Early care and education experts, advocates, human services providers and partners, and community leaders from across Central Florida have joined together to create Black Child Development Institute-Greater Tampa Bay. With support from the National Black Child Development Institute, the Affiliate will implement health and wellness, family engagement, and literacy programs; partner with local organizations, parents, and caregivers to provide resources to address key issues facing communities in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, including low performing schools; and advocate for the equitable allocation of resources and fair systems that focus on achieving positive outcomes for Black children and families.
“Education is one of the critical civil rights issues of our time. I’m elated that BCDI-Greater Tampa Bay is ready to lead the charge to ensure Black children and families in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties have access to equitable resources and high-quality early education options,” says Green. “And I’m thrilled to be in my home state of Florida to charter our third Florida Affiliate. BCDI-Greater Tampa Bay is partnering with the eighth largest school district in the country to improve the quality of life for Black children and families.”
NBCDI, in partnership with its National Affiliate Network, develops and implements culturally- relevant, evidence-based, culturally-responsive and trauma-informed curricula, training, and technical assistance that focus on health and wellness, early literacy, and family engagement.
“We are excited that a village has come together to improve resources and access for Black Children in the Greater Tampa Bay Area,” says Louis Finney, Founding President, BCDI- Greater Tampa Bay, who also serves as the Executive Vice President, Lutheran Services Flori- da and as the President of the Florida Head Start Association. “This is one step toward contin- ued efforts to improve social justice, early care and education, and policy for our children. Thank you, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.”
For more than a year, key leaders in early care and education, human services, child welfare, and other sectors have been working together with the goal of implementing strengths-based solutions for shared community concerns about the alarming suspension rates of Black males, in particular, and, more generally, the barriers to needed resources Black children and families experience in Hillsborough County.
Serving Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, BCDI-Greater Tampa Bay will implement programs; engage in advocacy efforts; and lead coalitions to build a strong, broad, engaged network to work collectively towards improving the lives of Black children and families. BCDI-Greater Tampa Bay will monitor national, state, and local legislation that may impact Black children and families. Additionally, they will convene community forums to educate and inform policymakers, parents, educators, and the general public on issues affecting Black children and families.
The new Greater Tampa Bay Affiliate will host its chartering ceremony on Thursday, September 22, 2016, at the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, with a number of distinguished guests and community members from local school districts, child welfare organizations, Head Start programs, universities, early learning systems, and nonprofit organizations, including State Representative Darryl Rousen, Pinellas County School Board Member Rene Flowers, Children’s Board CEO Kelly Parris, and Juvenile Welfare Board CEO Marcy Bittleman.
BCDI-Greater Tampa Bay is the third Affiliate in NBCDI’s National Affiliate Network to be chartered in the state of Florida, following Fort Lauderdale and Miami. The chartering comes just as the National Black Child Development Institute prepares to host its 46th Annual Conference in Orlando, Fl. The conference, themed “’Til Victory Is Won,” brings together more than 1,000 educators, school district leaders, policy makers, elected officials, parents, nonprofit leaders, healthcare professionals, and corporate leaders to focus not only on the unique challenges facing Black children and communities, but also to highlight their successes and strengths. The conference will include the release of "Being Black Is Not a Risk Factor: Statistics and Strengths-Based Solutions in the State of Florida." The report, featuring thought leaders and best practices from the state, challenges the prevailing discourse about Black children—one which overemphasizes limitations and deficits and does not draw upon the considerable strengths, assets, and resilience demonstrated by Black children, families, and communities.
For 46 years, the National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) has been at the forefront of engaging leaders, policymakers, professionals, and parents around critical and timely issues that directly impact Black children and families. With the support of the organization’s National Affiliate Network, NBCDI is committed to its mission “to improve and advance the quality of life for Black children and families through education and advocacy.”
NBCDI delivers high-quality resources that respond to the unique strengths and needs of Black children around issues including early childhood education, health and wellness, child welfare, literacy, and family engagement. NBCDI’s volunteer-driven National Affiliate Network operates in communities across the country, partnering with children, families and other organizations to implement culturally-relevant, culturally responsive, trauma sensitive and evidence-based programs.
For more information on NBCDI or our 46th Annual Conference, visit us online at www.nbcdi.org and www.nbcdi.org/events.
For media inquires, contact: Crystal Prater, (202) 833-2220 x. 6085 or firstname.lastname@example.org.