The Institute of the Black World (IBW) and FEMA to Sign Historic Agreement
NABSW Vice President, Roxanne Ellis-Denby was present at this historic event!
Washington, DC…In conjunction with this year’s Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference, The Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on Sept. 25th, 2014 to ensure that there are mechanisms for African-American organizations to come together and engage consistently with the country’s emergency management infrastructure.
The MOA’s components include information sharing about training and other resources, real-time updates throughout the disaster continuum, co-ordination on response efforts, messaging and materials development etc.
“African-American communities are disproportionately vulnerable to and impacted by disasters”, said Dr. Ron Daniels, President & CEO of IBW. “Our socio-economic vulnerability is based on multiple factors, including our lack of wealth to cushion us, our tendency to live in lower quality housing stock and our relative lack of mobility, Also, we tend to live mostly in coastal communities and in the Southeast, which are areas of considerable risk for hurricanes and storm surge.”
Two dozen national African-American associations who are members of IBW’s Black Family Summit (BFS) have endorsed the agreement, with several of their leaders planning to attend the signing ceremony. Representing hundreds of thousands of members, these associations will contribute their technical acumen in key areas including emergency management, social service delivery, health care, mental health therapies, community economic development etc.
This agreement will provide these national black organizations with a unique opportunity to ensure that systems, programs, and practices are in place to uphold the civil and human rights of all when disasters occur.
“I am exceptionally grateful to all of the IBW/Black Family Summit organizations who will assemble on September 25th to witness the signing of the historic FEMA/IBW/BFS Memorandum of Understanding,” said Leonard Dunstan, convener of the Black Family Summit. “The majority of them have been with us on this journey since the inception of BFS in October, 2005 and later at the FEMA African-American Summit in August, 2011. Yet, this grand occasion would never have come to fruition without the astute wisdom and guidance of IBW Board member and BFS advisor, Jacqui Patterson".
After the MOA is signed at Washington DC’s United House of Prayer by IBW’s President Dr. Ron Daniels and FEMA’s Administrator Craig Fugate, IBW will host an “implementation dialogue” involving FEMA officials and representatives of the BFS organizations to discuss ways and means of working together to carry out the objectives of the MOA.
“With climate change resulting in an increase in the severity and frequency of extreme weather events, African-American communities are disproportionately and increasingly at significant risk. Also, given these times of terrorism, urban areas are more likely to be targets for terrorist attacks and African-Americans are disproportionately represented in urban areas. Moreover, African-Americans across the economic spectrum are more likely to live near disaster prone facilities and toxic facilities like oil refineries nuclear reactors,” said Dr. Daniels.
Studies show that African-American households are significantly less likely to be prepared for disasters than those of White Americans. Additionally, African-Americans are underrepresented in disaster response design and implementation. Thus, the systems and protocols established to address disasters often don’t fully take cultures and circumstances of African-Americans into account thus resulting in response mechanisms that fall far short of meeting their needs.
IBW/Black Family Summit Member Organizations:
National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice
National Association of Black Psychologists
Black Psychiatrists of America
National Dental Association
National Medical Association
National Bar Association
National Black United Front
National Association of Black Social Workers, Inc.
National Black Law Enforcement of America
International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters
All Healers Mental Health Alliance
The Royal Circle Foundation
Center for Nu Leadership on Urban Solutions
National Black Leadership Commission on Aids DC/Vicinity