February 11, 2021

City News Service


A nonprofit organization is launching an initiative to focus its resources and programs on closing the racial wealth gap and empowering Los Angeles County's Black communities, the group announced today.

   ``It is more important than ever to center Black Angelenos and focus on closing the racial wealth gap through economic empowerment, which is what we hope to provide through this year's programs,'' said Tunua Thrash-Ntuk, executive director of Local Initiatives Support Corporation Los Angeles.

   The group's Black Economic Development Agenda includes its ASCEND L.A.program to provide small businesses owned by women and people of color with capital, market opportunities and executive management education. In 2020, 60% of the program's participants were Black.

“ASCEND LA not only challenged me to push myself but also changed my paradigm in how I run my business and set up my infrastructure to be prepared and have the capacity to compete for these multi-million-dollar contracts,'' said Desiree Saddler of Saddler Consulting Group, a 2020 ASCEND LA graduate.

“Even in the year of the pandemic, I now am prepared and have the capacity to compete and deliver and I have even secured a 3-year contract during the program!''

More information about the ASCEND LA program can be found at www.ascendla.org/.

LISC LA's agenda also includes the Black Business Excellence Technical Assistance Initiative to provide Black-owned small businesses in the personal care industry with support to bring their business to the next level.

A program offering mid-career professionals year-long leadership and executive management training will also be offered. The Elevate B.L.A.C.K. Leaders program (which stands for Black Leaders Academy Collective Knowledge) also supports succession planning efforts for Black-led community development and L.A. racial justice organizations.

The nonprofit will also host discussions on racial health, wealth and opportunity gaps on its Changemakers L.A. podcast throughout 2021. The podcasts will explore how communities of color are affected by opportunity gaps, how the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted disparities in crisis support in communities of color and what LISC LA and its partners are doing to help.

More information about the Black Economic Development Agenda can be found at www.lisc.org/los-angeles/BEDA.   

Category: Business