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Development Plan for TAMPU Research & Technical Assistance Committee

(as of November 24, 2002)

The Core Mission of our Committee:

The initial research focus of the Commitee is an assessment of existing data on topics related to race, diversity, and multicultural pluralism in the Palm Beach County. These data, ranging from studies such as "Gathering Storm" by the National Coalition of Advocates for Students, "Imaging the Region" by Allan Wallis, Ph.D., and the "Knight Foundation Community Profile", represent starting points for cross analyses leading to position statements and concrete programs. Next, there will be a need to broaden the scope of the research to include regional, national, and global trends and their implications for our community. An example might be an assessment of the implications of Boca Raton's emerging status as an e-commerce capital and what is commonly referred to as the "digital divide": who does and does not have access to this technology.

It is contemplated that the systems approach to this initial research focus will be utilized. With a systems approach, it is hoped that the "critical variables" underlying or perpetuating disparities can be identified and communicated to TAMPU's Board of Directors and the community at large, and that programs to ameliorate these disparities can be better developed and more broadly supported. The holistic approach will also allow for observation and recommendations on the initiative itself. Finally, it is comtemplated that one of the best ways to institutionalize this initiative is through an enduring partnership with institutions of higher learning and research, which share the same community goals. (These two paragraphs were written by Les Corley.)

Project #1: The Resource Center

The Resource Center has been part of the TAMPU plan for many years. The initial realization of the Resource Center is on the web and in the TAMPU office and the office of Carl House. The web location is (proposed to be) www.RaceMatters.org. (This is not the main TAMPU website; it is the link to the Research Committee. It is our way of making Research Committee information available for use by the BOD, study circle participants, local research efforts and institutions, and others.)

The website has 857 titles at present; approximately 200 titles are specifically about Palm Beach County. The number of pages of material about Palm Beach County (or SE Florida) is probably more than 1000 pages as many reports are quite large. An example of the usefulness of the Resource Center is the following which identifies our. Resources on Haitian Topics

Many resources are available in their entirety on the web. Resources which can't be put on the web either because of their size or format will be available in a repository to be designated.

Finding useful resources is helped in several ways.

Project #1A:

The key documents providing a baseline for TAMPU need to be identified and summarized.

Project #1B: Gathering & Cataloguing Resources

We need to have a means for evaluating resources so that our best resources will appear at the top of the list when future people search. Anyone looking at any of our webpages should have the ability to click on "evaluate" and give us feedback on the usefulness of the information they are viewing.

Project #1C: Indexing Other Resource Centers

We have a list of 96 websites which we judge to be the most helpful and informative websites on the internet on the subject of racial reconciliation and valuing diversity. We are developing a web "portal" that will index all websites on this list which we intend to make available at ValuingDiversity.org.

Project #2: Articulating Possible Projects for Volunteers

  1. Evaluate resources.
  2. Create program.
  3. Write summaries of our key baseline documents.
  4. (other projects) .....

Project #3: Helping Others use our Resources

We must work to make our resources easy for others to use, and at times we will be teachers and facilitators in their use.

Project #4: Creating a really useful "Best Practices" database

John Maguire, Director of the Institute for Democratic Renewal at Claremont Graduate University, has gathered a list of 502 sites in the U.S. whose programs embody "promising practices" in interracial, multicultural community building. The list was assembled from information obtained from The President's Initiative on Race; the Ford Foundation; the Rockefeller Foundation; and The National Conference for Community and Justice. It is possible that we can work with them to create from this work a current and continually updated list of programs at work in America. Such a resource really should exist and it would be a privilege to work with them in creating it.

Project #5: Developing Awareness & Participation in the Educational Community

FAU and Palm Beach Atlantic College were participating on the Research Committee. They should be invited to return, and appropriate faculty and staff at all PBC universities and colleges should be made aware of our work and should be invited to participate and/or to originate their own work in association with ours.

Project #6: Measuring the Impact of TAMPU in PBC

We'd like to be able to show that our effort and the community resources we've used have had a positive impact on quality of life in PBC (on our issues). We will continually seek ways of measuring our impact and will continually work with those who can help in our measurement process. We will have a plan for measuring the consequences of our work.

Budget Summary: (a preliminary estimate that will evolve)

 ContributedValueOutOfPocketCostTotalResources
#1: The Resource Center   
acquisition of published material 500 
search engine annual fee 228 
#1a: Identify & Summarize Baseline Resources   
#1b: Gathering & Cataloguing Resources   
#2: Articulating Possible Projects for Volunteers   
#3: Helping Others use our Resources   
#4: The Higher Education Community in PBC   
#5: Strategy for evaluation of TMPU effort   
#9: Admin & Other 300 
Total 1028 

References:

  1. Addressing Over-Representation.... - an example of a catalogue item for a resource too big for the web. Our search engine and our evaluations (by volunteers) will notify people seeking this sort of information.
  2. ValuingDiversity.org - the 96 websites we are considering to be part of our portal.
  3. RaceMatters.org editorial policy.

Possible Additional Benefits of our Effort:

Carole Coley (Institute for Democratic Renewal), who put together the Community Builders Tool Kit says "RaceMatters.org is one of the best resources I've seen." The TAMPU Resource Center may grow to become an important resource to other organizations who share our concerns. Our exchange with these organizations will help us learn from them.

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