February 2023 Message from Executive Director Belén Bernal

We greeted the new year with team meetings that were inspiring and filled with promise for another impactive year. We are off to a good start, having already hosted community events outdoors and opened up applications for the 20th cohort of our Leadership Academy.

While we have much to celebrate and look forward to, we are devastated and feel deep sorrow about recent tragedies we cannot ignore. We join our community in mourning those lost in the mass shooting that took place in Monterey Park. Children, grandchildren and community members lost loved ones in this act of terror. We join the victims, survivors, our neighbors and friends affected by this tragedy in feeling your pain and beseech the leaders of our nation to act against gun violence. We stand in solidarity with our AAPI friends, family and community members throughout our region. We are also devastated by the recent and ongoing killings and brutality of Black men by police, here in Los Angeles and across the nation. We join others in demanding justice and accountability. We are counting on our elected and community leaders to take action to prevent more tragedies and achieve more equity for our communities.