As you may know, the Network has been involved in work to advance racial equity in our homelessness response. Building on the training series we sponsored last year, we have engaged Jeff Olivet and Donald Whitehead to lead the next stages of this work in both the Three County and Hampden County Continuums of Care (CoC).
Between now and the end of June, you can be involved in this work in multiple ways:
1. Online Training Series: June 4, 11, 18, 2:30-4:30 pm. Jeff and Donald will be leading a three-part online training series that will build upon the trainings many of you participated in last year and lay the groundwork for each CoC to develop a Racial Equity Action Plan. Specifically, the sessions will:
- Address the historical and structural context of racism and its connections to homelessness
- Examine race and homelessness in Western Massachusetts
- Explore the connections between COVID-19, racial inequity, and homelessness
- Share approaches other communities have implemented to address racial inequities in their homelessness systems
Click here to register.
2. Strategy Sessions. Each CoC will hold virtual strategy sessions and other events during the last two weeks of June. To participate in the Hampden County sessions, please email Gerry McCafferty at GMcCafferty@springfieldcityhall.com. To participate in the Three County session, please email Keleigh Pereira at KPereira@communityaction.us.
3. Racial Equity Workgroups. Both CoC’s are forming workgroups to drive the work going forward. If you are interested in participating, also please reach out to Gerry or Keleigh.
Throughout this process, we are engaging youth and young adults who have experienced homelessness. We are working jointly with the two Youth Action Boards (YABs) to provide youth-specific equity training, and YAB members will be deeply involved in action planning.
Please consider registering for the online series and participating in the strategy sessions as we work together to center racial equity in everything we do.
And please stay tuned for more notices from the Network and from Gerry and Keleigh about specific activities in each CoC.
Looking forward to sharing in this critically important work together.