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What We’re Doing – A Roundup of First 5 LA Events and Activities

Home (Visiting) Is Where the Heart Is: The Family Strengthening Summit hosted by First 5 LA grantee  L.A. Best Babies Network on June 13 drew more than 500 home visiting professionals for a day-long celebration. Both Executive Director Kim Belshé and Vice President of Programs Christina Altmayer provided inspiring opening remarks at the annual event, setting the stage for a series of informative speakers. See next month’s Early Childhood Matters newsletter for an in-depth look at First 5 LA’s home visiting efforts in Los Angeles County, including interviews with home visiting participants and parent coaches from this event.

Taking on Trauma: Grantmakers in Health, a national nonprofit helping foundations and others improve people’s health, recently published a piece by Health Systems Manager Pegah Faed in their Views from Field series. The piece, titled “Funding Upstream Solutions to Remedy the Social Ills of Trauma,” argues that the root cause for many social ills is exposure to trauma. To truly be effective, Faed states, philanthropy must address this.

501 (C) onference: Director of Community Relations Rafael González and Executive Director Kim Belshé served as presenters on June 15 for the Center for Nonprofit Management’s 2018 501 (C) onference: Courage and Connections, held at The California Endowment. Belshé served on a panel titled “The New Dynamics of Grantmaking" alongside representatives from the Liberty Hill Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation, Annenberg and The California Endowment. González introduced Regina Birdsell, CEO of the Center for Nonprofit Management and Michael Thatcher, CEO of Charity Navigator. Like First 5 LA, the Center for Nonprofit Management shares a similar vision in that both seek to affect policy and systems change through building the organizational and leadership capacity of a nonprofit organization serving children, families and communities. 

The Power of Puppies: Capping off their impressive "Mental Health Awareness Month", First 5 LA’s Health Systems team dog-gone outdid themselves by providing a plethora of positive programming for First 5 LA staff. The month-long event dished out info on the gut-brain connection and other useful mental health tips to reduce stress, ending with “Puppies on the Patio” that touted the mental health benefits of interacting with our furry friends, provided by Puppies and Reptiles.

Open for Good: Recently, Glasspockets, a project focusing on philanthropic transparency, featured a piece by First 5 LA’s Vice President of Integration and Learning Daniela Pineda about sharing ideas. The post, “To Serve Better, Share” draws attention to a recently published resource guide entitled “Open for Good: Knowledge Sharing to Strengthen Grantmaking” which provides tips and strategies for knowledge sharing.  

Distinguished Districts: First 5 LA's Senior Government Affairs Strategist Jamie Zamora and Government Affairs Strategist Anais Duran met earlier this month with Roberto Gama, a Field Deputy for Congressman Jimmy Gomez to discuss First 5 LA’s policy agenda as well as challenges facing immigrant families. "We thanked (the) Congressman for signing on to a congressional letter opposing the possibility of a public charge, and thanked him for his work to also oppose the parent separation policies," Zamora said about the meeting. “Public charge” is a term used by U.S. immigration officials to refer to a person who is considered primarily dependent on the government for subsistence. The Trump Administration is considering a policy to deny immigrants who accept almost any form of welfare or public benefit, even popular tax deductions, legal U.S. residency. This policy could be particularly damaging for pregnant women and children.

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