Our collaborative builds on a legacy of community organizing in the Boyle Heights neighborhood, with a social justice focus.
PLANNING & GOAL SETTING
We came about via a two-year planning process that brought together hundreds of residents, youth, community organizations, schools, and other allies to reflect on the gains and challenges in the Boyle Heights community. This partnership surveyed over 4,000 Boyle Heights residents and brought them together to plan in General Assembly meetings. Ultimately, these residents developed and prioritized short- and long-term goals and strategies that were informed by residents’ lived experiences, needs, and research.
THE UNION OF ORGANIZATIONS
Several community organizations in Boyle Heights had a long history of working together and possessed common visions for community change, and the value of engaging residents in identifying priorities and implementing solutions.
In 2009, on the heels of being selected to be part of the California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities initiative, these organizations came together to apply for a half-million-dollar Promise Neighborhood Planning Grant, which they subsequently received.
During the planning process, Proyecto Pastoral agreed to be the anchor organization for our collaborative as our partners felt that we had the strong infrastructure needed to build and sustain our work.
ONWARD & UPWARD!
In 2011, we learned that, despite scoring highly, we had not been awarded a Promise Neighborhood implementation grant.
However, this did not deter us. We did not loose hope. We were determined.
Seizing upon the momentum we built in the community, partners recommitted to moving plans forward and working to raise resources to sustain the work in the long term.
"WE MADE A PROMISE, WE DIDN'T DO THIS FOR THE GRANT, WE DID THIS FOR OUR CHILDREN, SO WE HAVE TO FIND ONE WAy OR ANOTHER TO DO IT."
Absent the millions of dollars that a Promise Neighborhood implementation grant would provide, we were forced to tighten and focus our initial efforts.
As a result, of not receiving the Promise Neighborhood grant, we took on“Spark Projects” – small, high-impact projects fueled by partner commitment and agreed-upon outcomes, primarily focused on academics and wellness.