Wednesday, November 16, 2016

SPARC Dallas - Racism and Homelessness - Addressing Inequity in 10 American Cities

African Americans make up 13% of the population, both in the U.S. and in Dallas. Across the country, on average, African Americans make up 40% of the homeless population, and 28% of the unsheltered homeless population, which is troubling, in and of itself. However, in Dallas, African Americans make up 67% of the homeless population, and 70% of the unsheltered homeless population! This cannot stand. This cannot continue.

We must and we will tackle this overrepresentation of African Americans in the homeless population. With the help of a generous grant from United Way of Metropolitan DallasUnite Dallas Relief Fund, we will do so through a new research and action program from the Center for Social Innovation (C4) titled Racism and Homelessness - Addressing Inequity in 10 American Cities”. In the words of C4, “While no single initiative can end structural racism across all systems, we believe,” that through this initiative we can, “create positive change in attitudes and behaviors that will begin to close the racial gap that has led to the disproportionate prevalence… of homelessness among African Americans.”

The local iteration in each of the 10 cities will be referred to as SPARC (Supporting Partnerships for Anti-Racist Communities) followed by the city name. Hence, heretofore we will refer to our research and action program here in Dallas, as SPARC Dallas. C4 staff will spend the week of January 30-February 4, 2017, here in Dallas, to launch the yearlong SPARC Dallas program.
Jeff Olivet, CEO of C4
This Friday, November 18, 2016, 12.30-2.00pm, Jeff Olivet and Marc Dones, of C4, will lead another installment in our Hard Conversations series, this time on Racism and Homelessness, at the J. Erik Johnson Central Public Library. During the last 20 minutes of the session, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas representatives will briefly talk about the Unite Dallas Relief Fund and why the fund Task Force decided to fund Racism and Homelessness - Addressing Inequity in 10 American Cities”, Jeff and Marc will give an overview of the general plan for SPARC Dallas, and we will introduce the members of a small local planning body of local leaders, who will help C4 and the staff of the local partner agency (in Dallas, MDHA) plan the program launch week, and shepherd the yearlong program.

We look forward to continuing to update you on this important initiative, as it progresses. Please follow our social media on Facebook and Twitter, and if you are not already receiving our e-newsletter, text keyword MDHA to 22828. 

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