2022 Grants Challenge

Building Peaceful and Equitable Communities

The funds would be used to help launch and support PeacePlayers Los Angeles Leadership & Development Program (LDP) girls ages 13-18 in Watts and South Los Angeles to help empower Black and Latinx youth to challenge the status quo of inequity through activism and access to economic advancement. As a result, PeacePlayers’ youth will contribute to a more equitable society where people can succeed regardless of their race, zip code, color or family income level.


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

Youth Economic Advancement (sponsored by Funding Partner, TBA)

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

South LA

LAUSD (select only if you have a district-wide partnership or project)

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

Pilot or new project, program, or initiative

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

PeacePlayers Los Angeles is embedded in the community of Watts in South Central LA. According to an analysis of young people across Los Angeles, conducted by Measure of America of the Social Research Council, Watts fairs the worst of any community in youth employment with a 22.5% youth unemployment rate. This is compared to 10.5% among white young people in Los Angeles. Los Angeles also identifies the percentage of their youth in neighborhoods who are considered “Disconnected Youth” - meaning that they are not in school and unemployed. Watts has the highest rate of disconnected youth at 26.4% (majority Black and Latinx community). PeacePlayers has been implementing and adapting the LDP model in the United States since launching programs in 2017. Programming combined conflict resolution and leadership training, providing youth with tools to lead healthy, successful personal and professional relationships, and boosted personal resources such as self-esteem and self-efficacy.

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

PeacePlayers Los Angeles is a youth basketball and social change organization serving the community of Watts and South Los Angeles, an area of Los Angeles long plagued by the violence of economic inequity and racial discrimination. The youth we work with continue to contend with the economic and racial inequity that has plagued the Watts area since its inception and has formed the root of the gang conflicts and divides in the first place. The outcomes we hope to achieve through this program is that participants expand their understanding of career opportunities and the education and/or training needed to pursue their individual career goals. Participants gain the practical and soft skills needed to secure their first job.Participants build meaningful connections with Black and brown industry professionals across a variety of industries, and gain the capacity to independently search and apply for jobs. Companies engaged build their understanding of systemic barriers to economic success for young Black people and expand opportunities available to them. Ultimately, PeacePlayers Los Angeles aims to address inequities and help bridge the divides in Watts and South LA by creating safe spaces through the game of basketball for young people to build friendships across community divisions, help develop youth leaders who advocates for their neighborhood, find access to resources and opportunities, and build a network of youth leaders in Watts, LA, and beyond.

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

The expanded project proposed will include a robust career advancement component that will help us achieve our overall goal of creating a leadership pipeline of young Black and Latinx professionals with the mindset, skills and resources to serve as role models in the community and advocate for employment equity while addressing some of the systemic issues that have limited opportunities and advancement in careers of influence. Together, with structural support from the NBA Foundation, PeacePlayers will impart LDP participants with crucial skills and experiences that will: Boost participants’ career awareness, exposure to opportunities, and practical skills for gaining and excelling in meaningful employment; Create an environment for young Black job seekers to early successes through meaningful partnerships with industry leaders; and set up participants to become active role models for additional youth in their communities, leading to wider community change.

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

PeacePlayers employs an assessment strategy which includes on-going output monitoring and annual evaluations that assess the degree to which program outcomes were met. Registration forms, attendance and activity reports are used to monitor outputs such as no. of participants demographical information. In order to evaluate the outcomes of this project a pre-and post-test survey will be administered to measure a variety of indicators described below. PeacePlayers is also implementing a new monitoring and evaluation software that will enable PeacePlayers to track the long-term impact Program Outcomes: Minimum of 25 participants across three cities 80% retention of youth Are introduced to industries of interests and new industries Have opportunities to strengthen soft skills and build on practical professional skills Have opportunities to engage with Black professionals in diverse industries Have opportunities to put professional skills to practice in a safe, supportive environment ex.

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

Direct Impact: 50

Indirect Impact: 250

Describe the specific role of the partner organization(s) in the project, program, or initiative.

PEACEPLAYERS LA BUDGET - $75,000 Personnel 7220 Staff Salaries 46,200.00 7310 Employer Payroll Taxes 2,000.00 7320 Employee Benefits (Health, Dental Insurance) 5,000.00 Total Personnel 53,200.00 Professiol Fees 7535 Non-Payroll PeacePlayers Coaches 11,000.00 Total Professiol Fees 11,000.00 Other Expenses 7705 Equipment - (Balls, Hoops, Etc) 1,800.00 8101 Meals/Food/Drinks 3,200.00 7720 Participant uniforms 3,000.00 8360 Bus/Van/Minicoach Rental 2,000.00 8110 Office Supplies 800 Total Other Operating Costs 10,800.00 Total Expenses 75,000.00