Nine community centers that aim to serve as spaces for environmental, social and economic healing opened Thursday as part of a $2 million pilot program by the Civil + Human Rights and Equity Department.
The department launched what it calls Peace & Healing Centers in communities where pollution and overcrowding ranks among the highest in Los Angeles. The centers will offer at least 20 hours of healing programming a week, aiming to provide safe spaces during times of crisis. Activities could include art, youth mentoring and community gardening.
“Too often, communities suffering from historic neglect are continually ignored,” Mayor Karen Bass said in a statement. “Today is a step towards breaking away from that status quo. During my administration, I look forward to working closely with the LA Civil Rights department as we take action on behalf of all Angelenos.”
The centers will be run by eight community-based organizations.
LA Civil Rights Executive Director Capri Maddox said that many communities have been shut out from progress and opportunity, and now have the highest rates of poverty, pollution and violence.
“They also happen to be primarily communities of color,” Maddox said. “Peace & Healing Centers are one way we can begin to repair this harm, by working with trusted community partners and creating public spaces for social, economic and environmental healing.”