The design of our framework for Supporting Health Black Families (SHBF) moves marginalized populations from being recipients of services (traditional nonprofits) to individuals with agency, autonomy, and self-efficacy that support their leadership and advocacy development allowing less reliance on future services. Through advocacy, transformative education, leadership, and collaboration, SHBF’s initiative addresses the root of health disparities and inequalities.
The primary goal of SHBF is to empower and mobilize community resources and residents, while engaging systems in implementing systematic, sustainable, and clinically sound approaches to health behavior, prevention, and treatment, by way of programming that systematically affects social variables such as education, employment, and health; translating into positive health outcomes influencing significant health disparities at the community level. We teach families how to be in support of their children’s education and wellbeing. Utilizing the framework of Dr. Joyce DeGruey’s PTSS, our model looks at the seemingly insurmountable obstacles that African Americans have faced and are facing as a result of the ongoing and persistent trauma, especially felt by Wisconsin families. Our model focuses on adaptive behaviors that were developed as a result of the trauma—both positive and negative—that have allowed Black people to survive and often even thrive. In Dr. DeGruey’s strength-based model, the first step is reevaluating those adaptive behaviors that have been passed down through generations and where appropriate, replacing behaviors which are today maladaptive with ones that will promote and sustain the healing, and ensure the advancement of Black culture and family by building upon the strengths we have gained from the past to heal for our futures. This is achieved by way of transformative education, as well as personal and leadership development.
SHBF participants go through a 90 day, 12 to 20 hours a month intensive training. All participants receive a stipend of $16.50/hr. This increases their capacity to support their children’s learning and health as well as the health and wellness of their community. Qualifying participants go on to be peer support specialists and advocates continuing the work learned in the initial course. We are proud to report that 95% of SHBF participants graduate from each cohort, and 80% of graduates embody leadership in different areas of their lives including starting their own business, running for office, volunteering, organizing census campaigns, joining grassroots organizations, and/or taking on leadership roles within Urban Triage.
We currently have 18 participants in our 3rd Cohort which runs from April 28, 2020 through July 28, 2020 and are recruiting for our 4th Cohort, which will start on August 11, 2020.
If you are interested in participating in one of our future Cohorts, please click here.