Partnerships: The Key to Progress in Uncertain Times
Liberty Hill’s partnerships have always been the key ingredient to our success—bringing unusual allies together to figure out solutions to some of society’s most challenging issues. It takes a progressive village to build the road forward to a more just and equitable future. Our partners bring unique perspectives to this work that enable us to make more progress, win more battles, and secure the vision of a progressive future for which we are all fighting.
Partnerships Expand in 2020
Ready to Rise is a public-private partnership between Liberty Hill Foundation, the California Community Foundation, and the Los Angeles County Probation Department that expands opportunities and resources for youth development and diversion programs that keep youth out of the criminal justice system and help those in the system successfully transition back into the community. The program began as a $3.2 million pilot with an initial cohort of 20 organizations. This year, the County allocated another $16 million to the partnership, allowing Ready to Rise to expand to a second cohort of 29 grantees, and a third year is currently under consideration. To date, nearly 3,500 youth have been served by the program, and more than $7 million in funds have been awarded.
For Liberty Hill, environmental justice is a cornerstone of social and racial justice. Our emPOWER initiative is a coalition of community-based organizations committed to making sure those most affected by pollution and environmental racism can access millions of dollars in rebates and incentives provided by public agencies to combat climate change and reduce their utility bills. This year we added new community organizations in Wilmington, South LA, southeast LA, and Pomona. We also expanded online outreach during COVID-19, holding virtual Ride & Drives and other events to introduce people to electric vehicles and other rebates. In 2020, the program educated more than 10,000 residents about saving money and the environment, helping families increase their economic resiliency in the face of financial crisis. UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs also released an official report, emPOWER: A Scalable Model for Improving Community Access to Environmental Benefits in California, which outlined the program’s success at using unique outreach models to reach disenfranchised communities.