National Trends & Services
SCCL Chairperson: Dee Doster and Yvette Page
The VISION of the National Trends and Services facet is to eliminate disparities by reducing barriers to services through advocacy, education, and service. Our MISSION is to empower our chapters to effectively empower the communities in which we work. Our GOALS include increasing the number of sustainable and measurable programs; increasing collaborative partnerships; and extending our existing initiatives to include communities identified as having the greatest need.
Currently, National Trends and Services encompasses the following programs and committees with national partners and sponsors, each committed to the overall vision and mission of the facet. These programs serve as a catalyst for change promoting individual and community empowerment.
Trash Talking: It’s No Joke!
To bring awareness to the growing crisis of bullying, we are excited to introduce a comprehensive community anti-bullying program TRASH TALKING: IT’S NO JOKE! The goal of this newest National Trends and Services initiative is to empower youth with the tools and skills to address bullying in all forms. Research shows that bullying adversely affects children’s mental health, academic success and ability to relate to other children according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The goals for this program are:
To enhance a child’s ability to avoid victimization
To enhance a child’s self-esteem
To reduce the feelings of guilt and blame associated with victimization
To promote disclosure of abuse and victimization
To enhance and coordinate community response
To enhance communication between parents and children about personal safety
To reinforce adult supervision and protection
To deter offender behavior
AARP Links Academy
The Links, Incorporated is partnering with AARP to implement the “AARP Links Academy.” This innovative, comprehensive program provides tools and resources to support African-American women who are either preparing for life as they age or are currently dealing with the aging process. The program includes components for preventative measures during each specific life stage and provides health, wellness and financial support and services to the 50+ community. The program is being implemented in eight target markets: Chicago, IL, Dayton, OH, New York, NY, Houston, TX, Los Angeles, CA, Atlanta, GA, Miami, FL, and San Antonio, TX.
Wallet Wise Program
Through our national sponsorship with Ally Financial, The Links, Incorporated implements the Wallet Wise financial literacy program. The Wallet Wise program is aimed at helping people make better financial decisions by providing them with information about budgeting, credit reports, and credit scoring as well as providing other tools in an effort to assist them in making informed financial choices. Chapters conduct Wallet Wise workshops using the curriculum developed by Ally Financial. The curriculum includes classroom and online modules and is being implemented in thirty-four target markets. A youth component to compliment the Wallet Wise program is under development.
Women’s Issues and Economic Empowerment Committee
The Women’s Issues and Economic Empowerment Committee’s focus is on the education and empowerment of women. The committee plans to convene a Women’s Summit in 2012 in collaboration with other women’s organizations. This will provide an opportunity to develop a national platform and policy papers on relevant women’s issues.
Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative
The horrific crime of humanity-human trafficking ravages communities across our nation and around the world. In the United States, human trafficking generates more $9.5 billion annually. Human trafficking affects men, women, boys, and girls. More than 300,000 children are at risk for commercial sexual exploitation in the United States. Sadly, women and girls of color are disproportionately at risk. To address this public health issue, The Links, Incorporated has developed an initiative to raise awareness and programs aimed at eradicating human trafficking. The initiative will integrate the issue of human trafficking into programs addressed by our National Trends and Services facet which follows the service delivery model and enhances existing integrated programming. A toolkit is provided for more information as well as detailed suggestions on programming activities.
Black Lives Matter: Linking Knowledge to Action
The Links, Incorporated joins the many organizations throughout the nation that continue to call attention to the Black Lives Matter Movement by launching a comprehensive program. The focus is on developing solutions, providing education and creating awareness of the challenges affecting African American youth and young adults relative to police action and the criminal justice system. The Black Lives Matter
Committee’s goals and strategies are:
• Educate ourselves and our communities on the importance of jury service.
• Encourage reputable African American attorneys to represent at least one pro bono case per year that involves civil or criminal actions. These cases may include police misconduct, injustice or malfeasance, but are not exclusionary when it involves African American victims.
• Lobby for the establishment of police review boards with summons power.
• Inspire members to become informed conscientious voters. Get to know our elected and appointed local and federal prosecutors, including, for example, U.S. Attorneys, District/Prosecuting/State’s Attorneys and their appointees.
• Educate our youth on how to respond when they are stopped by police officers.
• Increase public awareness of inequitable and unjust local, state and federal policies, procedures, practices, personal experiences and challenges that impact African Americans.
• Increase community engagement and communication.
• Host six webinars lead by National Links leaders and attorneys who are experts in the area of civil rights and police misconduct.
• Encourage the Links, Incorporated members to continue to use the Black Lives Matter Toolkit to inform and educate the public about police misconduct and injustice. This Toolkit is located in the “members only” section under documents. Black Lives Matter: Linking Knowledge to Action is designed to enlighten young African Americans and empower them through knowledge and positive influence.