History of Florida Asset Building Coalition (FABC)
Florida Asset Building Coalition (FABC) evolved from a gathering of dedicated community-based organizations, researchers, and individuals at Tuskegee University in 2005.
In 2005, there was a gathering of dedicated community-based organizations, researchers, and individuals at Tuskegee University to discuss ways in which the quality of life for the residents of the Black Belt region might be improved. From this group emerged the Black Belt Action Network (BBAN), devoted to developing strategies and increasing awareness and mobilization efforts within the region. This event was an reengagement of a successful partnership with Southern Food Systems and Education Consortium (SOFSEC), which consists of HBCUs & 1890's, & their community-based organization partners in the Black Belt region whose efforts resulted in important federal legislation. Legislation for the Black Belt region sponsored by the 108 Congress, Congressman Arthur Davis (AL) sponsored bill HR678, The Southern Empowerment & Economic Development (SEED Act) of 2003 that would form a governmental authority known as DBBRA (Delta Black Belt Regional Authority). What emerged from this working group in Tuskegee was a proposal written by Tuskegee and BBAN to the Ford Foundation for funding capacity building efforts towards improving the quality of life for the residents of the Black Belt region.
Due to the devastating destruction of Katrina in New Orleans, the Ford Foundation funded the project to establish network of organizations to strengthen the regional and other state level coalitions in support of a more inclusive policy ad program agenda that will eventually produce desired policy outcomes of assisting victims of recent hurricanes and persistent poverty in the southern Black Belt Region.
The project began in August 2006 at Tuskegee University (TU) in partnership with the Center for Social Development (CSD) at Washington University in St. Louis. Alabama Arise, Florida Family Network (FFN), Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund (FSC/LAF), Florida A & M University (FAMU), and Mississippi Association of Cooperatives (MAC) joined as lead state partners and conveners of the state coalitions during the first two funding cycles.
Beginning in May 2010, War on Poverty-Florida (WPF) joined the Florida efforts in a administrative leadership role as the convener of Florida Asset Building Coalition. "War on Poverty brings a level of connectedness to both the community and with policymakers. This combination will bring added value and leadership to the existing work of FABC," said former executive director, Sokoya Finch. "In addition, our Board of Directors Chair, Dr. Carlton Lamar Robinson brings expertise, scholarly experience, research and a connection to small business and microenterprise knowledge to the table. With the strength of the governance and the full coalition, FABC is position to make a difference for the low-and moderate-income individuals and families across the state of Florida," she concluded.
Florida and the three other states are linked to the Southern Regional Asset Building Coalition, (SRABC). SRABC's purpose is to provide asset development guidance, disseminate relevant information that supports policy development, and initiate programs for a higher quality of life for communities and families across the region. In July of 2010, a combination of all four states and CSD expanded its partnerships to include: The Alabama Asset Building Coalition (AABC), and War on Poverty-Florida (WPF) was added to the team, replacing Alabama Arise and the Florida Family Network respectively as state partners. The Center for Social Research at Southern University in Baton Rouge joined as a state partner with FSC/LAF and serves on the Executive Steering Committee representing the newly formed Louisiana Asset Building Coalition. Strategic Outcomes, Incorporated represents the Coalition for a Prosperous Mississippi.