SELF-LOVE & EMPOWERMENT

NO ONE IS YOU, AND THAT IS YOUR SUPERPOWER!

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Honored to be recognized as a recipient of the Pow(HER)ful Nonprofit Leader Award!

I was genuinely surprised to receive the Pow(HER)ful Award at the Love Hutt event on February 17, 2024. A heartfelt thank you to L.A. Councilwoman Heather Hutt’s office and the entire Tenth Council District for this incredible recognition.

To be acknowledged among other community leaders is truly humbling. It’s a testament to the dedication, leadership, and impactful work that we’ve collectively contributed to our community.

A special shout-out to Tammi Mac, an uplifting honoree and multifaceted talent, for sharing Claudette Colvin’s under-the-radar story. Colvin, an unsung hero, fearlessly challenged bus segregation long before Rosa Parks. Her courage reverberates through generations!

Likewise, the event was filled with unsung heroes in their homes, workplaces, and communities everywhere.

As Tammi eloquently put it, “Heroes don’t have to shine bright, just a little.”

The Love Hutt event was a celebration of self-love and empowerment, bathed in hues of pink and red. Women from all walks of life congregated in the hillside Baldwin Hills neighborhood of L.A. for an afternoon brimming with inspiration, yoga, soulful music, and the camaraderie of fellow Pow(HER)ful women.

On stage, I echoed the timeless words of Maya Angelou: “Try to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.” Let’s continue to illuminate each other’s paths and embrace servant leadership.

BE MORE HUMANE

“WE HAVE TO BE MORE HUMANE, EMPATHETIC, AND BEYOND CHARITABLE!” ~ WILL.I.AM

To will.i.am’s quote – Absolutely!

It’s an exhilarating moment when you can immerse yourself in a global gathering of social impact visionaries for an inspiring two-day event brimming with high-caliber programming, meaningful conversations, and authentic networking prospects.

Hats off to Landmark Ventures for orchestrating the Social Innovation Summit, their esteemed annual summit taking place on June 6-7, 2023.

Now is the time to foster continued collaboration as we explore the pressing issues related to the future of work, social impact, artificial intelligence, and upskilling.

BEND AWAY FROM DISPARITIES

“PUBLIC HEALTH IS A POWERFUL TOOL TO LEVEL THAT PLAYING FIELD, TO BEND THE ARC OF OUR COUNTRY AWAY FROM DISTRUST AND DISPARITIES AND BACK TOWARDS EQUITY AND JUSTICE.” ~ LEANA WEN

Having supported the Downtown Women’s Center (DWC) for an extended period, I hold immense respect for their mission.

The panel on “Housing is Health: Housing as a Determinant of Health Equity & Outcomes” at the Social Innovation Summit left a lasting impact with its profound insights.

It’s crucial that we acknowledge and address our biases concerning individuals experiencing homelessness. For instance:

Misconception: Homeless individuals should merely secure employment to resolve their homelessness.

Reality: A significant number of homeless individuals are employed, some even juggling two or three jobs. The National Coalition for the Homeless suggests that as many as 40%-60% of people experiencing homelessness in the United States are employed. Nonetheless, having a job doesn’t always alleviate their homelessness or other challenges.

Lastly, the presentation on June 14, 2023, in collaboration with DWC for The California Behavioral Health Planning Council (CBHPC) meeting, provided an excellent opportunity to emphasize the value of employment social enterprises and the LA:RISE program.

Were you aware that REDF collaborates with social entrepreneurs, offering them financial support, expertise, and a sense of community to enhance the success of their businesses and the individuals they employ?

LISTEN & ACT

“A RIOT IS THE LANGUAGE OF THE UNHEARD.” ~ MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. 

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It was a sun-soaked week on June 19, 2023, at the “City of Lakes” when REDF hosted 150 inspiring Social Entrepreneurs at the Partner Retreat.

One of the highlights was when Maria Kim shared the beautiful story behind her name and celebrated the amazing social enterprise leaders in the room. “Separately, we are rivers, but together, we’re the world’s biggest lake!”

Let’s take a moment to envision the world we all aspire to see, where every person is cherished, and the days of “othering” are long gone.

Gratitude fills my heart for the connections made within this incredible community. The activities were not just fun but a meaningful way to exchange knowledge and support each other.

Shoutout to Team “Purple Rain” for their boundless creativity and unwavering spirit. Site visits to employment social enterprises always left us in awe! And let’s not forget the powerful experience at the George Floyd Global Memorial – a reminder that together, we can strive for racial justice and equity.

In the spirit of Ubuntu, let’s continue to make the impossible possible

SHINE ON

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

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Inclusive Sol, a cerebral palsy resource platform located in Los Angeles, offers readers the option to access content in various languages. Launched in the fall of 2022, this innovative hub has become an invaluable resource for parents and caregivers navigating the challenges of caring for a child with cerebral palsy. With its dedication to inclusivity, Inclusive Sol is on a mission to empower families, save them time and money, and offer a wealth of free resources.

Here are some key points showcasing the growth and impact of Inclusive Sol:

Empowering Families: Inclusive Sol understands the complexities and struggles that families face when caring for a child with cerebral palsy. Their platform is tailored to provide the necessary support, guidance, and resources to make this journey easier.

Free Resources: One of the standout features of Inclusive Sol is its commitment to offering free resources. Families can access a wide array of valuable information, tools, and support without the burden of additional expenses.

News & Events: Inclusive Sol keeps families informed about the latest news and events related to cerebral palsy via the monthly Beaming Bulletin. Subscribers have access to the latest tools and resources, special offers, etc. especially if based in Southern California.

Online Support Group: Caring for a child with cerebral palsy can be isolating. Inclusive Sol addresses this issue by hosting a monthly online support group, starting in November 2022. This platform provides parents and caregivers a safe space to connect, share their experiences, and gain emotional support via Zoom.

Partnerships and Recognition: Inclusive Sol’s values partnerships and collaboration. Inclusive Sol is an official U.S.A World CP Day partner, dedicated to supporting the cerebral palsy community. The platform is also listed on prestigious organizations and centers like NAPA Center, the Los Angeles Department on Disability, the Center for Cerebral Palsy at UCLA, the Abilities Expo, and the Lanterman + Eastern L.A. Regional Centers. Even the California Children’s Services includes Inclusive Sol in their L.A. Cerebral Palsy and Muscular Dystrophy Resource Guide.

Community Engagement: Inclusive Sol actively engages with the community through participation in events such as the Abilities Expo, CP Family Forum at the Luskin Orthopaedic Institute for Children, and Neurodivergent Night at Pretend City Children’s Museum. These engagements serve as a testament to their commitment to making a difference in the lives of families affected by cerebral palsy.

Inclusive Sol is more than just a resource platform; it’s a lifeline for families dealing with cerebral palsy. The steady growth and impact of Inclusive Sol are proof that a dedicated and inclusive approach to supporting families can make a world of difference. As it continues to expand and touch more lives, it remains a beacon of hope and a valuable resource for those in need.

SIGNALS OF CHANGE

IF YOU DO NOT CHANGE DIRECTION, YOU MAY END UP WHERE YOU ARE HEADING.” ~ LAO TZU

The future is a place where anything can be different. Even things that seem impossible to change today!

This was one of my favorite quotes from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Opportunity Youth Initiative Los Angeles Grantee Partner Convening on September 5, 2023.

We discussed shaping a collective vision for Opportunity Youth in L.A. and beyond. The foundation’s goal was achieved by making new connections and deepening existing ones for attendees.

I am grateful for the impactful day, the insights from youth leaders and the thought-provoking presentation/workshop by the Institute for the Future and The Maven Collaborative!

BITS OF GOOD

“DO YOUR LITTLE BIT OF GOOD WHERE YOU ARE; IT IS THOSE LITTLE BITS OF GOOD PUT TOGETHER THAT OVERWHELM THE WORLD.” ~ ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU

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Points of Light connects individuals, businesses, and nonprofit volunteer organizations to create change in the world.

The organization also hosts an Inspiration Honor Roll, created to celebrate acts of service, kindness, and civic engagement by individuals.

I am grateful to be part of the 2022 Points of Light Honor Roll with fellow changemakers creating positive change in communities around the world.

Consider that “doing your little bit of good where you are,” can come in many forms like volunteering, being of service, voting, using your voice, donating, listening & learning, social entrepreneurship, working, and being intentional with one’s purchasing power.

When you are living your values and giving back more than you are taking, life is good.

TRANSFORMATIONAL SHIFT IN WEALTH BUILDING

“WE MUST WORK TOGETHER TO ENSURE THE EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH, OPPORTUNITY, AND POWER IN OUR SOCIETY.” ~ NELSON MANDELA 

In the Giving Season month, I attended the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Homeless Initiative Annual Convening at the Annenberg Beach House in Santa Monica on  December 12, 2022.Our table had a group activity after the narrative change panel on coming up with a value we could all stand behind:

“Transformational shift in wealth building to redirect power & decision making for people of color!”

We were invigorated after hearing the panelists discuss equity being a pathway to justice, focusing on narrative change at a local level, and continuing to push the envelope in a dignified way are just a few key takeaways.

Grateful to connect with other leaders who are committed to creating pathways to housing and employment for our neighbors.

STAY ON MISSION

“MAKE YOUR LIFE A MISSION – NOT AN INTERMISSION.” ~ ARNOLD H. GLASGOW

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I’m still thinking about key takeaways from Tommie Baines’ inspiring talk from November 10, 2022, for the final in-person LA:RISE Academy Meeting of the year:

👆🏾Know who you are
👆🏾Remember why you are here
👆🏾Find your village, put down roots there
👆🏾Build foundational knowledge
👆🏾Be open to learning about best practices
👆🏾Prioritize self-care to sustain your soul
👆🏾Embrace your power
👆🏾Stay on mission and do that WORK…
👆🏾CELEBRATE!
👆🏾Rinse and repeat 💫

We also heard from Meghan Steed Garvey from First Step Staffing on the power of employment social enterprise to build a more inclusive Los Angeles while we enjoyed breakfast from Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Liberation Coffee House. 

The good energy bounced from one person to the next and I hope each person carried that warmth in them as they returned to their day-to-day work.

UPLIFTING PARTNERSHIPS

“ONE FINGER CANNOT LIFT A PEBBLE.” ~ HOPI PROVERB

“What makes LA:RISE so successful is because of the partnerships in the room.” ~ Mark Loranger, President and CEO, Chrysalis

On October 6, 2022, Chrysalis was gracious to host a site visit for REDF’s roundtable discussion with workforce development leaders. Grateful to Secretary of Labor, California Labor and Workforce Development Agency Natalie Palugyai for being so engaged with the group along with Deputy Secretary for the Future of Work at California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, Abby Snay & California Workforce Development Board Executive Director, Tim Rainey.

The culture change in workforce is happening, as we aim to diversify the types of jobs and sectors we are helping people move into.

In this meeting, various employment social enterprises were represented that employ people breaking through steep barriers to employment – like homelessness or justice system involvement.

This is a powerful reminder that employment social enterprises exist because they see this talent pool for the strengths they hold, not the barriers they face! Kudos to the Department of Economic Opportunity – LA County & Economic & Workforce Development Department – City of Los Angeles for embracing public/private sector partnerships in L.A.