Redefining Success with the Blackshires Empowerment Platform

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Working Title

“Blackshires”

Impact Charter & Strategic Plan

Summary

Impact Hypothesis

We believe < this project >

Developing a community-owned directory for the Black community in the Berkshires

will result in < this meaningful goal >

increased awareness of and collaboration with the amazing Black businesses, organizations, and groups, and people in the Berkshires. This will help the Black community establish a larger cultural presence and create a positive impact within the larger Berkshire community.

If successful, we might expect < these tangible changes >

A sustainable web platform/directory like 1Berkshire that can be used by all community stakeholders that will instill pride in the richness of the Black culture and experience in the Berkshires.

Additionally, when successful, it will provide a space where

  • Organizations and businesses can advertise their products and services to the Berkshire Black Community.
  • New residents of color can connect quickly.
  • Residents and tourists can find and support Black-Owned businesses and organizations.
  • Upcoming events that are relevant to the Black community in the region can be highlighted.
  • Companies can advertise employment opportunities to the Black community

Champions

< leader of the project: responsibilities include project updates & project success >

Berkshire Black Empowerment Platform Leadership Circle

Sharron Frazier-McClain, Leadership Circle Co-Champion

Dubois Thomas, Leadership Circle Co-Champion

Context & Insights

< Important insights that relates to this project. >

Purpose

To support and inspire economic & community development of the Berkshire Black community.

Narrative Background

< narrative explanation detailing why the project is being undertaken >

During the COVID-19 pandemic and especially after the murder of George Floyd, there was an outpouring of support from our Berkshire Community to businesses owned by African-Americans in Berkshire County. However, there did not exist a centralized digital space for greater Berkshire County to connect with African-American business owners and access information.

Many of our white allies wanted to connect and support Black-owned businesses within the Berkshire County Region. The Black community, in a call for more economic support for African American Businesses, also intends to invest more in Black and Brown Businesses.

Moreover, during the pandemic, there did not exist a public directory for funding organizations to communicate available resources to African American businesses & organizations, thus creating a communication gap.

Vision

We see a place where the Berkshire Black businesses, organizations, and community in the Berkshires are highly visible.

A community-owned digital space that keeps the community’s highest interest in mind, creates a place for community members to easily connect and encourages cooperation on issues faced by the community between organizations and other community stakeholders.

Stakeholders

Internal

< list of internal decision-makers >

  • Leadership Team
    • Berkshire Black Empowerment Leadership Organization
  • Working Team
    • R3SET Enterprises
    • SP3AK EASY Studio
    • Lewis Communications
    • Reaction Foundry
  • Fiscal Sponsor
    • Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation

External

< list of external decision-makers >

  • Black Owned Business within the Berkshires
  • Black Organizations within the Berkshires
  • Partners
    • City Of Pittsfield
    • 1Berkshire

Shared Values

  • Collaboration
  • Transparency
  • Diversity
  • Equity
  • Inclusion

Challenges

  • Berkshire County is currently home to around 5,700 Black residents.

Advantages

  • Berkshire county has a rich history of Black thought leadership
  • A digital-first approach is resistant to disruption by COVID or other social disturbances

Timeframes

Start Date

< the date project execution began >

June 16th, 2020

Target Completion Date

< the date project should be completed >

March 31st, 2021

Additional Opportunities

  1. The opportunity for the Berkshire Black Community to own their own media/marketing platform is essential to establish it’s identity here in the Berkshires, and create a narrative marketing framework that supports Black businesses, Black economic commerce, Black organizational development, and inspires individual Black success.
  2. This digital platform provides the opportunity for the whole Berkshire community and its organizations to advertise products and services to the Black community.
  3. It will serve as a resource to organizations and businesses to plug into the Black community with ease

Guidance System

Goals

  • Create a sustainable, community-owned platform for the Black Community of the Berkshires
  • Create a digital space to honor and celebrate Black Culture and Experience in our voice.
  • Support Black-owned businesses, organizations, and groups
  • Improved job placement of Black professionals
  • Increased organizational growth of Black-owned businesses
  • Improved recruitment and retention rate of Black community members
  • Significantly improved transparency on community challenges
  • Significantly increased cooperation to solve community issues
  • Raises sufficient revenue to sustain and grow website

Signals

Quantitative

  • Reach
  • of Black-owned businesses in the Berkshires
  • of Members
    • Community Members
    • Organizational Members
  • of black-owned businesses started in the Berkshires
  • Sufficient revenues to cover website expenses

Qualitative

  • Perception of the Black community
Team R3SET

Team R3SET

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