30th Apr 2019
Connecting the dots: Cross-Sector Collaboration
At Pathways LA, we are fully committed to building healthy communities and promoting equity throughout Metropolitan Los Angeles. The best, most sustainable way to accomplish this goal is through Cross-Sector Collaboration.
Too often, our society’s approach to improving communities is fragmented—various entities work on components of the problem, but without structured collaboration and communication. In a Cross-Sector Collaboration approach, stakeholders and organizations from different sectors put aside their individual agendas in favor of common objectives and outcomes. Taking a holistic approach gives neighborhoods the tools and resources they need to truly thrive. For many years, Pathways LA has been at the forefront of this movement, working to influence systems change and create healthier communities across Los Angeles.
As part of the leadership team at Magnolia Community Initiative, we bring the lens of child development and promote the use of the Protective Factors strategy, which stresses the importance of strengthening families as a means of transforming neighborhoods. These factors, which include parental resilience, knowledge of child development, and concrete support in times of need, are improved by fostering relationships within the family and its larger network. As a result, the community’s capacity for organization, advocacy, and leadership development is increased, which leads to greater civic engagement. The aim is to have parents join neighborhood councils, school boards, and advocacy groups so that they can effectively address the issues their community members are dealing with day to day. Ultimately, a vibrant, healthy neighborhood is built on the foundation of strong, resilient families.
Internally, we train our staff to work with families using an empathy-forward, equity-based approach. We know that treating everybody the same doesn’t get them what they need, so we strive to meet the unique needs of every individual. As an example, if a parent arrives late to an appointment, we stress the importance of acknowledging that we’re glad they made it, as opposed to emphasizing them being tardy. Furthermore, we work to understand and address the factors that led to the delay—many families don’t have their own vehicles, and therefore rely heavily on public transportation.
Pathways LA is invested in improving Los Angeles by rolling up our sleeves and trying to enact change in every way possible. We’re involved with many other programs that promote collaboration and partnership, including First 5 LA’s Best Start and The Los Angeles Promise Zone. We continue to lead conversations on what success looks like for each neighborhood, how to most effectively engage families, and what changes organizations need to make to reach those goals.
Cross-Sector Collaboration only works with the full participation of the community, so it is imperative that we see increased involvement from community members, schools, local businesses, and other nonprofit organizations to create full system changes across Metropolitan Los Angeles. We invite you to join us in this effort.