Introduction: This manuscript highlights initial activities from a 5-year project to build a community coalition focused on the promotion of family, school, and community connectedness; academic investment; and social and emotional well-being among black male youth and their families, as well as the prevention and reduction of risk behaviors. Project activities were planned according to the step-by-step coalition-based prevention system, Communities That Care. Methods: During Year 1 (2013/2014), semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 community members (parents, school administrators and teachers, and community leaders and volunteers) to evaluate readiness to adopt Communities That Care. Participants were asked to (1) define community; (2) identify community strengths; (3) recommend methods to strengthen community relationships; (4) envision ideal coalition functions; (5) identify current community resources; (6) recommend prevention targets and methods; (7) identify potential barriers to coalition participation; and (8) assess overall community readiness to adopt Communities That Care. Analyses were conducted in Year 3 (2015/2016). Results: Participants expressed eagerness and readiness to adopt Communities That Care. They identified community strengths and local resources that could contribute to coalition success, as well as potential barriers to participation and group cohesion that if left unaddressed could diminish coalition impact. Participants believed that links between multiple environments (home, school, community) should be strengthened in order to promote the well-being of youth. They envisioned the Communities That Care coalition as a task force of community members with varying talents invested in youth across their entire life course. Conclusions: Community members’ insights may be used to guide implementation of Communities That Care by this coalition and others. Supplement information: This article is part of a supplement entitled African American Men's Health: Research, Practice, and Policy Implications, which is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Research reported in this publication was supported by the Center for Healthy African American Men through Partnerships, funded by the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities through a grant from NIH (U54MD008620), as well as the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of NIH or the Annie E. Casey Foundation. No financial disclosures were reported by the authors of this paper.
This article is part of a supplement entitled African American Men's Health: Research, Practice, and Policy Implications, which is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.