The 2021 My LA2050 Grants Challenge is here! We're giving away $1 million to make LA the best place to live, learn, play, create, and connect.

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Celebrating Pride Month

Posted June 15, 2021 by

June is Pride month and we want to highlight fourteen places in Los Angeles that are significant in local LGBTQ+ history! 🌈

1. Will Rogers State Beach - A popular destination for LA's LGBTQ+ community.

2. West Hollywood - One of the nation's largest and most recognized LGBTQ+ neighborhoods.

3. First PRIDE organization (Personal Rights through Defense and Education) - Created in 1966 to combat police harassment against the queer community.

4. First pride parade - On June 28, 1970, LA hosted the nation's first permitted pride parade to commemorate the historic Stonewall Uprisings.

5. Los Angeles LGBT Center - Founded in 1969, the LGBT Center says that it serves more LGBTQ+ people than any other organization in the world!

6. La Fuente Hollywood Treatment Center - A community-driven drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility that focuses on issues specific to LGBTQ+ individuals.

7. Black Cat Protests - On February 11, 1967, hundreds gathered outside The Black Cat bar in Silver Lake in peacefully protest police brutality and discriminatory laws against the queer community.

8. The Wall Las Memorias AIDS Monument - The country's first publicly-funded AIDS monument featuring six murals inspired by the Latinx community's experience with the AIDS crisis.

9. ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archive - Located at USC, it is the world's largest research library dedicated to archiving LGBTQ history.

10. Cooper's Donut's Protests - In 1959, transgender women and men clashed with police at Cooper's Donuts on Main Street in response to relentless police harassment.

11. Former barbershop, Brooklyn Ave - In 1951, Chicana lesbian and gender-nonconformist Nancy Valverde stood up against police harassment and criminalization.

12. REACH LA (Realistic Education in Action Coalition to Foster Health) - Youth-driven organization founded in 1992 to provide HIV/AIDS education for youth of color.

13. BLK Publishing - From 1988 to 1994, a monthly magazine targetting Black LGBTQ readers in Los Angeles and beyond.

14. Metropolitan Community Church - A pro-LGBTQ church founded in 1968 by Rev. Troy Perry and the first to conduct same-gender marriage ceremonies in the 1970s.

25 Finalists Named in the $1 Million My LA2050 Grants Challenge! Public Voting Begins Monday, June 21

Posted June 1, 2021 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 2021 My LA2050 Grants Challenge!

Below you'll find the five finalists in each of the LA2050 goal categories: CONNECT, CREATE, LEARN, LIVE, and PLAY. And don't forget – you get to vote online to determine how $1 million in funding is allocated among these organizations, with final awards ranging from $10,000 to $100,000. Voting at starts on Monday, June 21 at 9 am PT and runs through Monday, June 28 at 5 pm PT.

Thank you to every organization that applied! We received a record 320 submissions this year, making for difficult decisions. Each of the proposals will be added to the public My LA2050 Ideas Archive. A special thank you to SVP Los Angeles, and to our generous funding partners, Snap Foundation and the Annenberg Foundation, who will be awarding additional prizes to this year's submitters.

Also this year, voting and other information will be available online in Spanish as well as English. And, in a first, each of the 25 finalists will be provided with a $1,000 stipend to support their get-out-the-vote efforts, as well as an optional marketing and communications workshop led by an expert in the field.

Finalists in the CONNECT category –

Center for Restorative Justice Works (CRJW) keeps children and families connected with incarcerated parents to improve the health and wellbeing of children, reduce recidivism rates, and build stronger communities. Beyond the Bus is a transformative program that offers children the chance to maintain connection through virtual visits and expanded opportunities for in-person visits after the pandemic at ten hubs throughout Los Angeles County. These hubs will also offer food, fun activities, and homework help.

Children Now seeks funding to continue the early-stage implementation of the Family Urgent Response System (FURS), a cross-sector state and local response system, consisting of a 24/7 statewide hotline and county mobile response systems for youth in foster care and their caregivers. This new program helps foster youth experience stability in nurturing family homes, strengthening trust and relationships between children and their caregivers, and preventing the inappropriate criminalization of traumatized children and youth.

human-I-T works to connect as many low-income households as possible to affordable broadband solutions by offering unbiased guidance as they identify and sign up for low-cost internet plans. The organization conducts outreach to low-income communities, educating residents on the various plans that are available to them based on income level, zip code, and other demographic factors, and then assists them in signing up for a plan. human-I-T provides this assistance via text and phone support in both English and Spanish.

Los Angeles Center for Law & Justice (LACLJ) creates safety and justice for immigrants who are survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault, including those who have been trafficked while working to make all government and law enforcement agencies providers of solutions rather than barriers. LACLJ provides free legal representation to ensure survivors feel safe in coming forward, and then works to ensure their rights are protected during and after prosecution.

The Civics Center's Youth Democracy Leaders–LA (YDL-LA) program provides a diverse group of high school students an opportunity to join a community of young people and lead their peers in improving LA County youth voter participation rates. Students learn valuable leadership skills, meet local leaders, gain experience in organizing, and collaborate on tactics for making change. This four-month program incorporates community-building exercises and concludes when students organize and hold a voter registration drive for their high school.

Finalists in the CREATE category –

Convent House California's Digital Dove Lab: Animation and Training Studio will provide youth leaving homelessness behind – primarily Black and Brown youth – with training and career opportunities that lead to long-term financial sustainability and career success in animation and special effects. After the six-month, 20-hour/week paid training program, youth can either continue their training, become employed by the lab, or become employed with one of four major outside studio partners.

Fund for Guaranteed Income's (F4GI) Compton Pledge is the largest city-based guaranteed income pilot in the US. F4GI will distribute recurring, unconditional cash relief to 800 low-income residents for two years. The program has already enrolled its participants: undocumented and formerly incarcerated residents otherwise excluded from welfare programs and largely unbanked. This grant will help continue to maintain the pilot for the next two years and ensure operations, communication, and evaluation can continue.

Las Fotos Project's The Foto Forum: A Creative Advocacy Space for Teen Girls builds on the success of the organization's digital promotoras program, working with youth leaders to use social media, photojournalism, and multimedia to promote awareness of social inequities facing their community, from housing and health care to food justice. The Foto Forum will engage community members in solutions-based dialogue at its gallery space in Boyle Heights, a proposal that won a $50,000 grant via the 2020 My LA2050 Grants Challenge.

On The Go LA helps local food entrepreneurs easily and affordably formalize their business and grow their customer base by offering full-service, short-term food truck rentals. The organization makes the process of growing a business seamless by providing the truck, permits, high-traffic stops, marketing, and operational support, which lets the entrepreneurs focus on what they do best: serve great, new food to local Angelenos. In the last 10 months, On The Go LA has provided services to 50 food entrepreneurs, mostly Black and Latinx.

People's Pottery Project empowers formerly incarcerated women, trans and non-binary individuals through the power of art-making, grassroots advocacy, and meaningful employment through its non-profit ceramics studio. PPP provides free ceramics classes and paid ceramics training for individuals navigating the extremely difficult transition out of incarceration, providing both meaningful art therapy and urgent financial resources to prevent recidivism. PPP also offers paths to employment at its studio as instructors, artisans, and administrators.

Finalists in the LEARN category –

Alliance in Mentorship / MiMentor's “Together We Succeed" (TWS) will empower Latinx and other underrepresented pre-health community college students to excel in their transition to a four-year undergraduate program. TWS will pair pre-health students with health professionals of similar backgrounds and paths for supportive mentorship. TWS students will gain the knowledge, skills, behaviors, and networks that will propel them on an actionable path to becoming health professionals.

DIY Girls provides hands-on STEM coding and electronics programs for girls of color in the Northeast San Fernando Valley. The organization's hands-on and real-world STEM, coding, and making programs are designed to spark their interest in STEM fields and careers as well as support their self-confidence, curiosity, and persistence. DIY Girls has a proven track record of engaging 5th- through 8th-grade girls, ultimately changing the way that they perceive STEM careers.

New Earth, in partnership with Da Vinci RISE High School, provides young people with a second chance to earn a high school diploma through a holistic model that meets the unique needs of youth navigating foster care, housing instability, probation, or other difficult circumstances. Students accomplish their academic goals through a flex-scheduling, credit recovery model and also benefit from New Earth's wraparound services, including mental health support, vocational training, arts and enrichment programs, nutritional support, and more.

Rivet School and Alder Graduate School of Education are collaborating to fix the broken pipeline for school-based workers, often low-income people of color from local communities, to become teachers. Ultimately, this will lead to a stronger and more racially diverse educator workforce and alleviate teacher shortages. While working full time, Rivet School students will earn their BA and then go on to earn a MA and teaching credential at Alder GSE – unlocking economic opportunity and a fulfilling lifelong career in education.

SEED School of Los Angeles will be the first public, college-prep, boarding STEM high school in South LA for youth who truly need a nurturing, safe environment. All students will come from families that qualify for the free and reduced lunch program, and priority admission will be given to foster youth, homeless/housing insecure youth, or youth with an incarcerated family member. SEED integrates a rigorous academic program with a nurturing boarding program that serves students five days a week, 24 hours a day. LA2050 grant funds will be used to ramp-up to the school opening in August 2022.

Finalists in the LIVE category –

City Plants applied for support for Commonwealth Nursery, a public-private partnership to grow climate and community resilience. Located on an 11-acre site in Griffith Park, the nursery supports LA's tree canopy equity goals through growing trees from locally-sourced seed, and distributing them via a partnership with LADWP's Free Trees Program, with priority given to low canopy neighborhoods. City Plants is also collaborating with LA Conservation Corps to create a Green Workforce Development Program for at-risk young adults at the nursery.

Healing California provides free, quality dental and vision care to uninsured and underrepresented Los Angelenos, including veterans and homeless individuals and families, in collaboration with local health clinics and other nonprofit organizations. Funds will support Healing California's mobile healthcare program, delivering free, quality dental and vision care for up to 900 uninsured and underrepresented individuals in Los Angeles County over the grant period.

Shower of Hope operates 25 community resource hubs in partnership with other organizations that bring services, hygiene, and dignity to unhoused Angelenos. The organization ensures that unhoused guests at the weekly shower sites have access to meals, clothing, showers, hygiene items, and an immediate connection to a case manager. The grant would allow Shower of Hope to open two new hubs in service-deprived areas of Los Angeles County, bringing its shower trailers and services to 80 additional Angelenos per week.

Western Center on Law and Poverty works to make sure people experiencing poverty are protected in California law. The organization's tactics include the following: pursuing high-impact court cases on topics including eviction defense, medical patients' rights, and anti-discrimination; advocating for anti-poverty legislation; and empowering legal aid attorneys to defend low-income clients. As Los Angeles recovers from COVID-19, Western Center is fighting for equitable access to healthcare and housing.

Westside Pacific Villages (WPV) is a community of 300 volunteers helping older adults remain active and independent as they age at home and in their neighborhoods. The grant will support WPV's COVID-19 Action Response for Elderly Support, a program keeping seniors physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy during the pandemic with services such as grocery delivery, virtual activities, weekly check-in calls, PPE distribution, and more. The program will soon shift towards helping its participants transition back to “normal" life.

Finalists in the PLAY category –

Angel City Sports supports people with disabilities reaching their fullest potential to engage with their communities as well as help the community discover how to proactively and respectfully practice disability inclusion. The organization offers a spectrum of adaptive wellness opportunities for adults and children with physical disabilities to support their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Individuals of all abilities from the general public also have an opportunity to participate in these activities.

CicLAvia is partnering with LA Forward and Los Angeles Walks for WalkLAvia, a dedicated week for Angelenos to get back outside. Designed to address the social and emotional toll of the pandemic, WalkLAvia will give people the tools and confidence to reimagine their streets in ways that promote safety and joy for all. One such tool will be a “How to WalkLAvia Guide" that will include a series of fun challenges—like visiting a local business or having a picnic—along with a survey to collect observations on walkability, street safety, transit, and open space.

Color the Water is committed to fighting racism, reclaiming coastal land and waters, and changing surf culture in Los Angeles. Through free surf lessons for BIPOC, education on surf history and culture, and original media content that elevates representation, the organization is returning surfing to its roots. Color the Water envisions a more inclusive surf culture based on a love and respect for the ocean centered in sharing, community and compassion, while helping surfers care for and protect the ocean and each other.

East Side Riders Bike Club gives children in Watts an alternative to gangs and drugs by hosting group bike rides, purchasing helmets and used bikes for children living in poverty, teaching bicycle safety and repair, and working with government and community leaders to create safe bike travel lanes. The organization also embeds community service into its program, helping children to increase their confidence and self esteem while building a sense of community through activities such as feeding hungry families and hosting neighborhood cleanups.

Sloane Stephens Foundation (SSF) combats social, economic, and academic inequalities by creating educational opportunities and safe spaces to play and grow. SSF's tennis programming is designed to positively impact the lives of students far beyond the tennis court through the transformative power of healthy habits, self-confidence, and education. The organization aims to use tennis as its vehicle to change the narrative of poverty, health inequity, and educational underdevelopment in Compton.

Trends in the 2021 My LA2050 Grants Challenge CREATE Category

Posted May 19, 2021 by LeAnn Kelch and Jake Bishop

At LA2050, the CREATE category represents our vision of a Los Angeles region that empowers its residents to harness their creativity through both artistic expression and entrepreneurship. By the year 2050, LA will play host to the largest concentration of working artists and high-quality arts establishments. Our region will be an international leader in innovation and production across sectors and a center for entrepreneurial activity that creates jobs and generates wealth for a flexible, talented workforce from all backgrounds. LA's business community will reflect the diversity of our region, enhancing our international opportunities.

Five significant trends stood out between this year's 60 CREATE submissions:

  1. The most popular metric in the category was “employment in the creative industries.” In total, 28 proposals (almost half of all submissions in CREATE) are seeking to open up opportunities to creative employment for underrepresented groups, including women and people of color. For example, Covenant House applied with a proposal to train its program participants, in particular homeless youth of color, in animation. Other submitters targeting this metric include the National Association of Latino Independent Producers, New Musicals Inc., Kids In The Spotlight, Girls in Focus, Reel Start, Coop Careers, and more.
  2. There was also a noticeable emphasis CREATE on serving formerly incarcerated and systems-impacted populations. Organizations including Homeboy Industries, Chrysalis, The Actors Gang, Paige Blu Industries, Pride in Truth, and others applied to implement programs that would make the re-entry process more healing and lower recidivism rates.
  3. Women, girls, transgender, and non-binary individuals often face barriers to employment in male-dominated industries including STEM, media, and the food industry. For that reason, a number of applicants focused on implementing career preparation and mentorship programs that would expand access to employment specifically for these groups. Some examples include Girls Academic Leadership Academy (GALA), Women's Voices Now, Las Fotos Project, and others.
  4. The second most popular impact metric in CREATE was “minority- and women-owned businesses,” with 26 applicants focused on diversifying entrepreneurship in Los Angeles. In particular, there was an emphasis on supporting business owners of color in Los Angeles. Whether offering short-term food truck rentals to emerging business owners (On The Go LA), a tech accelerator for funders for underrepresented communities (Plug In South LA), or a push for local ownership and entrepreneurship in the Crenshaw area (WORCS: Worker Ownership Resources and Cooperative Services).
  5. Another emerging theme within the category was leveraging the power of art to accomplish a greater purpose, whether as a form of activism or as emotional healing for participants. The arts programming to be offered ranged from dance and theatre to pottery and filmmaking. Organizations working in this area include: A Place Called Home, People's Pottery Project, Color Compton, and more.

Mi Terro plans to use the grants challenge funding to launch and build a small-scale production line to upcycle 125 tons of agricultural waste and replace hundreds of tons of plastic films.

AWOKE's proposal is focused on its cultural center, a physical and virtual hub for youth and community members to grow as leaders and skilled practitioners.

New Musicals inc.'s hopes to elevate the voices of Los Angeles BIPOC artists through the development and creation of short musical theater pieces with its grants challenge proposal.

In collaboration with Designmatters, Ezrach Brain Trust Association's grants challenge proposal includes responsibly made footwear that will reduce LA's carbon footprint while providing professional workforce development in South Los Angeles.

Wrkz, Inc. applied for grants challenge funding to continue its mentorship program that serves young adults ages 17 to 30 years old in the inner cities of Los Angeles.

The proposal from the Jenesse Center, its workforce development program, gives survivors of domestic violence the skills, tools and support they need to achieve self-sufficiency.

Girls in Focus' proposal is a 3-week summer film intensive for women with the goal of creating a pipeline connecting, educating, and preparing them for the film industry.

The "Restaurant Data Pipeline" from GREHO Inc. helps restaurants facilitate business success through data-based skill-building.

Multiplicity - Table for Ten hopes to use the grants challenge funding to provide memberships for women in the LA2050 network to attend its networking events.

The grants challenge proposal from The Actors Gang, the "Reentry Program and Alumni Advocacy Project," provides formerly incarcerated individuals with training in emotional expression and control, verbal communication, and more.

Homeboy Industries is seeking funding for its paid, therapeutic 18-month re-entry program that offers wraparound services for formerly incarcerated or gang-involved individuals.

Kids In The Spotlight hopes to create & launch a “Production Studio For A Cause (PSFAC)” that will operate as a vocational & social enterprise facility for transitional age foster youth.

A Place Called Home plans to expand its "Community Arts Initiative" to more than 200 classes a year in music, theater, dance, and more to young people in South LA.

The grants challenge proposal from Project Joy continues its "Youth AI Learning Program" where opportunity youth build their digital and artificial intelligence literacy.

In collaboration with Studio 'C', Covenant House's grants challenge proposal trains youth of color in the latest animation and digital effects processes.

The grants challenge proposal from Venice Arts will provide underrepresented youth with training in the creative industry skills needed for internships and employment.

Girls Academic Leadership Academy will use the funding to establish a “Recording Club” for aspiring musicians and sound engineers in its cohort.

The Salt Eaters Bookshop will use grants challenge funding to help create a co-working space equipped with computer and printer access for local Black women, femme, or nonbinary writers.

Working with Downtown Crenshaw Rising, WORCS: Worker Ownership Resources and Cooperative Services is coordinating an effort to locally and democratically own and operate businesses within the Crenshaw Mall and surrounding neighborhoods.

The proposal from Lost Angels Children's Project will provide transitional aged youth with hands-on job training, career development, paid apprenticeship, and wraparound supportive services.

Rush Inc focuses on propelling women founders and their products into the spotlight by using storytelling to drive sales among women.

Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum is seeking funding to support the world premier of "Trouble the Water" in its amphitheater as part of its 2022 Repertory Season.

The grants challenge proposal from Global Eye Entrepreneurs is a 10-month fellowship program for male entrepreneurs of color to access role models, mentors, and capital.

Chrysalis is seeking grants challenge funding to continue its programming which helps formerly incarcerated individuals attain self-sufficiency through work.

CIELO's proposal, "The Source," is an online platform where prospective entrepreneurs and career builders are connected to coaches, business and career development videos, and more.

The Fund for a Guaranteed Income applied to the grants challenge to support its guaranteed income initiative that will distribute recurring cash relief to low-income residents for two years.

Pacific Film Foundation seeks funding to produce a TV series, "Female and Finally Free," to support UN Sustainable Development Goal No. 5.

"Agency of Assets," the submission from Santa Monica Museum of Art DBA Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, would introduce more high schoolers in LA to professions in the arts through its seven-month pipeline program.

Pride in Truth hopes to launch "The Braz Project," which will uplift individuals impacted by the incarceration and legal systems by providing wrap-around re-entry support.

Reel Start would use grants challenge funding to support its experiential learning program introducing high school students to careers in the entertainment industry.

Novus Think Tank's "Filling the Gap" seeks to provide high school students in South Los Angeles with mentorship and the resources to cultivate self-agency, confidence, and purpose.

The Why Lab's "Pop-Up Social Innovation Labs" project would launch events for the community to learn future-forward innovation skills while solving some of the biggest challenges within our city.

On The Go LA seeks support for its service that helps local food entrepreneurs formalize their business and grow their customer base by offering full-service, short-term food truck rentals.

"Girls' Voices Now," the proposal from Women's Voices Now, focuses on empowering girls and femme-identifying youth (14-18) from underrepresented communities to find, develop and use their voice through film making.

People's Pottery Project seeks support for its nonprofit ceramics studio, which empowers formerly incarcerated women, trans and non-binary individuals through the power of art-making, grassroots advocacy, and employment.

"Arts for All" from Compound seeks to launch a series of workshops, virtual programs, onsite activities, art projects, and more to bring arts education to all nine districts of Long Beach.

Paige Blu Industries, Inc. applied to the grants challenge for its "Re-Entry Growth Collective Initiative," a collaborative training program for re-entry that provides a database for small service businesses to source candidates to scale their business.

The "BLACK DOLLARS MATTER" project from UBU HOLDINGS would launch an online and mobile directory of Black businesses.

"The Foto Forum: A Creative Advocacy Space for Teen Girls" from Las Fotos Project seeks to provide a new platform for young women who are using their photography as a means to advocate for their communities.

If selected as a finalist, Kaimore will launch a 16-week workforce development experience for ambitious individuals to help realize their full potential as community leaders.

"Seeking Spotlights" from Social Justice League aims to help at-risk LA youth explore opportunities, discover passions, and align career paths in music and entertainment.

Plug In South LA seeks funding to support its “Accelerator Program,” which supports promising early-stage tech entrepreneurs from underserved and underrepresented communities who are poised to disrupt their industries.

Green Pines Media and riddick & gray, LLC applied to the grants challenge for funding to support "Transition Age Artists," a documentary that highlights the need for social justice and innovation within the American foster care system.

Stem Advantage aims to mentor, prepare, and inspire women and underserved communities to pursue careers in STEM while providing a vetted pipeline of diverse talent to businesses.

If selected as a finalist, Color Compton would reclaim and retell BIPOC histories and stories via its "OurArchive.Me" preservation project.

Contemporary Art League seeks funding for its programs supporting LA's artworkers through community services, professional support, and advocacy opportunities.

Coop Careers hopes to scale its programming and serve hundreds of first-generation Los Angeles college graduates, by preparing them for well-paying careers in the digital economy.

The "MINT 100 Voices of LA: Diversifying Entrepreneurial Impact" project from Mint Inc. seeks to produce videos of 100 entrepreneurs of color in Los Angeles sharing their journeys.

Food Tribe USA's "Restaurant Bailout" seeks to bridge the digital divide for South Los Angeles independent restaurant owners and operators.

"Create Beat" from KCRW will celebrate the creative genius of Southern California by highlighting the artists who make Los Angeles the home of the extraordinary.

Sankofa City hopes to use grant funding to continue providing free on-demand shuttle services and e-bike rentals in South Los Angeles.

Textile Arts Los Angeles seeks support for its third annual Textile Month Los Angeles, a regional festival celebrating the textile arts.

Los Angeles Sanitation and Environment aims to use grants challenge funding to create a centralized hub where material byproducts from businesses can be repurposed.

Regarding Her submitted a grants challenge proposal to support women and BIPOC women in the food industry through mentorship, education, grants, and more.

We Are Enough hopes to address the "Shecession" caused by COVID19 through funding women investors in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Review of Books seeks funding for "LITLIT," a two-day literary fair that would bring together independent publishers and literary arts organizations from around LA.

"STEREO/SCOPE" from 3-D Space would utilize VR technology to allow participants to be immersed in the 19th century.

The National Association of Latino Independent Producers' "Emerging Content Creators Inclusion Initiative" aims to support young creators at the beginning of careers in the entertainment industry.

"Wealth in Waste," the grants challenge submission from Rewilder seeks to expand Rewilder's textile waste upcycling operation in Los Angeles.

With support from the grants challenge, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Los Angeles Metro will launch its entrepreneurship programming for youth in more Los Angeles schools.

Trends in the 2021 My LA2050 Grants Challenge CONNECT Category

Posted May 13, 2021 by LeAnn Kelch and Jake Bishop

At LA2050, the CONNECT category represents our vision that the Los Angeles region will be a place where every resident is empowered to engage with others and participate in civic processes. By the year 2050, Los Angeles will be the most civically engaged region in the U.S., with abundant platforms for residents to voice their opinions and influence elected officials and other decision-makers. Our region's voting rates and volunteerism will lead the nation, and an expanded, accessible transportation network will facilitate the easy flow of people and ideas.

We took note of four significant trends in the 69 proposals submitted to CONNECT this year:

  1. COVID-19 placed a heavy emotional burden on our communities, bringing feelings of isolation, grief, and anxiety to many people. For that reason, it's unsurprising that “social and emotional support" was the most popular metric in CONNECT, targeted by 40 applicants. Organizations seeking to ensure that all Angelenos feel supported include Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles, Walk With Sally, Our House, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), SHARE!, and Voices Beyond Assault.
  2. A number of applications also sought to motivate greater community engagement and volunteerism in Los Angeles. Whether seeking to inspire youth to give back to their community (Project Giving Kids), trying to "gamify" civic engagement through a mobile application (The Wildwoods Foundation), or inspiring multigenerational volunteering (ChaiVillageLA), local organizations are focused on creating opportunities for Angelenos to give back.
  3. The pandemic exposed and exacerbated existing inequities in household access to wifi, device distribution, and digital literacy. And, while the digital divide is not new, several organizations are seeking to capture the increased energy in this area and planning to distribute devices, provide low-cost internet, and facilitate technical assistance to older adults, low-income households, and others. Organizations in include human-I-T, Cyber Seniors, Bizfed Institute, and others.
  4. There was also a noticeable increase in number of applications focused on improving the “LGBTQ+ equity and inclusion" metric. For example, Rainbow Labs submitted a request to expand its LGBTQI-GNG mentoring program for high school students and the San Gabriel Valley LGBTQ Center applied to create a new physical gathering space for its community. In total, 11 applicants indicated that their work would impact the “LGBTQ+ equity and inclusion" metric.

With grants challenge funding, Mychal's Learning Place hopes to expand its bakery & coffee shop which trains and employs young adults with developmental disabilities.

Children Now seeks to further develop and implement its "Family Urgent Response System," a 24/7 hotline for current or former foster youth.

In collaboration with the Los Angeles Mayor's Office and several other city departments, Civicas put forth a proposal for "CivicASK," an online menu of civic opportunities connecting local challenges with private resources.

"Crenshaw Stories Power the Vote" is the proposal from LA Commons which hopes to share impactful stories to increase civic engagement and voting among residents.

Rainbow Labs seeks to expand its LGBTQI-GNG mentoring program to five high schools by January 2022 for the grants challenge.

Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice wishes to expand its current services creating safety and justice for immigrants who are survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

Muralism plans to provide paid work experience to adults on the autism spectrum to complete 10 large-scale wall murals across Los Angeles for its proposal.

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sister of Los Angeles applied with "Teen Talk App," a free, safe space for teens to support and learn from others with similar experiences.

ICAN California Abilities Network is seeking funding to relaunch its "Marketplace Initiative" program supporting micro-businesses that employ adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

CASA of Los Angeles plans to recruit, train and support new and active CASAs to assist non-minor dependent youth in college and post-secondary institutions and help them develop skills to live as independent adults.

UCLA Volunteer Center is seeking to continue its "UCLA Volunteer Day" and "One Bus/One Cause" initiatives to get university students involved with service projects in Los Angeles.

Union Station Homeless Services hopes to empower individuals with lived experience of homelessness to serve as advocates for more equitable and informed housing, criminal justice, and drug policies.

Cougar Conservancy seeks to recruit and train 100 volunteers to connect their networks to its human-wildlife coexistence resources for the grants challenge.

"The NEXT 100" proposal from Mels Love Land aims to host, organize, and establish the inner workings of an all systems love network, involved in shifting the conversation to love.

LA Voice hopes to educate 1,500 individuals about their eligibility to vote, register 1,000 justice-involved individuals to vote, and get 1,000 justice-involved individuals to commit to civic engagement.

For its proposal, Walk With Sally seeks to expand its virtual programs to improve health outcomes for cancer-affected families.

The City of LA Office of Community Beautification applied to help amplify and expand its "Beautify LA Community Grant Program," a matching grant to fund beautifying neighborhood projects in Los Angeles.

South Central LAMP hopes to implement an afternoon program for low-income and immigrant families that includes case management, parenting classes, family advocacy, and mental health workshops.

211 LA County hopes to create a virtual, multilingual portal that brings all diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice resources in LA County together in one home for its proposal.

Central American Resource Center of California's "Migrant Youth Integration" project hopes to support 20 to 40 recently-arrived migrant youth in their civic, social, and economic success in the United States.

The proposal from Cyber Seniors, "TechTelephone Help Line," aims to provide a toll-free phone number answered in English and Spanish to provide Wi-Fi and tech training to seniors.

The Art Muse Academy seeks to develop the "West LA Public Sculpture Guide" to increase visitor engagement with public art collections throughout Los Angeles.

PLUS ME Project is seeking funding to continue its "My Story Matters Journals" to help students increase their self-awareness and realize they are not alone.

For its My LA2050 proposal, Generation Connect seeks to connect vetted teens and vetted seniors together virtually to foster safe, neighborhood connections.

Harvest All Resource Center plans to provide intensive mental health support and self-management skills to Opportunity Youth in South LA and around LAX for its proposal.

Our House seeks funding for its "Grief Support Center" which offers a variety of grief support resources to address this urgent need in Los Angeles.

The Seed Consulting Group applied to the grants challenge with its "Pro-Bono Consulting Program" that connects volunteer consultants with nonprofits.

The San Gabriel Valley LGBTQ Center hopes to create a physical space for the LGBTQ+ community to gather in the San Gabriel Valley after losing its center in 2020 due to COVID-19.

ChaiVillageLA intends to expand capacity to engage more young people, older adults, and nonprofit partners in its multigenerational volunteer program.

Through its “Voices" project, Boyle Heights Beat will work to build and strengthen relationships between youth and elderly in Boyle Heights.

Have A Go aims to boost transit ridership by habituating Angelenos to Metro via transit-oriented weekends for its My LA2050 proposal.

Thai Fan Meet USA hopes to create a drama festival to provide interactive experiences to discuss the current entertainment issues facing the Asian and LGBTQ+ communities.

In partnership with Justice for Black Girls, CISE's grants challenge proposal "Protect Black Girls" will amplify the voices of Black girls.

In collaboration with Student PIRGs, The Civics Center plans to incorporate college students as mentors and ambassadors to high school students to improve youth voter participation rates.

The Jizo Foundation plans to establish a Jizo sculpture created by local artists in Los Angeles where ceremonies and rituals will be held for families that lost an infant at or prior to birth.

For the grants challenge, Girl is NOT a 4 Letter Word hopes to continue its work supporting female and non-binary skateboarders.

Mend Family Acupuncture and Healthcare hopes to keep its treatment prices at a low level and also be able to offer reduced price healthcare to the uninsured for its proposal.

The Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative's proposal "Mobile Digital Community Meeting Kit" would provide a kit of laptops, tablets, and Wi-Fi hotspots to safe public locations in Los Angeles.

Al Otro Lado's "Los Angeles Refugee Representation Project" connects recently liberated asylum seekers and longer-term immigrant residents to necessary resources and support.

SBCC's "Give Your Gift" campaign hopes to empower 10,000 LA residents to discover their gifts and talents through a digital strength-finding platform.

For this year's grants challenge, Girl Powerful seeks to continue its "Girl Powerful Summits" to empower tween and teen girls to take care of themselves through discussions, positive self-talk, movement, meditation, writing, cooking, and more.

World Harvest Charities and Family Services hopes to expand its "Food Box Program" to deliver food, basic staples, and essential items to individuals and families with limited resources.

UCLA UniCamp applied to My LA2050 to continue its work of increasing volunteerism on the UCLA campus through recruiting students to serve as counselors for underserved youth at its summer camp.

CommuteLAX seeks funding to offer employee commute programs such as personalized transit trip planning, carpool and vanpool matching, secure bike lockers, and public bike racks.

"Beyond the Bus" from Center for Restorative Justice Works is a pioneering program that empowers children in LA County to connect with their parents in prison on a regular basis through Wi-Fi hubs throughout the county.

Investing in Place hopes to provide transparency as to how transportation funding in Los Angeles has been distributed over the years, as well as included recommendations and strategies for change.

San Fernando Valley Audubon Society seeks to make the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve more accessible for people with disabilities for its proposal.

Bray Media hopes to streamline companies' diversity recruiting process by providing a trusted source for diverse professionals and students to gain access to career opportunities for its proposal.

For its proposal, Thrive Way, Inc aims to build a social networking platform that focuses on real social connections and emotional supports to address loneliness and mental health issues.

Harmony Project wants to provide monthly music production labs to community members for its grants challenge proposal.

Through its "Crayon Recycling" program, Crayon Collection redirects thousands of crayons that would have otherwise been thrown away into the hands of students who, in many cases, have never had crayons of their own.

The “LUMINEX" proposal from Now Art is an outdoor walkable digital art exhibition taking place in the South Park district of DTLA.

MoceanLab, Inc seeks to make low-emissions hybrid carshare vehicles available to healthcare providers at a 50-100% discount for its proposal.

The "Global Connect" program from Bizfed Institute hopes to train teachers and volunteers on how to discuss connectivity through a digital literacy toolkit.

Sensagrate hopes to analyze real-time roadway and traffic data in Los Angeles in order to improve pedestrian safety and prepare for the future of intelligent transportation systems for its proposal.

LA Podcast Inc. seeks funding to create a new website and newsletter to track key pieces of local legislation in companion with a podcast miniseries on how City Hall works.

SHARE! hopes to bring 25 AAPI Peer Specialists into the workforce within six months of the grant funding to provide mental health resources to the AAPI community.

If Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law, Inc (CHIRLA) becomes a finalist, it will continue its work providing medical, educational, social, and legal assessment for recently-detained minors.

The Living Through Giving Foundation's My LA2050 proposal, "#HashtagLunchbag," would support monthly events to provide nutritious meals and encouraging notes to Angelenos experiencing homelessness.

Bari Applebaum Creative's proposal, "Chicas Verdes," is an after-school program that provides a community garden for students to play, experience jobs, and strengthen one's mental and physical health.

human-I-T seeks grants challenge funding for it's "connectLA" program which connects low-income households with high-speed, low-cost internet options starting at $10-25 per month.

"Soundwalks throughout Los Angeles" from LA Choral Lab allows Angelenos to experience a unique opportunity to explore the various and diverse regions and communities of the city through interactive, self-paced sonic experiences.

Stella Adler Academy of Acting and Theatre's submission focuses on building out a studio space where artists can collaborate, receive guidance, and record streaming content.

Cancer Support Community Los Angeles seeks funding to provide education, support, and community to Angelenos affected by cancer through support groups and more.

The City of LA Bureau of Engineering applied to create an Equity Infrastructure Scorecard that would aid in mapping concentrations of inequitable infrastructure across the city.

Fostering Media Connections hopes to launch "Youth, Front and Center" a youth-led online platform to elevate the voices of young people who have experienced homelessness, foster care, or the criminal justice system.

Voices Beyond Assault seeks funding from the grants challenge for its programming to promote healing for survivors of sexual assault through providing aid, resources, and therapy services.

Project Giving Kids applied to the grants challenge to connect youth in Los Angeles with hands-on service projects from local nonprofits.

"Our Town," the submission from The Wildwoods Foundation, is a mobile app that would allow schools, community organizations, and other groups to gamify civic engagement.

Nine Unique Maps of Los Angeles

Posted May 6, 2021 by LeAnn Kelch

If you're anything like us, you're ready to safely rediscover Los Angeles after more than a year spent indoors. Below, we've got nine maps that will help you do exactly that.

📍 In honor of Earth Month, we compiled a map of 13 sites of environmental history in Los Angeles – from the former South Central Farm and NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab to the Downtown LA streets that held the first CicLAvia.

📍 If you've ever wondered why there are two separate West Adams neighborhoods or mixed up Del Rey, Playa del Rey, Marina del Rey, Mar Vista, and Playa Vista... this (unofficial) map of all of LA's neighborhoods is for you.

📍 This weekend, have some fun in the sun and explore these eleven active, interesting parks in Los Angeles. These recreation spaces are much more than just a playground, including a driving range for golfers in Griffith Park, a lighthouse in San Pedro, and Dinosaur Park in San Gabriel.

📍 Educate yourself about the indigenous history of our region with "Mapping the Tongva Villages of LA's Past" from the Los Angeles Times.

📍 To celebrate Women's History last month, we published a map of women's history in Los Angeles, featuring 21 spots where Angelenas past and present made an impact.

📍 This tree canopy coverage map from TreePeople shows that less than 20 percent of LA County land is covered at present, with the majority of trees concentrated in affluent areas. This disparity is significant because trees provide important environmental and health benefits.

📍 Whether you want to take a leisurely stroll or a head out for a 10-mile strenuous trek, our region has a whole host of hikes! Check out this map of nine of our favorite hiking trails in Los Angeles County.

📍 Vaccinations are open to all individuals 16 and over in Los Angeles County. You can use this Google map of vaccination sites from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to find a location near you and schedule an appointment.

📍 Learn about the lasting impact of racist redlining, discriminatory lending, and housing segregation in our region with this KCET article looking at the 1939 Home Owners Loan Corporation map of Los Angeles.

Trends in the 2021 My LA2050 Grants Challenge LEARN Category

Posted May 5, 2021 by LeAnn Kelch and Jake Bishop

At LA2050, the LEARN category represents our vision of a Los Angeles region that offers abundant, equitable opportunities for lifelong learning to all residents. By the year 2050, our local education system will be well-resourced and culturally-responsive, all children will have access to high-quality early education programs, and all families will be engaged and empowered to direct their student's learning. Students will graduate college- and career-ready, equipped to thrive in the workforce of the future. LA will capitalize on its concentration of higher education facilities to advance research and spur innovation.

We observed five trends in the 83 submissions this year's LEARN category:

  1. After more than a year of virtual instruction and distance learning for local K-12 students due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is no surprise that helping students to get back on track was a major theme among this year's applications. For example, the Greater South Bay STEM Foundation hopes to work with students to alleviate some of the math skills erosion that has occurred in this time. Other groups supporting local students post-pandemic, both virtually and in-person include Reading Partners, Alliance for a Better Community, City Year Los Angeles, and more.
  2. There was also a noticeable push to ensure that our region is supporting its most vulnerable students both inside and outside of the classroom. Applicants submitted proposals to ensure that current and former foster youth, young parents, systems-impacted and justice-involved youth, and students experiencing food insecurity and homelessness all were equipped with the resources to succeed in their education and in life. Groups working with these high-needs populations include the Santa Monica College Foundation, Stepping Forward LA, New Earth, United Friends of the Children, and the Assistance League of Los Angeles.
  3. Arts and music programs have demonstrated significant educational and social-emotional benefits for students. With this in mind, several submitters sought funding to expand access to these opportunities, especially for students attending under-resourced schools. Some of these programs include Get Lit's interactive poetry platform, artworxLA's podcasting workshops, Fender Play Foundation's in-school music programming, Village Arts's theater program, and Turnaround Arts California's school curriculum support.
  4. A number of applicants proposed programs featuring creative science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning opportunities that will engage and inspire local K-12 students. For example, both the Griffith Observatory Foundation and the Natural History Museum applied for funding to restart their onsite field trip programs for local students with reopening while organizations like DIY Girls, Engineer Factory, and the Two Bit Circus Foundation honed in on their project-based and experiential programs. And, a coalition of leading STEM organizations in LA including Expand LA, AltaSea, California Science Center, Columbia Memorial Space Center, Discovery Cube, Los Angeles Maritime Institute, Roundhouse Aquarium, and TreePeople applied with a proposal for "STEM for All Seasons" to serve thousands of local students.
  5. Overall, the most popular impact metric selected in this year's LEARN category was “enrollment in afterschool programs," with 32 applicants indicating that their work would engage more students in learning outside of the regular school day. Tactics range from in-person activities to online tutoring. Some of the organizations seeking to expand their afterschool opportunities include Urban Warehouse, Boys and Girls Club of Pasadena, Boys and Girls Club of Venice, Heart of Los Angeles, and more.

Learn more about all of the proposals:

With grants challenge funding, Building Blocks for Kids hopes to eliminate poverty in underrepresented LA communities by giving high school students the chance to be financially-literate and career-ready.

Applicant Get Lit's proposal focuses on Uni(verse), a unique, interactive poetry platform designed with youth voices and stories at the center.

If selected as a winner, Kenny Young's Tackle Young Foundation would bring its seminars, workshops, and enrichment programs to elementary schools in underserved areas.

PEBSAF seeks funding for its innovative program that teachers, parents, and students use to plan for higher education and graduate with a bachelor's degree or higher.

"Improving Math Scores, Improving Lives," the submission from Impact 6 seeks to help LA students struggling after a year of distance learning.

Alliance for a Better Community's My LA2050 proposal, "Beyond Recovery," seeks to help LA's Latino community thrive after COVID-19 by increasing college attainment.

Nuleep applied to fund its HEXAGON program, which empowers opportunity youth in LA with professional and technical skills through experiential learning.

The proposal from Partnership for Los Angeles Schools entitled "Ready, Set, Go!" focuses on the organization's college readiness and educational equity work with LAUSD.

Venice Institute of Contemporary Art mentors at-risk and disenfranchised youth and young adults to provide them with the confidence, skills, and expertise they will need to succeed in a career in the arts.

Hope Housing for Students seeks to continue its work providing housing opportunities for community college students experiencing either homelessness or housing insecurity for its proposal.

Seed School of Los Angeles County is a public, college-prep boarding STEM high school in South LA that will give priority admission to foster youth, homeless/housing insecure youth, and youth who have an immediate family member incarcerated.

“Meal Project," the grants challenge proposal from the Santa Monica College Foundation, will connect students to longer-term support while employing strategies to address their immediate food insecurity.

Inclusology seeks funding for its SaaS platform that uses demographic data to conduct diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) assessments for organizations.

The proposal from Friendship Foundation will make it possible for 500 children with special needs to participate in virtual and in-person activities in a safe, inclusive environment with student volunteers.

reDiscover Center hopes to create a place where community organizations and local artists meet and make together, sharing ideas anchored in reDiscover's vision of a creative, sustainable Los Angeles.

The Power My Learning proposal helps families become more involved in students' learning through its online educator coaching and family workshops.

The Assistance League of Los Angeles is seeking funding for its scholarship program that is used solely for homeless and foster youth for LAUSD students.

SoLa I CAN Foundation hopes to expand its youth programming and bridge the digital divide by building South LA's first Technology and Entrepreneurship Center.

With grants challenge funding, the Birth Equity Advocacy Project hopes to create an effective strategic messaging and awareness campaign about the systematic racism in our healthcare system and in our healthcare policy.

The “Best We Can Be Early Education Programs" proposal from Pediatric Therapy Network addresses disparity gaps among toddlers at-risk of lower educational success due to moderate to severe impairments.

For the grants challenge, CoachArt hopes to further develop its online learning programs for children with chronic illness.

Griffith Observatory Foundation hopes to take every fifth-grader in Los Angeles County on a stimulating, free, virtual visit to Griffith Observatory through its proposal.

The proposal from artworxLA, “The Podcasting Workshop: Power over Stigma," empowers LA youth with foundational storytelling skills, providing high-risk students a platform on which to share their experiences.

The submission from Girls Inc of Greater Los Angeles will deliver programs to girls in grades K-12 that make a significant impact on numerous areas of their lives, from social skills to college prep.

The goal of Project Match's proposal, “Career Exploration: Project Match," is to support its students to find internships and employment that are career oriented and allow for professional growth.

Lana Inventions, LLC hopes to hold weekly educational events where students can learn about recycling their own plastic waste, and gain the opportunity to turn waste into new functional products.

The scholarship program from Armenian Professional Society awards scholarship funds to eligible Armenian graduate students to aid in their educational advancement.

“Transcendent Healing Project" from The 3 Lines Collective will provide youth with a safe space to discuss and process issues related to race and racism.

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County hopes to continue to expand its reach to students in the virtual classroom while also welcoming students back onsite to engage in the work of real scientists.

The Rivet School's Educator Pathway program hopes to help school-based support workers by supporting them to pass state licensure exams in order to enter a high-quality credential program and become teachers.

Reading Partners Los Angeles hopes to fund “Reading Partners Connects," a program that brings its traditional, structured lessons and curriculum to an online environment.

USC's proposal equips classrooms and clinics with tools that can address the problem of science literacy by using storytelling and design.

Two Bit Circus Foundation is applying to build its growing online library, “STEAM Guide to the Galaxy," that contains hundreds of standards-aligned, project-based-learning activities.

The Education Program from Alliance for Children's Rights will advocate for babies and toddlers, during this critical window where 90% of brain development occurs, to access life-changing early childhood education.

City Year LA seeks funding for its “Whole School Whole Child Program," where it partners with schools in under-resourced communities to ensure all students have the tools to grow and fully engage in their education.

The Teacher Professional Development Program from America on Tech (AOT) prepares high school teachers to teach AOT's Web Development curriculum in their own classrooms.

College Access Plan hopes to achieve 100 percent FAFSA/California Dream Act application completion for all eligible Pasadena Unified 12th graders for its proposal.

Engineer Factory will conduct an eight-week, 32-hour Piper course for at least 500 Inglewood middle and high school students to introduce them to computer science for its proposal.

Funding from the grants challenge will allow Kidspace Children's Museum to launch an innovative STEAM learning program for students from Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD).

With grants challenge funding, Chicxs Rockerxs aims to create a space where trans youth, gender expansive youth, and girls can access resources, mentorship, and music education in Southeast LA.

A My LA2050 grant will triple the capacity of Good Tutors, a successful ongoing 1:1 virtual tutoring program currently serving 400 underserved LAUSD students.

Red Hen Press hopes to secure funding for its after-school program where students study, unwind, and learn about writing, books, and the publishing industry.

For its proposal, Azusa Pacific University hopes to analyze existing interventions that aim to improve retention and graduation rates of students of color, particularly Latinx & African American male students.

With support from the grants challenge, Neighborhood Music School (NMS) will help students access the transformative power of arts education through low-cost music lessons on a wide variety of instruments.

The modern band program from Little Kids Rock unlocks students' inner music makers by using the music that kids already know and love (styles like pop, hip hop, and Latin).

LIVE & FAITH Consulting plans to use funding to launch and scale the firm's Summer Internship and Associate programs in order to provide opportunities for women of color.

Village Arts hopes to remove all financial barriers for “The Curtain Rises," its after-school program for elementary school students in the theater arts.

The proposal from Global Inheritance, “Watts Up Los Angeles," is a campaign to help people in LA understand their energy usage and responsibility to conserve power through a citywide DJ competition.

Acceler8's proposal will pair at-risk teens and opportunity youth with volunteer law enforcement officers and automotive professionals.

The Urban Warehouse plans to use the funding to provide its tutors with a living wage in order to retain them and keep a 10:1 student to tutor ratio.

Heal the Bay's “SEA Education Program" promotes STEM proficiency, ensures access to a safe virtual classroom, inspires curiosity for ocean and marine life, and addresses academic gaps exacerbated by economic inequalities.

In partnership with the LA River revitalization project, Turnaround Arts California plans to help schools in Southeast LA redesign their approach to teaching and learning with the arts at the center.

In partnership with TWINSPIRE, United Friends of the Children applied to fund Its Financial Literacy Program for transition-age foster youth in UFC's education and housing programs.

Boys and Girls Club of Pasadena is seeking to expand its ClubHouse initiative – small, self-contained, and diverse socially-distanced pods where club members work on group projects and foster collaboration.

Pops the Club seeks funding from My LA2050 for its POPScast. Specifically, developing a first season of the podcast that explores teens' experiences with the criminal justice system.

If Saving the West Foundation is awarded a grant, the funds will allow the organization to directly combat food deserts in South LA.

With the support from the grants challenge, Exploring the Arts Inc. will build community amongst art teachers through paid Professional Learning Communities related to distance or in-person arts learning.

Fender Play Foundation's proposal hopes to expand its middle school music program in partnership with LAUSD to reach 6,000 additional students from across the city.

Boys and Girls Club of Venice hopes to use funding to support an expansion of its longstanding music and dance programming which will serve more than 500 students.

Long Beach Day Nursery's proposal for the grants challenge seeks to bring infant care to its West Branch for the first time in its 108-year history.

Stepping Forward LA is seeking funds to further improve its mobile app created by former foster youth to help other youth build skills, access resources, and get support as they enter adulthood.

LinDave Institute's proposal seeks to support families with young children at risk for Post Virus Stress Syndrome, targeting immigrants, DACA recipients, and low-income families in East LA.

DIY Girls hopes to continue its STEM programming for girls of color in the Northeast San Fernando Valley, dramatically altering the trajectory of their education.

EnCorps seeks funding for its STEMx (Expert) Tutors, which will provide academic assistance to middle school students currently under-performing in math.

dublab is seeking funding to alleviate start-up costs, site build-out, and early maintenance of what will be a brand new arts community center and co-operative in Echo Park.

The proposal from California State University Northridge's SecondaryEd hopes to train 8th- and 9th-grade math teachers on an innovative approach to instruction developed by Dr. Ivan Cheng.

Mi Mentor's proposal, “Together We Succeed," will empower Latinx pre-health professions community college students to excel in their transition to a four-year undergraduate program.

Through virtual workshops, Fulfillment Fund hopes to help 9th-12th grade students in its partner schools rebuild social-emotional connections to their peers, their educational community, and their sense of purpose.

Center for Powerful Public Schools hopes to continue its work building the capacity of teachers to better prepare students of color and low-income students to access rigorous education and opportunity pathways, and be college ready.

In partnership with the LA Valley College Family Resource Center, LIFT Los Angeles seeks to break down barriers to post-secondary education attainment for the 25 percent of low-income students who are also raising children.

A coalition of leading STEM organizations, including Expand LA, AltaSea, California Science Center, Columbia Memorial Space Center, Discovery Cube, Los Angeles Maritime Institute, Roundhouse Aquarium, and TreePeople "STEM for All Seasons" and providing learning for thousands of local students.

OLASTEO's “Virtual Experience Program" seeks to expose students to a world beyond their local communities through curated virtual experiences.

Global Arts Corporation would use grants challenge funding to provide free workshops for educators through its Professional Development Series.

Parent, Family Engagement and Community Services plans to use My LA2050 funds for its interactive and engaging educational workshops for parents.

LA Conservation Corps seeks funding to continue serving opportunity youth in Los Angeles and build out its alumni network of program graduates.

Grants challenge applicant Greater South Bay STEM Foundation hopes to help reduce math skills erosion among elementary students due to COVID-19 through math enrichment.

"College to Career Launch" from Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) will advance economic mobility for young people of color by providing them with crucial resources including mentorship, career coaching, and fellowship opportunities.

I Have a Dream Foundation - Los Angeles is participating in the grants challenge to continue helping students effectively navigate a pathway to an empowered future by promoting the values of higher education and career success.

With My LA2050 support, Junior Achievement of Southern California will bring the 3DE curriculum model of using real life case studies that promote problem-solving into Crenshaw High School.

Hacker Fund and partner Road to Artdom seek funding for MentorDash, a technology dashboard to connect STEAM industry mentors to students in LAUSD classrooms.

ITS-IN-SCOPE proposes funding the organization's Memoryhaus in Historic South Central to foster collective learning.

For their application, New Earth and DaVinci RISE High are partnering to provide individualized education support and wrap-around services to systems-involved youth ages 13-25 and narrow the learning gap.

UrbanPromise Los Angeles plans to continue its various youth development programs and initiatives, if selected as a finalist in this year's grants challenge.

Trends in the 2021 My LA2050 Grants Challenge PLAY Category

Posted April 28, 2021 by LeAnn Kelch and Jake Bishop

At LA2050, the PLAY category represents our vision that the Los Angeles region will provide abundant, enjoyable recreational opportunities for people of all ages. By the year 2050, people from across Los Angeles will live in close proximity to vibrant park spaces and have easy access to high-quality, sustainable venues to get active, explore the outdoors, and appreciate our natural environment. All residents will feel a sense of safety and belonging in their neighborhoods.

We noticed four trends in the 34 submissions this year's PLAY category:

  1. Several submissions focused on expanding play equity and access to sports and recreation in Los Angeles. This year, there was a particular emphasis on increasing access to historically-exclusive sports such as golf, tennis, lacrosse, and surfing. Some of the applicants seeking to ensure Angelenos can participate in any sport of their choosing are the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, Harlem Lacrosse, the SCGA Foundation, Color the Water, and the Sloane Stephens Foundation.
  2. The PLAY category emphasizes getting outside and being active; but often, there is much more to recreation than meets the eye. Several of this year's submitters proposed proposals that demonstrate the impact of playing with purpose. For example, Creative Acts uses art, music, and theatre games to foster civic engagement in youth and East Side Riders Bike Club gives young people an alternative to drugs and gangs through cycling. Other applicants addressing our communities' deeper needs through play include the Los Angeles Maritime Institute, Project:Camp, Books and Buckets, and Up2Us Sports.
  3. After more than a year spent indoors due to COVID-19, Angelenos are ready to reconnect with our region's natural and urban environments. A number of this year's applicants focused on building back these connections and inspiring Angelenos to explore their surroundings – whether CicLAvia's plan for a WalkLAvia or, LA Audubon's and Nature for All's outdoor programming.
  4. Another important aspect of PLAY is having access to high-quality, safe spaces for recreation. For that reason, several of this year's submissions focused on improving the quality of parks and green spaces in Los Angeles neighborhoods. Organizations seeking to ensure that all Angelenos are the Integrated Recovery Network, Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, and Urban Peace Institute.

Project Camp proposes setting up pop-up day camps to support children, parents, and communities in the aftermath of disasters.

The East Side Riders Bike Club team gives children in Watts an alternative to gangs and drugs through group bike rides, teaching bicycle safety, and advocating for more bike lanes. Their proposal seeks funding to continue this work.

The Ready, Set, Gold! program from the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games seeks to promote healthy, active lifestyles to children in local schools.

Angel City Alliance seeks to encourage people with disabilities to reach their fullest potential and engage with their communities through a broad spectrum of adaptive wellness opportunities for adults and children.

"Art Attacks!" — the application from Creative Acts — focuses on the organization's work to civically engage incarcerated youth through visual art, music, and theatre games.

SCGA Foundation applied for its programming using golf as a vehicle for youth development and bringing equity to the game.

The proposal from Brady Center focuses on mobilizing young Angelenos to engage in ending gun violence through a supply-side approach.

Sprouts of Promise plans to partner with the Los Angeles Food Policy Council to ensure all LA kids have access to growing vegetables with a brand new mobile farm on wheels!

Applicant Street Soccer USA, in partnership with ThinkWatts, seeks funding to build accessible futsal courts on unused land and hire and retain local community staff for its youth programs.

For its submission, CicLAvia proposes launching "WalkLAvia" – a dedicated week for Angelenos to get back outside and have fun, also addressing the social and emotional toll of COVID-19.

Tree of Life Child and Family Services applied to the My LA2050 Grants Challenge to support opportunity youth in South LA through trauma-informed recreational programming.

The Child Development Institute Early Learning Center in Reseda seeks to implement programming at its outdoor garden area that will provide children ages 0-6 and their families with a multipurpose place to play and bond.

Los Angeles Audubon's "Nature is in PLAY" project aims to connect all Angelenos to the inspiring, energizing, and healing benefits of nature in the city.

The proposal from the Surf Bus Foundation includes the creation of four high school surf teams in regions historically blocked from ocean access plus sustained coaching support, practices, camps, and contests.

The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation seeks funding for its RBI initiative focusing on leveling the playing field in baseball and softball for Black youth, girls, and teens in Los Angeles.

"Bikes for the People," the proposal from Bicycle Kitchen/La Bici-Cocina in partnership with Bikerowave and Los Angeles LGBT Center, would provide free bikes, accessories, maintenance, and safety courses to individuals lacking transportation.

Resilient Agency seeks funding to support its re-entry programming and COVID-19 relief services in South LA.

Do you love puppet performances? So does Bob Baker Marionette Theater! Its proposal hopes to launch the "Marionette Mobile" to bring puppet performances to every corner of Los Angeles.

"Why Not? Play in South LA," LA Promise Fund's submission to this year's grants challenge in partnership with NBA player Russell Westbrook, addresses play equity and strives to support students as athletes, activists, and academic achievers.

Through a basketball academy, guided reading and comprehension help, and mentoring, Books and Buckets aims to empower Washington Neighborhood Youth with its proposal.

The Sloane Stephens Foundation believes in using tennis as a vehicle to change the narrative of poverty, health inequity, and educational underdevelopment in Compton.

The “Rethink MacArthur Park" Initiative from the Integrated Recovery Network aims to employ individuals experiencing homelessness in MacArthur Park.

The proposal from the Los Angeles Maritime Institute, “Sail Away Weekends," would provide extraordinary adventures to heal and bond families of Los Angeles homicide victims through a partnership with Justice For Murdered Children.

If Urban Peace Institute becomes a finalist, the organization will use funds to empower peacemakers and community leaders to reduce violence at Harvard Park and ensure children and families feel safe enough to play.

The Children's Lifesaving Foundation is seeking funds for its summer camp, which provides crucial outdoor educational and positive social experiences to transitioning homeless and underserved youth from urban and shelter environments.

"All Aboard for Nature," the proposal from Nature for All, would provide a total of ten free trips to nature 500+ community members without access to transportation, many of whom will visit our nearby public lands for the first time.

The Gasol Foundation's "VIDA! Health and Wellness Compton" submission focuses on empowering children and their families with tools and support to live a healthier lifestyle and improve their overall well-being.

Harlem Lacrosse LA's "Keep PLAYing: High School Program Expansion" seeks to expand the organization's high school lacrosse programs and staff in Inglewood, Compton, and South LA.

Last year, 248 Angelenos died while walking or cycling. Street Simplified LLC applied to this year's grants challenge with a proposal to use artificial intelligence technology and data to reduce crashes on LA streets.

Up2Us Sports understands the "Healing Power of Coaches." That's why its proposal focuses on ramping up the support and training of trauma-informed coaches who will inspire the health and wellbeing of LA youth following COVID-19.

"Youth of Promise," the proposal from Flintridge Center, furthers the organization's work investing in youth exposed to trauma and adverse childhood experiences via after-school programming.

The Los Angeles Community Garden Council seeks funding to build community at the Fountain Community Gardens through workshops and other engagement activities.

"Joyful Antiracist Surf Lessons for BIPOC," the submission from Color the Water, focuses on providing free surf lessons to BIPOC and fighting racism in surf culture.

The Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust applied for funding to continue its work developing healthy, active green spaces in communities that need it most and fostering park equity.

Trends in the 2021 My LA2050 Grants Challenge LIVE Category

Posted April 21, 2021 by LeAnn Kelch and Jake Bishop

At LA2050, the LIVE category represents our vision that all Los Angeles residents will have equitable access to the environmental, economic, and cultural resources needed to thrive. By the year 2050, Los Angeles will have the nation's lowest poverty rate. All families will have access to fresh and healthy food, high-quality health care, and safe housing, no matter where they live or how much money they make. Our communities will enjoy the benefits of a sustainable environment, from clear skies to clean water.

We noticed six trends in the 74 proposals in this year's LIVE category:

  1. A number of LIVE proposals focused on providing health education resources and mental health support to young people. And, with the COVID-19 pandemic in mind, several are seeking funding specifically to develop virtual and mobile programming, from phone applications to online chats. Some of the organizations providing this essential programming to youth include Changeist, Peer Health Exchange, Creative Healing for Youth in Pain, We Can Foundation, and more.
  2. The most popular impact metric selected by LIVE applicants was “resilient communities." It's no surprise that in this time, 29 applicants are focused on enhancing Angelenos' capacity to withstand, adapt, and even thrive in the face of obstacles – from Strategic Actions for a Just Economy's UNIDAD Coalition to the Los Angeles Food Policy Council's Farm Fresh LA! Initiative.
  3. There were also several proposals working to alleviate food insecurity by capturing and redistributing food that would otherwise be wasted. The “access to healthy food" and “food insecurity" impact metrics were selected by 25 applicants each. Some of the applicants aiming to improve local food distribution include Hollywood Food Coalition, Venice Family Clinic, Sowing Seeds of Change, FoodCycle, and others.
  4. Each year, the grants challenge receives proposals from organizations working with Angelenos experiencing homelessness. But this year, in particular, there was impressive diversity in the proposed services and programs. The organizations offering creative, holistic support to individuals experiencing homelessness include Jovenes Inc., Village for Vets, St. Francis Center, Back on My Feet, and Shower of Hope.
  5. We know that COVID-19 and the “Safer at Home" orders were particularly challenging for LA's older adult population. For that reason, it's encouraging to see an increase in the number of proposals focused on serving older adults. Asian Americans for Housing and Environmental Justice, Westside Pacific Villages, the Youth Movement Against Alzheimer's, and Next for Me are some of the groups working in this area.
  6. With housing costs in Los Angeles County continuing to rise, a number of organizations applied to expand tenant protections and increase the supply of affordable housing. Ideas range from providing legal services (Western Center on Law & Poverty) to building a brand new affordable housing development (Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects) and advocating for tenants to have first-right of purchase (LA Community Land Trust Coalition).

Learn more about all of the proposals:

The Little Angels Project will provide financial assistance to pet owners who have fallen on hard times with the ultimate goal of making Los Angeles a zero-kill city.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected seniors drastically. For its proposal, Westside Pacific Villages aims to keep seniors physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy and help them transition back to "normal" life post-pandemic.

Food on Foot will provide the tools and resources unhoused and low-income individuals need to become self-sufficient through housing, employment, life skills trainings, and more.

Through social media and its new digital app, Peer Health Exchange aims to deliver its health curriculum to increase young people's health knowledge and encourage help-seeking behaviors.

The food and water box from 501CTHREE delivers fresh food and up to 20 gallons of clean water per minute. Its proposal will launch food and water boxes to low-income communities that disproportionately experience contaminated water.

Whether it's to medical appointments, to and from the hospital, or nursing facilities, Lynsteb Inc. provides non-emergency medical transportation services for people with disabilities for its proposal.

By distributing "mental health first aid kits," Find Your Anchor seeks to offer support for Angelenos struggling with serious mental health issues and de-stigmatize conversations around mental health and suicide.

With the recent re-opening of Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall as a housing facility for homeless young women, Jovenes, Inc.'s proposal focuses on helping these youth meet their basic needs and reintegrate into the community.

By creating a safe parking program in San Gabriel Valley, the proposal from Foothill Unity Center, Inc. hopes to create a pathway to stable housing and reengagement for people sleeping in their vehicles.

As a food distributor, Hollywood Food Coalition applied to provide small- to medium-sized nonprofits in Los Angeles County with the fresh food their communities need.

For its proposal, Eayikes suggests coordinating between volunteers who make meals in their homes with partner organizations that deliver those meals to people experiencing homelessness.

CHYPchat is a unique online community from Creative Healing for Youth in Pain where teens with chronic pain can connect. This proposal focuses on mind/body connection, mental health, stress management, social connectedness, and a path to wellness for teens with chronic pain.

Baby2Baby's proposal seeks support for the organization' mobile distribution program, "Baby2Baby On-the-Go," that delivers baby food, diapers, and other items to families with young children.

The submission from House of Ruth Inc. focuses on helping survivors of domestic violence through survivor-driven, trauma-informed mobile advocacy, flexible funding assistance, and community engagement.

RuckusRoots's proposal, entitled "The Play with Your Food Project: Intergenerational Culinary, Visual and Movement Arts'' would provide free produce, healthy cooking classes, and interdisciplinary arts workshops for youth.

"Ready to Stay LA" from the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) seeks to expand the organization's current infrastructure to help immigrant workers, youth, and families in LA County adjust their legal status under immigration reform and other measures.

If the Housing Authority of Los Angeles becomes a finalist, grant funds will support its Watts Rising Street Team, a group of resident ambassadors in Watts who focus on community engagement, trust-building, and adoption and utilization of new community investments.

With its proposal, Optimist Youth Homes and Family Services plans to offer individual and family counseling sessions, therapy, and psychiatric care to high-risk youth.

There are 200+ tool libraries across the nation, but none in LA County. With its proposal, The Maker's Hub would create LA's first tool library in Compton for its residents who want to garden, start a small business, teach a repair class, and more.

LA Compost is very passionate about, you guessed it, composting! For its proposal, the organization would establish new compost hubs and infrastructure throughout Los Angeles County, including expanding it's food scrap drop-off locations at LA-based farmers markets.

Next For Me hopes to offer its books, courses, and workshops to 50+ workers navigating employment in the next phases of their lives for its proposal.

In partnership with TRUST South LA, Esperanza Community Housing Corporation, and CD Tech, Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE) hopes to support motions to use government-owned land to build affordable housing and drive community-serving economic development.

With its proposal, Village for Vets hopes to pilot its "Veterans Street Academy," a new program that would provide services and community-based solutions to support case managers who engage the most difficult homeless Veterans.

St. Francis Center is seeking funding to continue its breakfast and pantry programs as well as its comprehensive services such as showers, rental and utility assistance, phone access, and longer-term case management interventions for Angelenos experiencing homelessness.

In partnership with UCLA, Venice Family Clinic plans to fight food insecurity by connecting hundreds of households to free, nutritious meals.

Back on My Feet LA's proposal focuses on forming run/walk teams of volunteers and individuals experiencing homelessness that meet three times a week to create a positive relationship and community.

With its proposal, Western Center on Law & Poverty seeks to make sure that LA residents experiencing poverty are protected by California law, both during and after COVID-19.

Sowing Seeds of Change seeks to launch its "No-Cost Open Farmers Market" to divert food from landfills, create meaningful jobs, and provide food access to communities.

Vision To Learn bridges the gap in access to vision care for low-income communities. The organization applied to bring its programming to more local students.

The Shower of Hope's proposal supports delivery of its shower services and other resources to individuals experiencing homelessness.

Garden School Foundation proposes expanding its composting program to a second school site. Its current program shows how school composting can increase fresh food access, reduce food waste, drive climate action, and provide jobs for parents.

National Alliance of Mental Illness - SGV recognizes that there is a barrier to accessing mental health care for Angelenos who do not speak English. The organization's proposal seeks to translate its free mental health resources into multiple languages

In partnership with the US-Africa Institute, the National Association of Mental Illness, and others, We Can Foundation hopes to provide reproductive health and mental health support to youth in California.

Youth Emerging Strong applied with "Staying Strong," its proposal to ensure that the youth in its charge maintain the positive attitudes, behaviors, and connections that they develop while living in one of its homelike shelters.

Social Model Recovery Systems, Inc. hopes to connect Angelenos struggling with mental health and substance issues to accessible telehealth services at every step of their recovery journey for its proposal.

Asian Americans for Housing and Environmental Justice plans to provide business and professional skills for low-income, older and senior BIPOC LGBTQ+ to start-up or expand a nano-business through its submission.

People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) plans to create a Lived Expertise Advisory Board to strengthen its existing LeaseUp LA initiative, a countywide landlord engagement effort to expand the affordable rental market.

For their submission, Todo Verde and People's Yoga seek funding for their community-powered studio for wellness, learning, and production in East LA that will reimagine community wellness and economy.

Healing California applied to fund its work bringing free, high-quality dental and vision care to uninsured and underrepresented Angelenos.

Tree People seeks to activate Angelenos to help create a sustainable, edible urban forest by distributing fruit trees in "tree poor" neighborhoods.

Hospitality Industry Training and Education Fund hopes to continue providing healthy, nutritious, and delicious meals to at-risk people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic by re-employing laid-off hotel and event center culinary professionals.

The proposal from Watts Labor Community Action Network, "MudTown Farms," seeks to train Watts residents in urban farming for economically and environmentally sustainable careers.

Esperanza Community Housing proposes to invest in its "Promotores de Salud (Community Health Promoters)" program to provide life-saving culturally accessible in-home health education, primary prevention and advocacy to families in South LA.

In collaboration with Commonwealth Nursery, City Plants seeks to expand nursery infrastructure to grow more climate-ready trees to distribute to Angelenos via LADWP's Free Trees Program.

The proposal from The Right Kind of Black Girl Inc., "Queens Building Queens (QBQ) program," hopes to provide a space for like-minded women to connect with one another and gain inspiration, skills and establish long-term professional connections.

In order to help Angelenos experiencing homelessness, The Center in Hollywood's proposal focuses on facilitating programs that assists individuals with decompressing, feeling safe, and overcoming social isolation.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles proposes to expand its Home Preservation Program, providing low-income households throughout Los Angeles County with interior and exterior repairs to their homes.

“Meal Nation," the proposal from Foster Nation, would ensure foster youth have at least one meal a day for 30 to 60 days, and the know-how to access public benefits such as CalFresh.

CultivaLA proposes using green spaces to empower immigrant and low-income communities across Los Angeles to grow and obtain fresh foods in their neighborhood..

Virtual YouthCare, the proposal from the Youth Movement Against Alzheimers, seeks to partner trained student volunteers with older adults who have early-to-mid stage dementia.

Blueprints For Pangaea at USC proposes sending excess, unused medical supplies to areas in need both locally and overseas.

LOVS applied with a plan for a pilot program to train psychotherapists of color with free, trauma-focused clinical training.

The application from Maxwell Vehicles suggests bringing electric vehicle tech to the ubiquitous white van at a discounted rate for nonprofits.

The Right Way seeks funding for its Operation Housing First program, which houses former foster youth at risk of homelessness and provides trauma-informed case management, employment, and mental health services.

The Changeist team seeks funding to pilot a new model of virtual mental health support, providing youth participants with easy access to a suite of high-quality, free services.

For this year's My LA2050 Grants Challenge, Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects seeks support for The Village, a community-oriented supportive housing concept that will provide safe and affordable housing for female-led households.

Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (Cast) proposes using My LA2050 funds to cover the cost of a full-time Youth Emergency Response Case Manager who will be dedicated to attending at least 100 youth survivors in crisis over one year.

For its proposal, United Way of Greater Los Angeles focuses on building a countywide approach to our most pressing challenges: housing affordability, low incomes, and shameful wealth gaps.

FoodCycle seeks funding to provide infrastructure to connect new food donors to nonprofit partners in need.

To serve EV drivers and the Los Angeles power grid, ElectricFish seeks to install its 350kW battery at various sites for its proposal.

The core of Voices Beyond Assault's proposal is providing emergency trauma relief for survivors in Los Angeles.

MoceanLab, Inc. seeks to provide three vehicles to LAUSD nurses, psychologists, and aides for its proposal.

“The Heroic Journey" by The Hero Coalition would feature evidence-based tools teaching mental health and social-emotional skills in a culturally-relevant way if selected as a finalist.

If The Niles Foundation LA wins, it will create MicroFoodFarmGarden Sites by transforming Angeleno's rooftops, yards, lawns, unused, or vacant lots into local food access and food secure spaces.

The Los Angeles Community Garden Council is seeking to expand the capacity of volunteers to serve the community via weekly empowerment workshops, food pantries, and much more.

To reduce the carbon footprint of LA, Project Ropa's proposal seeks to continue its recycling and distribution of clothing, shoes, and textiles to low-income and unhoused individuals.

YWCA of the Harbor Area seeks funding for its Healthy Futures Program, which provides healthy food and encourages recycling and composting.

The LA Community Land Trust Coalition from Beverly-Vermont Community Land Trust, Liberty Community Land Trust, T.R.U.S.T. South, LA El Sereno Community Land Trust, and Fideicomiso Comunitario Tierra Libre aims to empower tenants to have the first right to purchase their building to multi-generational wealth.

"Farm Fresh LA!" from the Los Angeles Food Policy Council seeks to connect California farmers of color to CalFresh shoppers at Healthy Neighborhood Market Network stores.

If Growing the Table is selected as a finalist, the organization will partner with Farm2People to create a weekly flow of produce from BIPOC and women farmers to food insecure families.

LA Room and Board is on a mission to end housing insecurity among community college students. Its proposal seeks to scale its unique housing model and serve more students at-risk of and experiencing homelessness.

Pacific Urbanism plans to advance understanding in LA of how land use, zoning, and code should change to produce both climate resilient outcomes and healthy communities.

Food Sector Systems, LLC applied to fund its "Corner Farm" project and provide fresh, nutrient-dense, vitamin-rich agricultural products in a modular unit.

Downtown Crenshaw Rising seeks support for its bid to purchase the CrenshawMall and provide a new model of Black community ownership and economic development.

Celebrating the LA2050 Safer At Home Heroes

Posted March 30, 2021 by Team LA2050

It has been just over one year since the City of Los Angeles put Safer at Home orders in place as the devastation of COVID-19 began to spread.

To commemorate this somber anniversary, we wanted to honor the Angelenos who have stepped up to care for each other and serve our region over the past year. We designated these selfless, inspiring individuals our LA2050 Safer At Home Heroes and asked the LA2050 community to provide nominations on our Instagram.

The nominees represent the best of all of us — from brave frontline medical staff to essential workers in all sectors, educators creating the best virtual classrooms possible, chefs providing meals to those in need, and families caring for at-risk loved ones. Through random selection, we awarded 10 nominees with $50 gift cards to Gifts for Good as a small token of our appreciation. Now, we're grateful to share the inspiring and moving submissions we received.

A huge thank you to all of the nominators and nominees!

Meet the LA2050 Safer At Home Heroes:

@ccolmery: I nominate @alinasato for her good and hard work at CHLA as an RN. Through every COVID spike and threat of illness she showed up and serves her patients with heart.

@alecia076: I nominate Patricia Dixon from @caaquatictherapy She has worked tirelessly to ensure residents with special health needs are able to access wellness services, food and care. Pat is an #la2050saferathomehero 😍

@nelson_pulga: @champagneebri proud of my niece for helping the homeless youth throughout this whole pandemic & helping them get resources they need.

@tafaraibayne: @czarjonesiii for providing thousands and thousands of meals to residents of Watts over the last 12 Months (with his team at @eastsideriders) and still finding time to host youth-focused community bike rides. Dude is my hero for reals.

@luvabull_23: I would like to nominate my Husband @damn_its_rod as he is an essential worker. He is a mechanic at the airport so he always had to report to work last year and currently. He works very hard even at home as he helps people with their cars, sometimes not even charging for his labor. He is truly a selfless person and I would love this for him as I'm a stay-at-home Mom so I can't always provide #LA2050SaferAtHomeHero.

@farrahwayy: I nominate @heleoleyva for hosting community cookouts throughout the pandemic to feed those in need.

@lvasquez90032: I would like to nominate @jacobtoups as a #la2050saferathomehero he took the last year to bring LGBTQ youth together and create a BRAVE space for them. He has built an organization @rainbow_labs that brings those youth voices to a larger platform. Across the nation there are only 5 LGBTQ mentoring programs for every 5000 programs. There's a need and it's been incredible to witness Jacob's commitment to support and elevate all of their voices!

@jumamock5: I nominate @jerimtz who was part of the 1st team in our department to work with people who were recovering from severe covid. He has dedicated all of his time over the past year to provide physical therapy services to almost 150 people from the LA area. He is my hero and it is an honor to work with him.

@emwildflower: I nominate @punsandproses for working tirelessly to bring arts education virtually to youth in the South Bay.

@emwidlflower: I nominate @sarah.tapiapruett for fighting for her students while safely loving her community and friends.

And, meet the rest of the inspiring nominations:

@arianadelawari: @wyllalourdes I nominate Wylla my late mom's nurse at Kaiser. She was so attentive and helpful throughout the time of losing our mom. It was so confusing being isolated away from her while she was in the hospital and it means so much to have a great nurse who was helping us navigate communication while being on the frontlines herself and caring for her own family ❤️

@lorenzo_e_hernandez has been leading his team to distribute support the families affected by COVID. Meeting with families in-person to distribute more than $2.2 million in grocery cards, rental relief and utilities relief Lorenzo and his team have eased the suffering of the pandemic.

@swellmel2014: I nominate @NVCSinc - On March 19, 2020 they set up a drive-thru food pantry which has served over 33,000 families from 118 zip codes throughout Los Angeles. Tomorrow marks the 100th drive-thru pantry. Sad that we have food insecure families but grateful for outreach by this remarkable non-profit!

@raquelitab1: @atziricamarema has been on disaster worker assignment from @empowerla for over 10 months serving our unhoused neighbors of LA. She has ascended into a supervisor role leading several project roomkey locations which was only possible because of her compassion, discipline, and strong work ethic. Thank you for the opportunity to recognize Atziri for her service.

@simon2587 Last year, Simon decided to continue his passion for nursing and caretaking. I nominate Simon because he's a caregiver to his grandparents, a student, a murse, and event planner. From getting groceries and translating mail/tv for his grandparents to bring a full-time nurse at a hospital and a student on top of it he's helped make pandemic drive-thru birthdays for people of all ages. Not only is Simon a front-line worker, he's an extraordinary friend and grandson, and though there were moments where he struggled, he was able to triumph because he knew what it meant for his loved ones. I'm so proud of you Simon! ❤️

@chancekawar: I nominate Marilú Guevara, executive director of @LWVlosangeles. I'm proud to have witnessed her leadership engaging & educating local voters during an election season like no other we've seen before. With limited resources during the ongoing pandemic, she has continued to be a powerful voice defending our democracy and an informed political discourse.

@mostlyfinnrarelytara: @allenlnarcisse and Casey Williams @lyft for their great work supporting voting and vaccine access.

@shaunanep: I nominate @annasilverman for implementing such smart Covid safe strategies for her family during such a difficult year ❤️

@tobermancenter: @big_c2c has been a guiding light this year. He has created processes so people will receive direct financial aid quickly and with minimal contact. He ensures that anyone going hungry receives home-delivered food from the food pantry. Carlos gives hope and leadership to all he meets.

@katt.montoya: I nominate @carmene.montoya for working two jobs and one of them being an essential grocery store worker! Thank you for working and helping us get the essentials we needed during a pandemic.

@ericjsal: I nominate @champagneebri for not taking a day off AND working so hard through this pandemic.

@fileleyva4030: I nominate @communitycookouts The Leyva brothers have distributed over 5,000 meals to people in need in the East Hollywood area.

@danigonzalezg: I also nominate @communitycookouts !! They have been sharing incredible street food meals to neighbors in need in EaHo every Tuesday! 5000+ meals so far.

@emwidlflower: I nominate @den__nice for graduating in a pandemic and still being the best 6th-grade teacher ever.

@zerowastemicaela: @ecourbangardens I nominate Liz Christy, program manager at Eco Urban Gardens, a school garden nonprofit that serves the El Monte community! EUG cultivates green spaces and grows healthy organic food. Liz has been working really hard to keep the gardens and virtual education programs running during the pandemic!

@punsandproses: I nominate @emwildflower for her constant commitment to bettering the lives of the children she serves as an Urban Theatre Program director. She works ceaselessly to enrich and provide for the “neighborhood kids" that fill every centimeter of her gigantic heart. She's an inspiration ♥️

@phillycheesecake: I nominate @heleoleyva of @quesadillastepexco and @communitycookouts for bringing the community of East Hollywood free hot meals EVERY WEEK despite a pandemic that put him and his crew out of work.

@mostlyfinnrarelytara: @ilovemikeandlily for delivering meals with @projectangelfood and volunteering with @makegoodinc.

@niduh: I nominate @irfan_ahmed for being a doctor on the frontline during this pandemic!

@emwildflower: I nominate @isaiah.murtaugh for fighting to cover voting rights and the 2020 election in the middle of a pandemic.

@lalaleann: I nominate @sarah.tapiapruett for being an incredible educator and mama to baby Noemí! All at the same time 🥰

@mostlyfinnrarelytara: @jenniferbblackburn and the team @larchmontschool for raising grocery money for our school's families.

@tobermancenter: @leslieeeanaya has brought a smile to many people's faces this year with her caring and support. She has helped seniors sign up for COVID vaccinations, helped people get free tax preparation, grocery cards and rent. Leslie brightens up the day as she supports the distribution of over 200 meals daily!

@smgrams: I nominate @lizschwandt for going above and beyond providing safe and nurturing childcare at @sijccece AND in her free time creating a volunteer organization (Get Out The Shot LA) to help folks with finding vaccine appointments. Truly making our city safer and more equitable during this crisis! 🙌 Thank you, Liz!

I nominate Aaron Valencia of @lost_angels_childrens_project ...when the pandemic hit and families had to stay at home, Aaron immediately put resources together to support food-insecure families. He set up a meal delivery service in the City of Lancaster that kept many people from going hungry. He is an #la2050saferathomehero 😎

@alturiconsulting: Nominating @mellemusic for doing all she possibly can since the very start to ensure as many Angelenos in need as possible have food. She has been an inspiration in her nonstop efforts to feed those in need and by collaborating with others to ensure that those in need have access to food. ❤️

@katt.montoya: I nominate @ms._bee_ for never once stopping to work as a medical assistant and helping patients get the care they need. Thank you for caring for the whole family as well!

@mostlyfinnrarelytara: for sharing her food when we couldn't get the groceries we needed.

@geemd: @quesadillastepexco are street vendors turned community chefs. They've served hot, delicious and nutritious FREE meals to thousands of community members in East Hollywood at their weekly cookouts 🧡

@goretti.25: I nominate @quesadillastepexco @communitycookouts for feeding those in need even as the Leyva brothers were struggling themselves during the pandemic. They hosted community cookouts where free food was given no questions asked. 👏👏

@rcheratyou: I also nominate @quesadillastepexco @communitycookouts for supplying meals for those in need in East Hollywood. The kindness and compassion they have for our community is such an inspiration. We need more people like the Leyva brothers! 🔥🙌❤️

@emwildflower: I nominate @sayyescenter.picounion for caring for the kids in our city who are most vulnerable.

@_thehyepriestess_: I nominate the team at @smileandwonder for creating a safe space for kids to learn and play. Eternally grateful to Nicole and Ana! 👏❤️

@stellamarine: I nominate @stoicspam who has been advocating for and supporting tenants in crisis during this whole pandemic both in her own community and across LA!

@emwildflower: I nominate @tapiapruett for graduating during a pandemic and jumping right into teaching.

@d1.zayzay: I nominate my Public health professor and mentor @thatprettytr3. She has been volunteering at various Covid-19 testing sites while creating content videos for her community about Covid-19. She is also continuing to provide STEM classes to underserved youth in Los Angeles county. She has been on the front lines since the pandemic began and has been servicing the people of Los Angeles. She has not missed one step in any role assigned to her. She is more than deserving.

@_marilynthompson_: I nominate @twinspire_ a non-profit organization serving marginalized and foster youth virtually by equipping them with financial literacy and life skills to pursue educational and career opportunities in the midst of the pandemic. They are committed to equipping the next generation of youth with the tools required to be mindful leaders and phenomenal students. ✊🏽💕

@stephgwieland: I nominate @twinspire_. Founded by twin brothers Demontae and Demontray, Twinspire is a local nonprofit organization dedicated to serving foster youth and marginalized youth throughout the city to provide them with educational support, financial literacy, and life skills. Demontae and Demontray have been working tirelessly through this pandemic to ensure their participants have the tools they need to not only survive, but to thrive.

​Nominate an LA2050 Safer at Home Hero!

Posted March 14, 2021 by Team LA2050

We need your help to recognize and reward the heroes who have stepped up to serve their fellow Angelenos during COVID-19.

On March 19, 2020, at 11:59 pm, the City of LA's Safer at Home orders began. The nearly one year since has brought immense suffering and tragedy. But, life during the pandemic has also brought countless examples of hope and help, of sacrifice and selflessness, and of communities caring for one another.

From brave frontline medical workers to essential grocery store staff, families coping together with online school, older adults making phone calls to check-in on neighbors, and college students volunteering at testing sites, Angelenos have stepped up to care for each other and for our communities. We're designating these incredible individuals our LA2050 Safer At Home Heroes.

As a small gesture of respect and gratitude to all the heroes among us, LA2050 is giving away 10 $50 gift cards to Gifts for Good, an online marketplace to purchase meaningful products from socially-conscious companies.

To join in: Nominate an #LA2050SaferatHomeHero by tagging someone in the comments on our @LA2050 Instagram post and briefly explaining why this person is deserving. You can nominate as many people as you want (one comment per nomination, please!).

Nominations will close on Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 3 pm, so make sure to comment before then. We'll randomly select 10 winners after the drawing closes and post the results on Friday, March 19, 2021. Nominations will be accepted on the honor system (we're trusting that you're providing us with true information). We reserve the right to remove inappropriate or unkind comments from the drawing.

Most importantly, a huge THANK YOU to everyone out there who has been a hero in our communities during this time.

Keep up with LA2050