From The Desk of The Director
In August 2015, the Board of Directors voted to end our dependence on those public entities that interrupted our autonomy and ability to do advocacy in a way that disrupted and challenged public systems to do better. We ended our contract with a taxing agency, and since that time, although it is been challenging; it is has been more than rewarding to participate as a true change agent in the community.
We are firmly committed to making things more equitable and will fight for the full inclusion of individuals who experience mental and behavior health challenges, communities of color and other disenfranchised and disregarded communities. Although our work is focused on; African-American and Latin American males of color, we have not lost sight of the collaborative work with those groups that focus equally on girls and GLBTQI2-S populations.
Our emerging leader curriculum, and its overlay in the behavior health arena helps to fight stigma and addresses such issues as bullying, suicide, depression, homelessness and urban stress. We have set the leadership bar for grassroots family organizations. Our endorsement of forces such as the Movement for Black Lives, Black Lives Matter, and Black Families Matter has put us on the national stage. The great work that lies ahead drives us to fight for equity in these United States.
Currently, we are conducting a community satisfaction survey asking alert and aware individuals to visit public meetings (those that are funded by public dollars); to observe everything from the people who are around the table, the policies that they initiate and the environment in which these policies are created, voted on and put in the place. This data helps to show just how communities of color are left out of the decision, but yet they are often the focus of the meeting. Along with our partners across the county we will then initiate action strategies that affect the indifferences of these organizations. We don't expect this to be an easy task; we know that these agencies particularly those headed by the dominant population have long been indifferent, hostile and resistant to the communities that they claim to serve. Allowing these residents to be in charge, making decisions and setting policies is not their agenda.
We will not be dissuaded from action. We will demand Participatory Budgeting processes, equitable and empowered representation and genuine cultural representation that models the values of an Emancipated People. Thank The Creator that Harriet didn't wait for permission or approval; else it wouldn't be possible for me to write this letter
Larry English, Executive Director Federation of Families, HMH, Inc.
aka, Risasi Milima, Convener, Our Own Path Initiative
Larry English, Executive Director Federation Of Families, HMH, Inc.
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