LOS ANGELES - Today, the Civil + Human Rights and Equity Department (LA Civil Rights) launched Peace & Healing Centers in nine communities, called LA REPAIR Zones, across the city. The $2 million pilot program works with community-based organizations to create physical spaces and public programming centered on environmental, social and economic healing.
"Too often, communities suffering from historic neglect are continually ignored. Today is a step towards breaking away from that status quo," said Mayor Karen Bass. “During my administration, I look forward to working closely with the LA Civil Rights department as we take action on behalf of all Angelenos.”
“So many Los Angeles communities were shut out from progress and opportunity, and those same communities now suffer from the highest rates of poverty, pollution and violence,” said LA Civil Rights Executive Director Capri Maddox. “They also happen to be primarily communities of color. Peace & Healing Centers are one way we can begin to repair this harm, by working with trusted community partners and creating public spaces for social, economic and environmental healing.”
Eight community-based organizations were selected to operate Peace & Healing Centers in nine REPAIR Zones, which stands for Reforms for Equity and Public Acknowledgement of Institutional Racism. REPAIR Zones have some of the highest pollution and overcrowded housing in the city, and account for half of all Angelenos living in poverty. Roughly 87% of the people living in REPAIR Zones are people of color.
Peace & Healing Centers will offer mental health and other supportive services to these communities impacted by a legacy of systemic racism. The Peace & Healing Centers are:
- Para Los Niños in the South LA REPAIR Zone.
- Volunteers of America Los Angeles (VOALA) in the Southeast LA REPAIR Zone.
- Bryant Temple AME Community Development Corporation in the West Adams, Leimert Park, and Baldwin Village REPAIR Zone.
- Central City Neighborhood Partners (CCNP) in the Westlake REPAIR Zone.
- YMCA LA in the Wilmington and Harbor Gateway REPAIR Zone.
- Proyecto Pastoral in the Boyle Heights REPAIR Zone.
- Creating Justice LA in the Skid Row REPAIR Zone.
- El Nido Family Centers in Arleta-Pacoima REPAIR Zone and Mission Hills - Panorama City - North Hills REPAIR Zone.
Each Peace & Healing Center is required to offer at least 20 hours a week of open-door healing programming, but it can be tailored to meet their community’s unique needs. Examples of programs include meditation and healing through art in Skid Row, youth mentoring in South LA, street vendor permitting and community gardening in Pacoima, and a women’s mental health group in Westlake. Together, they will create a citywide network of Peace & Healing Centers that can provide community spaces for healing and dialogue in times of crisis.
“The new centers will provide an opportunity for our communities to heal from the generational trauma caused by economic hardship and disinvestment,” said Community Investment for Families General Manager, Abigail R. Marquez. “While we cannot undo the systemic racism that has deeply hurt our communities, especially communities of color, we can address them through intentional work. We believe the impact of this program will create environmental, economic, and social growth.”
"The Youth Development Department is proud to join in the celebration of the City's first Peace and Healing Centers, a step in the right direction to implement culturally informed programming for our communities and generations that have been harmed through institutional and structural racism," said Lisa Salazar, Executive Director of the Youth Development Department. "Through its nine centers, youth in Los Angeles residing in the highest levels of poverty, overcrowded housing, and pollution will be supported through an array of services that focus on environmental, social, and economic healing. We are proud to be a partner in sharing these resources and investments for our youth.”