The National Cares Mentoring Movement is a non-profit organization located in the Atlanta area. This organization was founded in 2006 and was formed after the events of Hurricane Katrina. “The organization’s priority population are young black children who come from low-income families and unstable communities” (National CARES). Among all demographics, they believe that black children are at the highest risk for falling into poverty. This is mainly due to the uncontrollable circumstances that they are born into such as their parents’ socio-economic status and the setting they live in.
The services they provide under the organization include: The Rising, The HBCU Rising, University for Parents, National Affiliate Network, and Community Circles. The Rising services are educational based programs that help children engage in a curriculum that teaches about the disparities that exist among the black population. On the other hand, the University for Parents is a service that provides parents the education they need to overcome internal and external obstacles. The National Affiliate Network aims to connect adult mentors to children who need positive role models in their lives. Lastly, Community Circles serves to create group gatherings in which mentors and other leaders of the community can meet up to discuss any matters that have been left untouched.
The National Cares Mentoring Movement does their work accordingly to their mission statement. “The mission for the NCMM is they secure, heal and transform the lives of impoverished Black children by inspiring, recruiting and mobilizing masses of caring Black men and women to mentor and nourish them” (National CARES). They work to not only inspire young black children, but to also nourish them and prepare them for the future. The organization works by connecting volunteers to local youth-serving organizations. Through these volunteers their aim is to help children through aspects of their life such as academic, emotional, and social components.
Since the organization is focused on black children, the NCMM envisions a society where all black children are loved and cared for. “We envision a world in which black children have access to quality, culturally competent education and are supported by well-resourced families and communities living in harmony and guided by faith” (National CARES). They want to make sure that these children are given equal opportunities to excel in life and be able to connect to their American roots and everything that their ancestors did before them to America what it is today.
The National Cares Mentoring Movement is best described as being a culturally competent program. Cultural Competence is defined as being able to communicate and understand people of every demographic. This is extremely important in any organization because being culturally competent means you are better in the long run when it comes to understanding people of different cultures. Without cultural competence, individuals are likely to form more biases towards preposition beliefs that they may have and it will also impact their interactions with people of the targeted population.
Race is the best theory to for the NCMM. The reason for this is because the organization was formed to help young black children who do not have the resources they need to succeed. “The plain fact is that while we sometimes associate ghettos with class, we most frequently see poverty associated with race” (Cruz, A). The reality of it is race has played a major role of how demographics are viewed and the stereotypes that are established with their skin color. The NCMM wants their children to hold on to their roots so they can understand the way society has shaped their race. Race can be used to help the young black population recognize that the color of their skin does not define them according to the way their ancestors were treated in the past. This theory will help them understand that just because they are black doesn’t mean they have a predestined life of not succeeding in society like previous ancestors.
The theory of race can best be implemented into the services that offer educational curriculums to better educate the children. This will ultimately create a better sense of awareness and understanding of how their race was mostly defined in the early days when America was colonized. “Much of the existence of race can trace its origins to the colonization of the Americas” (Cruz, A). This is also true when talking about the Europeans settling in America. “Race, as we currently understand it, as we currently live it, is almost entirely a product of the European imagination” (Cruz, A). If young black children understand that the term “race” was created by Europeans to assert their dominance, then they will be better off knowing that the color of their skin does not restrict them from excelling in life.
It would be also beneficial for the NCMM to use race to explain the history of social structure in their education services. Social structure was also created by the Europeans to establish that everyone outside of white was below them. Much of the social ladder that exists today plays a big effect on the way people are defined. “Categories that affect social standing include family ancestry, race, ethnicity, age, and gender” (Learning, L). The first few categories that are presented are family ancestry, race, and ethnicity. The truth is these factors play a huge role in predicting someone’s success. By understanding this, the children of the NCMM will be motivated to rise above these predestined notions and achieve structural mobility. “Structural mobility happens when societal changes enable a whole group of people to move up or down the social class ladder” (Learning, L). This movement can only be achieved if enough individuals are willing to set aside propositions established by the early settlers.
The National Cares Mentoring Movement is considered to be a culturally competent organization to help the young black population. The NCMM does a great job of ensuring that young black children are getting taught old and new information that will help them think more freely about who they are as a person. Teaching about race in their organization is probably the best approach for creating a better sense of understanding and awareness. This will better prepare them for the everyday societal obstacles they may face.
- Cruz, A. (2017, July 21). Europeans invented the concept of race as we know it. Retrieved from https://timeline.com/europeans-invented-the-concept-of-race-as-we-know-it-58f896fae625.
- Learning, L. (n.d.). Introduction to Sociology. Retrieved from https://courses.lumenlearning.com/sociology/chapter/social-stratification-and-mobility-in-the-united-states/.
- National CARES Mentoring Movement. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.caresmentoring.org/.