FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 28, 2022
LOS ANGELES – UNITE-LA's CEO, David Rattray, has announced his retirement. Rattray has served as the founding President for the past 24 years, leading a community effort to develop an effective, local, public education system so that all children and youth succeed in college, career and beyond. Rattray will retire as CEO September 1, 2022. Effective immediately, UNITE-LA's Executive Vice President, Alysia Bell, will become President. Rattray will continue to serve as CEO and support Alysia and the whole organization to ensure a smooth transition until his retirement.
UNITE-LA has worked on behalf of historically marginalized, especially Black and Latino students who have limited opportunities and resources, to succeed in life. The organization's goal is to re-focus and re-imagine education systems to put students first and achieve improved outcomes for Angelenos.
"I have been honored to lead UNITE-LA for the past 24 years, and I have been fortunate to work alongside a committed, passionate and wonderful staff and board of directors. With their work and an incredible number of dedicated partners and friends, I am proud of our positive impact we have made on the historically marginalized youth of Los Angeles. I have been inspired by the commitment of my colleagues to intensify our commitment to fighting systemic and institutional racism and renew our efforts to bring true equity of opportunity for our youth of color," said Rattray.
UNITE-LA provides program support to numerous cradle-to-career initiatives, advocates at the local, regional, state and federal levels to build equitable institutional frameworks serving youths and their families and launched the L.A. Compact, which works with 23 different partners to identify and implement systems change to allow all students to have equal access.
"It is not possible to measure the many positive things that David has done for our community, particularly for local youth who need support and opportunity," said Los Angeles Community College District Chancellor Francisco Rodriguez, who serves as UNITE-LA's Board Chair. "Los Angeles is a better place and our youth are in a stronger position to achieve their dreams because of the work done by UNITE-LA. We look forward to working with Alysia Bell to continue this work."
Mrs. Bell has been with the organization for more than a decade.
"David is an incredible leader for our community and the organization, and I'm beyond grateful to have him as a mentor. I am humbled by this opportunity and deeply appreciate his and the board’s support," said Bell. "We have a roadmap to continue and expand on this important work, and our talented team is poised to carry on and amplify the impact for those we serve."
UNITE-LA's agenda will continue to be ambitious as a systems change organization enabled by our policy efforts and informed by our programmatic work. The L.A. Compact, Cash for College, L.A. Youth at Work, career pathways programming and issue advocacy work locally, statewide and nationally will continue to thrive.
Since the L.A. Compact was established with a unifying goal that all students should graduate from high school, LAUSD graduation rates have improved from roughly 50 percent to more than 80 percent and other achievement gaps have narrowed. Thanks to UNITE-LA programs, almost 750,000, mostly Black and Latino youth, have benefited from these efforts to support their college and career success. The organization has also successfully championed significant increased investment in early childhood education, K-12 and higher education and sponsored and supported landmark legislation, such as the California Dream Act and Community College Student Success Act.
"In retirement, I will continue to be involved, of service and a friend to my entire UNITE-LA family. Knowing the responsibility is in the very capable hands of Alysia Bell, our dynamic staff and board of directors, and the numerous partners and friends dedicated to helping us fulfill our mission, assures all that an exciting and impactful future awaits UNITE-LA," concluded Rattray.
Over the past 25 years, UNITE-LA has been a trusted business intermediary, dedicated to supporting the development of an effective local public education system, so that all children and youth succeed in college, career and beyond. Through the intersection of programming, policy, and systems change efforts, UNITE-LA works to increase access to high-quality early childhood education, develop career pathways in high-growth industries, improve college access and success, and ensure workforce readiness, especially for individuals with high barriers into the workforce. Visit www.unitela.com.