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Featuring diverse and emerging leaders who are creating and building community across the greater Los Angeles region, while seeking to elevate discourse, foster community connections and promote civic knowledge and engagement.
Apr 28, 2021
Episode 32: Building Sustainable Communities | Taj Ahmad Eldridge, Senior Director, Investment, Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator
Marking Earth Day 2021, with the theme “Restore Our Earth,” more than 1 billion people in 192 countries now participate in Earth Day activities, making it the largest civic observance in the world. Earth Day 2021 focuses on natural processes, emerging green technologies, and innovative ideas that can restore the world’s ecosystems. Join us in conversation with Taj Ahmad Eldridge, Senior Director of Investments at Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) to learn how they are working to accelerate the commercialization of clean technologies and ensuring an inclusive green economy by unlocking innovation, transforming markets, and enhancing community. For more information, please visit www.laincubator.org. And, to learn more about CivitasLA, please visit www.CivitasLA.com. We hope you’ll rate and review our show; and connect with us on Facebook (@CivitasLA), Instagram (@Civitas_LA) and Twitter (@Civitas_LA).
Apr 14, 2021
Episode #31: On the Waterfront | Wayne Ratkovich, The Ratkovich Company
Home to the Port of Los Angeles (one of the busiest seaports in the world and the leading container port in the U.S.), the San Pedro community consists of just over 12 square miles with a population of approximately 80,000. However, as the gateway for international commerce, this historic community occupies a singularly unique place in the Greater Los Angeles region. With a mission to “profitably produce developments that improve the quality of urban life,” we’re joined by Wayne Ratkovich, Founder and Chairman of The Ratkovich Company, to discuss their latest project, West Harbor, and its role in current efforts to re-brand San Pedro as a historical community with new and exciting employment opportunities and a high and ever-improving quality of life.” (https://buildsanpedro.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/San-Pedro-2018-Report-5.0-FINAL.pdf). Spurred by initiatives such as Measure P, the waterfront community will see over $1 billion in infrastructure improvements by the Port of LA and another $500 million in private investment in the area, with projects such as West Harbor playing a vital role. Wayne Ratkovich and his team, over the course of four decades, have simultaneously transformed and preserved the urban landscape of Los Angeles. From the historic preservation of the Oviatt Building in Downtown Los Angeles to the redevelopment of Howard Hughes’ original aircraft hangers in West Los Angeles, iconic projects like the Wiltern in Mid City and The Bloc in DTLA, to projects in Alhambra, the Ratkovich company has touched every corner of the city. To learn more, please visit: www.ratkovich.com. For more information about CivitasLA, please visit www.CivitasLA.com. And we hope you’ll rate and review our show; and connect with us on Facebook (@CivitasLA), Instagram (@Civitas_LA) and Twitter (@Civitas_LA).
Mar 31, 2021
Episode #30: Enhancing Park Equity | Carolyn Ramsay, Executive Director, Los Angeles Parks Foundation
Parks and recreation are essential to communities and community well-being. According to the National Recreation and Parks Association, “There are no communities that pride themselves on their quality of life…without having a robust, active systems of parks and recreations program for public use and enjoyment.” As CivitasLA celebrates Women’s History Month (March 2021), we’re excited to be joined by Carolyn Ramsay, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Parks Foundation, to discuss their work to enhance, expand, preserve, and promote public recreation and advance park equity for the diverse people of Los Angeles. Through her work grassroots organizing, nonprofit management, and service in city government, Carolyn’s been a staunch advocate for parks and open space for more than 20 years. Prior to leading the LA Parks Foundation, she served at the Trust for Public Land and, before that, as a City Council Chief of Staff, serving the District that is home to Griffith Park, one of the largest municipal parks in the U.S. (itself home to the world-class Griffith Observatory, the iconic Greek Theatre, and the famous Hollywood Sign). To learn more, please visit: www.laparksfoundation.org. For more information about CivitasLA, please visit www.CivitasLA.com. And we hope you’ll rate and review our show; and connect with us on Facebook (@CivitasLA), Instagram (@Civitas_LA) and Twitter (@Civitas_LA).
Mar 17, 2021
Episode #29: Advancing Economic Diversity | Rochelle Mills, President & CEO, Innovative Housing Opportunities
As we celebrate Women’s History Month (March 2021), CivitasLA is excited to be joined by Rochelle Mills, President & CEO of Innovative Housing Opportunities. Honored as a “woman of influence” at the inaugural Orange County Power Women award ceremony, celebrating 20 outstanding women who are leading and shaping commercial real estate, we invite you to join this dialogue on how economic diversity creates more sustainable and stable communities and how, according to IHO’s motto, “it starts with housing.” Founded in 1976 to help business and government address issues of affordable housing and the shortage of low-moderate income housing in Irvine, CA, Innovative Housing has greatly expanded as they provide high-quality, well- designed affordable housing across Southern California. In doing this work, IHO works to build thriving communities by integrating a range of resident services and programs into each project and works to integrate each project into the fabric of each community it works in, placing strong emphasis on community engagement. To learn more about IHO, please visit: www.innovativehousing.com. For more information about CivitasLA, please visit www.CivitasLA.com. And we hope you’ll rate and review our show; and connect with us on Facebook (@CivitasLA), Instagram (@Civitas_LA) and Twitter (@Civitas_LA).
Mar 3, 2021
Episode #28: Empowering Community | Betty LaMarr, Founder & Dawn L. Brown, Chief Executive Officer, EmpowHer Institute
As we celebrate Women’s History Month (March 2021), CivitasLA is excited to be joined by Betty LaMarr, Founder, and Dawn L. Brown, Chief Executive Officer, EmpowHer Institute. Founded in 2003 by a small group of committed friends with a passion for supporting women and girls, EmpowHer’ s mission is to “empower girls and young women in marginalized communities through education, training, and mentorship to become confident, college and career ready.” Since then, the EmpowHer community has grown to more than 4,000, supported by a collaborative model that includes the partnership of hundreds of volunteers and numerous schools, and with the support of individual donors, corporations, philanthropy, and other community organizations. Join us as we discuss the work of EmpowHer in addressing some of the critical challenges facing young women of color from marginalized communities in our region. And how the work of EmpowHer seeks to support girls in developing the skills and access to the necessary resources to navigate systemic barriers and break generational cycles of poverty. After 17 years of leading the organization, Betty stepped down recently from her role and has been succeeded by Dawn, bringing her own 20 + years of experience in the non-profit sector and work on behalf of issues affecting women and girls of color. To learn more, please visit: www.empowher.org.
Feb 17, 2021
Episode #27: Fostering an “Uptown Renaissance” | Rex Richardson, Vice Mayor, Long Beach, CA
As we celebrate Black History Month (February 2021), CivitasLA is excited to be joined by Rex Richardson, Vice Mayor of the City of Long Beach, the second largest city in Los Angeles County, with an estimated population of just under 470,000 people. Join us as we discuss community service and civic engagement from his various perspectives as an organizer and his path to elected leadership. And how, as an elected leader, he’s leveraged his role to help lead an “Uptown Renaissance” in North Long Beach. Elected to represent the residents of the 9th District on the City Council in 2014, Richardson became the youngest councilmember to ever be elected in the City of Long Beach. In 2016, he became the youngest Vice Mayor in Long Beach history. Since then, Rex continues to expand on his leadership in Long Beach, and beyond, serving as President of the Southern California Association of Governments (the largest metropolitan planning organization in the country, representing the interests of 191 cities) and recently being elected to the Board of Directors of the South Coast Air Quality Management District Board. With a mission to make Uptown a great place to live, through effective communication and by empowering families and business to thrive, we discuss how community leadership and efforts to elevate civic knowledge and engagement have powered several critical initiatives. These include the Uptown Planning Land Use and Neighborhood Strategy (UPLAN) https://lbbusinessjournal.com/shattering-stereotypes-transforming-north-long-beach) and championing the Long Beach ‘Everyone In’ Economic Inclusion Initiative, amongst others. As noted by Richardson, “All of this together is really a case study of urban revitalization. It’s all about economic inclusion, which is making sure every part of our town is economically viable and playing to the strengths of those communities.” To learn more, we invite you to visit: www.insidedistrict9.com For more information about CivitasLA, please visit www.CivitasLA.com. And we hope you’ll rate and review our show; and connect with us on Facebook (@CivitasLA), Instagram (@Civitas_LA) and Twitter (@Civitas_LA).
Feb 3, 2021
Episode #26: Shooting the Moon | Dr. Bettye and Prof. Hal Walker, Founders, African American Male Achievers Network (A-MAN)
As we celebrate Black History Month (February 2021), CivitasLA is excited to be joined by Prof. Hal Walker and his wife, Dr. Bettye Walker, as we discuss his groundbreaking career in the world of science and space technology in Southern California. And how that life’s work led them to launch the African – American Male Achievers Network (A-MAN) in Los Angeles, and subsequently expand that work to South Africa, to grow access to opportunities for communities of color in the science and technology arena. Hildreth “Hal” Walker, aerospace engineer and scientist, was an early pioneer in the field of laser telemetry who, amongst many accomplishments, was the first person to successfully fire the Laser to the Moon during the Apollo 11 Moon Landing in 1969. Walker’s space technology career dates to 1959 where he served as a technical member of the RCA Corporation’s Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) team; served as a laser systems specialist for KORAD Laser Systems in the early 1960’s; and participated in the development of the first Tactical Laser Target Designator System for the U.S. Army while at Hughes Aircraft Company, where he retired after serving in management. With his wife Bettye, an educational leader in the Los Angeles area, they co-founded A-MAN, with a mission to utilize STEM-related projects as a motivational tool to advance educational achievement, intellectual and career development of African American, Latino and other under-represented minority students from pre-Kindergarten thru 12th grades. A-MAN works to increase diversity and representation in this thriving sector. Join us in our conversation with Hal and Bettye, as we discuss their work in bringing science and technology to life for young minds; the community A-MAN has developed and their achievements; and share their perspectives on growing diverse representation and participation in science and technology careers. To learn more and get involved, please visit: (http://www.aman.org/our-history.html; http://www.a-mansasciencecenter.com/about/) For more information, please visit www.CivitasLA.com. And we hope you’ll rate and review our show; and connect with us on Facebook (@CivitasLA), Instagram (@Civitas_LA) and Twitter (@Civitas_LA).
Jan 20, 2021
Episode #25: Building Community Capacity | Maura Harrington, Senior Vice President, Center for Nonprofit Management
Building community involves a wide array of actors, including business, government, academia, and the nonprofit sector. In a report published by the Office of Nonprofit Engagement of JP Morgan Chase, “Nonprofit organizations play a vital role in building healthy communities by providing critical services that contribute to economic stability and mobility.” Further, the report notes that because of the “combination of strong community relationships and intimate local knowledge, these organizations often understand better than anyone else their communities; needs and the best ways to meet them.” Nationally, there are nearly 1.3 million nonprofit organizations that account for nearly 10% of the labor force. Here in the greater Los Angeles region, Los Angeles County is home to over 37,000 nonprofit organizations, the largest cluster in any county in the U.S. In Southern California, no organization has played a greater role in providing critical resources to the nonprofit sector, enabling their important and necessary work. Cultivating success has been the mission of CNM for over 40 years, as it’s delivered a wide array of services to nonprofit boards, developed capacity building programs, and provided technical assistance and training resources to millions of nonprofit leaders and board members throughout Southern California. Join us in this conversation with nonprofit leader, Maura Harrington, Senior Vice President, the Center for Nonprofit Management (CNM), as we discuss the impact COVID 19 and the ensuing economic fallout has had on the nonprofit sector in the region; as she shares how the CNM has adapted to serve and build community capacity; and we learn about exciting new initiatives unveiled this past year to elevate and advance the next generation of community leaders. To learn more, please visit: www.cnmsocal.org/about. For more information, please visit www.CivitasLA.com. And we hope you’ll rate and review our show; and connect with us on Facebook (@CivitasLA), Instagram (@Civitas_LA) and Twitter (@Civitas_LA).
Jan 6, 2021
Episode # 24: Great Streets Build Strong Communities| Kevin James, former President, Board of Public Works Commission, City of Los Angeles
In a report from Main Street America, “Streets as Places,” it notes “Streets are our most fundamental public places. They often represent the largest area of public space in a community and provide the overarching framework by which our cities physically expand and develop over time.” In advancing the concept of “Streets as Places” everyone is challenged to view streets not just providing the function of transporting people, but to also acknowledge the “vital role they play in energizing social and economic life in communities” and “positions communities as the owners of their streets, with a right and a responsibility to directly impact how their public spaces look, function and feel.” As the second largest city in the U.S., Los Angeles is home to nearly 4 million residents living in a land area of roughly 470 square miles with over 7,500 miles of streets!!! Join us as we discuss the importance of streets to a community; efforts by City of LA leadership to re-imagine and reclaim its streets (in a city notoriously known for its automobile culture); and lessons learned from the frontline, with Kevin James, most recently the President of the Board of Public Works Commission for the City of LA. (https://dpw.lacity.org/about-kevin-james) For seven years, James served as President of the Board, the longest consecutively serving board president in history, overseeing the Department of Public Works, with over 5,000 employees responsible for “the design construction, renovation, and operation of public projects….and the maintenance of streets, sidewalks, sewers, streetlights and street trees.” During that time, the City, under Mayor Eric Garcetti, launched the “Great Streets initiative”(https://ladot.lacity.org/sites/default/files/documents/diy-great-streets-manual-lrg-1.pdf) aimed at targeting resources to communities to strengthen key corridors. And, since the COVID 19 pandemic, the City has undertaken a number of initiatives – whether the LA Al Fresco Initiative (https://corona-virus.la/laalfresco) or the Slow Streets Initiative (https://ladot.lacity.org/coronavirus/apply-slow-street-your-neighborhood) – which seeks to reimage and repurpose streets in a way that prioritizes pedestrians over cars, while supporting businesses, creating more space for outdoor recreation, and providing new ways for citizens to come together For more information, please visit www.CivitasLA.com and we hope you’ll rate and review our show; and connect with us on Facebook (@CivitasLA), Instagram (@Civitas_LA) and Twitter (@Civitas_LA).
Dec 30, 2020
Episode #23: CivitasLA “Best of” Presents – Favorite Parks in Los Angeles
As noted by activist, author, and journalist Marty Rubin, “Parks and playgrounds are the soul of a city.” With 87 regional and local parks, 344 miles of horse and hiking trails, 19 golf courses and 31 public swimming pools --- and, the beach, Angelenos have myriad opportunities to “get out” and enjoy the Southern California climate. Hear from our CivitasLA civic leaders about their favorite parks and open spaces in our region. In this episode, we take a listen back to some of the favorite parks – in their words. For more information, please visit www.CivitasLA.com and we hope you’ll rate and review our show; and connect with us on Facebook (@CivitasLA), Instagram (@Civitas_LA) and Twitter (@Civitas_LA).
Dec 29, 2020
Episode # 22: CivitasLA “Best of” Presents – Favorite Places to Take a Visitor to Los Angeles
As stated by noted author Fran Lebowitz “Los Angeles is a large city-like area surrounding the Beverly Hills Hotel.” Well, we do love the Beverly Hills Hotel, but the greater Los Angeles region is fortunate to possess a wide range of communities, attractions, and things to appeal to the 50+ million visitors who come to our region annually. Hear from our CivitasLA civic leaders about their favorite places to take a visitor to our region. In this episode we take a listen back to some of the favorite places – in their words. For more information, please visit www.CivitasLA.com and we hope you’ll rate and review our show; and connect with us on Facebook (@CivitasLA), Instagram (@Civitas_LA) and Twitter (@Civitas_LA).
Dec 28, 2020
Episode # 21: CivitasLA “Best of” Presents – Favorite Los Angeles Area Restaurants
As is said “a person’s gotta eat.” So, when our CivitasLA civic leaders take a rest from creating, building, and serving community, where do they go to dine? Well, Los Angeles offers an abundance of restaurants, possessing over 29,000 options (Bogota possesses over 34,000, while New York City comes in at around 27,000!). Hear from our CivitasLA civic leaders about their favorite restaurants in our region. In this episode we take a listen back and hear from these leaders – in their words. For more information, please visit www.CivitasLA.com and we hope you’ll rate and review our show; and connect with us on Facebook (@CivitasLA), Instagram (@Civitas_LA) and Twitter (@Civitas_LA).
Dec 16, 2020
Episode # 20: Creating an Affordable Community | Michael Bohn, AIA, Studio One Eleven
In California, the Arts contribute an exceptional amount to not only the cultural and creative capital of the state, but to its overall economic activity and well-being. With $650.3 billion in annual output in California and over $200 billion in annual output in the Greater Los Angeles area, creativity is a massive engine for economic activity and growth. However, like many large cities, the creative community is increasingly squeezed by high costs for workspace and housing, and insufficient numbers of affordable units being produced. Meeting this challenge, we look forward to a conversation with Michael Bohn, AIA, of the design firm Studio One Eleven, which – through a collaborative effort – spearheaded the first adaptive re-use project of its kind in Orange County, California resulting in the Santa Ana Arts Collective. Supporting the City of Santa Ana’s mission to develop Main Street into an emerging arts corridor, the project is designed to integrate residential living, arts…
Dec 2, 2020
Episode # 19: Coffee, Community, Culture | Shanita Nicholas & Amanda-Jane Thomas, Co-Founders, Sip & Sonder
While the 12th largest city within Los Angeles County (with 88 separate jurisdictions), with a population of approximately 110,000, Inglewood has experienced unprecedented development. In 2016, the NFL’s Rams and Chargers announced a move to Inglewood. Subsequently, the landmark Forum was sold, renovated, and returned as live concert venue. And now talks are underway for the development of a new home for the NBA Los Angeles Clippers franchise. Additionally, the LA Metro’s new Crenshaw/LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) line, designed to provide LAX with a connection to the regional rail system, will consist of eight new stations that will serve Inglewood and its environs. Looking to capitalize on the economic development taking place, but also responding to the lack of outlets for local talent and the creative community to find space for expansive expression and collaboration in the Black community, Amanda-Jane Thomas and Shanita Nicholas, two lawyers by training and professi…
Nov 18, 2020
Episode # 18: Kindness Joy Love Happiness | Karen E. Slade, Vice President & General Manager, KJLH Radio
It has been stated that “community media, and in particular radio, can provide the platform for the public dialogue through which people can define who they are, what they want, and how to get it, at the same time building long-term capacity to solve problems in ways that lead to sustainable social change and development.” For more than 50 years, KJLH Radio (102.3 FM) has provided that crucial platform for the African- American community and is one of just two Black-owned and operated commercial radio stations in all of California, a state with a population of 40 million people. Independently owned and operated since 1965, the station was sold, in 1979, to music legend Stevie Wonder. And, having operated from studios in the Crenshaw District of South Los Angeles, the station moved to the City of Inglewood, where it operates today. Join us as we hear from Karen Slade, Vice President and General Manager of KJLH Radio as we discuss their work being actively engaged in community serv…
Nov 4, 2020
Episode # 17: Creating Thriving Communities | D’Artagnan Scorza, Founder & Executive Director, Social Justice Learning Institute
Formed in 2008 “to empower individuals to stand up, create change, and help their communities thrive,” the Social Justice Learning Institute (SJLI) works to serve youth of color through educational programs in the City of Inglewood and across South Los Angeles; seeks to transform neighborhoods and improve the built environment; and aims to foster systems change through collaboration and cultivation of a new generation of leaders. Empowering individuals to advocate for community-centered development has also been a goal of SJLI, while working in concert with others seeking to promote sustainable community investment amidst a rapidly changing landscape underway in Inglewood. While the 12th largest city within Los Angeles County (with 88 separate jurisdictions), with a population of approximately 110,000, Inglewood has experienced unprecedented development. In 2016, the NFL’s Rams and Chargers announced a move to Inglewood. Subsequently, the landmark Forum was sold, renovated, and…
Oct 21, 2020
Episode # 16: Funding Sustainable Systems Change | Christine Essel, President & CEO, Southern California Grantmakers
Philanthropy has been called a critical part of a democratic society. Its purpose is to improve wellbeing by preventing and solving social problems. In 1973, four Los Angeles area foundations came together with a common vision to build a community of grant makers. Together, The Ahmanson Foundation, the Cummins Foundation, the Norton Simon Foundation, and the Carrie Estelle Doheny Foundation founded the Los Angeles Inter-Foundation Center (LAIFC). More than 40 years later, their visionary group has become today’s diverse Southern California Grantmakers (SCG), a regional association representing 300+ grant makers of all types and reflecting the evolving character of the philanthropic sector in Southern California and addressing the diverse needs of the communities served. The philanthropic sector has adapted rapidly in the face of unprecedented challenges this year. However, even in this new environment, funders must continue to sharpen their grantmaking abilities and knowledge to kee…
Oct 14, 2020
Episode # 15: Building a Mindful Community | Justin Michael Williams, Author, Speaker, Musician
First popularized in the 1970’s, the study of mindfulness has blossomed as an area of academic study and practice. And, as the expansion of the discipline unfolds, many are bringing the practice of mindfulness to communities at large, as opposed to individuals. Many are also aiming to bring this practice to previously underserved communities, as poverty has been linked to decreased functional brain connectivity, anxiety, and depression. As a young man experiencing the trauma of gun shots outside his bedroom window, Justin Michael Williams shares his journey of healing and transformation. As an author, musician, and transformational speaker, Justin will share with us how he uses music and meditation to wake up the world and aims to fulfill his mission to build community and see that “We Rise Together.” With over a decade of teaching experience, Justin has been described as “a pioneering millennial voice for diversity and inclusion in wellness.” Learn how this work has been u…
Oct 6, 2020
Episode # 14: Meeting This Moment | Richard Ayoub, Executive Director, Project Angel Food
Founded during a time of crisis, in response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the late 1980’s, Project Angel Food has served as a reliable lifeline to thousands of community members diagnosed with critical life- threatening illness. Envisioning a world where every sick person is fed, nourished, and loved, Project Angel Food prepares and delivers over one million meals a year, free of charge to people who face hunger, isolation, and critical illness. Since its founding in 1989, Project Angel Food has delivered over 13 million free medically tailored meals across 4000+ square miles of Los Angeles County, from the Antelope Valley to the South Bay. In addition to serving the nutrition needs of critically ill people, the COVID 19 pandemic has brought forth new challenges – including economic, housing and food insecurity – which has made food banks and other food programs more essential than ever. Join Project Angel Food’s Executive Director, Richard Ayoub, as we discuss the remarkable…
Sep 30, 2020
Episode # 13: Building Global Community through Citizen Diplomacy | Janet Elliott, President & CEO, International Visitors Council of Los Angeles
Building bridges between Los Angeles and the world, the International Visitors Council of Los Angeles (IVCLA) plays a crucial role in creating international connections; cultivating local innovation; and activating global potential. Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, IVCLA develops leadership exchanges and advances a range of cross border programs that addresses critical issues, including: alleviating chronic poverty and hunger, creating sustainable communities, promoting tolerance through the arts, empowering women in leadership, controlling infectious diseases, eliminating human trafficking, and promoting civic engagement, amongst others. Many of the international visitors that have participated in IVCLA programs have become leaders in and of their respective governments. While COVID-19 has made cross-cultural and international collaboration and connection more challenging than ever, the work of IVCLA has become more vital to the health and well-being of our international…
Sep 22, 2020
Episode # 12: Facilitating Global Connections and Commerce | Stephen Cheung, President, World Trade Center Los Angeles
As Southern California celebrates World Trade Week (WTW), which for more than 90 years has brought focus to the important role international commerce has played in shaping our region, we’re joined by Stephen Cheung, President of the World Trade Center Los Angeles, to discuss LA’s place in the global commercial community; the economic impact of trade and investment on the region; and the role WTCLA plays in fostering critical cross border connections. The McKinsey Global Institute, in a report entitled “Urban America: US cities in the global economy,” projected Los Angeles to become the fourth-largest city in the world ranked by GDP (with Tokyo being #1 and New York City #2). Key to this success, for LA and others, is building connections to other US cities and global cities which is seen as “a source of strength and new ideas.” With a mission to make Los Angeles the nation’s leading center for international trade, the WTCLA is dedicated to attracting foreign direct inve…
Sep 16, 2020
Episode # 11: Advocating for the Arts | Gustavo Herrera, Executive Director, Arts for LA
In California, the Arts contribute an exceptional amount to not only the cultural and creative capital of the state, but to its overall economic activity and well-being. With $650.3 billion in annual output in California, the fifth largest economy in the world, and $203.2 billion in annual output in Los Angeles, the largest county (by population) in the United States, creativity is a massive engine for economic activity and growth. Heavily impacted by the global pandemic and the economic crisis that has ensued, a May report issued by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), noted the “Arts and Entertainment” industry was among the highest risk industries for job loss related to COVID-19. In that report, the LAEDC projected that initial job loss related to Stay At Home orders for “Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media” in the Los Angeles region could reach as high as 52.5% (year-over-year change). Navigating these challenges and advocating for…
Sep 9, 2020
Episode #10: Roses & Lemons, An Inside Look at DTLA | Hal Bastian, Executive Vice President, Major Properties
For nearly 40 years, the Downtown Breakfast Club has served to recognize, foster, and encourage the orderly and planned growth of Downtown Los Angeles. The group consists of individual representatives from all major sectors, including real estate, banking, international investment, architects & engineers, urban planners, investment brokers, insurance development organizations and governmental agencies. Meeting on a bi-monthly basis, the group maintains a profile of current business activity through featured guest speakers and works to encourage and support sound principles of developing a better quality of life for Downtown Los Angeles. Join us as we follow this remarkable evolution of a community in Los Angeles with Hal Bastian, known as “Mr. Downtown,” and explore the fits and starts of transforming DTLA and its subsequent rise. And we look at the Downtown Breakfast Club’s annual event bringing together hundreds of civic leaders to celebrate the highlights (Roses) and low ligh…
Sep 2, 2020
Episode #9: Revitalizing the Urban Core | Jessica Lall, President & CEO, Central City Association of Los Angeles
Representing just 1% of the land mass of the City of Los Angeles, Downtown LA (DTLA) is emerging, in some sense, as “the Center of It All.” Attracting billions of dollars in investment over the past two decades, DTLA’s revitalization has been remarkable. Known principally as a business center, which closed after 5 pm, DTLA has become the city’s fastest growing community, with 30% of new apartments built in the city, or nearly 50,000 units. The current population of approximately 80,000 people has nearly doubled over the past decade. Continued residential growth for DTLA is projected to reach 250,000 people living in the area by 2040. As a major employment center, DTLA houses over 68 million square feet of office space, 22 million square feet of retail space, and the surge of new hotel development has resulted in over 9,000 hotels rooms that support 22 million visitors, annually. Leading the way in this revitalization effort has been the Central City Association (CCA), advocat…
Aug 26, 2020
Episode # 8: #Partners#People#Promise | Robert Sausedo, President & CEO, Community Build
Founded in 1992 in the aftermath of the civil unrest in Los Angeles, which witnessed over $1 Billion in economic damage, Community Build came into being with a purpose to empower people, build platforms for human capital investment, promote economic development and to deliver critical programs and services. From those difficult days, the South Los Angeles region, comprising over 51 square miles, more than 750,000 residents, and 28 neighborhoods has witnessed a significant increase in public and private investment, with major projects underway. Yet, with rising investment also comes increased community concern over potential displacement and a host of other issues. Join us as we speak with Robert Sausedo, President & CEO of Community Build, as he shares his firsthand experience at the civil unrest in 1992, the work of Community Build in rebuilding South LA, and discusses the economic potential of the region going forward. To learn more and get involved, please visit: www.communitybuil…
Aug 18, 2020
Episode # 7: Ensuring Physical and Economic Mobility | Effie Turnbull Sanders, Executive Director, South Los Angeles Transit Empowerment Zone (SLATE-Z)
With a belief that a child’s zip code should never determine her/his destiny; but realizing that the community one grows up in impacts that young person’s odds of graduating high school; health outcomes; and lifetime economic opportunities, “Promise Zones” were created by the federal government for the purpose of partnering with local leaders to increase economic activity, improve educational opportunities, and leverage private investment in order to address public health and other priorities identified by the community. Join us in a conversation with Effie Turnbull Sanders, Executive Director of the SLATE-Z promise zone as she discusses their efforts to promote neighborhood revitalization, educational excellence, and economic empowerment in order to realize the promise and potential of South Los Angeles. To learn more and become involved, please visit: www.slatez.org For more information, please visit www.CivitasLA.com And, we hope you’ll rate and review our show; and conn…
Aug 12, 2020
Episode # 6: Changing Lives and Building Neighborhoods | Mark Wilson, President, CEO/Co-Founder, Coalition for Responsible Community Development
Join Mark A. Wilson, President, CEO/Co-Founder of the Coalition for Responsible Community Development, discussing their work focusing on “changing lives and building neighborhoods responsibly.” Since 2005, CRCD has focused its efforts on the historic “South Central” community of Vernon Central, with a mission “to better sustain, coordinate and improve local planning, development and community services that address the needs of low-income and working-class residents and small businesses in South Los Angeles.” Learn how this community in South LA is evolving; and how CRCD’s work – whether in youth empowerment; workforce and economic development; affordable housing; or efforts to preserve its rich cultural history – are having an impact. To learn more and get involved, please visit: https://www.coalitionrcd.org/ For more information, please visit www.CivitasLA.com And, we hope you’ll rate and review our show; and stay in touch with us on Facebook (@CivitasLA), Instag…
Aug 5, 2020
Episode # 5: Closing the Opportunity Gap for the South LA Community | Veronica Melvin, President & CEO, LA Promise Fund (With Special Guest Intro by LA City Councilmember Curren D. Price, Jr.)
Embracing a bold vision to radically improve the future of LA communities by increasing educational equity and ultimately closing the opportunity gap, the LA Promise Fund is a nonprofit organization with a mission to prepare students for success in college, career, and life. Join us in a conversation with Veronica Melvin, President & CEO of LA Promise fund as she discusses the work of the LA Promise community, the organization’s focus on South LA, and it’s efforts to address the talent pipeline problem that exists in STEM fields. To learn more and become involved, please visit: www.lapromisefund.org For more information, please visit www.CivitasLA.com And, we hope you’ll rate and review our show; and connect with us on Facebook (@CivitasLA), Instagram (@Civitas_LA) and Twitter (@Civitas_LA).
Jul 29, 2020
Episode #4: Fostering LGBTQ+ entrepreneurship | Chris Fraley, Board member of StartOut
Founded in 2009 to promote LGBTQ+ equality and fight discrimination in the business world, StartOut has emerged as a leading champion for the LGBTQ+ entrepreneurial community, providing the resources entrepreneurs need to succeed, promoting success, and providing critical research on the economic impacts of LGBTQ+ discrimination. Join Chris Fraley, Board Member of StartOut, as we discuss the evolution of the organization and its work; the state of LGBTQ+ entrepreneurship in the U.S. and in our region; and also the Supreme Court’s recent landmark ruling that federal law protects workers from job discrimination based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, and its impacts on LGBTQ+ entrepreneurship. To learn more and get involved, please visit http://www.StartOut.org For more information, please visit www.CivitasLA.com And, we hope you’ll rate and review our show; and stay in touch with us on Facebook (@CivitasLA), Instagram (@Civitas_LA) and Twitter (@C…
Jul 22, 2020
Episode # 3: Nurturing emerging filmmakers | Larry Laboe, Executive Director, NewFilmmakers LA
In LA’s signature industry —entertainment – NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) is forging a path and creating community for the next generation of storytellers. With the goal of showcasing, supporting, educating and connecting diverse and emerging filmmakers, NFMLA is a non-profit 501(c) 3 organization designed to showcase innovative works by emerging filmmakers from around the world, providing the Los Angeles community of entertainment professionals and film goers with a constant surge of monthly screening events. Meet Founding Executive Director, Larry Laboe, as we discuss the work of NFMLA and its efforts to provide a forum where filmmakers can be recognized for their contributions, have open audience discussions about their projects and connect with industry professionals for insight on distribution, production, acquisition, and representation. To learn more and get involved, please visit http://www.newfilmmakersla.com For more information, please visit www.CivitasLA.com And…
Jul 15, 2020
Episode # 2: Empowering youth | Mel Culpepper, CEO, Boys & Girls Club of Hollywood
Educating, inspiring and supporting our youth takes a village. In the village that is Hollywood, we explore the work of the Boys & Girls Club of Hollywood (BGCH). Since 1937, the Boys & Girls Club of Hollywood has provided a safe haven for children to discover, learn, lead and succeed. We are joined by visionary leader of the BGCH, CEO Mel Culpepper, where we discuss the important community building work taking place at their club and how the changes taking place across Hollywood impacts that work. To learn more and get involved, please visit www.bgchollywood.com. For more information, please visit www.CivitasLA.com And, we hope you’ll rate and review our show; and stay in touch with us on Facebook (@CivitasLA) and Twitter (@Civitas_LA).
Jul 8, 2020
Episode #1: Re-imagining Hollywood’s “Main Street” | Dan Halden, HEART of Hollywood and Li Wen, Gensler
Cities are ever evolving and spaces within cities are forever being re-imagined. And, with COVID 19, the global pandemic is also influencing how cities reshape themselves, and this is true in LA. In Los Angeles, the historic and globally recognized community of Hollywood has been undergoing rapid revitalization that has attracted billions in new investment. As private capital has returned, significant public investment and re-imaging is also taking place. This episode features a conversation with Dan Halden, Director of the HEART of Hollywood, and Li Wen, Design Principal with Gensler, a global design and architecture firm, to talk about the visionary re-imaging of Hollywood’s central corridor, Hollywood Boulevard, and the transformative Walk of Fame Master Plan project. To learn more and get involved, please visit: www.heartofhollywood.la For more information, please visit www.CivitasLA.com And, we hope you’ll rate and review our show; and stay in touch with us on Facebook (@Civ…
Jul 1, 2020
Episode #0: Introducing CivitasLA | Dwayne Gathers, Creator & Host
Join Creator & Host Dwayne Gathers as he introduces the CivitasLA podcast and its goals of featuring diverse leaders, fostering community connections, and promoting civic engagement. With nearly two decades of civic and community engagement experience in Los Angeles through service on various boards and commissions, Dwayne shares his thoughts on the need (and opportunity) to create a platform that would highlight and celebrate the work of a broader range of up and coming leaders and elevate more diverse voices in the region’s civic conversation. For more information, please visit www.CivitasLA.com And, we hope you’ll rate and review our show; and stay in touch with us on Facebook (@CivitasLA) and Twitter (@Civitas_LA).
Jun 8, 2020
Welcome to CivitasLA, a new podcast featuring diverse and emerging leaders who make up this dynamic region and are creating community every day . . . and building a better future. Each week, learn from and be inspired by a new generation of civic entrepreneurs who are forging a path forward in making Los Angeles a stronger, more resilient, and connected group of citizens.