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LA Metro Brochure

They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated. They will renew the ruined places that have been devastated for generations (Isaiah 61:4).

Who We Are  

The Los Angeles Metropolitan Churches is a network of 45 African American Churches located throughout Los Angeles County. In 1994, the network created an intermediary organization to carry out the network’s day-to-day administrative, organizing and policy activities. LA Metro’s mission is to increase the capacity of congregations and other faith-based organizations to meet the revitalization needs of the L.A. community. LA Metro accomplishes its mission in several ways:

  • Identifying social policies, programs and strategies that negatively affect the well-being and health of distressed urban communities.
  • Organizing community responses to failed social policies by launching policy initiatives and developing the capacities of small to medium sized churches to provide the effective services that promote individual success and community health.
  • Developing community leaders by mentoring congregations and providing frontline ministers, lay leaders and congregations with the necessary skills and knowledge to empower individuals and communities to restore themselves.
  • Mentoring churches through developing long-term relationships with congregations, identifying their talents, mobilizing their assets and organizing their social power for the benefit of local communities.

L.A. Metro (LAM) staff is composed of policy analysts, community organizers, program developers, and front-line ministers and laymen experienced in meeting the pressing social needs of urban communities.

LAM recognizes that all congregations—both large and small—possess the human, intellectual and spiritual capacity to engage in faith-based organizing and programming. We, especially, look for opportunities to partner with small to mid-size churches, valuing the talents and treasures of these institutions in the same way that Christ valued the widow’s mite (Mark 12:42-43). LAM currently engages 43 member congregations.

What We Do  

In partnership with the RCNO Training Center, 45 small-to midsize churches and a variety of community groups and public agencies, LA Metro’s work addresses critical social issues of race, crime, education, and the inequitable distribution of resources that affect poor, urban communities. Our current work has four major themes:
Helping Congregations Promote Youth Education
Although research suggests that family and community-based organization participation is vital to improving student performance, often, educators do not effectively draw on the critical and substantial resources that small-to-mid-sized churches can provide.
LA Metro’s One Church, One School (OCOS) initiative offers a framework through which districts and schools can enhance their relationship with parents and the broader community and thereby increase the number of essential community resources available to schools. OCOS mobilizes the resources of congregations to provide four critical resources necessary to successfully enhance the education of African American youth:

  • The support of caring adults and tutors who proceed from the premise that all students can learn
  • Personalized instruction through the creation of small (max. 15 students) after-school learning communities
  • A culture of accountability that promotes the parenting skills necessary to support the education of children
LAM is currently assisting 10 congregations to establish working relationships with school administration and staff to ensure that these critical features of effective youth programming are aligned with school standards, yet provide a broader social and ethical dimension to the education of our youth.

In addition to establishing partnerships with public schools to improve the quality of education for enrolled students, LA Metro’s GED Initiative has been designed to meet the health and safety issues of LA communities by meeting the education (and social/economic) needs of ex-offenders. In 1998, through the effective organizing of Los Angeles’ churches, the California legislature passed into law a bill that mandated that ex-offenders get their GED as a condition of probation and/or parole.

Helping LA Develop More Effective Environmental Policies  

Our environment is devastating our children’s health, and they deserve better places in which to learn and play. More than one third of all the children in Los Angeles County live in South Los Angeles. Yet, school construction and recreation investment has not kept pace with child population growth in South Los Angeles. Inequitable public policies and practices are directly responsible for park and recreation disparities among city residents. Through its Environmental Health Initiative, LAM has developed three model projects to demonstrate ways that our community can work together with schools, government agencies, foundations and corporations to build clean, safe places where our children can learn and play.

The Antes Columbus Football Club Youth Center demonstrates that illegal dumping grounds and contaminated, abandoned factories can be converted to ball fields and parks where kids can play. The project includes a 75,000 square foot soccer field built on a structural deck over 250 parking spaces. The new soccer field at Ross Snyder Recreation Center is the new heart of our efforts to create a park rich Los Angeles. Additionally, the project uses youth sports to help facilitate the development of cross-racial relationships among kids and adults.

The North Central American Youth Soccer League was organized to promote the greening of the acres of asphalt and chained-link fences that presently cover the landscape of most Los Angeles inner city schools, and demoralize students and parents. LAM’s organizing efforts through the NCAYSL is building the capacity of community members to demand the trees, plants flowers and green parks that beautify schools and increase the self-esteem and self-worth of the students who attend them.

Improving Communities Through Training and Capacity Building  

LAM’s Training and Capacity Building initiatives focus on building the capacity of congregations and community-based organizations to serve their communities well. LAM offers a full-range of trainings, and workshops, including community organizing, policy development, leadership, fundraising, program development and strategic planning. LAM has made a conscious effort to focus on developing the capacities of small to mid-sized African American congregations. We have trained thousands of clergy and lay leaders in the intricacies of policy analysis, volunteer mobilization and social programming since our inception in 1994.

Our Faith in Communities (FIC) project, in partnership with Special Service for Groups, Inc., expands LAM’s work in developing the capacities of small to mid-sized congregations in Los Angeles communities to San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino. FIC aims to strengthen the capacity of congregations and community-based organizations to address systemic inequities of race and poverty in these four counties.

Our Partners

RCNO Training Center

Our Funders

Ford Foundation
California Endowment
James Irvine Foundation
Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

Los Angeles Metropolitan Churches
7607 South Western Avenue • Los Angeles, CA 90047
Voice: 323-238-0445 FAX: 323-230-6271

Copyright 2001 Los Angeles Metropolitan Churches All rights Reserved.