Magnolia Community Initiative


We are proud to announce MCI’s trailblazing work has inspired a $2 million collaborative gift made by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, a leading national philanthropy supporting children’s well-being, and Tikun Olam Foundation, a family support organization of the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles focused on supporting vulnerable children and their families. We are grateful for this gift, which will help us continue to improve the well-being and quality of life for children and families in the 500 blocks of the Magnolia Catchment Area. 

The Magnolia Community Initiative (MCI) is a ground-breaking model for large-scale community mobilization and transformation where children, living in the most vulnerable neighborhoods, break all records of success in their education, health milestones, the nurturing they receive from their family, and the economic stability of their family. This is an innovative collaborative effort of over 70 faith based and community groups, organizations and public agencies, dedicated to improving outcomes for children in a five square mile (500 blocks) area crossing the Pico Union, West Adams and the North Figueroa Corridor neighborhoods just south west of downtown Los Angeles. The Initiative’s key strategy is to build neighborhood resiliency and civic engagement; it goes beyond the traditional multi-service strategy.

Currently, these communities have 35,000 children and youth of which 10,000 are under five years of age. Today 65% of the children live in poverty, 35% are obese, 40% enter kindergarten unprepared, and 40% will fail to graduate on time from high school. The effects of poverty on children, among these other factors, cause children to grow up under tremendous mental stress. There is a high rate of child abuse, child neglect and spousal abuse that devastates the future for these children and families.

The MCI approach uses the families themselves as the vehicle for creating neighborhood resiliency. The families are in partnership with community-based organizations, government and philanthropy.

In a County as large as Los Angeles, it is virtually impossible for programs to keep up with service demand for individuals and families. Therefore, it is the investment in the development of social and organizational networks that affords the best opportunity to address the scope and scale dimensions necessary to achieve sustainable success.

MCI is pioneering because to achieve its mission, it unites the Community, County, and City in order to strengthen individual, family and neighborhood Protective Factors by increasing social connectedness, empathy, community mobilization, and access to needed supports and services. The 70 high level government and private sector partner organizations of MCI join forces under a shared vision for the transformation of this community through a network. This network relies entirely on community entities that come together voluntarily to secure a shared outcome.

For more information about the Magnolia Community Initiative, please call Sam Joo, Magnolia Community Initiative Director, at 213.342.0109, email at or visit  For a complete list of MCI’s 2018 network of partners, click here. If you are interested in the Magnolia Place Conference Center, please click here.

Getting to Scale: The Elusive Goal | Magnolia Place Community Initiative, Casey Family Programs – Read Full Report


Magnolia Community Initiative