L.A. Care Awards $1 Million to Organizations Serving Marginalized Communities during COVID-19 Pandemic

The New Equity and Resilience Initiative will Address Systemic Racism

LOS ANGELES – The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing racial inequities and highlighted the need to address racial health disparities. The virus has disproportionately affected Black and Latino communities, with disproportionally more COVID-19 cases and deaths. Today, L.A. Care Health Plan, the largest publicly operated health plan in the nation, is announcing $1 million in Equity and Resilience Initiative grants to community-based organizations that are working to mitigate the impact of the virus on racially marginalized communities.

This initiative will help level the playing field for nonprofit organizations led by people of color who have also suffered injustices due to institutional racism in philanthropic giving,” said John Baackes, L.A. Care CEO. “These organizations best know where these communities need help.”

L.A. Care issued a Statement of Principles on Social Justice and Systemic Racism following the death of George Floyd and, in that statement, it vowed to implement this Equity and Resilience Initiative. The initiative is designed to promote racial justice by investing in the infrastructure of seven trusted grassroots organizations that are led by and serve communities of color. Each organization will receive up to $125,000 and organizational coaching from a capacity building consultant firm.

The Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership (LARRP) is among the grantees.

We are a network of public and private community stakeholders serving the formerly incarcerated and people with lived experience. These individuals are closest to the issues we’re facing, but are furthest from the power and resources. There was already a disproportionate number of men of color who had it rough even before COVID-19,” said Troy Vaughn, LARRP Co-Founder and Executive Director. “The L.A. Care grant will help us continue our advocacy efforts and provide leadership development and training for some of our returning citizens.”

The TransLatin@ Coalition is another grantee.

As the first trans-led organization in Los Angeles providing direct supportive and lifesaving services to other members of the trans community, we are proud to receive this L.A. Care grant,” said Bamby Salcedo, TransLatin@ Coalition Executive Director. “The funding will help us build the infrastructure that we need, but it will also provide emergency support to members who have been impacted by COVID-19. We thank L.A. Care for being one of the pioneers in changing the views about how society sees the Trans community.”

The Initiative grants will support the following seven awardees and primarily serve Black, Latino, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander populations in Los Angeles County and beyond:

The awardees will use the initiative funding for mission-focused operational needs and to meet demands specific to COVID-19. This includes addressing the digital divide by making technology accessible to clients. This initiative will be evaluated by an independent consulting group to identify, assess, and develop the grantees’ strengths and opportunities for future work to end systemic racism.