LOS ANGELES - Civil rights must be protected for everyone, regardless of your race, income or housing status. LA Civil Rights Executive Director Capri Maddox recently sat down with Pastor Troy Vaughn, CEO of the Los Angeles Mission, to talk about where Los Angeles goes from here. After a year of racial reckoning, and at a time when hate crimes, inequity and homelessness are rising, how does the movement for civil rights, human rights, and racial equity grow?
In a frank and honest conversation, Maddox and Vaughn shared their vision for a more equitable Los Angeles, as well as the critical importance of having a city department focused on addressing hate, discrimination, and racial inequity. Listen to the podcast here.
"What we let go or stand here in Los Angeles impacts the entire world, so we have to put a stop to the hate and discrimination in commerce, in education, in housing," Maddox said. "We need to recognize how [discrimination] in those areas impact people's lives for the rest of their lives - and even generational, when you think about homeownership."
"African-Americans and Latinos pay $700 million in their mortgages every year compared to their white counterparts with the same credit score," Maddox added. (Source: UC Berkley "Consumer-Lending Discrimination in the FinTech Era," 2019).
Maddox and Vaughn explained how housing and employment discrimination can contribute to homelessness, and how LA Civil Rights' equity & empowerment programming works to create new pipelines for upward mobility and financial security. According to the 2019 Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) point-in-time count, 34% of LA County's homeless population is African-American, while making up only 9% of LA County's population overall.
The Los Angeles Mission, founded in 1936 in Skid Row and today one of the nation’s largest service providers to the unhoused, recently joined the LA for All campaign created by LA Civil Rights earlier this year. The LA For All campaign, now the largest anti-hate PSA campaign in Los Angeles city government history, promotes inclusion and belonging while sharing resources for reporting hate crimes in 17 languages.
"I just love the campaign," Pastor Vaughn said. "It's so simple. Really, when you talk about rights, restoration, really talk about how do you raise the voice - even for people we serve here that are a part of the homeless community, part of the carceral community, the veterans community, all of the community is a part of what we do: LA is for Everyone. To have a campaign... I think it gives us courage and the will to bring equity. LA for All doesn't mean everyone has to agree, LA for All means that we give space to people to be who they are."
Learn more about the Los Angeles Mission at https://losangelesmission.org.
Listen to the podcast at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fn_L_fiVfPE.