Due to the developmental changes that are occurring in our region a group of community leaders, professionals, elders and youth from South Seattle and South King County cities came together to discuss issues that matter to them. After building trust and relationships, they shared their concerns about the risk of high displacement and low economic opportunities for the African refugee and immigrant population. Health, housing, education and economic development were the main reoccurring themes that were discussed as high priority issues. Through series of discussions, they learned and recognized that they are all part of the learning community, and some of the community members expressed that these had been the most rewarding conversations they had.
They discovered their assets of ingenuity, resourcefulness, and ability to fully engage and inspire their communities for the purpose of furthering their common cause. As a result of these discussions, they decided to establish African Community Housing &Development (ACH&D) to understand the dynamics of the change happening in King County. The community recognizes the importance of helping themselves before they seek help from other. ACH&D is committed to provide the greatest value service to its community,funders and volunteer supporters.
As a membership-based organization, ACHD relies on engaged participation. Members are expected to:
ACHD relates to the work the community does. This includes solving common problems, sharing ideas, setting standards, building tools, and developing relationships with peers, supporters, and members. Members will strengthen their collective learning and creativity in the context of common work, to provide value to the organization. Like many other communities, the ACHD community grows based on the increasing benefits individuals or organizations accrue from participating in and supporting the work. Sometimes these rewards include personal satisfaction in contributing to and being recognized for adding value to the work. ACHD’s positive impact helps solve important social and community problems. Our success not only retains a substantial percentage of our members, but also attracts new ones. By engaging in relevant work and building our membership, we will ensure continued and growing value to the community.
Social Interaction: ACHD will operate using various interpersonal modes, including face-to-face, video teleconference, telephone, email, website access, and social media pervasive and effective methods.
Information sharing: Information sharing is very important and is defined in a manner that all members receive the same information in a timely manner.
Trust: Good relationships are built on interpersonal trust. Members are dedicated to the goals of ACHD and to treat others with respect. Trust is an important key ingredient for facilitating information sharing.
Dynamics: Effective participation and operation within ACHD are highly correlated with good interpersonal skills in all settings. This requires an awareness and understanding of human motivation and behavior.
Purpose: All work will have a defined scope early to ensure that all necessary information is available.
Passion: Know and care about ACHD issues, support the services ACHD provides, and fulfilling ACHD vision and mission brings success to the community.
Strategic Objectives: Define the terminology, goals, and constraints, and understand the problem and objectives so people are willing to participate. Address cross-organizational and cultural challenges through structure, partnership, and transparency. Any issues and competing agendas need to be addressed directly, seeking common ground and win-win solutions.
Leadership: Ensure that there is strong leadership and commitment to success. Both attributes are important to keep ACHD members engaged and moving in a common direction.
Commitment: Prepare for long-term commitment. ACHD requires significant levels of work participation and member engagement over time.
Procedures: ACHD tailors its norms and procedures to the organization’s culture and objectives.