WOMEN’S ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT

“THERE IS NO LIMIT TO WHAT WE, AS WOMEN, CAN ACCOMPLISH.” ~ MICHELLE OBAMA

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It’s always an invigorating time when I contribute and attend the West Hollywood Women’s Leadership Conference. On May 11, 2019, I was honored to moderate the economic empowerment panel to discuss the importance of women having the ability to succeed and advance economically.

Dynamic panelists Elisabeth Caren, Editorial, Advertising & Fine Art Photographer and Heather Hope-Allison, CEO TIL Events & Street Food Cinema were humble and bright sharing their personal stories and thoughts on the power for women to make and act on economic decisions.

Simply put: Empowered women, empower women!

LET’S BUILD A JUST AND SUSTAINABLE WORLD

“I AM OF THE OPINION THAT MY LIFE BELONGS TO THE WHOLE COMMUNITY, AND AS LONG AS I LIVE, IT IS MY PRIVILEGE TO DO FOR IT WHATEVER I CAN.” ~ GEORGE BERNARD SHAW

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You just never know where change agents are gathered in the nook and cranny of the 4,751 miles that make up L.A. county. On April 21, 2019, I was honored to deliver a keynote for Impact Hacks at UCLA, an event that brought together passionate students to develop solutions to social problems prevalent in L.A.

Net Impact inspires and equips emerging leaders to build a more just and sustainable world. I love being around people committed to positively changing the world. George Bernard Shaw captures my sentiments best, “This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”

STILL I RISE

“YOU MAY write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies. You may trod me in the very dirt, But still, like dust, I’ll rise.” ~ MAYA ANGELOU

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Your past may shape you, but it doesn’t define you. Own your story, know your worth! It was an honor to provide the keynote for the LA:RISE graduation at the Downtown Women’s Center on April 1, 2019. Ladies, I see you-you are worthy!

If ever in the skid row area, please stop by MADEbyDWC to purchase some beautiful items at the store/café. Your purchase goes toward ending homelessness for women in Los Angeles. I just bought my “Diversity Is a Gift” t-shirt by Los Angeles based-street artist Meg Zany. I love the message, design and the fact that proceeds support programs and services at DWC.

EVERYONE WORKS

“OUR AMBITIONS MUST BE BROAD ENOUGH TO INCLUDE THE ASPIRATIONS AND NEEDS OF OTHERS, FOR THEIR SAKES AND FOR OUR OWN.” ~ CESAR CHAVEZ

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Through solid partnerships and collaborations, we can commit to providing employment to 15,000 people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles by 2022. This goal was announced at the Tapping the Talents of Unique Populations Breakfast Forum on February 13, 2019. This is a glimpse of the employment movement to address homelessness in Southern California. We can achieve this goal when the public and private sectors strategically come together to recognize every person has value. Join us for “Everyone Works!”

SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER

“FIGHT FOR THE THINGS THAT YOU CARE ABOUT, BUT DO IT IN A WAY THAT WILL LEAD OTHERS TO JOIN YOU.” ~ RUTH BADER GINSBURG

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It was lovely to return to the 4th Annual MakeChange Awards on January 31, 2019, celebrating the work of social impact leaders and organizations that make a difference.

I especially loved the theme this year, “Speaking Truth To Power: How To Be Values-Driven In Your Purpose And Be BOLD” held at the Skirball Cultural Center where the exhibition “Notorious RGB: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” was being shown.

PRISON TO EMPLOYMENT INITIATIVE

“WHEN THE BEST LEADER’S WORK IS DONE THE PEOPLE SAY, ‘WE DID IT OURSELVES.’ ” ~ LAO TZU

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For the month of January 2019, Los Angeles leaders and community members came together and broke into 3 workgroups to collaboratively discuss the P2E grant. It is intended to support regional planning efforts, fund regional plan implementation, and provide resources for direct services to the formerly incarcerated and other justice-involved individuals. It also sets aside specific resources for both supportive services and earn and learn activities which were identified as a major gap by current grantees and local service providers.

There’s so much behind the scenes work that happens that make a powerful impact on the community. The brainstorming sessions and group activities were insightful. Let’s collectively improve labor market outcomes and set people up for success!

WINTER HOMELESS CONNECT DAY

“NEVER DOUBT THAT A SMALL GROUP OF THOUGHTFUL, COMMITTED CITIZENS CAN CHANGE THE WORLD; INDEED, IT’S THE ONLY THING THAT EVER HAS.” ~ MARGARET MEAD

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We are the city of angels! Winter Homeless Connect Day on December 12, 2018, in Los Angeles provided over 500 people experiencing homelessness complimentary services thanks to the City of Los Angeles and various nonprofits/government departments addressing the homeless epidemic.

Come together Angelenos as a community and continue to serve those in need!

Give beyond the “giving season,” there’s a need all year round.

FROM HOMELESSNESS TO EMPLOYMENT

“WE RISE BY LIFTING OTHERS.” ~ ROBERT INGERSOLL

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On October 4, 2018, the community gathered at city hall to hear about lessons learned from the LA:RISE program.

LA:RISE is an innovative partnership that unites the City and County of Los Angeles to help people with high employment barriers get jobs, stay employed, and build a better life.

Together, we rise!

LIVE YOUR VISION: TRANSFORM LIVES

“IF YOU PLAN ON BEING ANYTHING LESS THAN YOU ARE CAPABLE OF BEING, YOU WILL PROBABLY BE UNHAPPY ALL THE DAYS OF YOUR LIFE.” ~ ABRAHAM MASLOW

At the REDF Partner Retreat in Seattle on June 12-15, 2018, Kristin Hayden, Founder and Senior Advisor for OneWorld Now! kicked off the event by sharing 7 best practices to living your vision: 1) Be bold 2) Be intentional 3) Make it real 4) Support it 5) Hold the vision 6) Experiment and lastly 7) Own it. YES!!!

We wrapped up the gathering at Maslow’s by FareStart. The nonprofit FareStart is a real solution to some of our society’s most pressing challenges—homelessness, joblessness, poverty and hunger. They help people transform lives, create value for their community, and offer a way for everyone to play a role doing something that matters.

Worth noting is Maslow’s Hierarch of Needs, a theory of human motivation by the American psychologist Abraham Maslow.

CSH SUMMIT

“IN EVERY COMMUNITY, THERE IS WORK TO BE DONE. IN EVERY NATION, THERE ARE WOUNDS TO HEAL. IN EVERY HEART, THERE IS THE POWER TO DO IT.” ~ MARIANNE WILLIAMSON

It’s always wonderful to learn about resources that exist in the community and share best practices. On June 5, 2018, we had an insightful time at the CSH Summit site visit and employment focus – peers and social enterprise panel. If in downtown L.A., please stop by MADE by DWC a resale boutique and social enterprise. Downtown Women’s Center’s (DWC) focus is to break the cycles of chronic homelessness and unemployment.