National Black Church Initiative is a subsidiary
of the DC Black Church Initiative
Healing Family Initiative
The plan is called The National Black Church Initiative Healing Family Project. Over the next five years, NBCI will work hard to strengthen existing programs or create new programming for the sole purpose of toughening the black family. As religious leaders, we are deeply disturbed to witness the erosion of the black family at such an alarming rate. We plan to attack the root causes of this sociological phenomenon. The health of the Black family is essential to the life and culture of the Black community and the Black church. Our vision is to incorporate these new program strategies throughout our faith-based network of 34,000 churches to service and strengthen the black family unit. We hope to first conduct a demonstration project to understand the challenges and then map a successful course of action.
We understand that this may call for a comprehensive look at program models that do not traditionally fit in the Black community. These models may be outside of the Black community but they will be biblically based, and they will address some of the root causes surrounding the devastating number of divorces in Black community, thus giving us reason to adopt them. Our approach will be driven by the statistical data and evaluation results of programs that work best for the Black family. We plan to take these program models and duplicate them in the context of our faith community with the understanding of our cultural sensitivity.
We do believe however, that it would be wrong and fool hearted to try to restructure the successful model of the Black church. What we hope to do is retool the Black church with strategic training and introduce elements of successful program models that fit easily into the Black church’s structure, like your curriculum.
The structure of this project will rely heavily on proven scientific program models that strengthen families. The first phase is to hold an African American scholarly round table to look at those models critically and begin to identify how we can integrate them into the church structure. We also plan to look at the research gap that exists around the Black family. This new paradigm will consist of incorporating training, integration of new family strengthening models, and retooling Black clergy leadership training. We hope to marry these new elements with existing, proven church-based service delivery systems; housing assistance, transportation assistance, food, clothing and counseling. These elements will make up the core of the program.
In carrying forth such an ambitious initiative, we hope to build in its initial stages mechanisms to improve statistical data collection, integrate best practice models and provide a comprehensive evaluation of each part of the new program approach. A critical part of this is to evaluate the data on families and to see what program models work successfully. This approach will allow us to see and understand some of the structural and internal reasoning behind the breakdown of the Black family.
The end goals of this five year initiative are:
- Strengthening existing black church models.
- Increase NBCI and other African American faith organizations’ capacity building ability.
- Create new paradigms to work successfully with other affinity stakeholder’s, i.e. strong Black families, government and foundations to strengthen and improve service and training capacity.
- To triple the number of individual families that one church can service
- To stop or significantly slow down the negative statistical picture emerging in the following categories.
- Domestic Violence
- Financial Literacy
- Anger Management
- Mental Health Disease
- Premature Deaths: Go to the doctor
- Youth Violence
- Emergency Planning and Other Related
- Child Neglect and Abuse