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. 

HUMAN CONNECTION

“DEEP HUMAN CONNECTION IS… THE PURPOSE AND THE RESULT OF A MEANINGFUL LIFE – AND IT WILL INSPIRE THE MOST AMAZING ACTS OF LOVE, GENEROSITY, AND HUMANITY.” ~ MELINDA GATES

Ahhh, the power of human connection! We are committed to our work because a job provides so much more than a paycheck!

We had our first in-person academy meeting on July 26, 2022, at the beautiful California Endowment building in DTLA. 

Thank you to the 37 City and County LA:RISE program partners that joined us. Convening with our partners enables us to collaborate more effectively, share available community resources, and discuss best practices.

Given we haven’t all met since January 2020, it was truly invigorating to see a room full of about 75 dedicated and passionate people in one room.

LA:RISE’s 8th programmatic year kicked off in July with support from Los Angeles County’s Department of Economic Opportunity and the Los Angeles County Economic Development Department.

IN GOOD COMPANY

“IF YOU WANT TO GO QUICKLY, GO ALONE. IF YOU WANT TO GO FAR, GO TOGETHER.” ~ AFRICAN PROVERB “

What does it feel like when social enterprise leaders from nationwide come together in Portland, OR the week of June 13, 2022, to connect, grow and lead for the REDF Community Retreat?

Empowering, as we were in good company.

Want to build a more inclusive economy? You’re “In Good Company.”

10 million Americans are sidelined from economic opportunity. Back the businesses hiring, training, and supporting them as they break through barriers to employment.

There are over 700 employment social enterprises operating nationwide – employing tens of thousands of people breaking through barriers to employment.

In the photo collage are leaders from nationwide who came together to continue to build community and collectively make a positive impact.

UNITY IN DIVERSITY

“OUR ABILITY TO REACH UNITY IN DIVERSITY WILL BE THE BEAUTY AND THE TEST OF OUR CIVILIZATION.” ~ MAHATMA GANDHI 

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We’re thrilled to share that REDF has received the largest institutional grant in our 25-year history – a $7.5 million investment from the Justice and Mobility Fund, a philanthropic collaboration co-created by Blue Meridian Partners and Ford Foundation & supported by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies.

Grateful to stand behind our vision with such a dynamic team.

It was also wonderful to see colleagues in mid-March 2022 in San Francisco to fill our purposeful cups.

Our collective focus: An economy that works. For everyone.  

POSSIBLE

“IT ALWAYS SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE UNTIL IT IS DONE.” ~ NELSON MANDELA

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It was an uplifting Sunday on November 21, 2021 to connect with future and current social agents of change!

Blessed to again join The Circle of Change Virtual Leadership Experience this weekend for a transformational leadership experience for culturally diverse students & professionals from across the country. 

There’s something invigorating when you can surround yourself in good company and know that leaders from various sectors are out there “walking the walk” for the betterment of society.

LIFT UP

“IF YOU WANT TO LIFT YOURSELF UP, LIFT UP SOMEONE ELSE.” ~ BOOKER T. WASHINGTON

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We held our final academy meeting on May 5, 2021, and wrap up our 6th programmatic year the end of June. Last week we were able to connect with the Economic & Workforce Development Department – City of Los Angeles General Manager Ms. Hull to share her thoughts on addressing people with high employment barriers. LA:RISE is demonstrating that a public-private partnership can help solve some of society’s biggest challenges!

“In the city of L.A, societal problems can only be addressed through collaboration,” ~Carolyn Hull. Agreed!

Thank you to our dedicated partners, we are so proud of your commitment to serving our community! Throwback to 2015 when LA:RISE was launched as a city only program and in 2018 expanded countywide.

CRAFT YOUR ADVENTURE

“THE BIGGEST ADVENTURE YOU CAN TAKE IS TO LIVE THE LIFE OF YOUR DREAMS.” ~ OPRAH WINFREY

Thank you CSUF College of Communications for the opportunity to present for Communications Week on April 27, 2021. This year’s virtual event was another example of how through innovation and perseverance, we can continue to keep the momentum going. It’s also been an honor to present in person in the past at the college’s annual event.

May you keep crafting your life adventure toward the growth zone!

FACING CHANGE

“NOT EVERYTHING THAT IS FACED CAN BE CHANGED, BUT NOTHING CAN BE CHANGED UNTIL IT IS FACED.” ~ JAMES BALDWIN

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In partnership with Talent Rewire, UNITE-LA, and REDF, we hosted Dr. Manuel Pastor from the University of Southern California and Amelia Ransom, SPHR on July 23, 2020, for a timely conversation on how employers can use local history and context to create equitable and sustainable change inside their workplace!

“You have to look at the opportunity gap, not just the pay gap within your company.” ~ Amelia Ransom. YES! Business Has A Role In Dismantling Racism: 3 Takeaways From Our Conversation With Dr. Manuel Pastor And Amelia Ransom on Forbes.com

LEARN & GROW

“THE LAST OF THE HUMAN FREEDOMS: TO CHOOSE ONE’S ATTITUDE IN ANY GIVEN SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES, TO CHOOSE ONE’S OWN WAY.” ~ VICTOR FRANKL

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Here’s a little perspective during this global health pandemic: we can still choose to learn and grow vs live in debilitating fear.

May you frame your circumstances in a positive light and adapt. Stay hopeful and count your blessings.

Be safe and healthy.

Resources below:

Food Assistance, Help Paying Bills, And Other Free Or Reduced-Cost Programs

Emergency Financial Resources To Help With COVID-19 Hardship

Grant Opportunities Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 Resources for Human Services Leaders

Remote or On-Site Volunteer Opportunities during COVID-19

COVID-19 Response And Support for Employment Social Enterprises