Maximizing Impact: Our response to the pandemic + systemic racism crises

In March we shared the first responses to the COVID-19 pandemic from community leaders and other partners we convened via Zoom. It’s now clear–with the unjust and tragic killing of George Floyd, clear to all the world–that we face not one crisis, but two: the pandemic as well as systemic racial injustice. 

Many have lost their lives, loved ones, jobs, sense of security, and personal connection. The upheaval caused by the most recent act of police brutality has worsened the needs and pain people are experiencing, especially people of color. 

 

In March we shared the first responses to the COVID-19 pandemic from community leaders and other partners we convened via Zoom. It’s now clear–with the unjust and tragic killing of George Floyd, clear to all the world–that we face not one crisis, but two: the pandemic as well as systemic racial injustice. 

Many have lost their lives, loved ones, jobs, sense of security, and personal connection. The upheaval caused by the most recent act of police brutality has worsened the needs and pain people are experiencing, especially people of color. 

Too often in a crisis, we find ourselves facing problems without time or means to get at the best solutions. Leaders must react using the best information available. One reason systemic injustices are perpetuated is that too often leaders exclude or fail to heed the most valuable information source: those most affected by the crisis. 

We designed the Maximizing Impact initiative to insure information flows from that essential source because as evaluators and culturally competent community development experts we believe that is the only way to address both of the crisis our communities face. 

We started a GoFundMe page to pay for time to gather and share actionable information and data from our communities because we know the institutions and individuals in those areas need and deserve more resources brought to bear on their problems, and so we can help support them in their work to provide direct services that are badly needed. 

Go to our GoFundMe Page

BECOME will engage with communities to positively impact the immediate critical needs arising from the crisis. We will start this work with Chicago’s three most severely affected neighborhoods: South Shore, Greater Auburn Gresham and Austin. 

We will build capacity of frontline organizations and work side by side with their service delivery teams by:

1) Maximizing impact on the frontlines: BECOME will hear from folks on the ground about the help they are receiving and any other needs they have that are going unmet, as well as connect them with further resources and healing opportunities.

 2) Increasing the number of people served through strategic outreach: We will ask those who have been served if they know of anyone else in the community who has a need related to the crisis and ask them to connect us with them. 

 3) Shaping leaders’ decisions: We will listen attentively to the people affected by the crisis, those receiving services as well as those who haven’t, and will bring their voices into the conversation about how they are served and how they can serve each other.

BECOME is an award-winning 501c3 Center for Community Engagement and Social Change with a mission to nourish communities affected by poverty and injustice to make their vision of a thriving community a reality. We use community organizing, culturally responsive evaluation, facilitation and training to contribute to creating flourishing communities.

Go Fund Me “Maximizing Impact Campaign.”

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin