Newsletter for Southeastern Association of Community Action Agencies (SEACAA) - November 2019

The SEACAA 2019 Conference, #CommunityActionWorks, made its way to Embassy Suites Myrtle Beach Oceanfront in SC without a hitch despite Hurricane Dorian's most daunting threats to the southeast. Little did she know, attendees were equipped with their green umbrellas in Sharon Price's workshop.

Click here to see a copy of the 2019 Conference Program book and the other sessions.
Change Agents in Social Determinants of Health
The preconference Social Determinants of Health kicked off the first day of the conference on Tuesday. Community Action KY Executive Director, Roger McCann, moderated the session featuring Thought Leader and Author, Ellen Fink-Samnick. The session focused on ways community action agencies can best position themselves to be leaders in this space.

Missed it? No worries, Handouts for this and other sessions can be found on the SEACAA website here.

While you're there, be sure to check out the Photo Gallery might eye some surprising and funny twists like President Holt being roasted for his birthday, impressive shag dancing, our very own - community action's got talent (CAGT) show.....and much more. See for yourself!
#CommunityActionWorks because of the dedicated and committed staff that work with our families every day. They embody the spirit of hope that truly creates change in our communities.
- Catrena Bowman-Thomas, SEACAA Treasurer and Executive Director,

#Community Action Works is very important, timely, and impactful as I have had the privilege of my family being recipients of services when I was a child and now working with my agency, Multi County Community Service Agency provide excellent service through our many programs that make a difference in the lives of everyday ordinary people. “Helping People Changing Lives”
- Ronald Collier, Executive Director, Multi-County Community Services Agency, Inc.
Get A Jump! SEACAA Returns to the Beau
The 2020 SEACAA Annual Conference will be held at the infamously popular Beau Rivage Hotel in Biloxi, MS, November 3-6. Get a Jump and Reserve your room here!

Look for more updates on the 2020 SEACAA conference webpage.

Inaugural Leadership Expedition Sets Sail in Wrightsville Beach, NC
NC - NC's Community Action Association recently launched its first Non-Profit Leadership Expedition at Wrightsville Beach, NC. More than 40 people participated in this unique leadership experience with a nautical flavor. 

Web-based Tracks Offered
  • Human Resources
  • Executive/Deputy Director
  • Financial Officer

The e-learning platform can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play affect a wide range of health risks and outcomes. 1 These conditions are known as social determinants of health (SDOH) .
We know that poverty limits access to healthy foods and safe neighborhoods and that more education is a predictor of better health. 2,3,4 We also know that differences in health are striking in communities with poor SDOH such as unstable housing, low income, unsafe neighborhoods, or substandard education. 5,6 By applying what we know about SDOH, we can not only improve individual and population health but also advance health equity.

Ready, Set, Go!
Hurricane Dorian left us all with something to think about when it comes to hurricane preparedness. Are you ready?

Wells Fargo District Manager Mark Tamasi said, “We’re familiar with CSRA EOA the great work they do around home-ownership, affordability as well as neighborhood revitalization.”

GA - Affordable housing in Richmond County got a boost Wednesday through a $250,000 grant to the CSRA Economic Opportunity Authority. A $250,000 grant from Wells Fargo will help change lives.
#HappeningNow : . @WellsFargo reps at the Kroc Center to present the CSRA Economic Opportunity Authority with a $250,000 grant to support the renovation of former transitional homes to then be sold to LMI homebuyers.

Who Belongs? - Targeted Universalism
Catch up on the concept of " Targeted Universalism: Policy & Practice " presented at the national Community Action Partnership Conference by Haas Institute Director, john a. powell. Powell provides a roadmap to design policy that can serve groups otherwise excluded, while also promising to improve outcomes for people situated in relatively privileged positions. Targeted Universalism is a powerful way—to make the transformational changes we need to improve life chances, promote inclusion, and enhance and sustain equitable policies and programs.

Learn more about this concept  here .
john a. powell is an internationally recognized expert in the areas of civil rights, civil liberties, structural racism, housing, poverty, and democracy. john is the Director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at the University of California, Berkeley.

Historic School's Senior Apartments Get a Facelift
CADA Announces Funding to Renovate Woodland-Olney School Apartments
NC - The historic Woodland-Olney School that was converted into 30 subsidized senior apartments in 1998 by Choanoke Area Development Association of NC, Inc. (CADA) and many partners will receive a facelift and modernization to better serve the senior tenants who reside in the apartments. An allocation of federal and state historic tax credits has been received by New Woodland-Olney, LLC to fund $2.3 million in repairs. Read More
Bridging the Gap

MS - The Bolivar County Community Action Agency (BCCAA) Head Start Program recently launched an innovative program using technology to improve the gap in student achievement by engaging parents in their children’s education. The Head Start Centers under the BCCAA umbrella are primarily located in seven small, rural communities throughout Bolivar County. Through a partnership with the Waterford Foundation, the BCCAA Head Start Program was able to provide families enrolled in the program with computers and Internet access free of charge for use at home. Students have demonstrated substantial increases in achievement in literacy and mathematics and parents are empowered to help their children academically, socially, and emotionally ........... Read More

“this program is just one of the many ways in which the agency is networking with other organizations, parents, and students to make Bolivar County and the world a better place” - Elnora Littleton, Executive Director
Elnora F. Littleton is an innovator, educator and community leader at Bolivar County Community Action Agency. She currently holds the position of Executive Director & Head Start Director. She has been in the field of preschool education for more than 50 years. She has worked at BCCAA since 1965 and is very active throughout the entire Bolivar County community. Through hard work and excellent standards, she ensured that each of the 6 Head Start Centers are all licensed and NAEYC accredited sites .... Read More
ESR Co-Hosts Outdoor Movie Series
NC— Experiment in Self-Reliance (ESR), in partnership with Forsyth County Public Library, Great Commission Community Church, and New Communion hosted two movies over the summer as a part of their Family Film Fest: Outdoor Movie Series.
All movies were equipped with Spanish subtitles. Participants had the opportunity to enjoy educational entertainment and learn about community resources before the movie screening, including the Forsyth County Public Library, the Winston-Salem Police Department, and more.
New Communion donated school supplies and a weeks-worth of food to families on both movie nights.
(PART 3 of 3)
GA - This article concludes the 3-part series presented by Dr. Joyce Dorsey, President /CEO of Fulton Atlanta Community Action Authority in GA . It is a must read , particularly for all community action practitioners who want to improve their success in the care and treatment of clients/customers who have experienced "trauma." In her previous presentation on this topic, Dr. Dorsey introduced the phenomenon of Trauma as a hindrance to one’s success if not addressed properly....She contends that "Unaddressed trauma not only leads to deep-seated behavioral issues, but harbors within the psyche of most of the poor, incarcerated and homeless individuals. Summarily put, trauma can be regarded as a major cause of personal failure and ultimately, poverty."
Find out why - Part 3.

Left unaddressed, Trauma intensifies to depression, anxiety, societal failure, alienation from family, withdrawal from friends and disables one’s ability to function vocationally or effectively in personal relationships.
Consequently, it is logical to explore an interest in trauma as a factor in the question.... why is poverty so difficult to resolve?
Read more about P overty in America

Her Summary: The information shared in these successive articles represents a forty-five year overview of my administrative and direct service experiences with low income citizens through agencies providing services addressing incarceration, foster care, mental health, domestic violence, workforce development/unemployment, homelessness and persistent poverty-related difficulties. .....As I conclude this last section on my topic I will offer recommendations that can stimulate program quality for any social service agency dealing with with multi-faceted programs. While I do not encourage psychological intervention, I will recommend motivational services that allow family leaders to identify their own needs in order to awaken a desire to challenge their own needs for self-improvement and personal development to recognize how the inability to overcome a traumatic experience ( dysthymia ) hinders one’s own possibility to face challenges and succeed in life.

So what Can We Do? C heck out Dr. Dorsey's recommendations on How to Begin A Personal Development Program to Improve One’s Chance to Overcome Poverty -
A.) Construct a Community Needs Survey to assess...................... R e ad more in the article .

Thank you, Dr. Dorsey for taking the time to share a lifetime of learned lessons and best practices acquired throughout the 45 year span of your career dedicated to "Helping People, Teaching Poverty Free Living, Changing Lives."

Jobs After Jail
There are nowhere near enough living wage jobs to go around in the United States; workers are trapped in low wage work and unable to make ends meet. It is even more difficult for those who have been incarcerated to find work that pays a living wage, as institutionalized barriers to employment limit the types of jobs available to those with conviction records

Photo: The Cut
How to Give Constructive Criticism Without Making It Awkward
So, you’re working with someone whose work isn’t exactly what you need it to be, and you need to ask them to do it differently. Maybe the correction is relatively minor, or maybe it’s a big deal. Either way, if you’re like a lot of people, having to tell a colleague they’re doing something wrong makes you anxious. But if it’s done well, giving constructive criticism doesn’t have to be awkward or unpleasant for you or your co-worker.

Here’s how to do it.
1. First, know that giving and receiving corrections at work is very, very normal.
Thanksgiving is the Best!

There are plenty of reasons to love Thanksgiving. While every family has their own unique take on traditions, giving thanks while enjoying classic dishes like roast turkey and pumpkin pie are some of our favorites. No matter how you celebrate, Thanksgiving is the perfect way to kick off the holiday season . Cheers!

An Effective Way to Tackle the Social Causes of Poor Health
Treating poverty is probably as hard as — if not harder than — treating cancer or heart disease. The new business model for health requires healthcare organizations to address not only medical problems, but social problems like hunger, loneliness, and trauma. That’s because these types of issues — known as the social determinants of health (SDOH) — are key impediments to achieving the outcomes healthcare organizations are now given incentives to deliver.

Southern Tidbits – (everything you need to know about Southern culture!)......& the Grits Belt
  • Did you know that "The Shag" originated in either North or South Carolina during the jitterbug-era of the 1940s? Carolina Beach, NC, and Myrtle Beach, SC, are the two contenders for the honors. (Check out the background history in the comments under " RSS comments" and make up your own mind!

The South is well-known for its "sweet tea," but did you know that South Carolina was the first place in the US where tea was grown, and the only location where it is still produced commercially? The tea produced there is the official tea of the White House.

"Grits" are as Southern as it gets when it comes to food staples. In fact, most of the grits sold in the US are from a belt of coastal states stretching from Louisiana to the Carolinas, known as the "Grits Belt."

Early Bird Registration for the 2020 Management and Leadership Training Conference Ends November 4th!
Registration for the 2020 Management and Leadership Training Conference (MLTC) in San Juan, Puerto Rico is now open! The MLTC is targeted to board and staff leaders at Community Action Agencies. The 2020 MLTC will feature intensive training, structured roundtable discussions, and networking opportunities. Whether you've been leading and managing for years, or you're looking forward to that promotion into management, you'll become your best with our Management and Leadership Training Conference.

The deadline for Early Bird savings is November 4, 2019!

Click here to learn more and register.
Coming Up!...... 2020 CALENDAR

SEACAA Board of Directors Meeting, Omni Hotel & Resort, 2020 Reg IV Head Start Annual Training Conference & Expo, Atlanta, GA

SEACAA 2020 Annual Conference , Beau Rivage, Biloxi, MS

Forward newsletter submissions to by January 31st for the February edition.