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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


(Los Angeles, CA)—On Monday, April 8, Mayor of Los Angeles Karen Bass joined the Black Equity Collective (BEC) for their signature fireside chat event, Collective Conversations. Mayor Bass and BEC's Chief Architect, Kaci Patterson, discussed the Mayor's focus on tackling homelessness and ways her administration is partnering with nonprofit organizations across the City to move people off the streets and into permanent supportive housing. She also discussed her experience as a former nonprofit leader, and the role nonprofits play in solving pressing community issues. 


"My vision is to get Black folk[s] off the street. How can we accept that Black folks are 8% of the population of this City and also make up 30% of the people living in those tents?" exclaimed Mayor Bass.


During the Fireside Chat, Mayor Bass emphasized the urgent need for comprehensive strategies to address homelessness in Los Angeles and the importance of collaboration between government agencies, non-profit organizations, and community stakeholders.


"The nonprofit sector is critically important. With all of the work I am currently doing around the unhoused, it's the nonprofit organizations that are taking care of the people,” explained Mayor Bass. “I have always been driven by issues. What led me to start Community Coalition is the phenomenon happening with crack cocaine. I started the Coalition to figure out how to shift the agenda. I felt like I was watching the same thing getting ready to happen again, but this time, it was the unhoused, so that’s why I left Congress. I couldn't live with myself if I had to continue my job [in Congress] and watch the City fall back into what I saw in the 1990s.”


Reflecting on their leadership journeys, Mayor Bass and Kaci Patterson shared insights into their experiences as non-profit leaders and the importance of building an organizational culture that prioritizes improving people’s lives. Mayor Bass discussed why empowering the next generation of non-profit leaders is key to carrying forward the mission of building resilient communities. Mayor Bass concluded the conversation with a poignant reminder to those in leadership: "You should be trying to organize yourself out of a job. Don't get invested in the problem. You want to get invested in the solution."


For further inquiries or interview requests, please contact:


Imani West

Communications Manager

Black Equity Collective


[End of Press Release]


About Collective Conversations: 

Created by the Black Equity Collective in 2023, “Collective Conversations” is a candid spotlight on the state of nonprofits and philanthropy by the folks who run and fund them. BEC Founder and Chief Architect Kaci Patterson is joined by members of the BEC and special guests in an intimate conversation as they discuss the intricacies of running a nonprofit, working in philanthropy, and the future of Black Permanency in California. Check out the BEC’s premier fireside chat, which took place December 2023, featuring special guest Common here.


About the Black Equity Collective:

The Black Equity Collective (BEC) is a network of funders and nonprofit leaders committed to investing in the long-term sustainability of Black-led organizations in Southern California (Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire). We transform the relationship between philanthropy and Black-led organizations for more equitable funding. Learn more about BEC by visiting www.blackequitycollective.org

About Mayor Karen Bass:

Karen Bass is the 43rd Mayor of Los Angeles and the first woman and second African American to be elected as the city's chief executive. With an agenda focused on bringing urgency, accountability, and a new direction to Los Angeles, she has started her term with a focus on housing people immediately and increasing safety and opportunity in every part of Los Angeles.


After serving as a front-line healthcare provider as a nurse and as a Physician Assistant, Mayor Bass founded the Community Coalition to organize the predominantly Black and Latino residents of South L.A. against substance abuse, poverty and crime, and to pioneer strategies to address the root causes behind the challenges faced by underserved neighborhoods.


She then went on to represent Los Angeles in the State Assembly and was elected by her peers to serve as Speaker, making her the first African American woman to ever lead a state legislative body in the history of the United States. Her time in leadership intersected with the Great Recession, and she was honored with the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for reaching across party lines and making tough decisions to keep the state from bankruptcy while protecting vital services.


Mayor Bass earned her bachelor's degree in health sciences from CSU Dominguez Hills before graduating from the USC Keck School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program and earning her masters degree in social work from USC.


About Kaci Patterson:

Kaci is the Founder and Chief Architect of Social Good Solutions (SGS), a Black woman-owned boutique consulting firm. Drawing upon SGS's expertise in operationalizing equity, Kaci spearheads endeavors that redefine philanthropy, setting new benchmarks for equity-centered practices within the sector. Since its inception, Kaci and her team have raised and leveraged over $47 million for Black-led organizations across California working on the frontline of social justice.


From 2017 to 2021, Kaci served as the Chief Strategist of the Black Equity Initiative, a pioneering racial justice philanthropic initiative she designed. Presently, she serves as the Founder and Chief Architect of the Black Equity Collective, launched in January 2021 under her leadership.


Additionally, Kaci served as a state commissioner in the CA Department of Consumer Affairs from 2014 to 2022.



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