California State University, Long Beach
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Center for Community Engagement Receives $97K

Published: September 1, 2011

The California Community Foundation (CCF) has awarded a $97,000 grant to the Center for Community Engagement at CSULB for the El Monte Community Building Initiative project.

The CCF project will provide training and coaching on leadership development, organizational capacity, community projects, and policy and systems to more than 60 emerging community leaders in three target neighborhoods in El Monte.

CSULB’s Center for Community Engagement Receives $97,000 Grant for El Monte Community Building Initiative“Two of our main goals on this project are to expand the emerging leadership base of El Monte residents who are able to sustain the El Monte Community Building Initiative and ongoing and longer-term efforts; and increasing the capacity of El Monte residents to collaboratively identify community priorities and work toward solutions,” said Juan M. Benitez, the executive director of CSULB’s Center for Community Engagement.

“We will be working very closely with Rigoberto Rodriguez from CSULB’s Department of Chicano and Latino Studies,” Benitez added. “He will help develop and implement the curriculum for the sessions and will be working with service learning students from CSULB as well.”

During the grant period, the Center for Community Engagement will partner with local organizations and identify emerging leaders to develop individual and organizational strengths, capacities, and linkages among and between organizations, agencies and community members.

“This project,” Benitez pointed out, “provides another great opportunity for our center and campus to be involved in a long-term, place-based community engagement initiative where our center staff, our faculty and students are able to apply action-based research while helping support community members in addressing key community issues.”

Juan Benetiz
Juan Benetiz

The CCF has announced more than $5.6 million in priority grants to 62 nonprofit organizations in Los Angeles, with more than half for general operating support and the remainder designated for new initiatives.

The majority of grant dollars are concentrated in program areas that are priorities for the community foundation which serves all of L.A. County: arts, education, health care, housing and neighborhoods, and human development. CCF has also announced grants for civic engagement and discretionary scholarships.

“There is no more important time than now and no more important place than Los Angeles to support nonprofit organizations, an under-appreciated segment of our community that is increasingly pressed to provide services and programs not available elsewhere,” said Antonia Hernandez, CEO and president of CCF. “Supporting nonprofits has always been part of the mission of L.A.’s community foundation and will remain so.”

The CCF is a public, charitable organization serving Los Angeles County in multiple capacities since 1915. It encourages philanthropy by individuals, families, companies and organizations, and serves as a steward of their charitable funds and legacies. It also makes grants to nonprofits and collaborates in addressing the needs of vulnerable populations such as persons with disabilities. In addition, it actively engages in community problem solving with business, civic, government and other organizations.

–Rick Gloady