Latinos D | Mpowerment New York City, Brooklyn NY
In a city as diverse and large as New York City, Latinos D mobilizes their Core using these strategies . . .
Core Group (CG) participants apply to be members. Core members are more involved with the project and they make a commitment to be more involved. They apply and are then interviewed by staff and other core members. There is no term limit. They do have attendance requirements. Core members cannot miss three meetings in a row, however if they call in and give a reason for non-attendance that is okay and won’t count against them.
Core Group meetings are open to everyone, including Core Group members, participants and volunteers. Everyone has a voice and is welcome to express ideas and opinions. Although it is open, mostly Core Group members attend.
They set up clear guidelines on what it means to be a Core Group member. They know the responsibilities and the benefits of being members. If someone is not selected we tell them why. Again, the Core Group is open to everyone and there are many volunteer opportunities so if someone is not chosen it’s not as if they are excluded.
Everyone can voice their opinion at CG, however only members can make decisions.The Core Group also sets the rules. Also only Core members can attend the once a month special meeting for evaluation.
Members are open to apply to Core Group at any time, although the coordinators actively pursue those who have volunteered for a while. Potential members are approached and are asked to attend a meeting. At the end of their first CG we ask them to share what they think of the project.
They are always looking to recruit new Core participants. They like to have at least 10 but they do have a upper limit of 12 Core members.
Those who are not members are actively engaged to help with Project activities. On the day of the event volunteers help decorate and come early to help set up.
Each month CG members are given gift cards (Stop n’ Shop). How much is determined by how many points they earn. Core members gain points by volunteering as well as showing up for events.
Core Group benefits include being invited to additional trainings, but these meetings are not mandatory. Different agencies provide these trainings; these are hosted by the NY DOH. Courses include sessions on group facilitation, HIV and STI information and HIV testing. CG members are invited to LGBT, equality and community mobilization trainings.
They evaluate Core members once a month. The first Thursday of each month, we review a check-list board that is kept for each member. The board is in the coordinators office and available for all to see. Members receive points for attending events, volunteering and helping out. They receive points for attending Core Group, extra points for doing outreach, taking care of food at events and when they do administrative work. Then on the last month of the year we meet with each member. We review what they have contributed to Latinos D. We have questions and write down what they say for a report. We also check to see if they want to continue as a Core member. Members can lose points (say they commit to hosting a video night, then don’t show up).
They offer activities that are exclusive for CG members to learn and share time together. They have special Core dinners for CG. Sometimes they offer tickets for CG to go to the park together. They notice that sometimes CG usually only socialize when they are at the club, so it’s very important to have social inclusive events where the CG do not have to do volunteer.
Retiro 2011 "Fortaleciendo Nuestra Fraternidad" - YouTube http://bit.ly/tAoRfY
Module 5 Core Group and Volunteers is a free download on www.mpowerment.org
Objectives: To familiarize you with the decision-making body of the Project, the CG, as well as other volutneers who are not part of the CG. Both the CG and the non-Core Group volunteers are essential Core Elements of the MP.