National Network on Preventing Crime in the Black Community


Utilizing the "Village Concept" to Identify Strengths when Working with Black Families

"As we move toward the new millennium, I challenge each of you to take personal responsibility to ensure that at least one child in your environment is nurtured, cared for, and loved."

Brenda "BJ" Jarmon, Ph.D
Florida A. & M. University
Department of social Work.
850/ 561-2263

Years ago, the "village" consisted of fictive kinship among non-related Blacks because of
their common ancestry, history, and social plight. Today, this concept is alive and well in a number of Black communities. Utilizing the village concept by modeling appropriate adult behavior and practicing what we preach is one way we can identify strengths in the Black community. Look for the following strengths or assist Black families to:


We must be very sure that our children witness the same from us. The village concept kept
many of our ancestors from harm and danger. As we move toward the new millennium, I challenge each of you to take personal responsibility to ensure that at least one child in your environment is nurtured, cared for, and loved. The Children's Defense Fund's mission statement says it all. "Our mission is to ensure that no child is left behind and that every child receives a head start, a safe start, a fair start, and a moral start in life, with the support of caring parents and nurturing
communities."

Mary McCleod Bethune charges us with a responsibility to our young people. She says:

"I leave you, finally, a responsibility to our young people.
The world around us really belongs to youth, for youth
will take over its future management."


We are the adults whom God has charged with the tremendous responsibility of taking care
of His children (See Proverbs 22:6).

IF NOT US, WHO? IF NOT NOW, WHEN?