Magnolia Community Initiative Tour: Empathy at the core of improving communities and lives
// By Jacqueline Brennan
Providing basic services for the thousands of children who live in some of LA’s most vulnerable communities is no small feat, but the Magnolia Community Initiative aims much higher. Their community-driven, multi-pronged effort, involving residents and 70 public and private organizations, provides holistic, wrap-around environments where children and their families can do more than survive — they can thrive and flourish.
How did this unique approach come together and become a nationally applicable framework for community-driven change? You’ll learn about that and why the Magnolia Community Initiative puts empathy at the core of all they do on LA Inside & Out’s Magnolia Community Initiative tour.
According to Sam Joo, Director, the Magnolia Community Initiative (MCI) grew from a strategic planning process started in 2001 by the Children’s Bureau of Southern California, which identified four key areas needed to create safe and supportive environments to achieve the best results for children: educational success, good health, economic stability, and safe and nurturing parenting.
“The Initiative was created out of concern that the available support and service systems were failing our children and families,” Sam said. “So we focused on a 500-block area in Los Angeles as an incubator for new ideas and innovative approaches.”
“We developed an MCI network of residents, and public and private organizations and strived to change institutional approaches from delivering isolated human services, to a preventive and holistic approach to each client, regardless of the specific organization’s primary mission.”
You’ll tour through targeted areas in LA that have been positively impacted by MCI’s community-driven approach, leaving the bus at various points along the tour. On the first stop, you’ll talk first-hand with residents and agency representatives who collaborate with one of MCI’s partner agencies, Para Los Niños (PLN), on the First 5 LA Best Start Metro LA Initiative. PLN has supported the Best Start Metro LA Partnership as the backbone organization since 2009.
Additionally, residents will present impact data from their community, exemplifying what it looks like when residents are included in systems of power and partner with nonprofits, local elected officials, and other community stakeholders to become community change agents.
LA Inside & Out tours are half-day immersion experiences where you’ll actively participate in a journey into dynamic LA neighborhoods where real changework is happening, and be inspired by what you learn to create real change in your community, too.
To sign up for this LA Inside & Out tour, check the box beside Magnolia Community Initiative when you register for Upswell.