Meet the Three 2015 Grantee Networks
The Inclusion Initiative’s 2015 Grantee Networks advanced to the next stage of programming from the seven original networks from the planning phase.
In the implementation phase, the networks are supported over the 12 months of the grant as they work toward realizing their collective vision. The key goals of this phase are to collaboratively implement network activities, build movement together, deep partnerships. The grantees are:
Barbershop Health Network
The Barbershop Health Network partners with men of color as leaders with valuable information that will arrive at the solution to the problem. Through engaging men of color in a meaningful way and supporting them with opportunities to be gainfully employed and to provide leadership, in addressing root causes of poor health—inequality, racial segregation and concentrated poverty – BHN moves towards “eradicating poverty”.
For this implementation phase, BHN will launch its Wellness Connect Plan, a local web based loyalty program distributed by local wellness providers to their existing customers. Community members will receive access and discounts to various wellness services and products. These community linkages will support lifestyle changes among men of color that promote healthy eating, chronic stress reduction, fitness, chronic disease management, recreational and family activities, access and help with other non-medical determinants of health such as housing, school issues, and financial subsistence.
The P.O.W.E.R. Network
Central Falls, R.I.
The P.O.W.E.R Network’s vision is to significantly contribute to the eradication of poverty in the Central Falls, RI community by incubating and providing ongoing support to a diversity of worker owned co-operative businesses who will commit to the principles of co-operative governance, which includes democratic control by the workers and concern for community.
During the implementation phase, the POWER network’s primary goal is the successful launch of its first worker-owned cooperative: a commercial and residential green cleaning cooperative. Strategies will include hosting an open house for interested workers and hiring a coordinator to facilitate training for worker-owners and will serve as the staff person of the cooperative. The network seeks to create an economic model led by impacted members of the community that respects the dignity of all workers, draws on workers’ own strengths and skills, and puts people above profits. A growing network of co-operative businesses founded in these values will provide living wage, quality jobs to those who are most vulnerable to income inequality, changing the economic power dynamic that had previously kept them poor.
STEP UP Network (Standing Together to End Poverty and Undo Profiling)
STEP UP envisions creating a public dialogue that radiates outward from the communities most affected by racial profiling – neighborhoods where young people, former prisoners, the parents and children of those profiled, arrested, and deported, have first-hand knowledge to share about the severe and lasting economic effects of the current system.
For this implementation phase, the STEP Up Network will build a solid infrastructure led by and accountable to the communities most affected by racial profiling by passing and implementing the Providence Community Safety Act (CSA) through the Providence City Council. This policy campaign aims to shift the public debate about racially biased policing in Rhode Island to reflect its (negative) economic effects on individuals, families, and neighborhood economies.
STEP UP aims to build community power towards a future where the state’s ability to impoverish communities of color through discriminatory policing are diminished. Passage and successful implementation of the CSA would constitute a tremendous success and would translate into quantifiable impacts on poverty.