“CHC is about a love for our community…wanting people to reach their potential and removing any obstacle that would prevent them from enjoying a healthy and productive life.”

Lark Galloway-Gilliam
Founding Executive Director

Lark Galloway-Gilliam Founding Executive Director

The history of Community Health Councils (CHC) is the history and demonstration of effective and inclusive, grassroots advocacy. Founded in 1992 on the heels of the LA uprisings, CHC was launched by a consortium of local leaders. Fortunately, one of South LA’s fiercest advocates, Lark Galloway-Gilliam, was CHC’s first Executive Director and a perfect fit for the mission ahead. CHC convened 12 regional coalitions of healthcare professionals and advocates in its first 13 years—educational, faith, and community-based organizations that collaborated to identify and respond to gaps in healthcare access for South LA residents. The list of achievements stemming from these collaborations, and inclusive of work with county and state leaders, is well documented on this website.

Galloway-Gilliam drove the evolution of what began as a coalition of health councils toward a broader agenda that captures all the ways CHC addresses health—mental, physical, economic, overall well-being, and more. As the organization passed to a new generation of leadership under CEO Veronica Flores, CHC recognized that its expanding influence had moved it beyond the bounds embodied in its name. As a result, for much of its 30th  year, CHC undertook a deep, reflective process in collaboration with residents, staff, volunteers, and other stakeholders to examine its activities, vision, and mission, evolving its identity in a way that speaks to all that the organization represents today—a symbol of hope and action for our communities.

Veronica FloresLearning to divide the power of decision making so that everyone is included can be very transformative.”

—Veronica Flores
CEO since 2015

And so Community Health Councils becomes RISING COMMUNITIES,™ a name and visual identity that communicate the full breadth of community health. Today, Veronica Flores continues our legacy of community-led advocacy, and Rising Communities represents how we will continue to transform systemically racist systems into systems of care and belonging. 

This new brand and visual identity—the name, the logo, the color palette—reflect the inclusive optimism that we lead with when working with the vibrant, bold communities we serve. And it will always bring Lark and her legacy to mind.

We want to be that organization that hears the cries of our communities and works with them to find meaningful solutions.

—Lark Galloway-Gilliam
Founding Executive Director

Our Vision

An equitable world in which all communities are empowered with collective determination to build the infrastructure and systems that ensure fulfilling, healthy lives for everyone.

Our Mission

To co-develop transformational social equity models and systems in service to BIPOC communities, to help each person thrive.