We're Fabulous - The Family Advisory Board Comes Together

United for Brownsville is excited to tell our friends in Brooklyn and beyond that we are now up and running with the Family Advisory Board (FAB). In fact, this news is a little late, since the first monthly FAB meeting convened on May 24, 2018 at SCO's Morris Koppelman Center.

That first meeting followed months talking to Brownsville residents on the street or at community centers, schools, daycare centers, shelters, and wherever else we could get an invitation. It also followed a lengthy application process that included family-style dinners, information sessions, and group interviews.

UB's backbone staff--Kassa Belay, Dionne Grayman, David Harrington, and Nysheva-Starr--are enthused to be working with such a talented, passionate, and committed group of mothers, fathers, and grandparents. These local leaders are working together and with the Provider Action Team (PAT) to transform the early childhood landscape in their community.

The FAB represents a true cross-section of Brownsville, including the diversity of life experiences one can find here. That diversity will be the FAB's strength. No one is better-positioned to lead our efforts to improve the experience of parenting and serving infants and toddlers in this community than those who have lived those experiences themselves.

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UB's promise to the FAB is that we will bring decision-makers to the same table as the families whose lives they impact and whose children they serve but whose voices are rarely part of decision-making conversations, and we are beginning to achieve that. As one member said, "I have been in a lot of rooms for a lot of meetings, but I have never been in the room with a group quite like this one."

The FAB has met three times over the last three months, and we are already beginning to collaborate with the PAT on a proposal that will impact infants and toddlers here. Stay tuned for more details about the proposal as they emerge.

David Harrington