ELACC board member Sarah Yun

"I am proud to help ELACC advance its mission of expanding housing and dignity for its community members."

As we continue to celebrate 25 years of impact in the community, we’d be remiss if we didn’t extend our sincerest thanks to our dedicated Board of Directors, past and present. We recently sat down with one of our board members Sarah Yun to discuss and reflect on ELACC’s work these past 25 years, as well as her goals as a board member. 

Sarah is a Grants Officer for the Cyber Initiative and Effective Philanthropy Programs at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, where she works to align program strategy with operational excellence. In this role she leads the foundation’s demographic data work, supporting the organization to surface and mitigate race and gender-related bias across its grantmaking. Read her full bio, here

ELACC: Tell us about yourself. What is your occupation, how many years have you been on our board and how did you first hear about ELACC?

SY: I am a proud Angeleno, born and raised in Los Angeles, of Korean immigrants. I have spent my career helping mission-driven organizations to thrive and advising funders on how to better meet the needs of our times. I currently work at the Hewlett Foundation as a Grants Officer supporting the operations and knowledge goals of several of its programs. I have been on ELACC’s board since January of 2021 after learning about the opportunity through another board member. As someone new to the rich history of East LA and community development, I am excited about the learning journey I’ve been on supported by this amazing organization’s board, staff, and community members.

What do you like about being an ELACC board member? What inspired you to join?

Like so many of us, the past year has been a year of big life changes due to the global pandemic, shifting economy, and racial reckoning. It has been an amazing year of growth and reflection that brought me back home to Los Angeles and recentered my focus on equity and community. ELACC’s roots in community organizing, strength in affordable housing, and mission for economic power-building all resonate deeply with my own mission, values, and passions.

What about ELACC’s mission resonates with you? In your opinion, what do we do that is unique in our field?

Over 66,000 of our fellow Angelenos do not have a reliable roof over their heads. This is a moral travesty and a reflection of our collective priorities as neighbors and Americans. I am proud to help ELACC advance its mission of expanding housing and dignity for its community members. ELACC’s deep expertise and history in community-responsive real estate development and financing for those living in poverty are one of its many unique strengths. The caliber, character, and commitment of its founders, board members, and staff is another trait that makes this organization exceptional.

If you had unlimited resources, what is one thing you, as a board member, would like to do for the population we serve?

I would provide every community member with reliable, quality housing including support services for education, health, the arts, financial empowerment, and political power-building.

How will you measure the success of the current board? How will ELACC’s work look different or improve as the result of that success?

If the board is successful, ELACC will be strategically focused and financially sustainable. It will have the talent, operational and financial resources it needs to achieve its mission, expand access to housing, and creating a thriving East LA.

What is the future you want to see for our community and how can ELACC contribute to that?

An East LA where every community member, particularly those living in poverty, has access to reliable housing and the support they need to thrive. ELACC can play its part by continuing to offer more quality units of affordable housing along with community wealth services to more community members. It’s an audacious but energizing goal to keep working towards ELACC’s vision of a community where everyone lives with opportunity, dignity, and autonomy. It’s a vision I am honored to share.