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Meetings Focus on Equity, Racial Justice

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By Lookout Staff

August 31, 2023 -- This month, the City will hold a workshop to discuss racial justice and begin hammering out a citywide equity plan at a kickoff event that includes information on a new grant program.

The free workshop "What We Can Do About Racial Segregation" will be held September 10 both online an in person at 6:30 p.m. at Virginia Avenue Park's Thelma Terry Center.

The workshop hosted by the Committee For Racial Justice (CRJ) features
Leah Rothstein, co-author of the recently published book "JUST ACTION: How to Challenge Segregation Enacted Under The Color of Law."

Rothstein "has a compelling voice to educate and to share action ideas which can help communities in our efforts to reverse the pattern of segregation in the US, put in place over centuries by laws," the Committee said.

These laws were "passed by all levels of government -- up to the present day."

A community & union organizer, Rothstein has more than two decades of experience as a consultant to affordable housing developers and local governments in the full range of housing policies, event organizers said.

Her book, co-authored with her father, Richard Rothstein, “contains plain, concrete actions we can take to be agents of change in the neighborhoods where we live, moving our nation closer to the ideals upon which it was founded,” said Lisa Rice, president of the National Fair Housing Alliance.

Refreshments will be served at 6 p.m.

On September 23, the City will host the kickoff meeting for the Santa Monica equity plan and grant program that can be attended from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1450 Second Street or on-line.

"The plan will include recommendations to improve the well-being of everyone, especially people who have been historically disadvantaged because of their identities," organizers said.

The event will feature an information session for community members and organizations interested in applying for the Community Listening Grant Program.

The program provides funding "to host a listening session to collect community feedback, which will help the City develop priorities for the equity plan."

The City will accept applications from September 23 through October 23. People and organizations selected by the City to host a listening session will receive $500 to support their meeting activities, City officials said.

The event will also include a panel discussion "featuring people of diverse backgrounds who will speak about the challenges they face because of their identities" and small group sessions to discuss the issue, organizers said.

Click here to RSVP. Space is limited to 75 spots at the venue, and the City will provide free lunch for participants who attend in person.

Free 90-minute parking is available at Parking Structure 6 and Parking Structure 8. After 90 minutes, parking costs $2 for up to two hours. The City will provide the link to virtual attendees ahead of the event.

Click here to read the July 18 staff report on the City’s equity work.

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