Can a "community-driven" organization plan and implement its own organizational assessment, produce empirical data, and report the findings and "best practice" outcomes to established institutions to validate its "unique" philosophy, mission, and methodologies in reaching vulnerable communities? And if so, can these "best practice" models be respected and incorporated into the strategies developed for providing services to our communities?
T. Rashad Byrdsong-President & CEO Community Empowerment Association, Inc.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS CONFERENCE: AN ANALYSIS
Community Empowerment Association, Inc. (CEA), in collaboration with representatives of Pittsburgh's service provider organizations, institutions, and interested stakeholders, is planning a national conference on Mitigating the Impact of Social & Psychological Trauma to the Social Fabric of the African American Community.
The conference will focus on:
· Replicable multidisciplinary collaborative models, approaches and frameworks that will address disparities in the major theme areas selected and will be found feasible for implementation.
· The importance of a needed change that allows for "community-centered" organizations, leadership and practitioners to emerge and demonstrate their collective expertise and capacities to reach those in the African American communities who are the most vulnerable and least served.
· Establishing a comprehensive model for intervention and prevention, and institutional collaboration with community based-community driven organizations in Allegheny County. The conference will present evidence that key elements of the public health and social service sectors must come together to design a model that empowers community members and other stakeholders.
A primary focus of the conference is to explore the effect and impact of domestic and community violence (trauma) on American children and persons living in largely urban African American communities-- influences that violence has on the mental and psychological well being of poor children and on persons living in communities of poverty, and the subsequent problems that result and impact the community and its residents. The conference is also designed to allow the development of a committed, coordinated, systematic approach by key stakeholders - public health, mental health, and governmental administrative to address these issues and to provide appropriate care and services to those persons affected by community violence. The content of the conference will also include the rich diversity and complexity of African American family and community life and discuss how to institute a culturally specific ground-up public health framework to the presentation content. The four focus areas to be addressed at the conference are 1) mental/physical/environment health, 2) education, 3) criminal justice, and 4) economic justice. This conference is an endeavor to broaden the dialogue among service providers and institutions and communities with impacted populations to:
· Establish a collaborative/partnership to: a) build a strong community-based public health network, and b) create an effective model and plan for a continuum of care within community settings.
· Develop a comprehensive, community-based, community driven model for intervention and prevention to connect community stakeholders and public and social service professionals and agencies in Allegheny County.
· Empower community residents to take responsibility and get more involved in the alleviation of the challenges faced in their communities.
· Identify best practice models within the four focus areas that can be replicated in Pittsburgh.
The conference will provide occasions to network and dialogue about practical and achievable strategies that will improve outcomes for African American youth and families. Your participation in this conference as well as the insights and expertise you share will help us move closer to achieving the goals and objectives of the conference.
Continuing Education Credits
Continuing education credits and units will be offered for the health sciences, education, & social work. Participants will be required to complete evaluation forms at the conclusion of each session to obtain credits
DR. WADE NOBLES - world renowned community grounded scholar, researcher, trainer and consultant in the study of the African American culture, family life and African spiritual systems, will keynote the Pre-Conference Reception & networking session giving participants an overview of the historical significance of working holistically and in unity to address the issues and challenges facing African Americans today.
DR. JOY DEGRUY - nationally and internationally recognized Ambassador for Healing and a highly skilled and educated activist for social justice will give an overview of the history and disparity challenges facing African Americans as well as suggested solutions for healing.
DR. DEBORAH PROTHROW-STITH – nationally recognized public health leader who broke new ground with her efforts to have youth violence defined as a public health problem; not just a criminal justice issue, will address how a community/culturally-driven public health framework can enhance wellness in the African American community.
Related ArticlesRashad's Welcome Speech: Day 1 (.PDF)
Rashad's Morning Speech: Day 2