The mission of the Little Ethiopia Cultural & Resource Center (LECRC) is to advance the social, economic and cultural well-being of Ethiopians and other communities in the Greater Los Angeles Region through a comprehensive community development strategy that includes; advocacy, self-sufficiency, economic development, affordable housing, promotion of small businesses, neighborhood empowerment, social services and cultural education, and preservation.
With an initial focus on cultural education and awareness, the newly developed center aims to provide classes, workshops and other platforms for sharing information.
Negest (Nikki) Legesse was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. After graduating from high school Nikki moved to Buffalo, New York, to attend college. Soon after completing her Bachelor degree from Canisius College, she decided to leave cold and snowy Buffalo for a sunnier and warmer place. Nikki moved to Los Angeles where she completed law school and discovered her deep passion for helping others realize their dreams. Ever since she has helped countless people acquire small businesses and has offered her knowledge and experience to ensure their success.
In 2003 she founded the Ethiopian American Chamber of Commerce serving over 100 businesses, helped organize the Little Ethiopia Business Association and created the International Unity Parade. Nikki was the president and board member of Ethiopian American Youth Development, an organization dedicated to the development of Ethiopian Youth in Los Angeles as well as in Ethiopia. Nikki is the president of International Aid and Culture, a non-profit organization that promotes art and youth. She was committed to helping homeless youth in South Los Angeles where she provided housing to those in need. Nikki was the Co-Founder of Ethiopia Creates, a program that fosters and promotes Ethiopian artists and Ethiopian Art. Nikki continuous her work as an ambassador of the Ethiopian Community promoting its culture, history, and language and contributing to the Los Angeles Community at large. She is the executive director of Little Ethiopia Cultural and Resource Center where she provides services including but not limited to the Ethiopian community, particularly for adopted kids and their families. She is also the project leader of Ethiopian Development Center, a project of Community Partners, a non-profit organization. Nikki worked in the 2010 census and awarded recognition of the work done. She was a board member of Pico Neighborhood Council for more than three years. She is currently serving as a City of Los Angeles commissioner, Commission for Community and family services. She is also president of Legesse Enterprises, Inc. a real estate investment company.