Dr. Allen providing hot meals to seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic (courtesy photo)

(UPDATE): see last paragraph

Dr. Belinda Allen is a dynamic woman who has dedicated her life to giving back to the city of Los Angeles as well as the Black community. She currently serves as executive director of the West Angeles Community Development Corporation (WACDC) however, her list of accomplishments doesn’t nearly stop there.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Sentinel, Dr. Allen discussed how her life has prepared her for the kind of work she does for our community today.

“I attended Crenshaw High School, where I volunteered at some of the youth foundations around the Crenshaw corridor,” explained the executive director.

Prior to receiving her high school diploma, she was employed at Hughes Aircraft (now Boeing Company), where she went on to work for over 37 years in finance management. While there, she also assisted with the company’s charity foundation as well led their diversity council.

In successfully walking the path of her career, Allen served as a board member of the WACDC for about 20 years.

“Eight months after retiring, we needed an executive director,” she said. “So, I had a lot of preparation for coming into this role — the business acumen from what I learned in the aerospace industry combined with knowing nonprofits from the work I’d been doing all my life.”

The West Angeles Community Development Corporation provides many services to the Black community. They have three core departments that all center around “homes and hope” —community service and outreach, real-estate development, and their homeowner and investment center.

From left, Dr. Belinda Allen and Jan Perry working at the WACDC’s Annual Community Health Fair (courtesy photo)

In addition to this, WACDC provides a number of emergency services for the Los Angeles community including their Skid Row Ministry, affordable housing services, and food distribution for senior citizens and the homeless.

“We have over 400 units, and half of that are seniors, so we work to provide social services for them,” said Allen. She gave an example of the WACDC’s partnership with Providence Medical Center where they worked to ensure that people were getting COVID shots and vaccines.

Some of Dr. Allen’s other successes include a doctorate in Business Administration Leadership from Capella University, as well as an MBA from the University of Redlands. She’s a former student of the Faith-Based Community Transformation Program at the University of Southern California and is a member of the National Black MBA Association.

Dr. Belinda Allen is a proud member of the Affordable Housing Commission. (courtesy photo)

She’s mentored and motivated at-risk students in the Los Angeles Unified School District as well as founded the community outreach, “Ladies Only Brunch,” with the Susan Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

She states that the rewards of being a public-servant to her community “is getting up each morning, knowing that I’m making a difference. Whether it’s volunteering, or just rolling up my sleeves, doing the work, I know that I’m making an impact on my community.”

Dr. Allen continues, “I also love knowing that I’m doing what God has commissioned us [people] to do. If you’re in your right mind, you’re healthy and you’re available, make sure you’re out feeding God’s flock, taking care of His people, and providing for those who cannot do it themselves.”

Doing what God’s commissioned her to do is also the challenging part of the executive director’s job.

“We’re here to make sure our kids have the best education and to ensure that people in our community can purchase homes and get the best services to sustain living here. There are individuals who grew up in Los Angeles that want to stay in the community and buy a home or stay close to their families. We’re trying to make sure that we build wealth in the community,” she said.

She then quoted the old saying, “We are the hands, the feet, and the voice for those who cannot do for themselves.”

With time, Dr. Belinda Allen hopes to continue to provide services to the L.A. community through her work with the WACDC. She also shared that there are many ways to give back to this organization that does so much for the city.

“Funds allow us stay in business and sustain our community, but we also need volunteers.”

Information on how to contribute to the WACDC can be found at: http://www.westangelescdc.org.

Update: In addition to her achievements, Dr. Allen has recently been appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti to sit on the Affordable Housing Commission.