In March, we shared that the Annenberg Foundation would again be partnering with the My LA2050 Grants Challenge and be providing $50,000 of additional funding to the winning organizations to support their efforts around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). This is Annenberg's sixth year as a My LA2050 funding partner and its third year providing DEI grants to winners.
We're excited to announce that this year's first-place My LA2050 winners—Las Fotos Project, Pediatric Therapy Network, Ready to Succeed, Clinica Msr. Romero, and the Los Angeles City Department of Recreation and Parks—will each receive an additional $10,000 grant from Annenberg. This funding will allow these five organizations to conduct an analysis of the composition of their board, staff, volunteers, and those they serve and take concrete steps to ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion are present across all aspects of their work.
Below, find a statement from Marsha Bonner, Senior Director of Programs, Community Grantmaking, and Special Initiatives at the Annenberg Foundation:
“The Annenberg Foundation is proud to continue its partnership with LA2050 this year with support for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives of this year's top winners. At a time when our communities are facing the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism, it is critical that we provide DEI support to organizations that have bold visions to make Los Angeles a more equitable city. We believe that investing in DEI during these unprecedented times will allow organizations to meet the pressing needs of their respective communities, and equip them to be effective change agents in addressing social inequities across Los Angeles.”
We're grateful to have the Annenberg Foundation as a longstanding partner in the philanthropic space, and we're even more grateful for their continued commitment to furthering diversity, equity, and inclusion in Los Angeles County. Thank you!
There are just 75 days until the 2020 Election!
Now's the time to ask yourself: Am I eligible to vote? Am I registered at my current address? Do I want a mail-in ballot, and if so, have I signed up for one?
In anticipation of the 2020 election, we want to make sure that every Angeleno is prepared. Figuring out voting deadlines and eligibility can be confusing, so we've compiled a guide with the tools you'll need to be empowered and civically engaged. Below are some resources that we hope will help:
Important dates and deadlines:
October 6: Voting by mail begins
October 19: Last day to register to vote via by mail or online*
October 24: LA County Vote Centers open for early voting
November 3: 2020 Election Day!
*Provisional registration is available through Election Day
Voter registration resources:
In March, we announced that Citi would be joining us as a funding partner for this year's My LA2050 Grants Challenge. Citi pledged $25,000 for an applicant whose work focused on small business development, financial inclusion, or housing, with a special focus on projects that address the racial wealth gap in Los Angeles.
After thoughtful consideration and conversation, Citi has selected LIFT-LA to receive $25,000. LIFT-LA empowers families to break the cycle of poverty through one-on-one financial, educational and career coaching and applied to this year's grants challenge for its Family Goal Fund program. We're so excited for our friends at LIFT and so grateful to Citi for partnering with us to support some of the incredible work happening in our region.
Below, find a statement from James Alva, Citi's Senior Vice President & Market Director of Community Investing and Development for Southern California and Texas:
“Citi is proud to have joined the LA2050 community this year. At a time when our communities need the most support, it has been inspiring to learn about all of the great visions for Los Angeles in the future, but we know that so many need cash today. Citi has been a long supporter of financial security and empowerment. We have admired LIFT-LA's work for years, and we are proud to be able to support them with $25,000 this year via My LA2050.LIFT's actionable and goal-centered approach to providing financial empowerment services for their members is admirable. LIFT quickly adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic on behalf of the most vulnerable communities by getting much needed cash into the hands of its members in a manner that allows them to maintain their dignity and provides access to other needed services. Citi extends its thanks to all the applicants of the My LA2050 Grants Challenge. We know that LA will be a much better place in 2050 as a result of the work you all do.”
The LIVE category represents our vision of an LA where all communities have the economic means and cultural capital to thrive. By the year 2050, we hope our region will have the nation's lowest poverty rate, and that all families will have access to healthy food, quality health care, safe housing, and a sustainable environment, no matter where they live or how much money they make.
Below, learn more about the five My LA2050 winners making LA the best place to LIVE.
$100,000 Winner: Clínica Msr. Oscar Romero provides quality, affordable, and culturally-sensitive health care and other services to underserved communities in Pico-Union/Westlake and Boyle Heights regardless of their ability to pay. The organization's My LA2050 project invests in expanding the clinic's telehealth capacity.
Clínica Msr. Romero is on the frontlines of providing care in neighborhoods with some of the highest COVID-19 numbers in our region. Check out this recent piece by ABC7 to learn more about their crucial work.
$50,000 Winner: Crop Swap LA is piloting the creation of a garden district in LA, installing seven income-producing gardens and rainwater harvesting systems at residential homes and employing formerly incarcerated individuals as gardeners.
In the absence of in-person swaps, Crop Swap LA continues to engage with novice and experienced urban farmers through digital meet-ups. Join the next one on September 5. And, for those with fruit trees, you can sign up to have volunteers harvest your extra fruit and share it with direct service partners!
$25,000 Winner: Jenesse Center, Inc. aims to restore families impacted by domestic and sexual violence through holistic, trauma-informed, culturally-responsive services, and advance prevention initiatives that foster and sustain healthy, violence-free communities.
Jenesse Center, Inc. was founded by five Black women in 1980 and is currently celebrating 40 years of providing domestic violence intervention and education services to the Los Angeles community. Learn more about their work here.
$15,000 Winner: Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE) works toward the creation of a society where economic benefits and opportunities are equitably distributed, communities are stable, and workers and tenants have the same rights, stature, and power as corporations and property owners.
SAJE recently collaborated to build NoRent.org, a free tool to help tenants nationwide send a letter to their landlord notifying them of an inability to pay rent due to COVID-19. Check out the tool, and share it with those who might need it.
$10,000 Winner: Safe Parking LA's Neighbors for Home is a grassroots initiative that aims to mobilize residents to act around the problem of vehicular homelessness in their neighborhoods.
Did you know that more than 25 percent of LA County's homeless population is living in vehicles? Safe Parking LA supports individuals experiencing vehicular homelessness by providing a safe lot for overnight parking with access to a restroom and a security guard. Fill out this interest form to volunteer.
This year, we received 285 submissions to the My LA2050 Grants Challenge. Now, these inspirational proposals — including our 25 amazing winners — have been added to our My LA2050 Ideas Archive. On the archive, Angelenos can browse all of the proposals from the past seven My LA2050 Grants Challenge cycles and learn more about each of the 1,200+ organizations that have submitted.
We created the Ideas Archive to serve as a resource for Angelenos looking for new volunteer opportunities, personal or professional inspiration, or causes to donate to. It archives the ideas of the past, and points to the solutions of the future.
You can search for results by issue area, geographic region, or proper nouns. On each organization's page, you'll find links to their website, social media pages, and a list of the proposals they've submitted to the challenge over the years. All pages for active nonprofit organizations include a donation form. Since the Ideas Archive allows users to see when organizations have applied to the My LA2050 Grants Challenge over multiple years, it also tells the story of how their work has evolved in response to the real-time needs of Los Angeles.
Don't be afraid to spend an hour (or two) reading through the proposals from over the years and discovering more about the best and brightest in our region!
After verifying all 105,000+ votes, we're thrilled to announce this year's winners of the My LA2050 Grants Challenge! We were so impressed with all 25 finalists and their efforts to rally votes for their submissions. Thank you to each and every organization for participating and for working tirelessly to make LA the best place to learn, connect, play, live, and create.
The winners in the LEARN category are:
The winners in the CONNECT category are:
The winners in the PLAY category are:
The winners in the LIVE category are:
The winners in the CREATE category are:
We're excited to report that the 2020 My LA2050 Grants Challenge received more than 105,000 votes, cast by nearly 32,000 voters! This is a new record for us, surpassing last year's benchmark of 100,000 votes.
Voters in the grants challenge had the option to cast a vote for one proposal per goal category, for a total of five votes. For the second year in a row, we saw voters engaging with more categories; this year, voters cast an average of 3.3 of their allotted votes, up from 2.5 in the previous year.
Our 2020 voters represented 95 percent of Los Angeles County zip codes. The top ten neighborhoods with the most voters included:
Thank you so much to all who voted to make LA the best place to live, learn, play, create, and connect. We couldn't do this without you!
Make sure you're signed up for our newsletter to be the first to hear the announcement of our 2020 My LA2050 winners on July 27.
With LA's Future in Mind, My LA2050 Grants Challenge Finalists Charge Ahead Amid COVID-19
LOS ANGELES, July 13, 2020 – Today through July 20, 2020 Angelenos have the opportunity to direct $1,000,000 in funding to the social impact projects that will best help our region bounce back from COVID-19 and create a more prosperous future for all.
Amid this crisis, the 25 finalist organizations in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge offer solutions to today's most pressing problems and much-needed hope for our future—connecting youth and older adults stuck at home through intergenerational story-telling, offering services to vulnerable individuals experiencing vehicular homelessness, expanding telehealth access for low-income and uninsured community clinic patients, and more.
Anyone can go online now to challenge.la2050.org and vote for the five proposals that they would most like to see implemented. The top winning organizations will be awarded $100,000 from the Goldhirsh Foundation to bring their projects to life over this next year, with runners-up receiving smaller cash grants.
The My LA2050 Grants Challenge is an annual community-led effort to invest in projects that make Los Angeles the best place to live, learn, create, connect, and play. This year's challenge is especially urgent, as it opened when COVID-19 hit organizations with both an overwhelming demand for their services and new restrictions on their operations. Our 25 finalists, selected from a pool of 285 applicants, are powerful examples of the local organizations that face this crisis head-on and continue to provide for those in need with determination, ingenuity, and optimism.
Here are the finalists' inspiring proposals, up for vote now:
It's almost time to vote in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge! During the week of voting, join us for the My LA2050 Ideas Showcase. We will be hosting a video live stream every day (Mon-Fri) for voters who want to learn more about the 25 finalists. Finalists will be grouped by goal category and a representative from each organization will be present to discuss their project. Each live stream will be hosted by an LA2050 partner; hosts will include Deidre Lind of the Mayor's Fund for LA, Marsha Bonner of the Annenberg Foundation, Shawn Kravich of the Snap Foundation, James Alva of Citi, and Paul Dien of GOOD.
We're so excited to share these projects with you, and we can't wait for you to learn more about these incredible local organizations. And the best part is, you don't even have to leave your house! We'll be streaming these conversations directly to you via YouTube. Check out the full live stream schedule below and don't forget to set a calendar reminder so you don't miss out.
*All live streams will begin at 11:15 am (Pacific)
Monday, July 13 PLAY Goal Category
Tuesday, July 14 LEARN Goal Category
Wednesday, July 15 CREATE Goal Category
Thursday, July 16 CONNECT Goal CategoryFriday, July 17 LIVE Goal Category
Our 2020 My LA2050 Grants Challenge finalists completed their submissions before we had full information about the longer-term trajectory of COVID-19. Today, our communities are hurting in different ways due to the economic impacts of the crisis and it appears that large group events won't resume for a while. With that in mind, we reached out to the finalist organizations and asked them how they will modify their proposals in these circumstances. Read on to see how organizations are pivoting.
Creative Acts is preparing to bring its Art Attacks program into juvenile camps virtually. The core programming will stay the same: using activities and lessons rooted in the arts to help students find their voice, harness its power, and become civically engaged members of their communities.
Boyle Heights Beat / Radio Pulso is continuing with its programming virtually. Mentors continue to meet with students on Zoom calls and students report and conduct interviews online and by phone. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty of the future, the organization will focus its storytelling and reporting to highlight the changing and emerging needs of the community resulting from the pandemic and its economic, mental, and social aftermath.
LA Forward understands that it has never been more important to provide regular Angelenos with resources and tools to advocate for policies that ensure a just and equitable recovery. The organization's LA 101 proposal already relied largely on digital materials and distribution, but the community workshops planned for 2021 will be converted into Zoom meetings, broadening the range of people who can participate and allowing for easy recording and distribution.
Ready to Succeed's community-building programming, workshops, and events for RTS Scholars and SFLA youth will now take place via virtual engagement opportunities. Digital programming will allow RTS to directly serve more youth, increasing the number of students served from 90 to 155, and reach even more youth with digital content such as videos.
Union Station Homeless Services' Community Allies program believes that creating opportunities for authentic human connection is more important than ever in light of COVID-19. The organization has adapted its programming and expanded opportunities for virtual connection through new pilot initiatives such as “Phone Pals," in which new friendships are facilitated over the phone.
Flintridge Center will adapt and expand its Apprenticeship Preparation Program model to meet emerging community needs and address disparities. Instructors will facilitate the program virtually over 7 weeks; in addition to individualized support, program participants will receive the necessary technology to complete the course, industry-recognized credentials, and weekly stipends. Recognizing that there may be potentially fewer opportunities in union construction because of the pandemic, program scope will expand to support individuals in seeking employment in emerging industries.
Grid110 has successfully pivoted to an online program model, while still offering the same curriculum, resources, and support for its entrepreneurs. The proposed South LA programs will launch in part or entirely as an online program this summer if necessary, in addition to the organization's events, office hours, and other community-focused efforts.
LA Sanitation and Environment is adding an innovative challenge for upcycling enthusiasts to design reusable PPE with textile scrap to its HUB recycling proposal. This would create a win-win situation in both protecting the environment by reducing the amount of waste going to landfills and supporting its frontline workers.
Las Fotos Project remains focused on mutual-aid, post-COVID19 support for its students, and women-owned businesses. In the interim, the organization will begin the launch of its project by supporting students and women-owned businesses with safe, at-home product photography services in the upcoming months until the Foto Student can be safely and adequately opened in person.
Lost Angels Children's Project began a campaign for hunger relief in April 2020, providing 2000 meals per week to over 200 families. In the next phase of CA reopening, LACP hopes to bring back its cohort of 10 students who are learning the Industrial Arts through Good Life Mfg., using social distancing and PPE to ensure students stay safe.
The Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) is providing support to families experiencing hardships with the following services and programs: the Immigrant Families Fund, food distribution, virtual legal services, and information distribution. CARECEN will be there to ensure that its community recovers and thrives in spite of this crisis.
The Los Angeles Audubon Society has increased its organizational capacity by adapting existing programming into online environmental education activities that provide ways for students, teachers, and community members to stay connected to nature and STEAM learning The organization plans to further expand its online learning opportunities in the coming school year, blending guided science and art activities that promote a connection to nature at school, at home, and in local neighborhoods.
Southern California College Access Network's counseling staff was quick to transition to remote advising. Project SOAR counselors have maintained contact with students through texting, phone conversations, email, and video conferencing. The staff is also in the process of building out a text messaging and artificial intelligence platform that will be integrated into Project SOAR advising practices this summer and into AY 2020-2021. The organization will return to in-person, socially distanced advising on-site once cleared to do so.
Pediatric Therapy Network continues to deliver exceptional high-quality early education and therapeutic programming. PTN migrated nearly all of its programs to a telehealth platform, including the Best We Can Be early intervention and parent support programs. In addition, the team developed relevant, digitally accessible resources for families isolated at home that can be accessed for free via its website and YouTube channel.
Reading Partners is providing bilingual content-rich virtual resources to families, students, and schools via online platforms and text, including biweekly live storytime for students. While all of its school partners have requested the onsite presence of staff during the next school year, the organization will also continue to provide remote, individualized tutoring to students.
Crop Swap LA will require its staff to wear masks, gloves, and to evaluate themselves as to whether they are healthy enough to assist in garden installations. Only minimal staff/volunteers are to be present for installations, and interactions with the home residents will remain scarce. The West Adams Farmers Market also continues to run with approval from the city having visited to observe containment tactics.
Jenesse Center, Inc. has responded swiftly to continue to provide clients with services, switching to virtual formats to connect with clients when possible. During the pandemic, Jenesse is also experiencing an unprecedented number of calls to its crisis hotline. In response, the organization has added phone lines to assist callers, contracted with two local hotels to house survivors, and hired 5 additional Case Managers and one Client Service Specialist.
Safe Parking LA will activate a series of grassroots volunteer opportunities as planned. In response to the current landscape, Neighbors for Home activities will move forward with some modifications. The organization will work with partners as they are willing and available while shifting its focus to building a stronger community engagement infrastructure and developing a neighborhood volunteer community through networking and digital outreach.
Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE) understands eviction prevention has become an even higher priority as the COVID-19 pandemic. Its easy-to-use and multi-lingual online resources and tools can help tenants effectively document and respond to issues of harassment and slum housing conditions - two major drivers of displacement.
Clinica Msr. Oscar A. Romero is on the front lines of the health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, playing a key role in both prevention and diagnosis of the virus. The clinic aims to: purchase equipment to provide primary care and mental health services through telehealth, provide remote health education related to COVID-19 for high-risk groups and educate underserved community members, provide sanitation supplies to homeless patients visiting its site for weekly showers, and facilitate medication delivery for high-risk patients.
The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks is shifting location of its mobile programming to serve LA city parks that are not offering Summer 2020 Youth Programs. Approximately 30 sites will host the vans this summer, with programs focused on outdoor activities that allow for social distancing such as field hockey, tennis, and track and field.
The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation is currently evaluating the Gonzales Park project completion timeline and at this time, there have been no changes made to the project scope or design. The organization envisions a significant grand opening celebration in spring 2021 honoring Jackie Robinson and uplifting the Compton community.
Los Angeles Maritime Institute's Ocean Adventure Together Program launches in July 2020. If outdoor gathering is permitted, LAMI will follow capacity guidelines and, if necessary, reduce the number of participants and increase the number of events and voyages offered. If not, LAMI is prepared to create enjoyable, immersive, and educational virtual adaptations of engagement plans, and suspending in-person activities until it is safe to do so.
Public Matters knows that traffic safety has become more urgent due to the pandemic as people who walk, bike and roll are using streets differently for outdoor recreation. The organization will enhance the project's digital mapping and communication products for community mobilization, education, training, and to promote social cohesion and will also adapt public performances and events for safe distancing.