through a citywide conversation
embRACE LA is a bold and innovative initiative to unify Angelenos and empower communities through hundreds of citywide conversations about race and racism.
Launched in the fall of 2016 by Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson and Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, the goal of embRACE LA is to challenge and change biases and inequities within ourselves, our neighborhoods and our local city government.
embRACE LA seeks to foster understanding, healing and growth throughout Los Angeles by building authentic relationships, changing existing narratives and advancing public policy solutions. Through a wide-variety of programs and strategies, embRACE LA is an unprecedented partnership between government, organizations and residents.
In 2018, the Los Angeles City Council partnered with the Community Coalition, Revolve Impact and The Todd Group in making history by successfully training over 40 facilitators and organizing over 130 free dinner dialogues in homes throughout the City of Los Angeles. The result was many conversations, each driven by our core principle: we cannot heal what we will not face.
Why Los Angeles?
In Los Angeles, we speak more than 200 languages and come from more than 100 different countries. Diversity is our city’s greatest strength, yet to ignore divisions would be a disservice to all Angelenos. This diversity of people and unique experiences provides a fitting landscape to engage in such critical conversations. There is truly no better city to take on the challenge of an open, honest and encompassing conversation about race.
In 2019, Community Coalition, along with Advancement Project California, Department of the Future and Revolve Impact, are organizing hundreds of produced and self-organized conversations to help advance a policy (or set of policies) to improve the conditions of Angelinos most at risk of inequities in our city.
Through conversations with residents, we have identified establishing an Office of Racial Equity within the City of Los Angeles as a means to close racial disparities and strengthen inclusion and belonging amongst Los Angeles’ most marginalized communities. embRACE LA is gathering input from stakeholders across the city to help inform the Los Angeles City Council on how to build a city-wide culture of racial equity where equity, social justice, and community engagement are at the heart of decision making.
Why embRACE LA?
The beliefs we hold about race and racism have the power to both unite and fracture us. embRACE LA aims to improve race relations, build stronger communities and develop transformative social, political and economic policies for Los Angeles. Through embRACE LA, residents from all across the city have shown the courage to dialogue with their neighbors, and oftentimes complete strangers, to better understand how race and racism directly shapes and impacts our lives.
BIPOC experience inequities in multiple areas.
For example, the poverty rate among Black and Latino Angelinos is nearly triple the rate among Whites. These inequities exist in other areas, like housing, education, and civic engagement. Racial inequities in Los Angeles are not accidental – they are the result of biased and discriminatory government decisions, policies, and practices. These government policies and practices helped to determine where people could live, who could own property, who could vote, and who had access to services. In many instances, government decisions have excluded certain communities and populations and resulted in an inequitable distribution of opportunity that is manifested in disparate outcomes.
See more data on how racial inequities have shaped outcomes in LA City
at RaceCounts.org by Advancement Project CA.
That is why embRACE LA is partnering with the leading organizations, universities, and initiatives to ensure that as many Angelinos have the opportunity to have meaningful, honest and transformative conversations about race and racism in L.A. so we can help transform our homes, neighborhoods and local government.
Join us as we break bread, share stories and engage in honest, and difficult conversations about race and how we can help change inequities in our personal lives and on a policy level.