In the interest of Black communities locally, nationally and internationally; Healthy Black Communities, Inc.’s board of directors and management staff developed this strategic plan to serve as a road map in developing programs and services responsive to health disparities affecting Black communities. It provides a blueprint for program, organization and community development. The Board Chair and Chief Executive Officer will review its progress quarterly and update the plan annually as needed.
This plan was developed with broad involvement and guidance from the Board of Directors, Management Staff, Center’s Advisory Board Members, consumers and community stakeholders, both domestically and internationally. As key components are realized, additional board members as well as community stakeholders, funders and consumers will be engaged to participate in implementation of programs and services.
Since 2001, HBC has been guided by an unapologetic approach to developing programs, services, partnerships and collaborations that ultimately contribute to the health and well-being of Black communities.
HBC’s Board of Directors conducted a SWOT (i.e. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) Analysis to gain a macro view of where the organization is currently, and the direction it needs to go. This analysis was useful in assessing both the challenges and opportunities the organization is likely to face over the next eight years and set the context for the choices reflected in this strategic plan.
Healthy Black Communities, Inc. mission is to protect and promote healthy Black communities, domestically and internationally – through program, organization and community development.
Assisting in the development of healthy Black communities begins from inception to the grave, ensuring that the maximum quality of life is realized for each human being, regardless of where they are in the world, the United States of America, Africa, South America or etc. Improving the core health of Black communities requires the organization to work with individuals, organizations, government, businesses, faith based organizations, sororities and fraternities, colleges and universities, tribal leaders and chiefs, as well as public health officials. This can only be done one relationship at a time working in one community at a time.
Over the next eight years, HBC realizes technological developments will reach beyond its imagination; communities and countries will experience an increase in disease burden due to global warming and other environmental factors; and this organization has a responsibility to take the lead in realizing its mission.
Within each Center (division) of the organization, there are specific focal points that require concentration, funding and vision.
The Center for Black Family Wellness is designed to develop program and services that work to improve the quality of life for Black Families, regardless of how family is defined. HBC can no longer lock the family structure with male, female and children. Families have become dynamic and so to must the focus of health and wellness for them.
The Center for Black Same Gender Loving Development is designed for a number of reasons. One of the main focuses of this Center is to build the divide within Black communities between those with different sexual orientations. When it comes to health, the issue of HIV/AIDS, breast cancer, diabetes and obesity are not separated by sexual orientation. So HBC, while working exclusively with Black same gender loving communities, has to foster relationships across sexual identities.
The Center for International Excellence is designed to assist Blacks in developing countries address health disparities and issues most pressing. Based on existing international relationships held by the organization, it is important to listen for those health issues that are important to those we meet. Utilizing the Paulo Friere community mobilization model, HBC facilitates conversation and dialogue within international communities with the intentions of helping them discover the answer. The organization realizes its role is to access organizational history, infrastructure and capacity to garner resources domestically and internationally to assist communities become healthy, vibrant and strong.
The Center for Organization and Technology Development has a dual role: (1) serve as a role model to small and medium sized nonprofit organizations and provide tools and information on how to develop viable organization structures; and (2) assist in bridging the digital divide within Black and Brown communities. The Internet will continue to evolve and while organizations, businesses and governments are progressing at a rapid pace – Black and Brown people are being left drastically behind.
This Strategic Plan provides information internally and externally for those who work for HBC, govern the organization, partners, funders of programs and services, volunteers and otherwise. The idea is to have a way forward and this plan provides just that!
Since its inception in 2001, HBC has maintained an unapologetic approach to focusing on health education and disease prevention in Black communities. The organization’s founders (Emmanuel L. Dennis, LaMont “Montee” Evans and Luga J. Joseph) had an idea that Black people deserve to be healthy and as Black Men, they had a responsibility to step up to the plate and make it happen.
With a dynamic board of directors, the organization set out to identify organizations, businesses, government and individuals who would be instrumental in assisting the organization realize its mission and vision.
From Atlanta to Africa, HBC has certainly developed a reputation of responsiveness and cordiality. Having opened its first office in Decatur, GA in 2002 to moving operations to Atlanta, GA in 2010 – HBC is an organization on the move. In February 2007, HBC was able to secure an office space in Accra, which is Ghana, West Africa’s capital city as well as sign an International Memorandum of Understanding with Le Soutien in Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa, a US Agency for International Development (USAID) funded organization around HIV/AIDS education and female genital mutilation reduction.
Domestically, National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is the signature project for the organization that consumes a wealth of time, energy and resources. With a Chief Executive Officer who has been passionate about HIV/AIDS since the early 90s, it is no wonder that HBC/Evans has served at the helm of this national/international community mobilization initiative. HBC is poised to serve as the lead organization for NBHAAD in years to come.
With a stable and academically credentialed board of directors, clear focus for each Center and knowledgeable management staff; HBC is confident in its ability to garner local, federal and foundation resources at a pace that will complement growth and development.
In 2008, there are seven key activities HBC either conducted or participated in that require acknowledging:
HBC’s vision serves as the framework for the organization’s road map and will guide every aspect of the organization’s development of programs and services as well as what needs to be accomplished in order to achieve sustainable and quality growth as a domestic and international organization.
In order to pursue the strategic direction described herein, HBC will:
Core Operating Values are the fundamental values or ideals at the heart of HBC; they articulate ideas the organization aspires to hold itself accountable for and offer guidance about how the organization behaves in carrying out its mission.
The following core operating values influence the culture and public image of HBC as an effective local, national and international community-based organization serving a wide variety of individuals, families and communities.
Caring Attitude – HBC will demonstrate compassionate support and concern for Black communities regardless of socioeconomic status. As a part of this caring attitude, HBC will educate and inform consumers and their families about health and wellness issues most disproportionately impacting their neighborhood.
Responsiveness – HBC will work tirelessly to find solutions that meet the needs and preferences of those communities it operates in through direct programs and services or by making referrals to other providers.
Respectfulness – HBC honors and respects the choices of Black people, encouraging each person to take control over their own life, and helps to shape these choices based on what is important to each individual. The organization respects the role that families have in helping to shape these choices as well.
Individualized Support – HBC knows that people’s needs vary significantly and can change over time; the organization will always seek to understand the individual and co-create the right support services for both individual and community development.
Diversity – While HBC is an unapologetic Black focused organization, the board and management staff understand that Black people do not live in a vacuum and participates in broader diverse communities. With this in mind, the organization’s programs and services will be provided to as many people as financial resources are able to support.
Integrity and Accountability – HBC has the highest level of integrity in its administrative, service and outreach activities; the organization ties these activities directly to its mission and maintains reports and records accurately as well as secures information and data on consumers in a safe space.
State of the Art Practices – HBC aims for excellent, high quality, state-of the-art approaches that Black individuals and families can always count on to be there.
Partnerships – HBC works with a wide variety of partners and advocates for quality service by all partners.
Advocacy – HBC educates the public and advocates for the long-term bests interests of health disparities disproportionately impacting Black communities.
Financial Sustainability – HBC believes its work as an advocate and service provider will be needed for many years into the future. Therefore, the organization strives to deliver on its mission with thoughtful strategic choices that ensure sufficient financial resources have been identified.
HBC will develop a stable, highly qualified and motivated workforce that actively deliver the organization’s mission as well as assist in identifying funding opportunities that are responsive to needs of those communities the organization operates.
HBC will be a highly visible, well-respected, nonprofit organization that attracts increased numbers of interns, volunteers and higher levels of donations/contributions to support operations and the portfolio of programs and services to be offered.
Successful implementation of this strategic plan will result in more quality support services delivered to individuals, more individuals welcomed in the community and actively involved in community life, and a broader array of resources in the community valuing and supporting Black people. The ultimate result HBC aspires to achieve is far beyond high quality support services for Black people. It is about changing community conditions that make full community life possible for every person.
While government contracts will serve as a significant source of funding for the organization, HBC has a robust and innovative fund raising program earning resources from private sources including individuals, foundations, corporations and businesses. HBC’s funding strategy is vast, yet can be realized. The organization has seven key points of entry for resources to be garnered for programs, services and the overall operations of the organization.
This section of the Strategic Plan will look at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats the organization has assessed. It is intended to share those environmental facts and trends in the operations of the organization that are likely to affect HBC’s future work. Strengths are internal characteristics, qualities and capacities that are doing well and are part of the reason HBC is able to accomplish its mission. Weaknesses are internal qualities that need to be improved. Opportunities refer to external activities or trends that the organization may benefit from, connect with or take advantage of to grow or enhance its performance. Threats are external activities or trends that threaten the current and future success of the organization.
The following is a brief summary of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats highlighted by the board and management staff of HBC. They represent a small portion of the complete environmental scan conducted by the organization.
HBC’s key strengths include the organization’s demonstrated ability to provide high quality, necessary services, which help contribute to the value and worth of Black communities. HBC has its 501(c)3 IRS tax exempt status, nurtured relationships with three key federal agencies: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Education and Office of Population Affairs, developed a portfolio of international relationships as signified by International Memorandums of Agreements, forged local and national relationships and partnerships that have been built and sustained since its inception, maintains a strong financial system and management process which includes a CPA, has academically credentialed board members, forged relationships with Ghana AIDS Commission and key members of Parliament as well as developed a new logo. HBC has an excellent reputation and is looked to by other service providers as a leader.
HBC’s growth and development with no additional financial resources have led some to believe the organization is not fully equipped to offer programs and services responsive to needs. HBC recognizes that financial resources need to be secured and sustained over multi-year periods. Its current office space does not yield room for additional programming or services. HBC’s visibility in the local Atlanta community is scattered based on the organization having national and international work being delivered.
There is an array of opportunities HBC needs to consider moving forward:
The threats considered most important to HBC include:
Other threats mentioned include:
Based on the Board of Directors’ understanding of HBC’s mission, primary service recipients, core values and the opportunities and threats in the current environment; the next five to eight years will be a time of assessing and deepening its approaches to its work.
Concurrently, HBC will need to take more of a leadership role in working with a broader array of community resources and explore the feasibility of actively engaging volunteers.
HBC will review and deepen its existing relationships to ensure that they are working in a manner that compliments the organization’s mission and vision. HBC will engage and emphasize consumer decision-making and community participation and integration. HBC is committed to ensuring that all of its programs are exemplary.
HBC will continue to assess consumer and community needs to identify gaps or opportunities for development of program and service delivery. This assessment will serve as the basis for expanding or adding new services. The emphasis on identifying funding for programs would be the priority in the next few years, and so growth in numbers of people served would not be a priority, if at all, until the later years of this plan.
HBC will take a leadership role in working with a range of social service providers, both locally and nationally to identify and meet the needs of Black people within those communities the organization has a presence. HBC will serve as a service “broker” when necessary. The focus will be to ensure quality across services and eliminate duplication.
HBC will explore the feasibility of expanding its visibility in the community and making greater use of volunteers. The organization will explore developing and supporting a network of volunteers, being more active and visible in a wide range of community initiatives, highlighting the positive role that Black people are playing in the community, and creating strong supporters for community participation throughout the broader community.
HBC will emphasize building its discretionary financial resources to invest in providing quality services. This includes the development of an endowment and establishing a maintenance fund to take care of assets.
HBC has identified six core objectives in ensuring that this Strategic Plan and its components are realized: