American Red Cross nurses are best known for assessing health needs and administering aid to people affected by disaster, but nurse Marie Evans provided an additional legacy; Her 20 years of Red Cross volunteerism inspired her daughter-in-law Angela Evans to join the mission in 2010 and serve as board member for the Los Angeles Region.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Angela’s nickname from an early age was “little helper”, a moniker she continues to earn by helping people and communities who are disenfranchised or have been through hard times. As President and Chief Executive Officer of Crenshaw Christian Center, Angela provides essential support and community partnership to the Red Cross, in addition to her ideas and expertise as a valued board member. Angela’s goodwill also opens doors and helps guide Red Cross humanitarian services.
Of the board’s several committees, Angela sits on the Committee for Diversity, Equality and Inclusion, ensuring the mission is delivered with sensitivity and cultural competency. Angela’s engagement and leadership help cultivate a collaborative, inclusive and respectful environment that leverages diverse partnerships and empowers all contributors.
“I want to make sure diversity, equality and inclusion remain front and center and bring my perspective to the discussion” Angela shared, “People of all backgrounds have their own life stories and their own valid experiences, all of which need to be heard and considered”.
Angela’s Committee projects include forming additional partnerships with African American faith-based organizations — relationships Angela hopes will increase both support for the mission and blood donation opportunities in Black communities. By growing the number of blood donors who are Black, more patients batting sickle cell disease are helped through blood transfusions from donated blood. Most people with sickle cell disease are of African descent and require a close blood type match to ensure positive transfusion results; the best matches are most often found in donors of the same race or similar ethnicity. The ripples of Angela’s contributions will result in far reaching waves of support for patients of sickle cell disease and other medical conditions.
Angela also hopes to grow the board’s diversity and invite more leaders to join the LA regional board, an affiliation that provides her a great sense of fulfillment. While admittedly not one to speak out frequently in board meetings, Angela instead keeps a keen ear open for all the ways she can mobilize her resources to support other board members’ projects and benefit the communities served by the Red Cross.
“As a board member, I have a behind the scenes view of what’s going on inside the organization,” Angela disclosed. “This vantage point makes me even more impressed with the Red Cross. It’s a world class organization.”