Foundation Priority: EMPOWERMENT


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defining empowerment

The Foundation views empowerment a multi-dimensional social process that is purposed to help the citizens of the community. Empowerment fosters power.  When a community is empowered, they are then able to retain or regain control of their lives, their communities, and their society, through issues important to the community.

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Understanding EMPOWERMENT

In order to understand empowerment it is necessary to first understand that at the core of empowerment is power. As a direct result empowerment is dependent on a critical understanding.  One must realize / recognize that empowerment demands that power can shift / change. For those that debate that power cannot change, that power is connected to positions or to particular people, then empowerment in and of itself is then not possible. However in maintaining the stance that power can shift / change then the idea of empowerment remains possible. 

With this understanding then, the ability of the community to be empowered to make or take the steps the necessary to invoke changes is possible.  The Foundation stands ready to empower the communities in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area in order to affect powerful, necessary changes.

how we intend to empower

Our ultimate goal is to strengthen the overall capacity of communities in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area to address health and social issues through the following:

  • Fostering self-esteem and feelings of individual and collective efficacy

  • Addressing personal, interpersonal, and structural/political systems

  • Encouraging and enhancing critical consciousness

  • Increasing the ability of community leadership to facilitate the following processes within the community:

    • conflict resolution

    • collection and analysis of data

    • problem-solving

    • program planning

    • resource mobilization

    • policy advocacy

  • Promoting community power and the ability to create or resist change

  • Returning decision-making power to the community

  • Maintaining strong social and inter-organizational networks

  • Exploring and acknowledging history, social, economic, and political changes

empowerment in the community

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To create change The Foundation believes it is necessary to become partners in solving the complex issues facing the community.  This means engaging in project endeavors and organizational collaborations that demonstrate respect for the community, includes diverse perspectives, and a guiding vision, with practical and realistic solutions. This relationship synthesis is supported by the Foundation's understanding of empowerment. It here in this epicenter that the programs we've designed can be invaluable for the community.