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CITY COUNCIL APPROVES PLAN FOR PEACE AND HEALING CENTERS IN LA
By  Sentinel News Service
Published July 7, 2022

On Wednesday, June 29, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved a plan by the Civil + Human Rights and Equity (LA Civil Rights) Department to launch Peace & Healing Centers in nine communities across the City of Los Angeles. The program will partner with community-based organizations to create physical spaces focused on environmental, social and economic healing in historically marginalized communities. 

“Resilience is about so much more than our capacity to recover from difficult times; it’s a core value that guides everything we do in our City, a core value embodied by Angelenos,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti, who originated the idea as part of his L.A. REPAIR initiative. “The Peace & Healing centers are needed now more than ever, and will provide Angelenos with safe spaces to learn, build community, and grow stronger together.” 

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“For the last several years, the City has been laser focused on addressing the disparities we have seen come from poverty and the toll it has taken on our children, families and seniors,” said Councilmember Curren Price. “While there is much work ahead, Peace & Healing Centers present an opportunity to elevate communities like the one I represent and will be of great importance to continuing unification, empowerment and moving forward together.” 

“The Los Angeles Peace & Healing Center program will be a first of its kind, providing physical spaces for upward mobility, community peacebuilding, and breaking cycles of violence,” said LA Civil Rights Department Executive Director Capri Maddox. “This proactive, community-based work is needed in Los Angeles, and we are so grateful to Mayor Garcetti for funding this in his Justice Budget and to the City Council for approving it today.” 

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Racial Equity Finds a Permanent Home in Los Angeles 

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Peace & Healing Centers will aim to bring together community-based organizations, social workers, mental health professionals, faith-based organizations and more to create trusted, effective and consistent support systems in underserved communities. Examples of programming include intergenerational and interracial community dialogues, criminal record expungement and employment programs for formerly incarcerated individuals, urban agricultural workshops, financial literacy programs, and more. 

The nine communities that will have Peace & Healing Centers include Arleta-Pacoima, Boyle Heights, Mission Hills-Panorama City-North Hills, Skid Row,  South Los Angeles, Southeast Los Angeles, West Adams – Baldwin Village – Leimert Park, Westlake, and Wilmington-Harbor Gateway. These are the same communities involved in the L.A. REPAIR Participatory Budgeting program launched by the LA Civil Rights department earlier this year. 

These nine communities represent 50% of all Angelenos living below the poverty line. Each community has a population that is at least 87% people of color, and experience some of the highest rates of poverty, unemployment and environmental pollution in the city.  

Community-based organizations selected for the Peace & Healing Centers pilot program must have worked in the community for at least three years and be able to provide at least 20 hours a week of open-door access to residents. The Peace & Healing Center program will enable these organizations to host at least two culturally-centered healing programs each month. 

Following today’s vote, the LA Civil Rights Department will begin reaching out to community-based organizations in the nine communities, with the first Peace & Healing Centers planned to open in late fall.  

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