September 28th marked a milestone day for Community Health Councils.  We celebrated our 25th Anniversary of promoting social justice and health equity in South LA.  To commemorate this very special year, we hosted a daylong celebration at the newly renovated Proud Bird Bazaar and Events Center that welcomed our first-ever ‘Exploration: Community-Based Research Summit’ and our first fundraiser since 2011.


At the Exploration Summit, a Who’s Who of regional organizations took the spotlight to lead a dialogue with more than 150 community based organizations, advocates, funders and other stakeholders on how we could collectively lead a movement to social change through CBPR, policy and systems change, and community resident engagement.  Those powerhouse organizations discussed:


  • The Importance of Community-Led & Community-Based Research
  • Conducting Health Impact Assessments to Assess Public Policy
  • Using Data to Increase the Impact of Political Engagement
  • Engaging Residents in Participatory Research
  • Ethics in Research
  • Addressing Gentrification & Displacement with Data
  • What is the Foundation Role in Supporting Community Based Research


Building on the inspiration from the day, nearly 150 people gathered for a celebratory evening of networking, music, and inspirational speeches.  To mark this occasion  CHC presented the following awards:

  • Gwendolyn Flynn, recently retired CHC Policy Director was the recipient of our first Catalyst Award, which recognizes a person who has been relentless in uplifting CHC’s work and profile.
  • Los Angeles County Board Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas as the recipient of our Lark Legacy Award, an award named for CHC’s founding Executive Director that recognizes someone that passionately promotes social justice and health equity in underserved communities like South LA.


Additionally Elsa Ramon, CBS 2/KCAL 9 Anchor served as the Mistress of Ceremonies and the musical guests included Dancy and Friends Gospel choir to open the event and Mayre Martinez (first Latin American Idol Winner) and Sharlene Taule (recording artist and former cast member of Fox’s STAR) to close out the show.


We received overwhelmingly positive messages from our supporters including this one:


 “Congratulations on such an inspiring event! I wanted to extend my gratitude for such an insightful and engaging conference and reception yesterday.  I find myself refreshed, motivated, and recharged.  Thank you so much for the invitation to participate in critical dialogue and mutual learning. I look forward to potential collaborations.”


The entire day was more than just an opportunity to welcome a new pillar event and celebration of our 25 years of work.  It was about honoring our roots that began because of a community standing up against terrible conditions that were plaguing their neighborhoods in 1992.  We hope that this day of events will inspire ongoing dialogue, partnership, and continued commitment to building momentum for an equitable future for South LA.