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Promoting innovative, life-changing, empowering and equitable solutions in the Black community in order to reduce disparities Because Black is Still Beautiful.
Because Black is Still Beautiful is an organization that first received non-profit status in 2006 The goal of the organization is to reduce disparities in the Black community, and our primary focus was on HIV/AIDS prevention and education. Our past activities consisted of the following:
- A media campaign in collaboration with the City College of San Francisco that was designed to inform the Black community of San Francisco about the seriousness of the virus;
- A free condom network that made condoms available to local businesses that served a significant African American clientele:and
- Informational meetings that were designed to educate Black women living in San Francisco Public Housing about HIV transmission and prevention.
We decided that HIV is a symptom of other issues that affect our community; therefore, we felt it was necessary to focus on root causes of disparities in our community instead. In addition, we all feel that the disproportionate rate of Black people incarcerated is an issue that has gotten out of control. Thus, incarceration is our new focus, and we have decided to address it by promoting higher educational completion for offenders because there is a strong correlationship between incarceration and education. In order to develop strategies for our new focus an extensive literature review has been conducted, educational outreach efforts have taken place in the San Francisco County Jail, and a pilot program has been planned.
We intend to launch a program entitled Just Say Know targeting Black women involved in the criminal justice system in San Francisco. Black women represent a mere 6% of the total female population in San Francisco while representing close to 65% of the female inmate population. The program is designed to provide educational and emotional support within the community with a goal of higher educational program completion and a reduction in recidivism. Although we are targeting Black women, any woman involved in the criminal justice system is welcome to participate.
We are basically starting from scratch. All of our past efforts have been strictly voluntary. However, we have a strongly developed plan and faith. We are looking for board members with the following qualifications: human resource/finance experience, fundraising experience, a respect for the power of education, and a strong desire to reduce the disproportionate rate of incarceration among Black people. You need not have all of the qualifications, but the one in bold is required. Formerly incarcerated individuals are also encouraged to apply.
- Marilyn Barnes
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