Equitas Academy Community Dinner: Great food and great schools on the menu
// By Jacqueline Brennan
Sometimes one person can spark new educational opportunities that enrich a community and the lives of its families for generations to come. In Los Angeles’ Pico Union area, that spark is Malka Borrego. Enjoy a gourmet meal, and learn how she spearheaded the expansion of school options and helped to transform the Pico Union community – during Upswell’s Equitas Academy Community Dinner.
Malka is a third-generation resident of Pico Union, a Central Los Angeles neighborhood that surrounds the intersection of Pico Boulevard and Union Avenue. Growing up, Malka saw the need for more and better public schools. Her desire to address the challenge endured as she grew up, went to college (the first in her family to do so), and entered the teaching profession.
After working in the nonprofit sector and after-school literacy programs, Malka entered the Building Excellent Schools Fellowship, a rigorous, year-long training program in charter school management, successfully integrating her nonprofit management and teaching experience.
Long story short, Malka fulfilled her dream to provide more public school options for her community, and in 2009 founded Equitas Academy Charter Schools, where she serves as CEO. This charter school network of kindergarten, elementary, and middle schools serves 1,500 students in the Pico neighborhood, expanding school choice and quality education with the mission of college graduation for all students.
According to Malka, “I saw a need for more great public school options. Equitas Academy was born out of community need and voice. Our families feel a part of the Equitas vision and strive to continue the work and become involved in the community.”
During the Equitas Academy Community Dinner, you’ll enjoy a plant-based meal catered by Todo Verde, a restaurant owned by cause-driven culinary entrepreneur Jocelyn Ramirez. The menu will include Sweet Potato Guacamole Bites; Chips and Salsa; Tostadas de Ceviche; Chile Relleno; Raw Cacao Pudding; and Amorcito Agua Fresca.
While you dine, Jocelyn will join a panel of LA food equity and policy experts, who will discuss how healthy eating options can be expanded in communities of color like Pico Union, through changes to food waste streams, new food distribution networks, and access to micro-financing.
Upswell’s Community Dinners offer changemakers a chance to get out of the hotel, sit down over a meal with first-time acquaintances, leave with brand-new friends, and experience firsthand how bonding over food and mission might lead to an innovative solution.
To sign up for this Community Dinner, check the box beside Equitas Academy when you register for Upswell.