RESPONSIVE PHILANTHROPY

September 2018

Member Spotlight: LA Voice

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Date: September 24, 2018

LA Voice
Los Angeles, CA
lavoice.org

LA Voice LogoWhat is LA Voice’s mission and how is it especially relevant today?

Our work is transforming Los Angeles by building relationships across differences of race, faith and class and channeling those relationships into powerful community organizing campaigns. Through our network of 53 congregations across LA County, we reach 50,000 families and directly engage more than 4,000 people in action and leadership growth each year. LA Voice is an independent organization and a member of Faith in Action (formerly PICO National Network). LA Voice leaders are currently working to improve our communities through the following areas of work: immigrant integration, criminal justice transformation and affordable housing and homelessness. 

Our work is especially relevant in this moment, where divisions of race, faith and class are being exacerbated and exploited by divisive leaders across the nation – including those in California. Beyond our organizing victories that improve life for those in greatest need across the county, our work builds relationships across divides that we must bridge if we are to create one nation for all of us.

The most common feedback we hear after someone attends their first LA Voice event is that they have never before been in a room with people from so many different backgrounds. Building solidarity across difference is more important than it ever has been before, and LA Voice is at the forefront of that work.

LA Voice leaders joining together in song at a criminal justice transformation town hall meeting.

LA Voice leaders joining together in song at a criminal justice transformation town hall meeting.

Why is it important to build the power of people and communities in addressing injustice and inequities of all kinds?

People power is the only answer to our complex problems. People most affected by the unjust and racialized systems have to be at the center of decision-making about where we go from here, and only broad people power based on our common values will get us there.

When we look to the future with our hearts, we see a wide and deep multiracial, multifaith coalition rooted in the love of people and expressed through our spiritual traditions reorienting Los Angeles County’s priorities to focus on those at the margins of the circle of belonging, creating a city with racial and economic equity and abundant life for all, i.e., a beloved community.

Any recommendations for grantmakers who wish to be effective supporters and partners with organizations like yours?

Without support to develop leadership, bridge relationships and confront power – in the ways that community leaders and people at the frontlines define – we will never get where we are trying to go. So, while three-year general operating support grants are a good start, we need to imagine a much broader, longer horizon for funding our collective change efforts.

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