What’s going on?

Featuring the news and activities of the HRC

HRC/SMC Public Policy Institute partnership—The PPI Spring Symposium’s theme is “Art and Citizenship.” HRC directors are invited to attend an Art Walk to view various presentations throughout the SMC Main Campus, followed by a luncheon on Tuesday, May 13. The focus for the reflections piece during the luncheon is inspired by the HRC: “How can art support a respectful and socially just community?” Please RSVP to Carolyn or Maria.

Meetings! Meetings! Meetings!

Kids With Cameras Committee: Scott Ferguson (Chair), Chris LeGagnoux (Co-Chair),  Laura Rosenbaum (Co-Chair), Ilda Jiménez y West, Maria Rodriguez, Perry Roshan-Zamir. Next Meeting:  Tues, Apr 1 | 10:30am | Boys and Girls Club satellite station at John Adams Middle School | 2441 Sixteenth St SM 90405

Advocacy & Response Committee: Michele Wittig (Co-Chair), Sheila Banani (Co-Chair), Susan Annett, Gary Avrech, Janet Bregar, Sherri Lee-Lewis, Julie Rusk. Next Meeting: Thurs, Apr 10 | 4:00-5:45pm | S. Banani residence | 2320 Alta Ave. SM

Marketing Committee: Deb Farmer (Chair), Carolyn Baugh, Donna Gentry, Albin Gielicz, Linda Greenberg Gross, Rehka Parekh. Next Meeting: Mon. Apr. 14 | 6:15pm | Westside Family Health Center | 1711 Ocean Park Blvd. SM 90405

Mark Benjamin Community Heroes Committee: John Maceri (Chair), Gary Avrech, Jody Priselac, Perry Roshan-Zamir, Julie Rusk. Next Meeting: Tues, Apr 15 | 5:30pm | P. Rosha-Zamir’s office |2530 Wilshire Blvd, Third Fl. SM 90403


Around the Bay

Featuring the news and activities of the HRC’s partners and friends

Dr. Stephen Phelps, Physicist, April 13 — A Sunday Gathering entitled, “Social Change and Spiritual Transformation” will be led by Dr. Phelps. Sun, Apr 13 | 12:00pm | Santa Monica Bahá’í Center | 3102 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica 90404

Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation PIER PARTY! April 27 — Join in a fun day at Pacific Park with rides, games, entertainment, food and raffles benefitting all Santa Monica-Malibu schools and the Vision for Student Success. Everyone must buy a ticket to enter. Wristbands are good for the entire day. Sunday, Apr 27 | 10am-2pm | Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier | tickets at pierparty.org

Spring Cleaning Clothes-Out April 27 A clothing exchange to benefit the Ocean Park Community Center. Sun, Apr 27 | 1:00pm | Church In Ocean Park | 235 Hill St., Santa Monica 90405

Santa Monica Festival Sat, Jun 14 | Cloverfield Park, Santa Monica 90405

Pico Library Grand Opening – Sat, Jun 28 | Virginia Avenue Park, Santa Monica 90404

Around the Bay

featuring the news and activities of the HRC’s partners and friends

MARCH 15: 40th Birthday Bash—Get your tickets for the Westside Family Health Center’s 40th anniversary celebration of its past, present, and future. Sat Mar 15 | 7-11pm Food, Drink, Dancing, Silent Auction | 8:30pm Live Auction | Le Meridien Delfina Santa Monica | 530 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica 90405 | tickets at wfhcenter.org

MARCH 19: Pico Spring Mixer—Don’t miss the Pico Improvement Organization’s first mixer of 2014. Join the PIO for refreshments, door prizes, and more! The PIO is committed to promoting business and commerce within the Santa Monica Pico Blvd Business Improvement area. The PIO is committed to promoting goodwill between the business community and the residential areas immediately adjacent to the Boulevard. Wed Mar 19 | 5:30-7pm | Vidiots| 302 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica 90405  

APRIL 27: The Ed Foundation’s Pier Party—Save the date for fun at the Santa Monica Pier to benefit our students, our schools, and our community in support of the SMMUSD Vision for Student Success. Ticket Level 1: $25 or 5 for $100 includes wristband for unlimited rides. Ticket Level 2: $50 includes wristband for unlimited rides, 5 games tickets and a meal ticket. VIP event: $175 includes unlimited rides, 5 game tickets, brunch prepared by exclusive restaurants and parking pass. Contact [email protected] or 310-396-4557. Sun, Apr 27 | 10am-2pm | Palisades Park 

APRIL 27: Spring Cleaning Clothes-Out—The Church in Ocean Park’s next clothing exchange will benefit the Ocean Park Community Center. Sun, Apr 27| 1:00pm | CIOP, 235 Hill St, Santa Monica 90405

NEW Community Civic Engagement Strategy—The Office of the Santa Monica City Manager recently raised civic engagement to the level of an initiative with the unanimous support of the City Council. The hope of the Community Civic Engagement Strategy (CCES) is to complement the extant level of engagement in Santa Monica by increasing the number and spectrum of residents who are involved in the civic process of local governance, decision-making, and access to local government. The strategy seeks to create more transparency, two-way dialogue, and greater synergy. The first of various rollouts that are planned for the next two years is The People’s Academy—a free seven-week course about local government in Santa Monica. Twenty residents will be selected from the applications received through March 5th, and will meet once a week from April through mid-May. Seven two-hour sessions are designed for the participant residents to “better understand how to get things done, and ways to become more informed and connected with the community.” Follow the academy at http://academy.smgov.net.

NEW Pico Branch Library—The excitement over the new Pico Branch Library is increasing. The new staff has started to meet. The grand opening is being planned. Stay tuned for more information coming soon.


Kids With Cameras

featuring the news and activities of the HRC Kids With Cameras program

WELCOME Co-Chairs—Maria Rodriguez, the HRC V.P. of Programs, has recruited two new co-chairs for Kids with Cameras committee. Thank you, Maria! She shares the following introductions:

Chris LeGagnoux has been an education volunteer both in the classroom and on the Executive Board of the Santa Monica-Malibu PTA Council.  She has taught regular and special education in the District with a Bilingual Certificate in Spanish. She and her husband have been long-time Santa Monica residents and are the parents of two (twins) Samohi graduates who are currently college sophomores.

Laura L. Rosenbaum is a strategic business and marketing strategist.  In her many executive level-roles in financial services at such firms as Wells Fargo, Washington Mutual, National City Bank, and her consulting work with financial services firms and providers, she successfully led strategic planning, brand and product management, and sales development initiatives.  An active member of the Santa Monica-Malibu education community, Laura been has an active member of the Santa Monica-Malibu education community at SMASH, Crossroads School and Santa Monica-Malibu PTA Council, including SMASH PTSA President, SMMPTA Council President and co-chair of the Inclusion and Involvement Committee, and Crossroads Parents Association Upper School President.

What’s going on?

featuring the news and activities of the HRC

Five HRC Directors have received prestigious recognition for serving the needs of the community:

Janie Yuguchi Gates—State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson, announced that SMMUSD’s Olympic High School under the direction of Principal Janie Gates has been selected as a Model Continuation High School for 2014. The annual, statewide recognition program commends schools for exemplary program effectiveness in school management, curriculum, instructional strategies, educational climate, guidance, and counseling. According to Torlakson, the innovative programs at Principal Gates’ school “demonstrate an enduring commitment to provide young people with the educational options and support services they need to successfully complete high school.”

Jacqueline A. Seabrooks—The Santa Monica Commission on the Status of Women, the Organization of Women Leaders (OWL), and the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce will honor Santa Monica Chief of Police Jacqueline Seabrooks at its annual networking breakfast on Friday, March 7th in celebration of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. The OWL Award celebrates the commitment, courage, and character of top women business leaders. Chief Seabrooks is recognized as a hard-working leader in her community and for the outstanding achievement of reducing the crime rates in Santa Monica.

Sandra Lyon—Region 14 of the Association of California School Administrators named Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Superintendent Sandra Lyon as its Regional Superintendent of the Year for her outstanding leadership. According the SMMUSD Board Member Laurie Lieberman, Sandra Lyon views her work as an ‘occupassion’ and the district is the fortunate beneficiary of the Superintendent’s character, leadership skills, and level of accomplishment. “She is an exceptional team-builder, communicator, and collaborative problem-solver who works tirelessly to address [wide-ranging] issues.”

Linda Greenberg Gross—The Board of Education of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District commended CEO Linda Greenberg Gross for the impressive achievement of its non-profit auxiliary, the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation. Over three years, she built up a dynamic staff, networked with leaders in the Santa Monica-Malibu PTA Council, and raised $3,203.730 from 2,962 donors by January 31, 2014, for the inaugural Vision for Student Success program. This effort, which will impact the 2014-15 academic year, has already allowed our community to reach new heights of collaboration and cooperation with the objective of ensuring “that every child in every school has every opportunity to succeed.”

Debra A. Farmer—The Los Angeles County Medical Association and the Patient Care Foundation of Los Angeles County awarded the Innovation Award to the Westside Family Health Center. The award acknowledges the center’s innovative ways that it uses its 1,500-square-foot facility and resources for excellent patient care and patient satisfaction. Dr. Troy Elander, President of the Patient Care Foundation presented the award to CEO/President Deb Farmer, saying, “You started focusing on women’s health and then morphed, as was needed… With a wonderful attitude, you seemed to continually be asking, ‘How can we best serve the health needs of this community?’”

Advocacy & Response

featuring the activities of the HRC Advocacy & Response Committee

Deliberative Dialogue Facilitator Training—The HRC Advocacy and Response Committee is hosting a training by Dave Focareta, the Santa Monica Community Mediation Coordinator at the Center for Civic Mediation in Los Angeles. The Center is dedicated to promoting a more harmonious and civil Los Angeles community by teaching, inspiring and helping people find peaceful ways to handle personal, organizational and community conflict. The objective of the training is to develop the capacity to train individuals and groups in how to conduct effectively community dialogues and ‘table talk’ discussions. Thurs, Mar 6 | 5-7pm | Santa Monica College | RSVP by Wed, Mar 5 to Sherri Lee-Lewis 310-434-4419

Around the Bay

Santa Monica Malibu-Unified School District announces Public Survey—The district is conducting a community survey. Parents and others are asked for their views on topics including student achievement, parental involvement, and school climate. This survey is part of the effort towards developing a local control and accountability plan that is required by the state’s new budgeting formula. Its goal is to give school districts more flexibility. In a public statement, Superintendent Sandra Lyon said, “Everyone’s input is critical to SMMUSD’s progress . . . Working together is the best way to accomplish our mission to promote extraordinary achievement for all students while simultaneously closing the achievement gap.” Go to the link LCAP and LCFF SURVEY for Community Members at www.smmusd.org. All feedback will be confidential, and the district will share the results with the community.

NAACP celebrates 105th Birthday and Black History Month—The Santa Monica-Venice Branch invites everyone to this special monthly meeting for action updates. The complimentary breakfast honors lifetime member Velma Latimore Johnson in memoriam. Sat Feb 8 | 9:30am Breakfast | 10am Meeting| 1502 Twentieth Street, Santa Monica 90404 | Please RSVP to 213-261-5944

Enroll in Affordable Care Coverage—Meet with Certified Enrollment Counselors at no cost. Bring proof of income and citizenship. Save time in line by calling ahead to make an appointment at 310-664-7509. Sat Feb 8 | 10am-2pm | Simms/Mann Health & Wellness Center | 2509 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica 90404 ACA bilingual enrollment is available also through the Westside Family Health Center | 1711 Ocean Park Blvd, Santa Monica 90405 | Contact 310-450-4773 ext. 206 for WFHC Counselors to come out to your organization. DEADLINE: MARCH 31

Neighborhood Justice Centers—The Bahá’í Community of Santa Monica is hosting a ‘Sunday Gathering.’ The topic of a presentation by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Dorothy Nelson is the Western Justice Center. To sign up for viewing this presentation simultaneously as a webinar, go to SundayGatherings.com. The HRC will facilitate ‘Table Talk’ afterwards. More information is available at info available at www.santamonicabahai.org. Sunday, Feb. 16 | 11:45am |3102 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica 90404 | complimentary lunch

SAVE THE DATE: MARCH 15—Our local, award-winning Westside Family Health Center is celebrating its 40TH Birthday Bash and you’re invited. “Help us remember where WFHC has been, support what we do, and dream about what we will be!” Sat Mar 15 | 7-11pm | Le Meridien Delfina Santa Monica | 530 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica 90405 | tickets at wfhcenter.org

For Immediate Release

Feb. 6, 2014Human Relations Council Endorses Santa Monica-Malibu Public Schools’ Vision for Student Success and Superintendent’s Funding Proposal. The Human Relations Council-Santa Monica Bay Area announced its endorsement of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Superintendent Sandra Lyon’s proposal for the Board of Education to allocate sufficient funds to supplement the total donations raised by the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation as of January 31, 2014, so that the Vision for Student Success program becomes fully operational in the 2014-15 school year as planned with a $4M budget. The VSS was launched in 2011 by the SMMUSD Board of Education in response to findings showing large differences in per pupil expenditures across schools associated with school-specific fundraising disparities. Its purposes are to address the resulting educational opportunity gap among schools, while simultaneously raising educational opportunity for all. As of January 31, 2014, the first annual campaign netted over $3,200,000 in contributions.

The program combines two components:  centralized fundraising by the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation and the participation of diverse community stakeholders through the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee. School-specific fundraising will continue, but its focus will be on funds for purchasing co-curricular items, rather than for hiring ancillary personnel.

The Human Relations Council views both components as essential to its success. The organization’s chair, Ilda Jiménez y West, stated that “The HRC believes that the inclusion of diverse community stakeholders giving input about distribution of the funds will give the plan a better chance of garnering widespread community support, thereby increasing the likelihood of raising sufficient funds to achieve greater equality of educational opportunity, while simultaneously increasing  educational achievement overall.”

Created in 2004, the Council is a non-profit partnership of community organizations, institutions, businesses, and individuals that promotes and supports a respectful and socially just community through education, advocacy, and resolution of local conflicts and issues. HRC Contact:  Ilda Jiménez y West  [email protected]  310-310-0432

SMMUSD School Board Meeting tonight, Feb. 6 | Malibu City Council Chambers | 23825 Stuart Ranch Road, Malibu, CA. | Public meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. with Public Comments

What’s going on?

Featuring the activities of the HRC

  • Kids With Cameras: YOU’RE INVITED! Kids With Cameras is a 6-week workshop in photojournalism that took Santa Monica middle school youth to “Faces and Places” of their city. Come and hear what they saw and view their photographs on exhibition. We look forward to seeing YOU and THANK YOU in advance for supporting the youth of KWC 2013, with special thanks to HRC Board member, SMPD Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks; the youth who represent the Boys & Girls Club, Police Activities League (PAL) and Santa Monica Family YMCA; and our Mentor Photographers: Fabian Lewkowicz, Charles Haskell, Nick Steers and David Hurwitz.; and our HRC KWC Co-Chairs Donna Gentry/GentryEvents and Cathy Milliken/awesome community member. Photo Exhibition & Reception | Wed Aug 28 |6pm Reception followed by Culmination Program | Bergamot Station, G Building courtyard | 2525 Michigan Ave, Santa Monica 90404 | Free parking – Enter lot at end of Michigan Ave (east of Cloverfield). Go in front of the Santa Monica Museum of Art.
  • Call for Volunteers: The HRC 2013 Literature and Arts Chair Janie Gates/Olympic High School Principal will convene “An Intergenerational Project” on Fridays in October and early November at Olympic High School in Santa Monica. For more information, please contact Donald Murchie | 310-450-7025

**** Amin Banani (Sept 23 1926 – July 28 2013) – A Celebration of Life: Former HRC Chair and current Board Member Sheila Banani and family send their appreciation to the HRC: “It meant a lot to me that several of you were able to come to my dear husband’s funeral on August 1 at Santa Monica’s Woodlawn Cemetery. Although there were about 450 people present, I was able to see and talk with at least Ilda, Carolyn, Nat, Scott, John, Janie, Gary, Donna, and Linda from our Board. With appreciation for your presence, notes and warm support ~Sheila”****

Around the Bay

Featuring the activities of the HRC’s partners and friends

“Discriminatory laws cripple the chances of too many people, of all ages and backgrounds, who want nothing more than a shot at the American Dream… Voter disenfranchisement… and far, far too many of our children are gunned down in senseless acts of violence every day… If the last few months have taught us anything, it’s that our work to defend civil rights and human rights for all is nowhere near finished.” – Ben Jealous, NAACP

  • Racial Justice Workshop: The Committee for Racial Justice of Santa Monica in conjunction with the Day of Dialogue is holding a community forum and resource fair to discuss the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case. The Day of Dialogue was founded by Mark Ridley-Thomas, the former Los Angeles City Councilman and California State Senator/Assemblyman, and present Los Angeles County Supervisor. This event will provide a safe forum for community members to gather to discuss “The Death of Trayvon Martin: Unfinished Business”| Sun Aug 11 | 6pm | Church In Ocean Park | 235 Hill St, Santa Monica | free with potluck dinner
  • Week of Reflection Culmination: The Santa Monica Baha’i Center invites all people of all age groups to attend the culmination of its Week of Reflection on what we can do and how we can become more involved individually and collectively in making our neighborhoods, communities, and city even a better place. Speaker: Dr. John Woodall. Sunday Gathering | Sun Aug 11 | 3-6pm | Santa Monica Baha’i Center | 3102 Colorado Ave, Santa Monica 90404 | free
  • March for Trayvon: The NAACP, along with the National Action Network, Realizing the Dream, and many other conveners will host a march in Washington, D.C. to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Like the original march in 1963, we will raise our voices around a shared message of civil liberty, civil rights, and economic freedom and opportunity for all. We will also march on behalf of Trayvon, and the thousands of other young men of color who have been the victims of racial profiling and gun violence. Sat Aug 24 | Washington, D.C.
  • Cover California Coming Soon: 2013 SMC Public Policy Institute interns Ericka Lesley and Jennifer Barry and HRC directors Darrell Goode/NAACP and Deb Farmer/Westside Family Health Center are in training to dignify uninsured Californians with health coverage. Enrollment starts Oct 1 2013 for becoming insured on Jan 1 2014. Get informed and learn what you can do to get the word out: Meeting on Affordable Health Care | Cavalry Baptist Church | Sat Aug 10 | 10am | 1520 20th St, Santa Monica