Disrupting Inequitable Systems and Policies to Build a More Inclusive Los Angeles

January 17, 2021

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FUSE Corps

Los Angeles is working to inject equity into government operations and policies, including setting up a Civil and Human Rights Department (CHRD), which is charged with addressing the long-standing discrimination that impacts underserved and minority communities in Los Angeles. To support its work, CHRD will partner with a FUSE Executive Fellow for one year to help develop a strategic plan for its Equity and Empowerment initiative, which will advance racial equity through policy and programs.

This fellowship project begins on April 26, 2021, and ends on April 25, 2022. The fellowship begins with a multi-day virtual orientation the week of April 26, 2021. The selected Executive Fellow will begin their first day of providing services to the host agency on May 3, 2021.


COVID-19 and the ensuing financial crisis have laid bare many of the existing inequities local leaders seek to address in service of our communities. And the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and so many others, have highlighted the presence structural racism and its impact on communities of color across issues including housing, education, poverty, employment, and civic engagement. The City of Los Angeles is determined to turn this moment into a movement for real reform, propelling a seismic transformation that centers racial equity, creates accountable and effective systems, and stirs new civic conversations and commitment to change.

This fall the City has taken urgent steps to inject equity into government operations and policies, including updating police tactics and investing $250 million in public funds toward social services, youth development, health, housing, and healing for Black Angelenos and communities of color. This included setting up the brand new Civil and Human Rights Department (CHRD) months ahead of schedule. The CHRD is charged with addressing the long-standing discrimination that impacts underserved and minority communities in Los Angeles. Since its inception this July, CHRD has participated in over 80 meetings and held four community events focusing on hate crime prevention and equity for women and the justice involved. 

To support this work, the CHRD will partner with FUSE Corps to host an Executive Fellow for one year to support the development of a comprehensive strategic plan for its Equity and Empowerment (E2) initiative. The work will advance racial equity through policy and programs, specifically addressing an equitable response to COVID-19, the digital divide, and food deserts. The Executive Fellow will then put that plan into action by achieving concrete results for underserved populations and influencing citywide policies. Successful implementation of E2 will support protecting people’s rights, enable enactment of smart and overdue reforms, and contribute to undoing structural racism – building a more fair, equal, and just City of Los Angeles.


The following provides a general overview of the proposed fellowship project. This project summary and the potential deliverables that follow will be collaboratively revisited by the host agency, the Executive Fellow, and FUSE staff during the first few months of the fellowship, after which a revised scope of work will be developed and agreed upon by the FUSE Executive Fellow and the host agency.

Starting in April 2021, the FUSE Executive Fellow, will work with internal and external stakeholders to develop a comprehensive strategic framework for the CHRD’s Equity and Empowerment (E2) initiative. The Executive Fellow will work quickly to build deep relationships with a wide range of critical stakeholders, including staff across City departments, local universities, community-based organizations, philanthropic partners, neighborhood councils and large employers—specifically, those who are a part of the Racial Equity and Newly Empowered Workplaces (RENEW) Task Force. Utilizing this initial listening tour with key stakeholders, the Executive Fellow will conduct a landscape assessment to map needs in each of the three policy areas – equitable COVID-19 response, the digital divide, and food deserts – analyze gaps in policy and programming, collate all available resources, and chart supply chains for delivering services to each unique population group the CHRD serves. The Executive Fellow will also determine barriers to implementing any strategies and continue building innovative public-private partnerships to maximize Department resources.

The Executive Fellow will utilize this landscape analysis to design a comprehensive strategic plan for E2. The plan should identify a clear, unified vision for the future of the work, emphasizing solutions that create racially equitable environments in private commerce, education, employment, and housing by leveling the playing field and enhancing opportunities for traditionally underserved communities. The Executive Fellow will develop initial policy and program recommendations that address the gaps identified in each issue area, setting up a process for continued review of community needs. The Executive Fellow should also determine when and how to leverage all available partnerships, resources, and existing projects for maximum support of E2 moving forward. This will include review and management of special projects in other CHRD programmatic areas, such as guiding the RENEW Task Force’s industry diversity metrics commitments and executing upward mobility programming with identified mentors (businesses, universities, sports teams, etc.). 

The Executive Fellow will then create a thorough and holistic implementation plan to roll out the strategic plan. This framework will outline short and long-term goals, timelines, priority areas, and processes for tracking success (broadly) and progress in each policy area. The plan should also clearly define roles and responsibilities for internal and external stakeholders. The Executive Fellow will then work to initiate recommendations and activities that are most urgent and can be implemented quickly. This will include placing focus on identifying and activating solutions for equitable COVID-19 response for each population group (i.e. setting up necessary supply chains, translation services, medical support in the form of PPE/thermometers/pulse oximeters, worker and job protections through policy, food distribution). Overall, the Executive Fellow will enable the CHRD to prioritize and advance initiatives that support the development of a more equitable and inclusive Los Angeles.

By April 2022, the Executive Fellow will have overseen the initial implementation of the strategic plan, making sure it is as efficient and effective as possible. This will include the following:

  • Conduct a thorough review of the current landscape Conduct a deep landscape analysis, collating all relevant programming, policies, and processes; map gaps and identify cross-cutting themes; identify resources (provided by philanthropy, private companies, community-based organizations, academic institutions); build new partnerships and strengthen existing lines of communication between stakeholders
  • Develop recommendations and form a comprehensive strategic plan – Identify a shared vision and goal for E2; in close consultation with City officials, community partners, and private partners (RENEW Task Force, among others); design policy solutions and build on existing programmatic initiatives; build out recommendations maximizing impact in each policy area; manage current programming and commitments made by the RENEW Task Force and in the Upward Mobility Program
  • Engage stakeholders and catalyze buy-in – Identify barriers to implementing any recommendations; solicit and incorporate input from stakeholders to build consensus around the plan
  • Develop implementation framework and roll out recommendations – Establish framework outlining short and long-term goals; timelines; priority areas; clear roles of internal and external stakeholders; coordinate and leverage all resources for maximum impact; oversee implementation of strategies considered low-hanging fruit; initiative quick wins towards COVID-19 equity in policy (protection of workers), supply chains (focusing of medical supplies and diagnostics), and programming
  • Support long-term implementation – Identify relevant success metrics, setting benchmarks for tracking progress; support capacity building, creating internal infrastructure and systems; work with leadership across Departments and partners to effectively advance recommendations; measure and broadly share progress towards goals; and integrate accountability mechanisms for long-term deployment and continual evaluation of the framework, ensuring community needs and racial equity is centered in all strategies


  • Capri Maddox, Executive Director/General Manager, Civil and Human Rights Department
  • Nicole Bryant, Special Assistant to Capri Maddox, Civil and Human Rights Department


  • Approximately 10-15 years of professional experience in a relevant field, particularly with a strong record of success in strategic planning
  • Robust experience in executing on innovative ideas, driving others to action
  • Familiarity in working in a politically charged environment, prowess in managing delicate situations or stakeholders
  • Eager to learn, wanting to develop a deep understanding of the landscape and network
  • Some community organizing or community engagement experience essential
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills, easily able to make a business case
  • Proven ability to make and deliver powerful presentation, with ease in public speaking
  • Cross-cultural agility, relating to a wide variety of diverse audiences
  • Strong emotional intelligence and empathy
  • Strong cross-team collaborator
  • Superior critical thinking and analytical skills
  • Self-motivated and goal-oriented leader who can also be an independent worker
  • Capacity to sustain progress within potentially ambiguous environments
  • Ability to synthesize complex information into clear and concise recommendations
  • Understands the need for solutions to support all people in a community regardless of race, religion, gender, immigration status, or ethnicity

FUSE Corps is an equal opportunity employer with a core value of incorporating diverse perspectives into our work at every level. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply for this position.

FUSE Corps is an equal opportunity employer with a core value of incorporating diverse perspectives into our work at every level. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply for this position.