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Mission Statement

The Ethiopian Community Los Angeles is a non-political, non-religious, non-profit, and tax exempted civic organization aiming at serving all Ethiopians living in the greater Los Angeles area of Southern California.  ECLA is an all-inclusive organization committed to address social, economic, and educational needs of the community; and promoting culture, history, and heritage of Ethiopia at large.


  • 23 Jun 2022 3:23 PM | Yonas Assefa (Administrator)


    Mission: The Ethiopian Community Los Angeles, ECLA, is a non-political, non-religious, and tax exempted civic organization aiming at serving all Ethiopians and Ethiopian Americans living in the Greater Los Angeles area of Southern California. ECLA is an all-inclusive organization committed to address the social, economic, and educational needs of the community; and promote the cultural heritage of Ethiopia at large. ECLA collaboratively works with various similar local organizations to address the needs of its community and beyond.

    Special Bulletin: ECLA hosted an outdoor picnic on May 14,2022 and conducted a special general assembly to nominate and vote for an election committee to recruit new board members for the September 2022 election. Our current ECLA board members’ term ends this September. Current ECLA board members are eligible to run for a second term. We would like to introduce our new election committee: Chair Faben Fantu, Vice Chair Thomas Amare, Tafesse Woubshet, and Abebe Woldetsadik and Belete Woldeyohannes who stepped up to continue serving through September elections. We thank all of them for their dedication to serve our community. You will be hearing from them directly over the next few weeks on matters related to nominating candidates for the 2022-2024 term.

    Roles and Responsibilities for Elected Positions

     1.The Board: (8 open positions out of 11) The board is the higher body that ensures the activities of ECLA follow the bylaws and is accountable to the General Assembly. The board meets quarterly to oversee the executive committee, hear executive director’s report, steer organization’s strategic direction, examine and approve long-term and short-term project proposals, monitor appropriate handling of finances, engage in fundraising, approve employee hiring and compensation, sets policies and procedures, and works in smaller standing committees throughout the year.

    2. The Advisory Board: (4 open positions out of 5) The advisory board counsels the ECLA board on matters of social, cultural, educational, and legal issues. They are responsible for resolving conflicts or issues regarding best practices when it arises among board members, standing committees, or the general assembly. They are accountable to the general assembly.

    3. Board Secretary: (1 open position) The Secretary takes and keeps minutes of the ECLA board meetings and the General Assembly meetings, maintains all records including a current membership roster, prepares inbound and outbound letters and sends them to the intended parties, performs all duties assigned by the chairperson, is one of the organizations check signer, and communicates calls for regular and/or emergency meetings following the Chairperson’s directive.

    4. Board Public Relation Officer: (1 open position) The PR officer prepares current information on ECLA’s activities and disseminates it to the community via print and digital channels, maintains website, prepares video recordings of the general assembly, board, and the executive board meetings and files them, every six months prepares a magazine for distribution to ECLA’s members, interviews responsible parties on current and timely topics, and coordinates with members to implement necessary functions, following up on progress and completion of the work.

    5. Board Treasurer: (1 open position) The treasurer dutifully manages the organization’s revenues and expenses, follows up and ensures membership annual fees are paid, ensures that the funds coming into the organization are recorded and receipts are provided to the senders, ensures that all funds received are deposited within 24 hours into the ECLA bank account, ensures director or chair have approved invoices and expenses prior to paying, ensures checks are signed by 2 out of the 4 assigned persons.

    6. The Auditors: (3 open positions out of 3) The auditors provide detailed reports every six months to the board to ensure all accounts and finance expenditures follow the bylaws, and once a year prepare audited reports to the board, the executive committee, and the General Assembly. They ensure all financial policies and procedures of ECLA are followed in all departments accordingly, and within budget and time set for planned projects.


    The ECLA Chair & Director

    Martha Tadesse

    Hirout Dagnew

                                                           Email: info@eclosangeles.org

                                                      Website: www.eclosangeles.org

                                                                Tel. 323-506-9960

  • 21 Jun 2022 10:10 AM | Yonas Assefa (Administrator)

    June Newsletter

    Dear Friend:

    June 21 marks the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere and kicks off the start of summer. School is out and we hope you will all get to enjoy the sunshine over the next few months.

    Membership: The membership portal on our website is self-service. If you were a member last year but have not visited our website in 2022, please log in with “forgot my password” to verify your email and renew your membership. Your email is one of the unique identifiers so please do not share with another family member. Our membership portal on our website eclosangeles.org is one of the ways you can become a member. We also accept Zelle payments at 323-508-9960, ECLA, just be sure to write your full name, correct email, and phone number in the memo box. If you are a brand-new member, use the sign-up button or pay through Zelle. You can select from two membership levels, regular or retired, $60 or $30 paid annually.

    It is important to note that while we have around 700 supporters receiving our newsletters, we only have a fraction of that number that have paid membership status.

    Only paid members can vote at our assemblies and drive ECLA’s strategic direction.

    Grants: We would like to share that we are currently grant ready except for one criterion. To qualify to apply for Federal grants nonprofits must show an annual revenue of 50K. Unfortunately, we have not met that criterion. However, we want to share that if all our supporters paid their annual membership dues, we would easily fulfill that requirement. Some of our planned projects are on hold while we await funding.

    Youth: The ECLA membership is open to anyone 18yr and above. We are currently exploring ways to reach our 12-17year group as we move towards in-person events. We

    are interested in hearing from you. Our Youth Team is looking forward to starting a youth sports team and we will be inviting you to join us on a field day soon.

    Senior Citizens: Los Angeles County offers a lot of benefits and services to senior citizens. Our Senior Citizen team is exploring ways to bring these services to our Ethiopian community. We are looking to start a nutrition and elder fitness program soon.

    Social/Cultural: We have a book signing event on Sunday June 26 between 4-6pm at Messob Restaurant in Little Ethiopia. The author is Seleshi Shawel and the book title is Dej. Balcha Safo. All are welcome to attend.

    Mental Health: We are planning a series of monthly workshops. We will let you know once we secure a venue for these events.

    Buna Time: We are available on the first Saturday of each month at 10am to listen to our community. Look out for the zoom invite. Log in if you have questions, comments, or suggestions for us. The next session is on July 2, 2022. If you are interested in volunteering at ECLA please feel free to join us to ask questions too.

    Tutoring: We are pleased to announce that we have a volunteer chemistry professor who has offered to tutor high school and college chemistry through zoom. We would like to invite seriously committed students to contact us. The sessions will help students preparing for tests and those interested in catching up over the summer. If you are interested in signing up, please email us your contact info at info@eclosangeles.org .

    We will take students on a first come first served basis, since we can only do two hours a week for now. We are interested in offering math and other subject tutoring so if you can volunteer to teach this summer over zoom, please contact us too.

    AmazonSmile: This is a program that allows Amazon to give a percentage back to charities. ECLA is now a registered charity at AmazonSmile. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon donates 0.5% of your eligible purchases at no cost to you. You will receive the same services as the Amazon you know. We would like all our supporters to sign up or sign into your existing accounts and at checkout, scroll down to find ECLA. This will create a passive income for us, and we will receive quarterly checks.

    Pro Bono Lawyers: We have community needs in the areas of family law and immigration services. Please contact us if you can join our ECLA pro bono legal team.

    Hirout Dagnew

    Executive Director


  • 22 Apr 2022 2:14 PM | eclawebeditor (Administrator)

    Spring 2022 Newsletter: Ethiopian Community Los Angeles, ECLA

    Spring is here and we are in full bloom!


    Our website is now live, and we are eagerly awaiting your visit. Thank you for your patience as it did take longer than expected to build. The work was completed through the generosity of a Taproot Foundation volunteer, Anthony Mengesha, and through the contracted services of a web design company, Sitetobeseen. We have a variety of ECLA documents posted for your reading pleasure including our Bylaws and Annual Reports, and we are in the process of migrating our educational videos to our site. 

    Membership Renewal: We would like everyone to visit our website. The membership process has changed and if you were previously a paid member in 2021, we would like to invite you to log in through “Forgot My Password” to create a new password and to verify your email. This will give you access to renew your 2022 membership or find your membership expiration date. If you are a new member, we would like you to select your membership level, Regular or Retired, create a new profile, and pay your membership dues. Please click the newsletter subscribe button so we can activate your subscription as well. With the new website you will be managing your own membership account. 

    What Do We Do? We get asked this question frequently. We are currently a virtual nonprofit looking to transition to a hybrid model in the coming months. We have spent the last two years putting out educational livestreams in many different topics, as well as bridging the gap to accessing our city, county, and state resources. We respond to calls from the community asking for assistance related to mental health, homelessness, domestic abuse, and immigration issues. We currently work in collaboration with other nonprofits in the Los Angeles area, until such time we are ready to offer services from our own brick and mortar building.

    Fundraising Campaigns: We are pleased to share that in 2021 we raised 17 thousand dollars of which over half came from membership dues and the rest from the different fundraising campaigns we implemented. For 2022 each board member has individually pledged to raise one thousand dollars each, and this campaign, “Anniversary Give or Get”, will end next month on May 21,2022. We are hoping to be better placed post pandemic to raise even more funds to drive our mission centric services.

    Ethiopian Community Organizations’ Panel: On April 9, 2022, we hosted fellow Ethiopian Community nonprofit leadership teams from major cities for a virtual zoom panel. This was the first of its kind gathering and it was very productive. Our teams wanted to hear about the successes and struggles of the other ECs, and a panel was born. Our first panelists were invited from the EC organizations from Seattle and Chicago and both leadership teams very generously answered all the audience questions. The Q&A sessions were most informative. We wrapped up with the understanding that we would find ways to sustain these meetings in the future. The next gathering in the works will be hosted in August by EC Kansas City, and they will invite EC Atlanta and Dallas as panelists, and the other cities as guests. Some of these organizations have put in 30 plus years in community service and we will learn a lot from them.

    Succession Planning: As many of our founding board members, advisory board, auditors, and volunteers begin to wind down their elected terms and services, we are intensely looking for volunteers to staff the next two years. We are recruiting for new board members for the election in September 2022. We are pleased to share that at our last recruitment event we have added a handful of new volunteers, and two subcommittee members, Yonas Assefa and Yekuno Woldeyesus, have stepped up to continue to help us deliver our important services as interim board members. They will both officially run in the September election along with other nominated candidates and any other founding members seeking re-election. On May 14,2022 we will be holding an outdoor gathering, “Spring Fest 2022”, to get to know our community members in a relaxed and fun environment. We hope you will all join us and allow us to hear from you and help us get to know you better. We will make time that day to vote in and convene a new election committee for the September election. Succession planning is important because it will ensure that our organization has the right people with the right skills, capabilities, and experiences in the right place at the right time. Please help us by paying your membership dues and by showing up to vote for the election committee. 

    Monthly Buna Time: One of the things shared by the Seattle leadership team was their monthly zoom Q&A Kurse coffee time with the community. We are borrowing that idea and are excited to share that we will be implementing this starting the first Saturday of each month beginning on May 7th at 10am. We hope you will join us to share your thoughts and ask questions. Be on the look-out for the zoom invite.

    Member Spotlight: We would like to put the spotlight on Martha Negash, one of our staunchest supporters. She believes in our mission and shares our vision for a strong Ethiopian community in Los Angeles. Martha is a due paying member and what we call a “recurring donor”. What makes her stand out is her zeal in recruiting new ECLA members. She has so far brought in 18 new members and at the same time generously participated in our different fundraising campaigns. ECLA salutes her!

    Thank you all, as always, for being with us!

    Hirout Dagnew

    Executive Director


  • 21 Feb 2022 5:00 PM | eclawebeditor (Administrator)


    February 21, 2022

    Dear Friend:

    We rise by lifting others.

    We are reaching out to you to introduce and share information on Ethiopian Community Los Angeles (ECLA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization incorporated in February of 2020.

    ECLA’s primary mission is to make a difference in the Ethiopian and Ethiopian-American community of greater Los Angeles in a culturally sensitive environment while respecting our rich and diverse cultural heritage.

    ECLA acts as a bridge between the Ethiopian Community and Los Angeles County social and public services, as well as being the source of knowledge for all things relevant to the Ethiopian community.

    ECLA has provided and continues to provide expert virtual (Zoom) learnings on subjects pertinent to the Ethiopian community at large. Topics covered in the past include reducing stigma of mental health as well as directing members to appropriate agencies, all things related to COVID, child and parenting during COVID, women empowerment, financial literacy, Amharic instruction, history of Ethiopian famous runners and their Olympic achievements and many more. ECLA’s programs are entirely moderated by passionate volunteers and panelists are ‘subject matter experts.’

    ECLA’s most notable impact in 2021 was hosting a series of mass vaccination events for Ethiopians and Ethiopian-Americans through partnership with Kedren Health Center in Los Angeles. Over 39 Ethiopians volunteered (19 medical, 20 non-medical) to make this a successful event and over 3000 Ethiopians and Ethiopian-Americans were vaccinated over three Saturdays.

    ECLA is a young nonprofit, the funding stream thus far has been through membership dues and benevolent private donors. In June 2021, we implemented an annual financial board member “Give or Get” pledge.       

    Despite the continued challenges of the pandemic, ECLA is forging ahead in 2022 with robust plans to continue and enhance our virtual programs by collecting data to display the positive impact.  Currently, ECLA website, https://eclosangeles.org  is undergoing enhancement to showcase ECLA’s programs and impact, including our membership and donor buttons which should be functional in a few more days.

    ECLA plans to strengthen its social media presence and there is a renewed effort to increase membership and make ECLA subscribers into members.

    To continue being the ‘bridge’ and ‘source’ for Ethiopians and Ethiopian-Americans and enhance our existing programs we are launching “ECLA Anniversary Giving’ campaign starting February 21st and closing on May 21, 2022. To donate please click on the Donate button above.

    Remember that every donation makes a difference, regardless of size.

    Thank you in advance for your support!

    Warmly yours,

    The ECLA Board

Contact Us

Ethiopian Community Los Angeles

1439 N.Highland Avenue #203

Los Angeles, CA 90028


info@ ecloangeles.org

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