Ashley Lewis

Ashley Lewis
Location: Los Angeles, California Cohort Start Year: 2017 Populations Served: African-American/Black, Children and Families, Hispanic/Latino/Latinx, Low-Income Communities, Urban Communities
Community Health Worker
Esperanza Community Housing Corporation

Asthma impacts 6 percent of adults and 9 percent of children in Los Angeles County, and Black children and adults face a disproportionate share of the asthma burden in South Los Angeles. As a community health worker, I am able to see firsthand how asthma adversely impacts the quality of life of the community residents I serve in South Los Angeles. Moreover, I understand how asthma and its symptoms are inextricably linked to the poor housing conditions these residents live in, oftentimes due to a lack of affordable, healthy housing. By creating space for more healthy housing in South Los Angeles, we can begin to support more residents in getting their asthma under control and enhance the quality of life for those most severely impacted.

STRATEGIC INITIATIVE: Exploring Community-owned Land Models for Healthy Housing in South Los Angeles
For decades, the lack of affordable housing in South Los Angeles has resulted in the displacement of low- to middle-income black residents with generational ties to this community. Disinvestment in housing resources has resulted in a lack of quality, healthy housing structures and also adversely impacts the health status and outcomes of these residents. Historically, community ownership of resources has been a common mechanism of fostering positive change for black Americans in the United States. My initiative seeks to explore the use of community-owned land models to remedy these existing disparities in health and housing outcomes for black residents in this region.

I’m a native Angeleno and I am deeply committed to working in and supporting the community that raised me.

Click here to watch Ashley’s Legacy Project video.