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2022 Grants Challenge

Bold, Empowered, and Thriving Immigrants in South Bay

LBIRC will build power amongst our immigrant community to advance bold protections, dismantle systemic racism and enervate root causes of oppression on a national, and local level, while also securing critical resources and education that serve as a catalyst for communities to thrive. LBIRC's organizing and leadership academies will strengthen and build immigrant community members' inherent leadership skills; ignite advocacy on a local level led by communities’ voices; secure bold protections and disrupt oppressive systems of oppression.

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What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Immigrant and Refugee Support

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

South Bay

County of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Applying a proven model or solution to a new issue or sector (e.g., using a job recruiting software or strategy to match clients to supportive housing sites, applying demonstrated strategies from advocating for college affordability to advocating for housing affordability and homelessness, etc.)

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

California is home to 11 million immigrants, but due to an oppressive political climate and federal immigration policies that instill fear and racism as opposed to uplift communities, it is not a welcoming home to many, nor has it met the complex needs of our immigrant community. At the LA county level, 36% of the 10 million residents are immigrants and 24% are undocumented and face disproportionate and layered challenges. Illuminated by intersectionality as a lens, these challenges are byproducts of multiple systems of power such as racist nativism, colonialism, and classism. When it comes to the divergent needs of immigrant communities, resources alone are not enough to create a healthy, vibrant, and thriving South Bay for immigrants. It is through dynamic leadership investment, political education on systems of power, pedagogy on how to shift policy, community centered power building that we secure the necessary fortitude to have conditions where all immigrants flourish.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

Through LBIRC’s organizing, power building, and leadership academies, our project goals will include the following: build the leadership and advocacy skills of undocumented community and non-detained individuals in deportation proceedings; provide community members in our leadership pipelines with political education on topics like: history of imperialism, systems of oppression, history of detention in the U.S., patriarchy, transformative justice, criminalization of Immigration; and create the conditions to ensure immigrants have the education and resources they need to flourish and build power. LBIRC’s leadership pipeline and academies will equip community members to build power amongst one another, push for local policy change and budget advocacy, and change the ecosystem in their own communities. Concurrently, community members will gain access and support their own health via resources to safety net programs including LBIRC’s own mutual community care hub which addresses food apartheid in Long Beach, and nourishes more than 600 families a year. Furthermore, community members will deepen their leadership skills by engaging in advocacy opportunities to apply learned material to local, statewide and national campaigns, participate in legislative and advocacy opportunities.Ultimately, through this programming, community members will build power and lead the cultural shift necessary to build and sustain an immigrant led movement, enabling every immigrant to thrive.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

Like we have seen in our previous work and in our success, LA County and the conditions of so many immigrant families' lives have been impacted by our power building, community organizing, and leadership pipeline. Through this program, we aim to: deepen our strategy, build rigor, and strengthen the leadership skills of undocumented and immigrant community and directly impacted BIPOC folks; increase public advocacy for safer communities; strengthen the leadership of community to shift local budgetary and City policies to divest from systems of punishment and criminalization to budgets that reflect communities’ priorities of safety and just systems of care. What we will bear witness to is a cultural and political transposition, one where immigrants are front and center leading powerful decision making in LA County, and in the South Bay.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

Through qualitative assessment tools, LBIRC utilizes case studies, focus group interviews, and qualitative assessments to measure the impact of our leadership pipeline and its impact on communities’ social and political landscape.For example in 2021, LBIRC’s advocacy and work within the Budget Advocacy Working Group (BAWG), a coalition of community members who work to prioritize community voices so that the City’s budget and investments are congruent with the needs, voices, and the resources that communities demand. The programs success can be seen with the following numbers to demonstrate the wins: Long Beach City Council approved $300,000 in structural funding and $300,000 in ARPA funds for the Long Beach Justice Fund. This fund provides free legal representation to Long Beach residents facing deportation. Long Beach City Council approved $200,000 in structural funding for language access. This enabled the city to hire Spanish, Tagalog and Khmer interpreters.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 60

Indirect Impact: 300