October 17, 2017

PRAB’s Response To Today’s Social Reality

In January 2017, our country experienced a federal transfer of power, which has resulted in executive orders, policies, and legislative acts that have reduced and even eliminated long-time federally funded programs and policies. Across the nation and abroad, these developments have spawned an intense dialogue and has stirred social action—both in favor of and against this emerging agenda. Undoubtedly, this dynamic has reached the local context of Central New Jersey, with different sectors of the community raising questions and expressing concerns and anxiety about the future.

MANY ARE CONCERNED: Across the nation and abroad, these developments have spawned an intense dialogue and has stirred social action

In response to our social reality, we at PRAB recommit to our role as a transformative community institution, which we set out to be 45 year ago, one that is a full participant in Central New Jersey life. We will be a bona fide community partner and devoted advocate for the tens of thousands of diverse individuals and families we serve, and for all those who reside in the community. We will be partners in their life’s journey. We will seek stability and empathy, while serving as a guide and responding to community needs. We will move leaders in the public and private sectors to be just and compassionate, effectively growing a welcoming, respectful, and compassionate community. We also will work with local, regional, statewide, and national partners to safeguard the necessary web of services that benefit Central New Jersey and our society.

As we at PRAB strive to accomplish our vision, mission, and strategic plan for Central New Jersey, we have established institutional guidance to direct the actions of our board, staff, and volunteers. It also will help maintain our focus and strength throughout our service. We hope you are encouraged by us, and choose to adapt our approach in your own community service, development, and action efforts.

A. PRAB will be guided by its values in realizing its vision and mission

All agents of PRAB will work collectively to realize PRAB’s vision of Central New Jersey being “a healthy, diverse community with productive, self-sufficient, and socially-responsible individuals and families.” We also will advance our mission “to equip diverse individuals and families in Central New Jersey to achieve personal, family, and community development.” In the process, we will help participating individuals and families identify their assets and abilities, and strengthen themselves, their families, and the community at large. This, in turn, will give rise to a culture of personal and social responsibility among Central New Jersey members.

In carrying out our efforts, we at PRAB will be guided by a set of core values. Thus, we will be models, spokespersons, and advocates. We will be servant leaders, who care for and strive to meet the needs of others. We will respect and work well with others, and appreciate the similarities and differences of others. We will be partners in the growth and development of others, and to celebrate individuals and institutions who serve others. We also will persevere in the midst of an increasingly challenging social reality.

B. PRAB will support all members of our community, regardless of their origins or views

PRAB will continue to distinguish itself by serving and advocating for people in Central New Jersey whose needs may otherwise go unmet due to language barriers, discrimination, and lack of cultural competency. We will gladly be in the trenches, staying connected with community members, regardless of their income level, station in life, or affiliations. We will strive to provide programs and services that respond directly to their varied realities. We will keep our lines of communication and doors open so everyone knows we are there for them. We also will educate them about opportunities available to them, and the issues they face. In the process, we will be open to learn from them in order to ensure we are responsive to their reality.

PRAB SUPPORTS EVERYONE: We will ensure sensitivity to the values and cultures of the diverse community we serve—regardless of when or how they arrived at our doors and geographic borders.

We will rejoice when more Central New Jersey individuals and families of all types go on to lead productive, self-sufficient lives. Our programs and services will enable them to access needed personal and community resources. They will facilitate their use of these resources for their personal and social benefit. They also will help them bring about similar experiences and outcomes for others in the community. Thus, they will strive to bring about personal and social transformation. Ultimately, we will ensure sensitivity to the values and cultures of the diverse community we serve—regardless of when or how they arrived at our doors and geographic borders.

C. PRAB will partner with like-minded individuals and institutions in community building

We at PRAB will work together with individuals and institutions in a concerted way, so we may be of greater service to members of the Central New Jersey community. We urge individuals and institutions to become more informed and more involved in community building efforts, and to be bold in exercising leadership in the community. We will share our resources in order to achieve stronger and longer-lasting progress and impact. We will build on and create new collaborative relationships within the private sector, public agencies, community nonprofits, businesses, and houses of worship. This will enable us to effectively outreach to individuals and families, and to open doors to resources, supports, and opportunities that facilitate economic and social stability on the road to self-sufficiency.