SEIU Local 721 to Honor South L.A. Leader Marqueece Harris-Dawson
SEIU Local 721 is honoring Harris-Dawson for his work, along with three other allies in Los Angeles County, who have engaged in an innovative and ambitious plan to improve the foster care system. Harris-Dawson will be presented with the “Champion for Children” award as part of the union’s celebration of National Social Worker month.
Through his work at Community Coalition, Harris-Dawson has been a leading advocate for kinship families in Los Angeles County, ensuring that children living with extended family members receive equitable access to resources, and support needed to thrive with their families and in their communities. Community Coalition was recently awarded a multi-million dollar federal grant by the Department of Health and Human Services to create a kinship navigation program to help family’s better access services.
Currently more than 50 percent of children removed from their homes by the LA County Department of Children and Family Services are placed with relatives. The majority of these children are African American and Latino and many come from South L.A.
Harris-Dawson has been a lifelong advocate for children and youth. Before becoming the executive leader of Community Coalition in 2004, Harris-Dawson served as the director of the organization’s youth project, South Central Youth Empowered Through Action (SCYEA). In 1999, he led youth in the Proposition Better Buildings campaign to expose the horrid conditions at South L.A. high schools.
Harris-Dawson has been recognized with several community commendations, recognition’s and awards including the coveted Do Something “BRICK” Award and Liberty Hill Foundation’s Upton Sinclair Award.