2016 Grants Challenge

BlacklistLA: On the Playground Where We Spent Most of Our Days

Idea by BlacklistLA

PLAY doesn’t end with childhood; adults need recess, too! In 2017, BlacklistLA will provide over 100 opportunities for Angelenos of all ages to get active and play in their city.


Please describe your project proposal.

PLAY doesn’t end with childhood; adults need recess, too! In 2017, BlacklistLA will provide 100+ opportunities for Angelenos get active and play in their city with diverse programming on physical fitness, runner safety, local running events, public art and community building. Our team of volunteers will offer unique running experiences that integrate landmarks, public art, parks, Metro stations and Los Angeles’ Great Streets as vital spaces for movement, connection and community building.

Which of the PLAY metrics will your proposal impact?​

Access to open space and park facilities

Attendance at major league sporting events

Number (and quality) of informal spaces for play

Number of parks with intergenerational play opportunities

Per capita crime rates

Perceived safety

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Central LA

East LA

South LA


Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to PLAY?

BlacklistLA is committed to transforming Los Angeles into the country’s most vibrant urban playground by creating unique opportunities for Angelenos to engage with it. We use running as our platform given the low-cost of entry, physical benefits, and life skills learned from this sport. We regularly engage our community by: providing three runs a week in different parts of the city; offering free training programs; activating informal open spaces for play; hosting an annual 5K run/walk; and organizing runner safety workshops.

Our training program, Project 4242, provides coaching, support and motivation for runners of all abilities. We train our runners for our official 5K race (Happy Birthday L.A. 5K), a

local half marathon, and the L.A. Marathon. Comparable training programs typically cost $75 — $150 dollars and can be daunting to most individuals. Project 4242 is free of charge, eliminating any hesitation, thus allowing runners to explore local neighborhoods – while unlocking human potential and bringing added vitality with every footstep. In our 2015-2016 season, a total of 446 runners participated in our activities. Of the 446 runners, 335 completed the program, which amounts to a 75% success rate.

Happy Birthday L.A. 5K was created not only to celebrate L.A., but to prove that anything from roads to empty parking lots can be used as open space for PLAY. This year our run/walk saw a 23% runner increase and 10K in social media interactions.

With the help of our volunteers, our weekly runs, the Happy Birthday L.A. 5K and Project 4242, BlacklistLA has been extremely successful in mobilizing and strengthening our community, highlighting the efficiency of activating public spaces, reduction of obesity, and inspiring active individuals for years to come. However, our work to make L.A. the best city continues.

As we increase runnership in Los Angeles, we feel obliged to address and improve the safety of pedestrians, runners, and cyclists alike. We believe to make L.A. the best place to play we need to simultaneously increase open space, physical activity, community building, and most importantly, put an end to pedestrian fatalities. According to Vision Zero L.A., a road safety policy that committed to eliminating traffic deaths by 2025, amongst peer cities that have committed to this effort, our city has the highest transportation death rate at 6.27% per 100,000 people. We can all agree that statistic in unacceptable.

Being awarded this grant would allow us to both continue our work in running and make strides in helping Vision Zero eliminate traffic deaths by 2025. To support this vision, we will facilitate workshops, create runner safety campaigns for our specific community, and collect data from our members to create a safer city for all.

Through our efforts in both inspiring runners in L.A. and increasing runner safety, Angelenos will finally enjoy working and playing in The City of Angeles.

The hashtag #BlacklistLA explains it best!

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

The success of our work will be measured by our ability to make progress toward our expected outcomes. Included below are our two desired outcomes:

(1) More Angelenos will be moving, playing, and connecting through BlacklistLA programs and offerings.

Number of Angelenos who attend BlacklistLA runs to 300+ every week, number of runners in BlacklistLA training groups to 500 participants, number of runners who participate in BlacklistLA’s 5K to 1000 registered runners, diversity of communities represented among BlacklistLA runners, and presence of BlacklistLA community members at major league races e.g Dodger 5K.

(2) More Angelenos will be informed on how to run safely which will contribute to the city’s vision zero goal of eliminating traffic deaths by 2025.

Number of Angelenos who are trained in runner safety to 50, number of runners who report running more defensively as a result of the training, number of runners using reflective gear to make themselves visible, and number of Angelenos who are aware of Vision Zero L.A.

We will conduct surveys and interviews with runners, parents, and community members to help grade the effectiveness of our Project 4242, Happy Birthday L.A. 5K, weekly runs, and safety

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?



Advisors/board members


Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research