NCBON is taking steps to expand its reach by developing local, state, and regional affiliates. When community perspectives are fragmented, they are weak and can be easily divided and marginalized. It is critical for community members to independently determine their goals and objectives so that they can effectively represent community needs and interests in community-academic partnerships.
One model for local/regional affiliates that is being discussed is CBOP. The Community Based Organization Partners (CBOP)—a forerunner of NCBON—was organized in Flint, Michigan during the CBPH Initiative (see the History section of this site) to more strategically represent community members and voices. CBOP provides a model for organizing community voices and interests that can be replicated nationally.
We are in the preliminary stages of developing a pilot NCBON affiliate in North Carolina.
Acknowledging and cultivating community power is a key aspect of successful community based participatory research (CBPR). If your community is interested in exploring the idea of a local CBOP or a state or regionally focused NCBON affiliate, please contact us.
Developing a North Carolina Affiliate
Work to Date
- Thought session with Toby Citrin, JD Director of the Community Health Scholars Program— University of Michigan School of Public Health
- Thought session with Joseph Telfaire, PhD Director of the Center for Social, Community and Health Research and Evaluation—University of North Carolina Greensboro
- Thought session with Barbara Pullen-Smith MPH, Director of the NC Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities.
The work of community-based organizations (CBOs) engaged in health disparity work has grown significantly in North Carolina. This can be attributed to the following:
- Recognition by state agencies of the important role CBOs play in addressing health disparity work at the local level.
- State agencies, including quasi-groups such as the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities and the Health and Wellness Trust Fund have funded a myriad of CBOs to address health disparity initiatives.
Community-based organizations are in need of a critical voice and organization. The current political/economic climate necessitates a collective voice in advancing the funding and work of CBOs.
Opportunities for Organization
Repeated efforts to organize CBOs have occurred over several years. This current effort is different in that the state wide group would have an affiliation with NCBON and align statewide initiatives consistent with the national group.
The term affiliate is used to suggest a “loose-knit” relation to NCBON. It reflects more a desire to establish a group state organization which has common goals and objectives at the local or state level. The actual governance of the NCBON is yet to be determined. The formal establishment of any affiliate of NCBON will require the approval of NCBON.
Proposed Action Steps
- Conduct a Listening Session with leaders of selected CBOs. The purpose of the session is twofold—to provide an opportunity for CBOs to hear about NCBON and for leaders to share their thoughts and needs.
- Conduct a follow-up phone session responding to any issues raised during the initial call. Establish a plan for next steps.
- Organize regional meetings.
- Initiate capacity building training sessions.