Join us as we honor women who have made significant contributions to the public policy landscape of Los Angeles. Additional details are forthcoming!
Featured guest speakers include: * Julia Cooksey, Director of External Affairs, Verizon California (LAAAWPPI Class of 2005) * Fabian Wesson, Consultant to Senator Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg * Dr. Renee Smith-Maddox, Clinical Associate Professor, USC School of Social Work (LAAAWPPI Class of 2010) Enjoy light refreshments and networking $20 with advance registration and $25 at the door REGISTER TODAY!
A native of Los Angeles and a UCLA School of Law graduate, Songhai “Sunny” Armstead’s unique perspective on the criminal justice system stems from over a decade of experience working both within the courtroom as a prosecutor and in the community initiating programs to improve neighborhoods, prevent crimes and reduce recidivism. During her tenure at the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, she aggressively prosecuted everything from petty theft to violent crimes.
Committed to restorative justice, Songhai has headed citywide efforts focused on removing the homeless, addicted and mentally ill from our court systems and overcrowded jails, diverting them into programs and services. Passionate about serving those who have served us, she has created VALOR, a restorative justice program just for veterans. These innovative programs have reshaped lives, reduced recidivism rates and kept thousands from clogging up the courts and cycling through our jails.
She is a Faculty Lecturer in UCLA’s Department of Chicano Studies teaching Conflict resolution and Mediation. She has also trained Social Work and Public Policy graduate students in the same at USC. Not only does she teach mediation skills, she also runs the City’s award winning Dispute Resolution Program.
Songhai has received a number of awards and recognitions including: Los Angeles Wave's "2013 LA's Most Influential People Under 40 To Watch" (October 2013); Los Angeles Police Commission Distinguished Service Medal, the highest civilian honor awarded (May 2013); Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from the United States Congress, Member of Congress Karen Bass (May 2012); Certificate of Recognition from the Los Angeles Police Department and Chief William J. Bratton (October 2009); Commendation from the Weingart Center Association (October 2009); Certificate of Appreciation from the Office of the City Attorney, Los Angeles (January 2008); Certificate of Recognition from the City of Los Angeles, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Councilmember Herb Wesson (January 2008).
Learn more at www.ArmsteadforJudge.com
What made you decide to apply for the LAAAWPPI?
One of my mentors, former LAPD Police Chief William Bratton, was honored one year by LAAAWPPI. He asked me during that period why I was not yet a part of such a fabulous group of amazing African American women. He suggested that as I grow in my various leadership roles within the City that this group could be key to my continued success. I also had two additional friends USC Law professor Jody Armour and Attorney Brian Williams who were on the LAAAPPI board who also recommended that I go through the program.
What is your role in the City Attorney's office?
I am a Supervising Deputy City Attorney and oversee a number of programs including Homeless Court, HALO (Homeless Alternatives to Living On the Street), VALOR (Veteran Alternative Legal Options and Resources) and DRP (Dispute Resolution Program).
What has been your model for success?
LAAAWPPI is proud to share that Jacque Robinson has been selected as one of the 2014 US Delegates for the prestigious US-Japan Leadership Program! The Pasadena City Councilwoman will be one of 21 first year delegates (8 Japanese, 13 Americans) this summer in Seattle and travel to Japan next summer 2015. The program is managed by the United States-Japan Foundation and "aims to foster a continuing dialogue among future leaders in a broad variety of professions. It starts this process by bringing some 20 young leaders together from each country for two intensive weeklong conferences over two years, with discussions revolving around historical and current issues in bilateral relations, as well as issues reaching beyond our two countries. Through serious conversation as well as recreation and shared cultural activities it seeks to nurture lifelong friendships." A short profile of myself and the other delegates may be found here: http://www.usjlp.org/members/news.php?id=1453
"Lean In with LAAAWPPI" - The Los Angeles African American Women's Public Policy (LAAAWPPI) recently launched a series of leadership networking mixers. The women learn about purposeful leadership from African American women who are making a difference in their communities. Pictured are Patrice Marshall-McKenzie, event planner, Charissse Bremond, Brotherhood Crusade CEO and keynote speaker, Angela Gibson, LAAAWPPI chair, Kim Freeman, Director at UCLA and keynote speaker, Valerie Shaw, LAAAWPPI board member and Joy Atkinson, LAAAWPPI executive director."
LAAAWPPI Students, Alumnae, Supporters, Faculty, Past Honorees and Friends,
On behalf of our staff and board of directors, we would like to take this opportunity and celebrate Women's History Month! To acknowledge this important month, we invite you to join us on Thursday, March 27 as we kick off our "Lean In" with LAAAWPPI leadership series. As you know, LAAAWPPI's mission is to groom and prepare African American women in Los Angeles for elected office and positions of leadership. "Lean In" with LAAAWPPI is our newly created opportunity to learn leadership skills from those African American women who are proven leaders in their respective fields. Along with our leadership institute held at USC, our goal is to change public policy, affecting African American women, through strategic creation of and placement of elected officials and leaders.
We appreciate each of you and the support that you have offered to LAAAWPPI. We ask for your continued support as we "lean in" to make a difference. Feel free to share your comments with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to hear from you. Thank you.
See you on March 27!
CHAIRWOMAN OF THE BOARD
Sydney Kamlager applied for the Institute because she wanted to be a part of a lasting legacy of black women in this city who are considered power brokers, decision makers and thought-leaders. "When I did the research, I learned that many of my mentors and sheroes had something in common: LAAAWPPI. The network is bar none and I am honored to say I am part of such a rich tradition founded and thriving because of black women," says the Class of 2012 graduate. She is currently the District Director for Senator Holly Mitchell and a consultant on her campaigns. Kamlager is involved in the strategic decisions that come out of her operation.
When asked about her recent announcement to seek the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees Sydney says, "Why Not! Representation is very important to me. The work I do now is centered around making sure all voices are brought to the table and heard. Fighting for policies that support women and working families, and center on issues that are critical to someone like me (education, access, jobs, quality of life) may not be sexy, but they impact success in our communities. LAAAWPPI was founded to ensure that women of color have a pipeline to leadership, mostly to ensure that representation is diverse. Running for LACCD is the next step in this kind of advocacy that I have been part of much of my professional career. The community college district is a critical pillar in the success of our communities. It represents opportunity and is a gateway to the middle class. I want to keep that pipeline open. I want to strengthen its ability to serve all communities. I want to expand its reach."
Ms. Kamlager also notes, "LAAAWPPI is a tremendous resource and a great training ground for preparing someone to run for office. It is a support system like no other and it is definitely part of the reason why I am running for LACCD in 2015."
She comes to her current position as District Director for Senator Holly J. Mitchell with close to 20 years of experience in the non-profit, entertainment and policy sectors. Ms. Kamlager has taught at California State University, Los Angeles. She has spoken before local, national and international audiences on education and ECE issues, economic development, the arts, environmental justice, criminal justice reform and issues that impact the daily success of working families. She graduated from the University of Southern California and Carnegie Mellon University. Sydney Kamlager currently serves on the Board of Directors for The Unusual Suspects and is a Commissioner on the Los Angeles County Commission on Children and Families. She serves on the statewide African-American Outreach Taskforce for Covered California, the Southern Los Angeles Patient Navigation and Wellness Center Advisory Committee and is on the Steering Committee for KOREH Los Angeles, a children’s literacy program at the Jewish Federation of Greater L.A. She is a member of Zeta Phi Beta, Sorority Inc., and lives in Crenshaw Manor.
California Governor Jerry Brown appointed our very own Asha Brooks to the California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists in December of 2013.
A former Secretary of the LAAAWPPI Alumnae Association, Ms. Brooks is also Contracts Manager for The Walt Disney Company in Glendale, CA. She manages drafted agreements for Disney Licensed Publishing, analyzes licensee factory compliance with Disney’s International Labor Standards, and supervises licensee requests for factory usage, agreements, and advised on statuses.
The Mayor of Los Angeles Appoints former Alumnae Association President Dallas Fowler to serve the Commission of the Status of Women