Purpose and Objectives
This initiative would use the opportunity of an established network of organizations to strengthen the regional and other State level coalitions in support of a more inclusive policy and program agenda that will eventually produce desired policy outcomes of assisting victims of recent hurricanes and persistent poverty in the southern Black region. The significance of organizing a regional coalition that will work to promote programs and policies that will stimulate long term economic growth for individuals, families, organizations, and businesses in the region is evidenced by the current economic situation facing the region and the abundance of stakeholders committed to implementing wealth creation initiatives in the participating states. A regional coalition effort will in turn strengthen the capacity of participating organizations and individuals in areas of asset building and wealth creation. A coalition's greatest asset is its membership and organizational capacity. There is a great wealth of human, financial, and social capital present in the aforementioned areas of the region. The key to successful coalition building is developing an integrative framework that encourages the coordination of multiple agencies and the development of diverse goals, objectives and action plans that spur the realization of a shared vision for the region.
The purpose of this project is to strengthen an inclusive regional coalition of organizations with vested interests in supporting the goal that creates a momentum for positive and effective systemic change in the region, regarding assets policies and programs for victims of recent hurricanes and persistent poverty in the southern Black Belt.
Specific objectives are to:
A. Strengthen state and regional coalitions/networks of stakeholders, organizations, and initiatives involved in asset-building initiatives for hurricane and persistent poverty survivors in the Southern Black Belt.
B. Assess the feasibility of implementing a more effective and inclusive asset-building program and strategy for hurricane and persistent poverty survivors in the Southern Black Belt.
C. Design and implement effective communication tools and systems (including on-line) for interaction, education and outreach, training and technical assistance, among stakeholders, program developers and policy makers, including at risk agriculture-based land, specifically ownership strategies and heir property, and forest resources.
D. Build capacity of expertise at HBCUs (Historical Black Colleges & Universities) and CBOs (Community-based Organizations)
E. Provide technical support for asset-based building economic development programs.
The short-term benchmarks include: (1) continued awareness of the need for a more inclusive asset-building policy and program agenda for people of color and other poor communities, (2) a regional coalition as a framework and instrument for inclusiveness in asset-building policy and programs, (3) community organization and asset-building mapping (4) policy and program briefs, (5) a pilot asset-building design, (6) an initial electronic presence of more inclusive asset-building discussion and participating organizations, (7) increased inclusion of Black landloss and at-risk agriculture-based land and forest resources in asset-building policy and program agenda discussion, (8) the engagement of CBOs and residents of the region, especially in hurricane struck areas, in decision making about what will become of their land, homes, and natural resources. The long-term benchmark will be increased participation in asset-building strategies and the subsequent reduction of asset poverty in the region.
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