, and the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, proposes launching ShineLA, a ten-year research initiative linking the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic movements to a brighter future for Los Angeles. As the largest population-based study of physical activity in the US, the initiative hopes to improve physical and mental health, as well as social connection across all populations in Los Angeles, through promoting a city-wide increase in physical activity.

America SCORES LA empowers youth to lead healthy lives, be engaged students, and create positive change in their communities and the world. The organization seeks support in expanding its Literacy in Action Program, which addresses the prevalence of low literacy and rising obesity rates in youth from low-income communities through combining soccer, poetry, and service-learning to provide students with more than 100 hours of structured physical activity and English Language Arts support.

Everything Wellness aims to provide an uplifting environment for like-minded and like-hearted women in LA to educate and embrace the concept that overall health is more than just a fitness goal. The goal of the organization's proposal is to inspire healthy connections with the community and environment by creating an affordable, full-service fitness facility for women in South LA, providing a safe and uplifting environment with group fitness, individual training, cardio, weight machines, spa services, workshops, health screenings, and community gardening.

Malibu Foundation is committed to forging long-term resiliency in areas affected by the Woolsey Fire of 2018 by serving the full scope of communities' needs, from housing and job placement to wellness and environmental advocacy. The organization seeks support to establish an annual, 4-week long summer surf camp for children experiencing residual trauma from the fire and children with developmental or physical disabilities. Serving as surf therapy, this camp aims to allow children to grow in their confidence and seek recovery from trauma, in addition to promoting environmental efforts to protect the beaches and ocean.

The Urban Warehouse educates inner-city youth to value education through its after-school program, which incorporates art activities and treats skateboarding as an academic incentive. In collaboration with Allstate, the organization proposes expanding its Skate-4-Education program, which uses skateboarding as an academic incentive for inner-city youth by exchanging skateboarding gear and skate ramp time when they meet specific educational goals.

Ethiopian Community in Los Angeles aims to use marathon running to benefit the overall health and wellness of the marginalized Ethiopian and other African and African-American communities in and around Los Angeles City. The organization proposes partnering with LA Endurance Sports Consulting to establish an annual “Marathon Project," a marathon running program that will train marginalized communities to successfully complete the Los Angeles Marathon.

Up2Us Sports aims to engage, train, and support sports coaches to transform youth, programs, and communities. The organization seeks support for “The Healing Power of Coaches," a citywide effort to increase the number of coaches working with youth in LA's most underserved communities and provide training to all youth sports coaches who want to use play to impact the physical, social-emotional, and academic health of young people.

Trends in the CREATE Goal Category

Posted May 13, 2020 by Megan Loughman

In this year's My LA2050 Grants Challenge, we received 46 submissions to the CREATE goal category. This goal category depicts a Los Angeles that is thriving creatively with innovation in all sectors, from technology to the arts, spurring inclusive and equitable economic growth. You can see a summary of every single CREATE proposal categorized by issue area here.

Here are four trends we noticed in submissions to the CREATE goal category:

  1. In the CREATE category, nearly 50 percent of proposals seek to increase the number of minority- and women-owned businesses in Los Angeles. This was by far the most selected metric, which was also the case in our previous two grants challenges. Los Angeles is an incredibly diverse city, and this sustained trend tells us that Angelenos are focused on having a business ecosystem reflective of that diversity. Our vision for the year 2050 is that 50 percent of businesses will be women-owned, and 50 percent will be minority-owned. Organizations like Grid 110, Kolor Society, LA Plaza Cultura Y Artes, Refoundry, and others are trying to make this vision a reality.
  2. The second most popular metric among submissions to the CREATE category was 'employment in the creative industries.' The creative industries are a massive part of the Los Angeles economy, so it's no surprise that dozens of proposals are focused on securing career pathways and employment for diverse candidates. Truthseekers Inc, the Los Angeles Center of Photography, the Alliance for Media Arts + Culture, and Las Fotos Project are just a few of the proposals hoping to impact employment in the creative industries.
  3. In this goal category, workforce development is by far the most popular tactic for producing change. Whether it's creating inroads for the tech industry, media and film industries or the science and STEM fields, a majority of the 46 CREATE proposals rely on workforce development as a means of accomplishing their goal. Proposals in this goal category focus on a variety of populations - from formerly incarcerated individuals to foster youth and youth with disabilities - but ultimately share similar tactics. Examples of workforce development proposals include AltaSea, Youth Business Alliance, Lost Angels Children's Project, COOP Careers, and many more.
  4. The CREATE category received more proposals from for-profit businesses than any other category. Many of these businesses recognize and acknowledge that our economy thrives when small businesses are supported and all people have access to opportunities for employment. It's inspiring to see for-profits like Kolor Society, Startup Coil LLC, and Codemarket working towards greater community benefit.

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