Since The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation began active grantmaking nearly 20 years ago, it has been guided by our founders’ deep sense of responsibility to give back and make the world a better place by increasing access to transformative educational opportunities, lifesaving scientific advances and lifechanging interactions with the visual and performing arts. While much of this focus has had a national scope, the Broads have made significant investments in transforming Los Angeles, including: developing Grand Avenue as a center of culture and commerce for Los Angeles, supporting an increase in our city’s minimum wage, advocating for gun safety, providing free tuition for community college, improving K-12 public schools and building the strength of L.A.’s nonprofit sector.
When Eli and Edye arrived in Los Angeles in 1963, it was a sprawling city covered in smog. Today, it is a global capital with Fortune 50 companies officing in downtown, an arts scene rivaling New York and Paris and one of the most diverse populations in the world bringing a cultural vibrancy to our region. But it is also a tale of two cities, made even more stark by the Covid-19 pandemic. For too many residents, the state of Los Angeles is one of struggle and systemic barriers to opportunity.
In these layers of crisis, we see an opportunity—and an obligation—to help reimagine and change the systems, the infrastructure and the politics so more Angelenos can shape and participate in an inclusive, clean and upwardly mobile economy. To do so, we will need to navigate a tumultuous and transformative period of our country’s history, defined by disparities in access to education and healthcare, challenges to our democracy, extreme weather and the disruption of climate change, candid activism about racial inequality and the transition to a tech-driven new economy.
We can’t solve all of these problems, and grantmaking alone can’t fix even one of them, but we embrace the Broads’ sense of fearless responsibility and we will build on their belief that Los Angeles can be a model of progress and prosperity, and not just for the fortunate few.