Ever heard of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators? Me either. Well, that was until last week when I attended their “Igniting the Future Gala” in celebration of 30 years of supporting black public leadership in government. The website states that they have 40 chapters and more than 2,600 members.
What I really liked about this organization, well, besides the fact that they had open bar and Wolfgang Puck catering at this reception, was their strong focus on the community. In addition to programs for members, the organization has several initiatives to improve the disparities in our communities.
I caught up with Major F. Riddick Jr., the National Chair of the NFBPA’s 30th Anniversary Celebration to speak about this. What I really wanted to know is how the NFBPA is actually igniting the future. And going a step further, how he saw the public supporting this effort.
Some of his thoughts: The pathway to a strong community is through healthy citizens who are able to live, work and play with a great quality of productive life. We also need to develop smarter communities through a stronger and effective use of technology. NFBPA wants to develop national partnerships like the one that you heard mentioned by the national representative from the YMCA for our Healthy Communities Initiative and possibly organizations like IBM and many other technology companies to connect dashboards and mobility platforms to the way we serve our citizens better in the community.
It’s NFBPA desire to Ignite the Future with a national effort to develop and expand coalitions within most of our urban communities to make a difference. Increase the National Profile of these issues and that of NFBPA so that public administrators across the country find the passion and improved strategies to connect to their communities with best practices regarding wellness and technology. Public Administrators can find that passion with a coordinated effort that fires things up a bit or “Ignites the Future.”
The “30 by 30 Health Communities Initiative” mentioned above, encourages communities to engage 30 local entities to form coalitions to spread messages of wellness among individuals and communities on the local level. In addition to this movement, NFPBA also has a Smarter Communities through Technology Initiative. This program is geared towards utilizing growing technology on multiple levels in order to work smarter as we all address issues dealing with youth, public safety, social services, transportation and many other areas. I support that.
Pictures: You’ll probably recognize some of the individuals from the pictures: Anthony G. Brown – Maryland State Lt. Governor, Rushern L. Baker – Prince George’s County Executive, Obie Patterson – Prince George’s County Council Member, Ike Leggett – Montgomery County Executive, William D. Euille – Mayor of the City of Alexandria, VA, Steny Hoyer – U.S. Representative for Maryland, Kasim Reed – Mayor of the City of Atlanta, GA, and John Marks – Mayor of the City of Tallahassee, FL.
Today, I’m thankful for the individuals and organizations that are on fire and igniting others with passion. God bless.