Por qué cada uno de nosotros necesita defender la justicia, detener el racismo y asegurar la igualdad para todas las personas
La justicia tiene que empezar ahora. El odio y el racismo deben desaparecer ahora. Cada uno de nosotros necesitamos ser intencionales ahora para ayudar a asegurar que las vidas de las personas Afroamericanas sean reconocidas como vidas importantes.
Yo soy Afroamericana. Vivo en América. Fui escupida y llamado fuera de mi nombre a lo largo de mi infancia y a través de la escuela secundaria. Y nací y crecí en California. Imagínate.
Muchos han dicho que el Sur de los Estados Unidos lidera en las acciones racistas, pero yo digo que en toda América tenemos problemas realmente serios. La esclavitud nunca fue tratada realmente en este país, y es un problema. Debemos darnos cuenta de que el impacto de 246 años de propietarios de esclavos y 155 años de Jim Crow, Códigos Afroamericanos, segregación y racismo institucionalizado no se desase fácilmente. Estamos parados sobre los hombros de los que han muerto antes de nosotros por nuestros derechos. No desperdiciemos este momento.
Durante este tiempo de crisis, tanto la pandemia y ahora, asesinatos sin sentido, todos podemos HACER ALGO para asegurarnos de que el odio no continúe liderando la agenda. NO TE MANTENGAS EN SILENCIO. Da a las organizaciones, los defensores públicos y otros grupos que están enfrentando la injusticia, el cuidado de los pobres, la representación a las familias Afroamericanas que han perdido a sus seres queridos a la violencia de la policía, las armas y otras formas traicioneras de llevarse la vida. NO se siente en el banquillo del costado cuando puedes servir a los demás y comprométase en marcar una diferencia en su comunidad, por medio de sus empresas y sus redes de contactos por medio de su voz, sus habilidades, talentos y apoye a aquellos que están dispuestos a liderar y a estar enfrente de las líneas contra el odio y la opresión
Así que muchos de nosotros como Afroamericanos hemos dicho, “estamos cansados.” Cansado de ser ‘escupidos’ por la apariencia, los gestos, la ignorancia y el desprecio silencioso por nuestras vidas como si necesitáramos estar al mismo nivel de ustedes… ¡alto a eso! Es hora como el Pastor Max Lucado dijo tan bien: “Pero, al final, el plan de Dios es el único plan: ver a cada persona en el planeta como la idea de Dios. Y Él no tiene malas ideas”. ¡Sí! Si amamos a nuestro prójimo como nos amamos a nosotros mismos, podemos y podremos eliminaremos la necesidad de excedernos, competir, dominar y mentirnos sobre nuestra medida de importancia.. No se trata de ti. Por otro lado, cada uno de nosotros es único; respeto debe darse inmediatamente para mostrar el verdadero valor de lo mucho que cada vida importa. Por cada uno de nosotros.
“La injusticia en cualquier lugar es una amenaza para la justicia en todas partes.” (1) La historiadora Kellie Carter Jackson escribe: “A lo largo de la historia, los Afroamericanos han empleado violencia, no violencia, marchas y boicots. Sólo una cosa está clara: no hay una forma de protesta Afroamericana que la supremacía blanca sancione.” ¿No quieres ser responsable por instigar un cambio social y político monumental? ¿No te gustaría que tu legado fuera uno en el que tuvieras la oportunidad de hacer historia en tu vida y elegiste hacerlo?
Así que empecemos… Martin Luther King Jr. dijo muchas cosas bien dichas:. “Llega un momento en que el silencio es traición. Nuestras vidas comienzan a terminar el día en que nos quedamos en silencio sobre las cosas que importan. Al final, no recordaremos las palabras de nuestros enemigos, sino el silencio de nuestros amigos.” Por lo tanto, elijamos cada uno no guardar silencio en estos momentos. Es momento de hablar alto y hablar fuerte.
Nuestro compromiso con nuestro trabajo de desarrollo comunitario y el fortalecimiento de las familias es fundamental en la construcción de comunidades sostenibles que prosperen económica, políticamente y preserven los ideales socioeconómicos que sean accesibles para todos. Mientras trabajamos en este ideal, debemos abogar, defender la justicia, negociar acuerdos de tierras y construir ciudades de promesa y oportunidad… una tarea difícil para hacer. Debemos re- imaginar nuestro trabajo a través del lente de la justicia racial. La alegría de esto es que podamos ver que suceden cosas reales y significativas. A menudo un trabajo ingrato, servimos porque honramos y respetamos la premisa fundamental de que “todos los hombres son creados iguales” es una promesa para todos nosotros. Que se nos garanticen los derechos inalienables de la vida, la libertad y la búsqueda de la felicidad. Vivimos para el día que lo veremos confirmado en América, nuestro hogar, AHORA..
Vergüenza para aquel que no se destaca en’ hablar en alto’ para una libertad de todos. Es una vergüenza que la policía usen la fuerza violenta como una forma de mostrar fortaleza. Por eso nos arrodillamos. Se requiere un liderazgo de servicio, ¿puedes dárselo? Es una pena que personas como el Jefe de policía (LAPD) quien tiene problemas para disculparse cuando le llamaron la atención por culpar a los saqueadores y a los oficiales que asesinaron a George Floyd en el mismo aliento. Es una pena las políticas racistas y las tácticas depredadoras que mantienen a nuestras comunidades en una “pérdida” en lugar de una victoria. Es una pena que las tácticas presupuestarias locales trabajen para aumentar los presupuestos policiales en un momento en que no quieren rendir cuentas y deberíamos apoyar vidas Afroamericanas. ¡Qué vergüenza para los ricos que pudiendo dar más dan menos! Es una pena para nuestros funcionarios electos, líderes de fe y líderes de la comunidad y otros que han estado en silencio más de lo habitual. ¿Estás “adentro” enfrentando la pandemia del COVID -19? ¡Sal de tu zona de conforte! Da un paso adelante, da un paso afuera para reflejar una “diferencia” de liderazgo que se necesita en nuestra América, nuestro hogar… Ahora mismo. No hay otro momento como el presente y no hay una mejor oportunidad que ahora.
“Pero nos negamos a creer que el banco de justicia está en bancarrota. Nos negamos a creer que no hay fondos suficientes en las grandes bóvedas de oportunidades de esta nación. Así que hemos venido a cobrar este cheque, un cheque que nos dará a petición las riquezas de la libertad y la seguridad de la justicia. También hemos llegado a este lugar sagrado para recordar a los Estados Unidos la feroz urgencia del ‘ ahora’. . No es momento de dedicarse al lujo de refrescarse o de tomar la droga tranquilizante del’ gradualismo’. Ahora es el momento de hacer realidad las promesas de la democracia; ahora es el momento de levantarse de la oscuridad y el valle desolado de la segregación al camino iluminado por el sol de la justicia racial; ahora es el momento de sacar a nuestra nación de las ‘arenas movedizas’ de la injusticia racial a la roca sólida de la fraternidad; ahora es el momento de hacer de la justicia una realidad para todos los hijos de Dios.”(2)
Por lo tanto, digamos sus nombres… Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, David McAtee y muchos otros. Nunca olvidemos sus nombres y seamos agradecidos y honorables con sus muertes haciendo que cada uno de nosotros sea más consciente de la importancia de ponerse de pie y estar seguros de ser escuchados. ¡La justicia importa! Lo canto en voz alta… Soy Afroamericana y estoy orgullosa. ¡Que suene la libertad! El Himno Nacional Afroamericano declara: “Canta una canción llena de la fe que el pasado oscuro nos ha enseñado, Canta una canción llena de la esperanza que el presente nos ha traído, Frente al sol naciente del comienzo de nuestro nuevo día , Marchamos ‘hasta que se gane la Victoria.”
¿Cuál es nuestro llamado a la acción:
La verdad derribada hasta el suelo se levantará de nuevo sin temor. Y así nos levantamos de este lugar, este momento, esta vez en nuestra historia. Nos levantamos para server.(3) Nos levantamos para dar. Nos levantaremos para amar. Nos levantaremos para ‘PARARNOS’ para lo que es correcto, justo, pacífico y sostenible. Nos levantamos para acabar con el odio. Nos levantamos para detener el racismo. Podemos ser mejores… debemos. Nuestro futuro depende de eso.
Una oración que importa ahora es…—Confío en Ti Señor por la Justicia, la Misericordia, el Amor y la Paz. Ruego que cada vida de cada niño Afroamericano, familia y hombres y mujeres Afroamericanos jóvenes sea considerada como personas de mucho valor. Ruego que el Amor envuelva sus fuertes brazos alrededor de nuestra comunidad ahora y nos recuerde de ‘de quiénes somos’ y que te importamos, Señor, fortalece las convicciones de nuestros amigos de diferentes razas y los blancos que quieren ayudar, y que no están seguros de qué hacer, pero realmente les importa que ‘algo suceda’. Permita que vivan sus convicciones ahora sin tener que ser reconocidos o estar ‘a cargo’, sólo verdaderos siervos de la época en que estamos viviendo, reconociendo que “el más pequeño acto de bondad vale más que la mayor intención.”(4)
Presidente & CEO
(1) Martin Luther King, Jr.
(2) Martin Luther King, Jr.
(3) Martin Luther King, Jr.
(4) Kahlil Gibran
Why we each need to stand for justice, stopping racism and equality for all people.
Justice needs to begin now. Hatred and racism need to be gone now. Each of us needs to be intentional now to help ensure that Black people are recognized as having lives that matter.
So, I’m Black. Live in America. Was spit on and called out of my name throughout my childhood and through high school. And I was born and raised in California. Go figure.
Many have said that the South leads in racist actions, but I’d say, throughout America we have real problems. Slavery was never really dealt with in this country, and it’s a problem. We must realize that the impact of 246 years of chattel slavery and 155 years of Jim Crow, Black Codes, segregation, and institutionalized racism will not be easily undone. We stand on the shoulders of those who have died before us for our rights. Let’s not waste this moment.
During this time of crises, both the pandemic and now, senseless killings, we all can DO SOMETHING about making sure that hatred doesn’t continue to lead the agenda. DON’T be silent. DO give to organizations, public advocates and other groups that are standing up against injustice, caring for the poor, representing Black families who have lost loved ones to violence from the police, guns and other treacherous forms of taking life. DON’T sit on the sidelines when you can serve others and get engaged with making a difference in your community, companies, and networks with your voice, your skills, talents and support those who are willing to lead and be on the front lines of standing against hatred and oppression.
So, many of us as Black Americans have said, “we’re tired”. Tired of being ‘spit’ on by the looks, gestures, ignorance and silent disregard for our lives as though we need to measure up to you…stop that! It is time as Pastor Max Lucado said so well, “But, in the end, God’s plan is the only plan: see every person on the planet as God’s idea. And He has no bad ideas”. Yes! If we love our neighbor as we love ourselves, we can and we will eliminate the need to outdo, compete, dominate and lie to ourselves about our value. It’s not about you. On the other hand, each of us is one of a kind and unique; respect should be given immediately to show the true value of how much each life matters. By each of us.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” The historian Kellie Carter Jackson writes: “Throughout history, black people have employed violence, nonviolence, marches, and boycotts. Only one thing is clear—there is no form of black protest that white supremacy will sanction.” Don’t you want to be responsible for instigating monumental social and political change? Wouldn’t you like your legacy to be one in which you had the opportunity to make history in your lifetime and you chose to do it?
So let us begin…Martin Luther King Jr. said so much so well. “There comes a time when silence is betrayal. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” So, let us each choose not to be silent right now. Speak up and speak out.
Our commitment to our work of community development and strengthening families is critical to building sustainable communities that thrive economically, politically and preserve socioeconomic ideals that are accessible for everyone. While we work at this premise, we must advocate, stand for justice, negotiate land deals and build cities of promise and opportunity…a daunting task. The joy of it is that we get to see real stuff happen. Often a thankless job, we serve because we honor and respect the fundamental premise that “all men are created equal” is a promise for all of us. That we will be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We live for the day that we will see it borne out in America, our home, NOW.
So shame on anyone who doesn’t stand up for everyone’s freedom. Shame on the police for using violent force as the way to show strength. This is WHY we kneel. Servant leadership is required, can you give it? Shame on folks like the LAPD Police Chief who struggled to apologize when called out for blaming the looters and the officers who murdered George Floyd in the same breath. Shame on the racist policies and predatory tactics that keep our communities at a ‘loss’ instead of a win. Shame on local budgetary tactics that work to increase police budgets at a time when they don’t want to be accountable and we should be supporting Black lives. Shame on the wealthy who could give back more and don’t! Shame on our elected officials, faith and community leaders and others who have been more silent than usual. Are you ‘inside’ facing the COVID pandemic? Get out of your comfort zone! Step up, step out and step forward to reflect the leadership ‘difference’ that is needed in our America, our home…right now. There is no other time like the present and…no one is coming.
“But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so we have come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy; now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice; now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood; now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.
So, let’s say their names…Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, David McAtee and many others. Let’s never forget their names and be grateful and honorable toward their deaths making each of us more aware of the importance of standing up, getting up and being sure to be heard. Justice matters! I sing it loud…I’m Black and I’m proud. Let freedom ring! The Negro National Anthem declares, “Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us, Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us, Facing the rising sun of our new day begun, Let us march on ’til victory is won”.
What’s our Call to Action:
Truth smashed down to the ground will rise again undaunted. And so we rise from this place, this moment, this time in our history. We rise to serve. We rise to give. We rise to love. We rise to STAND for what is right, just, peaceful and sustainable. We rise to end hatred. We rise to stop racism. We can be better…we must. Our future depends on it.
A prayer that matters now is…–I trust You Lord for Justice, Mercy, Love and Peace. I pray that every life of every Black child, family and Black young men and women will be considered priceless. I pray that Love would wrap its strong arms around our community now and remind us of ‘whose’ we are and that we matter to You, Lord. Strengthen the conviction of our friends of color and Whites who want to help, aren’t sure what to do, but really care that ‘something happens’. Allow them to live out their convictions now without having to be noticed or be ‘in charge’, just true servants of the time we are living in, recognizing that, “the smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention.”
Lori R. Gay
President & CEO
Image, Mark Peterson / Redux
 Martin Luther King, Jr.
 Martin Luther King, Jr.
 Martin Luther King, Jr.
 Kahlil Gibran
**Last updated 4/30/2020
Today is the 28th anniversary of the Los Angeles Civil Unrest. Then, like now, NHS served families in need…caring compassionately for our neighbors during disaster.
From the team behind GivingTuesday, a global generosity movement that unleashes the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world around them, comes #GivingTuesdayNow.
In response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19, #GivingTuesdayNow is a new global day of giving and unity that will take place on May 5, 2020. This pandemic has affected lives all around the world, and it presents an opportunity for the world to come together as a global community.
Together, we can work to safeguard our most vulnerable communities throughout this crisis. Your donation will help us continue providing free Financial Education & Counseling to local families throughout Los Angeles County. Our services help clients navigate debt, credit, and financial hardships in relation to buying, fixing, keeping, and selling their homes.
A charitable gift to NHS will have the following impact:
At NHS, every donation matters.
As we continue to navigate the health, economic, and social challenges caused by the COVID-19 crisis, NHS remains focused on providing essential services to our most vulnerable residents. The crisis is revealing something that NHS has championed for over 35 years – for many Californians, housing = health. Show your support for NHS and be a part of a historic wave of generosity, citizen engagement, and philanthropy on May 5, 2020.
The COVID-19 crisis will require a monumental collective effort to overcome and we are calling on support from individuals like YOU to help us meet this moment.
If you or someone you know could benefit from our services, please call us at 213-381-2862.
Thank you to all of our donors for your ongoing support. We appreciate you!
We are stronger together.
Lori R Gay
President & CEO
There are many ways to make gifts in support of NHS’ mission, and our Development Department is here to assist you. Call 213-381-2862 for more information about the options available to you or review the following list to evaluate the ways you can make a difference.
Please send your check or money order (payable to NHS) to:
Neighborhood Housing Services
Attn: Development Department
3926 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 200
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Call NHS at 213-381-2862 to make a gift using your credit card
NHS of LA County is a nonprofit organization with IRS 501(c)(3) status. Donations are tax deductible Federal ID #: 95-3938955.
Ruth Ashford’s 3-bedroom home in South LA has 19 years of memory, joy and struggle written into its walls. In it, she has watched her son grow from a toddler to a young man, which made the threat of losing her home during the 2008 foreclosure crisis that much more difficult. However, a loan modification helped her weather the storm and stay in the community: “right when I was about to give up, I was able to keep my home.”
When a friend in NHS’ homeownership program told her about our home rehab loans, Ashford looked at the creaks and cracks her 90-year old home had developed over the years and decided that the time for significant repairs had finally come. Her grand plans include fixing the roof, garage, outdated bathroom, and a countertop previously renovated by a contractor, as well as replacing the windows and repainting her home’s exterior.
With an NHS Home Rehab Loan in hand, her biggest concern now is what color to paint her home: “I’ve been driving around taking pictures of other houses,” she laughed, “I like terracotta and I like a light grey but I keep switching back and forth.”
It was harvest time for the 22 raised beds that constitute the garden at NHS’ Center for Sustainable Communities in Compton, CA. The garden is a part of NHS’ urban agriculture program and is a part of a larger effort over the last 20+ years to help ensure that our families who live in food deserts are eating more healthy foods.
Sheila Moweta, food justice coordinator for NHS of LA County, had hoped to have seniors from a nearby center help bring in the cauliflower, kale, collards, Swiss chard, snap peas, cilantro and purple mustard greens.
“They were looking for something to do,” she says.
But by the time the crops were ready, the seniors had been given a mandate to stay inside. “We packed up everything – snap peas and collard greens that were so fresh, they didn’t taste anything like in the store,” she says. They brought the crops to the center so the seniors could cook the bounty in their apartments.
Moweta also cooked up the purple mustard greens and collards for residents to try. “Eating out of your own garden does change people. Now they see what they’re looking at every day is delicious.”
Moweta isn’t a master gardener. She learned from her parents and her grandmother. When she started as food justice coordinator, she began working with the students who had been watering the garden as part of a METRO CDC project, and the seniors who had come to weed it. What she didn’t know, the community helped fill in, answering her questions about soil and pests. In the past year, they’ve turned it over twice, she says. “There’s still a lot of rich soil in Compton,” which is about 15 miles from Los Angeles, she says. And there’s a lot of gardening.
NHS also gave the seniors peat cups and beefsteak tomato seeds. “They can put them in their rooms in the window,” Moweta says. “I’m doing it at home, too. Right now, tiny tomato leaves are coming up. But they’re fragile, still.”
Moweta is also growing other seedlings in her home: zucchini, basil, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, kale. “This year we might try beets, to see how it works,” she says. “I look forward to the day we can make a beautiful meal and share it, so people won’t think of it as being rabbit food. If they grow it, they want to taste it.”
Moweta says in the garden, they try to put vegetables together that will make a meal or a food item. Add tomatoes to onions and cilantro and you’ve got salsa, she says. “Last summer I made pesto from the first harvest.”
Moweta says the gardening enthusiasm goes beyond her community. “Everyone’s bored and now everyone’s back in their yards,” she says. “What was old is new again. And that’s a good thing. Neighbors can share tomatoes over the fence again. It brings the neighborhood back together. There’s nothing like a garden to do that.”
This article is part of “People Turn to Gardening to Grow Food, Alleviate Stress,” written by NeighborWorks America
Who are we?
We are a network of 300 advocacy organizations, worker centers, labor unions, service providers, religious congregations, community groups, affordable housing developers, public interest lawyers, public health and safety organizations, and many more uniting to propose concrete solutions to the many hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
How do we want to help?
Nothing demonstrates our fundamental interconnectedness like a pandemic. Our fates rise and fall together. Our society is now wisely moving to scale back in-person gatherings to stop the spread of COVID-19. This shut-down will cause tremendous hardship for the most vulnerable Californians. People are in danger of losing their homes as the economy grinds to a halt. Service workers and unhoused people run a high risk of infection and lack the space and resources to preserve their health. Immigrants, fearing retaliation, may forgo important preventative care. Our local governments must do everything possible to prevent this health catastrophe from metastasizing into a deeper social and economic crisis, with race and class defining who does well and who does not. There are immediate steps our elected officials can take to begin matching the scope of this emergency, and it requires training our eyes on the right things and the right people.
The right place to look first is to our most vulnerable. Elected and court officials must halt all evictions and foreclosure proceedings at every stage of the process. Losing your home means losing the ability to practice social distancing, to self-quarantine, and to care properly for sick family members. No one should be forced into packed eviction courtrooms to keep a roof over their heads nor should court staff, attorneys, and litigants be congregating for nonessential proceedings. The solution is clear: institute an immediate moratorium on filing evictions and posting eviction notices and place a stay on all trials, defaults, and lock-outs. A citywide rental assistance fund should be enacted for tenants alongside a requirement for banks to negotiate favorable payment plans for residential mortgage holders and cease foreclosure proceedings for the duration of the crisis. Without these protections, we risk forcing hundreds of thousands of Angelenos into overcrowded spaces and unsheltered homelessness. That would be a public health nightmare. No one should need to worry about losing their home when the health imperative is for everyone to stay home.
For those already living without shelter and for those incarcerated, we must do everything possible to ensure their health and safety. LA County’s unhoused population, which is disproportionately Black, consists of the most vulnerable — the elderly, people with disabilities and health conditions, and a large number of people with immune systems compromised by the daily stress of homelessness. Three unhoused people already die every day in LA County. The pandemic threatens to make a bad situation much worse. It is important for city government to stop criminalizing the act of people living in their vehicles and tents. These spaces are essential for maintaining social distance and allowing people to stay dry, warm, and well. The government needs to provide health and hygiene infrastructure such as bathrooms and handwashing stations at encampments to prevent transmission of germs. In some cases, this will take the form of direct cash assistance to congregations and non-profits who are already providing restrooms. Officials should provide indoor spaces to allow unsheltered people to get out of the elements and have a safe, healthy place to live. Motels should be repurposed for housing and quarantining. Vacant and underutilized public properties should be opened as access centers to provide services and housing.
We must take steps to address the hardship and suffering working people will face. The city should guarantee workers at least 14 days (80 hours) of additional paid sick leave effective immediately. Workers should be protected from termination without just cause so no one can be punished because they were quarantined or requested sick leave. In addition, established sick day policies should be enforced, especially for those who are misclassified as contractors and deprived of their right to paid sick leave. All employees who are continuing on the job should be guaranteed time to wash their hands every 30 minutes and have access to necessary protective gear. This is crucial for stopping the spread of the virus. Laid-off workers need a guarantee that they will keep their healthcare during — and get their jobs back after — the crisis, even if their place of employment changes ownership. Uninterrupted insurance for workers is crucial for maintaining our collective health.
In the meantime, nothing helps like cash in a crisis. The city should create a fund for people who aren’t eligible for unemployment — such as informal workers, street vendors, independent contractors, and freelancers of all kinds — so they can continue paying for necessities like food and housing. It’s imperative to increase benefits like General Relief and SNAP food benefits and remove barriers to accessing them. And to keep our whole region resilient, we need small businesses which are a cornerstone of many immigrant communities to persist and flourish. Measures must be taken to protect them such as tax abatements and a temporary moratorium on evictions of small business through commercial leases.
The truth of this moment is the truth of every moment in our society, only moreso. If our goal is for all of us to be safe and healthy, then we train our eyes and resources on those who need the most — this approach is not new. It’s called equity. Racial and economic equity is the way forward yesterday, today, and tomorrow, and in this moment, more crucial than ever. Our own health depends on the health of the person next to us, and the person next to them. Ensuring every Angeleno’s access to the space, resources, and health services they need is how we take care of each other. Our local governments’ actions must reflect this essential truth and rise to the scale of this enormous challenge. This is not the time for half-steps or hesitation. Now is the moment to protect the most vulnerable. When we do that, we protect everyone.
For a list of organizations within the Healthy LA Coalition please visit healthyla.org
I hope all is well, all things considered. And I hope you are staying as sane and as healthy as possible. We have been working on ways to support our families and students nationwide during these unusual times. Below you will find what we are doing to make sure we support our communities.
Common Threads was founded on the principle of creating a sanctuary — a safe place for students and families to learn, find joy, and “break bread” — and that remains true today as we adjust to the impact of coronavirus COVID-19. Many of the communities in which we work will be especially vulnerable to the repercussions of the pandemic. With schools and community organizations in all of our 12 markets closing for at least several weeks, our immediate focus is on supporting the children, families, and teachers we serve. We have connected with doctors, educators, food bank leaders, nonprofit executives, and government officials who are all doing great work to support those in need.
In collaboration with leaders from our district and community partners, Common Threads has identified several specific ways to adapt our programming and curriculum. For our children, families and educators who are transitioning to online and remote instruction, we are offering free resources through our Common Bytes digital nutrition education platform. CommonBytes.org is especially well-suited to remote learning, and will be highlighted with a pop-up message on our main website, in emails, and all social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram). Specific actions include:
· Online training is available at CommonBytes.org and our staff is available to provide remote technical assistance as needed via Zoom video conference, email, and phone.
· Digital versions of the Small Bites lessons will be compiled and released tomorrow. Each digital lesson will include an introductory video, nutritional article, and recipe “journey” game. This game teaches students how the various ingredients in a recipe grow, are selected at the grocery store, and how they can be prepared. You can see an example here: Watermelon Sundae Recipe Journey.
· Teachers have the ability to create digital classrooms on CommonBytes.org in the event they would like to see student activity by class.
· In addition to completing their Small Bites lessons online, students will be able to play games, explore recipes, watch videos, and read articles on CommonBytes.org. The site allows for students to take screen shots of the points they have earned by completing various activities. Teachers are welcome to use this as evidence of completion.
· Families will be able to explore recipes and cooking videos available on CommonBytes.org. Additionally, we are in planning conversations to partner with industry chefs to create additional videos featuring recipes and activities for home.
· Common Threads is sharing our resources as well as resources from other agencies and partners via social media and email newsletters.
These are fluid times that require us to come together and to be solution architects to address the challenges around food insecurity and health, as we learn in real-time what it will mean to maintain our well-being. On behalf of all of us at Common Threads, thank you so much for your past support, and I wish you safety and health as we navigate the coming weeks.
James Bell, Jr.
Associate Director of Programs
Good afternoon fellow community leaders,
Please check out the LA Community Resources Guide. This is a great resource document that was created with Board of Public Works Commissioner Jessica Caloza.
DPH Updates as of April 15, 2020 (4:00PM):
Thanks, and wash your hands!