Thursday, April 14, 2011

Presenting the Central Harlem Coalition (CHC)

Hi folks....Last week, the members of the Drug Free Central Harlem Coalition met to continue planning their upcoming Youth Summit on Underage Drinking.  Plans for the event are coming along nicely with everyone transitioning nicely into their leadership roles and finalizing aspects of the Friday, April 29th event.  A few updates:

  • A title was chosen...."Blame it on the Alcohol: Youth Summit Against Underage Drinking"
  • The event will held at Our Children's Foundation (527 West 125th Street)
  • The Dept. of Transportation Safety Education Unit will provide two workshops, the first is on the physical, mental, and emotional effects of underage alcohol use & the second will be a panel discussion involving DUI offenders speaking about their decision to drink and drive and the consequences of their actions.  The group is hoping to get participants that are between 16-25 years old to have the message resonate with the kids in attendance.
  • Flyer will be ready for distribution in about a weeks time

Next week, the group will focus on reaching out to local organizations to recruit the kids......stay tuned!

Goodbye "Drug Free"

Once the event planning concluded for the evening, talk turned to the coalition structure with much of the discussion centering on branding (especially since the flyers needed to go out).  Members debated the name of the coalition and came to the consensus that the use of the words "Drug Free" were perhaps a little limiting and could potentially turn away some community stakeholders.  They unanimously voted to shorten the name to the "Central Harlem Coalition".   Additionally, they may add a tagline to help describe the focus of the group.

From moved to officially selecting two co-chairs for the group with representatives from both Mt. Sinai Adolescent Health Center & Our Children's Foundation being frontrunners.   While I'm pretty sure this will end up being formalized....I don't want to announce it prematurely...Stay Tuned!

Finally, the group voted to establish a P.O. Box and Coalition email address to help with correspondence and donations.   They can be reached at

They will also be working on revising the mission statement to better reflect the work and purpose of the group, creating some membership guidelines, and finalizing their MOU's.

It's been a lot of progress in a short time....not bad for a group that was unsure if they would continue three weeks ago....BRAVO!

Until next week.....CW

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