April 2013  
In This Issue
From the Desk of Paul Vandeventer
Projects in the Spotlight
Project News
In Case You Missed It
Welcome Our Newest Projects
Events & Learning Opportunities
About Us

Quick Links

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Visit Community Partners' Website

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Catalyst Team

Ravi Shah
Program Associate

Lauren Kay
Communications Manager
From the Desk of Paul Vandeventer
Competing for Class in Colleges' Constructed Communities


I just returned from taking my 17-year-old son on an eastern seaboard college tour. The trip was informative in ways different than I expected. The first time looking at schools, with my older son five years ago, he and I both were agog at the possibilities as together we pressed our noses against some of higher education's most elite windows. This time, after shelling out four years of astronomical tuition to one of those institutions, I had perhaps a bit more sanguine view.

Having weathered from a relatively stable perch the go-go days of housing market peaks and valleys, I'm reminded, in the seller's market scramble for college admission, of high-end housing developments at the peak of the residential mortgage boom. The student admissions office at many of the colleges had the feel of an elegant model home, often with a fireplace ablaze just like you'd want in your ideal living room.  Enthusiastic previous buyers - always current students - guided our sales tour emphasizing the features and amenities (food, always the food!) included in the tuition, room and board purchase price. 

To read the entire article, please click here.  

Projects in the Spotlight

Projects Collaborate Around a Shared Vision for Equality
 Mayra Vega


Mariachi Square was the gathering place for Boyle Heights' first-ever LGBTQ Forum, a ground-breaking event for this predominantly traditional Latino community.  Many organizations worked together to make this happen, including -- we were excited to learn -- three Community Partners Projects:  the Latino Equality Alliance (LEA), Las Fotos Project, and The Lavender Effect.  
Serving as organizer, in partnership with The California Endowment, LEA works to promote equality and justice for the Latino LGBTQ community. 


Project leader Ari Gutierrez saw the forum as a catalyst for building on-going awareness and engagement in communities like Boyle Heights. "We can really transform Boyle Heights and other people-of-color communities into places where LGBTQ youth and their families can thrive and access health services and community support without fear."


To help put a human face to the LGBTQ experience, the Las Fotos Project created moving photo essays of active LGBT residents who offer important contributions to the community. Las Fotos, which empowers Latina youth through photography and self-expression, matched five young Latina women with their subjects.
 Francisco Dueñas

Dalia Nava, a 17-year-old student photographer, felt the impact of her work with Francisco Dueñas 
at a personal level. "I got to know [Francisco] better and learn about work being done to bring about positive change, not just for the LGBTQ community, but for Boyle Heights and society as a whole," said Dalia. "I feel part of the Boyle Heights LGBTQ community now, as a straight ally and as an advocate for equality."

Las Fotos' project leader Eric Ibarra hopes that the photo essays have a lasting impact on the Boyle Heights community. "Our goal is to show Boyle Heights that the LGBTQ community exists, and that they are significant contributors to the community. We hope that, by getting to know them and their challenges, local residents can become allies."


The photo documentaries were shown at the "Learn Your Past, Know Your Present, and Create Your Future," an LGTBQ youth workshop organized and presented by LEA, the Las Fotos Project, and The Lavender Effect, the third Community Partners project involved. The Lavender Effect, whose mission is to celebrate and preserve LGBTQ heritage, highlighted key moments in LGBTQ history and the significant impact of the LGBTQ movement.  

Project News

How would you use $100,000 to help shape the future of Los Angeles? Led by the Goldhirsh Foundation, LA2050 is a crowdsourced effort to find the best ideas that tackle LA's biggest challenges. Click here to check out 12 creative and innovative ideas from projects of Community Partners to positively impact Los Angeles' future. 

For Grace project leader, Cynthia Toussaint, published an article on Maria Shriver's
Architects of Change website this week, detailing the transformative power of suffering and the release of her memoir, Battle for Grace. Cynthia's post was also chosen as a top five must-read in The Shriver Report newsletter.  For Grace is devoted to ensuring the ethical and equal treatment of all women in pain.


USC News featured PressFriends' USC Kids News, a newly launched program in partnership with the USC Family of Schools that combines mentorship, peer-learning, and engaging guest speakers to make writing fun for elementary school students.  


Dr. Alberto I. Roca, Executive Director of Community Partners' project DiverseScholar is a semi-finalist for the 2013 Echoing Green Fellowships. The project, publishers of MinorityPostdoc.org, was one of 444 applicants selected for the semi-finals from almost 3,000 submissions. Echoing Green recognizes the world's most promising social entrepreneurs through this highly competitive yearly fellowship program. The 40 finalists will be announced later this Spring.


In Case You Missed It  

8 Tips for Better Corporate Engagement 


Like foundations, most corporations have high expectations of its grantseekers: polished proposals, professional courtesy, and alignment with funding guidelines. However, as a group of project leaders learned from James Herr, senior global manager at Boeing, and Jennifer Nickerson, community relations manager at City National Bank, not all corporate philanthropy programs are created equal.


The following are 8 key takeaways from Community Partners' recent Meet the Grantmakers:

  1. Think beyond the traditional ask. Corporations give back to the community and nonprofits in many ways. If a corporation does not have the typical grantmaking or product donation program, look beyond the traditional for alternative programs, such as placing their employees in skill-based volunteer opportunities or on nonprofit boards. Reach out to accounting and finance firms for highly skilled volunteers or pro bono services to help with your budgets or accounting. Ms. Nickerson suggested that nonprofits join and post volunteer positions on VolunteerMatch.org, a website that many corporations use to help employees find volunteer opportunities.

To read the entire article, please click here.   


Welcome Our Newest Projects

Boyle Heights Community Youth Orchestra (BHCYO)  

Project Leader: Suzanne Gindin 


Trains and educates young people at the highest levels of musicianship to build personal self-worth and the skills needed to succeed and have a positive impact in their communities. 



Equalize Youth

Project Leader: Derek Gerson 

Email:  derek@equalizeyouth.org


Empowers diverse LGBT youth and their families to overcome stressors they face. Using technology, Equalize Youth provides safe virtual access to a world of supportive individuals and organizations and aims to foster healthier, safer, and happier youth and promote cross-cultural inclusion and understanding of sexual and gender diversity. 


Friends of Park 101

Project Leader: Don Scott 


Advocates and raises support for the creation of a "cap park," a green space built on a structure over the 101 freeway that will connect the north and south sides of downtown Los Angeles.  



Student Leader Arts Mentorship (SLAM!)

Project Leader: Roi Matalon 

Email: roima195@gmail.com  


Engages a network of passionate college student volunteers to teach after-school arts programs in underserved public high schools, filling the critical voids left by under-funded or non-existent music programs. Through accessible, engaging, and tuition-free instruction, SLAM! develops instrumental skills, theoretical expertise, and musical camaraderie among high school students.


Events and Learning Opportunities


Activating a New Partnership with City Hall

Thursday, April 25


Join leaders from Southern California's philanthropic and nonprofit sectors for a conversation with the Los Angeles City Council Members-elect and leading candidates.  Click here to register for the event, sponsored by Southern California Grantmakers. 


SoCal Social Enterprise Expo 

Thursday, May 9


The Roberts Enterprise Development Fund's (REDF) first-ever Southern California expo will feature its portfolio of social enterprises focused on creating job opportunities. Learn more about the social enterprise in Los Angeles and connect with more than 200 nonprofit, philanthropy, business, and government professionals.  

Center for Nonprofit Management's 501(c)onference

Friday, May 10


The second annual 501(c)onference is a great opportunity for nonprofit leaders and professionals to connect with other each other, resources, and good ideas. The full-day conference will include notable keynote speakers, hands-on workshops, and resource sharing.



About Us

Community Partners works with social entrepreneurs, grantmakers and civic leaders to 

imagine possibilities, design solutions and see them through to results. Our work includes fiscal sponsorship, grantmaker partnerships, thought leadership and knowledge sharing. 

1000 N Alameda St, Suite 240                             Phone 213.346.3210                  info@CommunityPartners.org
Los Angeles, CA 90012                                       Fax 213.808.1009