Little Tokyo Service Center: 'Welcome to Little Tokyo, Please Take Off Your Shoes'

by Nora Silver

Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC), a nonprofit founded in Los Angeles in 1979, has sought to honor tradition yet defend against gentrification and displacement where demographics shifted dramatically. LTSC has managed growth from its roots as a multipurpose social service center for Japanese Americans to building affordable housing for all. Multi-ethnic shifts through history include WWII incarceration camps, growing homelessness in Skid Row, and multiple ethnicities moving into Little Tokyo. In 2022, First Street North required LTSC balancing longstanding stakeholders with newer residents. Could leadership manage the reputational risks of developing in a high-visibility cultural space, legacy businesses, and permanent supportive housing that met all constituents’ expectations?

Learning Objectives

1) How an organization evolves its mission over time--specifically, how an ethnic organization evolves to serving succeeding generations in one ethnic community. 2) How an organization that was established to serve one ethnic group expands its goals to work in partnership with organizations in other communities of color to serve a diverse group of people in need, through offering different service programs (such as for seniors, afterschool, and child development).


Pub Date: July 1, 2022

Discipline: Leadership

Subjects: Diversity, Ethnicity, Leadership, Leading teams, Nonprofit organizations, Nonprofit sector, Strategic decision process, strategic management, Strategic mission

Product #: B6007-PDF-ENG

Industry: Nonprofit sector

Geography: United States, California

Length: 8 page(s)

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