Associate Director of Marketing and Communications
Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)
(415) 282-3334 ext. 152
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 22, 2020
MEDA Announces Awardees for October 1 ¡VIVA MEDA! 47 Annual Anniversary Celebration
Virtual gala will celebrate Latinx community strength during the COVID-19 crisis
San Francisco — The nonprofit Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) has announced its trio of awardees for its free ¡VIVA MEDA! 47 annual anniversary celebration. This year’s gala, which has a theme of “changemakers,” will be live streamed on MEDA’s four social media channels on Thursday, Oct 1. at 6 p.m. (Pacific). Awardees were chosen based on their work strengthening the Latinx and immigrant community of San Francisco’s Mission District. Such work became all-the-more vital during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had a disproportionate negative effect on communities of color.
The three awardees are as follows:
- “2020 Community Healer Award”
University of California, San Francisco Latinx Center of Excellence
When the shelter-in-place order started in mid-March, MEDA immediately began hearing stories of hardship from community members; unfortunately, the fear of getting ill came true for too many, with the vast majority of emergency-room visits at San Francisco General all of a sudden being Latinos. In late April, UCSF and its Latinx Center of Excellence came into the heart of the Mission to conduct free COVID-19 testing. What MEDA had been hearing on the ground was then backed by data: While 44% of those tested identified as Latino, 95% of positive cases were Latinos, and almost all were still working out in public to support families making under $50,000 household income a year. Having this data helped in discussions with City Hall, as a way to push for resources in the San Francisco community being hardest hit by the pandemic. Additionally, out of concern for the community, trusted doctors from the UCSF Latinx Center of Excellence gave freely of their time to co-host Spanish-language Facebook Lives as a way to get much-needed, culturally relevant public health information to the Latino community.
- “2020 Community Impact Award”
San Francisco’s Mission District
When it comes to generating impact, longtime Mission organizations showcase an enviable track record of success, with many tracing their beginnings to the civil rights movement of the late 1960s. When COVID-19 created a disproportionate negative effect on the Latinx and immigrant community they served, it was more important than ever for this bevy of organizations to join forces to best advocate for their community. This led to the creation of neighborhood food pantries, COVID-19 testing sites in the neighborhood, and the garnering of resources to serve residents and small-business owners so that they could be best positioned to weather the negative physical and economic effects of the crisis.
- “2020 Clients of the Year Award”
MEDA Promotoras (24 community outreach workers, some in photo above)
When deciding upon the recipient of the “2020 Client of the Year Award,” MEDA decided this year to make the word “Client” plural. That’s because the dedication of MEDA’s 24 promotoras was the clear choice this year. Once COVID-19 hit, these two dozen community outreach workers found ways to still connect with community members in a socially distanced world. For example, help with below-market-rate (BMR) rental housing applications was still offered: This was especially important as MEDA’s own Casa Adelante – 2060 Folsom 100% affordable-housing development was leasing up this past summer. Now, the plan is for the promotoras to become contact tracers, which is so important in the Latino community — a community whose health has been hardest hit during the pandemic.
“MEDA is excited to celebrate all of our ¡VIVA MEDA! 47 awardees at our annual anniversary celebration,” said MEDA CEO Luis Granados. “While 2020 has been a challenging year for our community, the dedication of our awardees should be celebrated by us all. These are true changemakers. I invite everyone to join us for our free virtual gala.”
The Thursday, Oct. 1, ¡VIVA MEDA! Annual anniversary celebration starts at 6 p.m. (Pacific). The free gala will be lived streamed on the following four MEDA social media channels:
Register for free on Eventbrite.
About Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)
Rooted in the Mission and focused on San Francisco, MEDA’s mission is to strengthen low- and moderate-income Latino families by promoting economic equity and social justice through asset building and community development.