North Central Massachusetts Minority Coalition

Overview

The North Central Massachusetts Minority Coalition is a strategic alliance between the region’s five minority-led agencies (Spanish American Center, Hmong–Lao Foundation, Three Pyramids Inc., Twin Cities Latino Coalition, and the Cleghorn Neighborhood Center). The Minority Coalition also includes faith-based and agency representatives, who are working within the coalition to organize, empower and support racial, linguistic and ethnic minorities, as well as people with disabilities and other disadvantaged poor and working class people.

Mission Statement: To build vision-lead collaborations between minority-lead institutions and others by sharing information, power, and resources for mutual benefit and to achieve systems change for the common good.

Vision: “Uniting People for the Common Good.” We are engaged in empowering and working with people across cultures to build knowledge and understanding of the need to better serve the disadvantaged and to hold the public interest above narrow self-interest and group demands.

Methodology: To create an asset-based multi-cultural development strategy which focuses on knowledge- based interventions that build individual, organizational and community capacity.

Background: In the early 1990s, minority leaders responding to the dramatic increases in the minority population in North Central Massachusetts, and to two studies that addressed racial disparities in the region, agreed to form the Minority Coalition. Our goal was to build unity and to empower the ethnic, racial and linguistic minorities in the region. In the mid 1990’s The Minority Coalition received DPH funding for HIV and STD education for children of color. In 2005 The Minority Coalition was one of six agencies throughout New England to receive a Capacity-Building Learning Project Grant through Third Sector New England.

The grant enabled minority-led agencies and others to develop a process to allow diverse partners in the Coalition to learn and grow together; to assess needs, organize resources and to begin to develop the power and potential of the growing population of ethnic, racial, and linguistic minorities living in the region.

Primary Goal: In 2008 the primary goal of The Minority Coalition is to build a movement based on equity and systems change. The Minority Coalition is building a multi-racial democratic movement, where power and trust is rested in principals, values and ideas. We are working to promote diversity in leadership particularly among youths and females. We are creating a movement that values and respects the dignity, power and potential of all human beings. Also, a movement based on equity across class, gender and race, in the North Central Massachusetts region and beyond.

Lead Agency

Three Pyramids is the lead agency for the Minority Coalition. Three Pyramids, Inc. has operated as a state certified minority-led community and economic development corporation since 1971. Three Pyramids mission is to promote equal opportunity, personal responsibility, and social justice through the social, cultural, political and economic empowerment of people of color, women, children and families.

In 1969, Three Pyramids was founded by Cape Verdeans, African Americans and Native Americans in Duxbury on Cape Cod. During the past thirty-nine years the agency has operated community development projects throughout Massachusetts and in Africa. The agency has focused on empowering people to take control and authority over their lives.

Throughout the years Three Pyramids has had the integrity and courage to take public stands on social and racial justice issues that have been controversial or unpopular. However, the agency’s work and commitment to social cultural and economic justice has been recognized and supported by education, government, business and other community based institutions and constituents. The agency has built a reputation based on collaboration, advocacy and constituency volunteerism and empowerment.

Movement Building and Systems Change

The Minority Coalition works to bring those who are most and least advantaged together for change. Our membership includes college and school leaders, neighborhood residents, members of the banking and business community, health care, human services, government, clergy and others who are creating together a movement for social, gender and racial equity and systems change. They are establishing relationships by building unity and trust across cultures. They are promoting the kind of hope that is made real by embodying transformational change, where real results come from the people. People who develop strategies that address solutions to the underlying problems we face in the 21st century.

Organizational Structure

Executive Board: The Executive Board is the governance arm of the coalition. The membership consist of the heads of the minority led organizations or their designees. The boards membership will also include, learning network co-chairs and others who will be appointed from the membership. The Executive Board membership should reflect diversity of action, thought, people and geography. The president of the Coalition will chair all Executive Board Meetings.

Administration and Management: The Technical Assistants and Management (TAM) division is the administrative and management arm of the Coalition. The TAM division is lead by the Coalitions administrator who will work with consultants capable of helping to sustain the Coalitions long term operations. The TAM division is responsible for fund and resource development, information and communication technology, marketing, publicity and outreach, fiscal management, budget development and evaluations.

Learning Networks: Networks will gather financial, human and technical resources to help build the capacity of minority-led institutions and the constituents they serve. Network members will learn and grow together by operating through shared leadership and by holding each other mutually accountable for developing strategic performance-based entrepreneurial sustainability plans. The goal of the networks is to affect meaningful change by focusing on the following areas:

  • Health Care Disparities
  • Leadership & Civic Engagement
  • Business & Economic Development
  • Race, Poverty & Justice Initiative

Our Membership: Champions for Change

The Minority Coalition is accountable to and receives direction from its membership. The Minority Coalition continues to build on our successes and we are discovering how to tap into people’s desire, commitment and capacity to learn and grow together.

The Minority Coalition, through our membership, works to live our vision of “Uniting People for the Common Good”. We are actively engaging and working with people across cultures to build knowledge and understanding of our interdependence. Our commitment to the “Common Good” means pursuing policies and community actions that benefit all individuals and balance self-interest with the needs of the entire society.