Our Story

“BECOME was founded out of a passion to create social justice and realize the potential of thriving communities. We believe we get there through shifting mindsets, building skills, seeing and using the strengths that are already within communities, and creating movement towards the ideal.”

– Dr. Dominica McBride, Founder & CEO, BECOME

BECOME is a Center for Community Engagement and Social Change. Through culturally responsive evaluation, research and community development, we seek to cultivate a socially just world.

Our Mission

Our Mission

We spark and sustain community transformation by unlocking the cultural strengths and intrinsic wisdom of the people. Together, we realize our collective liberation by developing communal care and power.

Our Vision

Our Vision

Thriving communities where young people aspire and achieve their dreams, and neighbors know, trust, and look out for each other. The previously incarcerated are welcomed back and supported, and members have the economic resources to meet and surpass their needs. The people have a stake in the common good; community members draw on resilient bonds of solidarity in confronting injustice and inequity; the community as a whole takes its destiny and well-being into its own hands.

Our Name

Our Name

To become means “to begin to be,” and being something shows up in both presence and action. The end result of becoming is the full manifestation of our hopes and dreams. For a person to become something, they must adopt a certain mindset, then take action to manifest their vision. BECOME reflects its board and staff members’ mindset and collective action to help marginalized communities become places for healthy, thriving people.

Our Core Values

BECOME seeks to link means with ends, processes with aspirations, plans with concrete outcomes, and progress with community. We believe that:

  • Actualization is the intentional movement to fulfill one’s human potential, living into the highest, biggest self. For us, we see this on the collective level as well. A community has interdependent potential that can be actualized with certain conditions, be it physical, emotional, social, etc. Within the organization, we support our own and each other’s personal and professional growth and see and support a bigger vision for that person and ourselves as a team.
  • Love is a consciousness and frequency. It’s the interplay of thoughts, feelings, actions, and vibration. We believe that love exists within each and every person and all around us. It is the active and metaphysical care and perpetuation/support of life and light.
  • Transcendence is the ability to imagine, see, and create a situation or reality beyond the current. As much as we can imagine is as much as we can create. This
    involves hope, radical imagination, faith, and deep disciplined action.
  • Truth is “that which is identical to being.” It is layered, from each person’s experience to the community and sociopolitical reality around them to the metaphysical reality around all of us. We are dedicated to seeing, speaking, and living out the truth.
  • Unity is the underlying reality – ALL is actually one. We are interdependent, connected, and together, whole. This comes in the form of how we see one another, no matter how different we are, that we see ourselves as each other – “I am because we are” or “I am you, you are me.” We are interdependent with each other, with the earth, and with the cosmological reality around us.

Our Core Philosophy

Our core philosophy is that the community must be at the heart of identifying their capabilities to address their challenges and to create their desired reality.

Culturally Responsive Practice

People in communities around the world have shown great resilience in the face of grim and often painful circumstances, such as poverty, violence and health disparities. Despite their resilience, there has also been a cost to pay either financially, physically, and/or emotionally. Many have wondered, “what are the sustainable solutions?”

Research, science and experience tells us that two important variables hold answers to this question: community and culture.  Culturally Responsive Practice offers a collaborative process of reflection and action that incorporates and responds to a  community’s unique culture to achieve desired social change, cohesion and equity. Through our services, we apply culturally responsive practices, such as program evaluation, collaboration and training so  individuals, organizations and communities can use their strengths and resources to thrive by:

  • Placing community members at the center of planning, development and evaluation processes
  • Recognizing and facilitating community empowerment
  • Understanding communities as people who share lived experiences
  • Grounding our work in respecting and uplifting the culture of the community

What do we mean by culture?

Culture is the fabric of life. It’s the theme that runs through humanity. Culture is how people in a group relate to themselves, things, and others, and is influenced by shared norms, values, language, beliefs, practices, rituals, and traditions. It often guides behaviors, cognitions, decisions, institutions, and governances. Taking into account the culture of the people, institutions, and communities involved in the evaluation or project is essential to understanding the people and context for change.

Our Community Transformation Approach

Just as there is an innate ability inside of the caterpillar to know how to transform into a beautiful butterfly, we believe that individuals have the answers to transform their communities – and by extension, the broader society – to become socially cohesive, physically healthy, emotionally intelligent, and financially stable.

Our revolutionary approach to community transformation is called Culturally Responsive Community Development (CRCD). We believe the community has the answers to solve the community’s problems. By building relationships with community members, we work on three levels:  community/resident groups (e.g., block clubs), institutions (e.g., schools, churches, community centers, hospitals, police), and decision makers (e.g., alderman, mayor, state reps). Through this model, we concentrate all of our services in a neighborhood and partner with them for the long-term until their vision of a thriving community is realized.