1. Create a community of African American scholars and practitioners working in the area of violence in the African American community;
By creating a community of scholars and practitioners and promoting a partnership among various constituencies around this issue, IDVAAC helps bridge the gap between research and practice on methods of remedying issues of domestic violence. This also minimizes the isolation felt by scholars and practitioners over a concern that to date has received limited attention. IDVAAC's existing Steering Committee represents prominent scholars and practitioners working to eliminate domestic violence in the African American community. Creating a nationwide community ensures the promotion of messages that educate and encourage efforts to end domestic violence in the lives of African Americans. This network of scholars created, expanded, and supported by IDVAAC also interfaces with and coordinates activities with other national advocacy and domestic violence organizations, national technical assistance resource centers, and clearinghouses.
2. Organize local and national experts to provide coordinated outreach and technical assistance to communities on domestic violence in the African American community;
IDVAAC has a rich history of assessing the needs of particular communities and matching them with experts specifically equipped to meet them. By providing basic and advanced training and technical assistance, IDVAAC has assisted several underserved communities across the country to implement culturally-responsive practices, based on promising community models identified by IDVAAC and its network of scholars/practitioners and other concerned individuals.
3. Further scholarship in the area of African American violence;
IDVAAC recognizes the importance of scholarly research to educate society regarding issues of domestic violence in the African American community. Accordingly, we strive to create new knowledge about domestic violence and to mobilize communities where work has not been done before. IDVAACâ€™s strategy is not only to promote scholarship but to disseminate its results to broader audiences, via the IDVAAC website and making brief topical papers, research reports, conference proceedings, scholarly journals, forums, and training videos widely accessible to all interested constituents.
IDVAAC's work to further scholarship not only benefits African Americans by providing information on domestic violence resources, but also helps service providers working to meet the needs of African Americans. Achieving this goal also results in the exchange of critical information that helps guide prevention and intervention activities to address domestic violence among African Americans.
4. Raise community consciousness of the impact of violence in the African American community;
Before the issue of domestic violence can be addressed, its potential impact must first be recognized. By working to raise community consciousness about the pervasive impact of violence in the African American community, IDVAAC brings needed attention to the African American domestic violence movement. IDVAAC recognizes that domestic violence reduces the African American community's capacity to care for itself and that denial is the foremost barrier that needs to be overcome before issues of domestic violence can be addressed. IDVAAC firmly believes that cultural relevance is an essential approach to break through denial, and is therefore committed to providing culturally relevant information about how African Americans deal with and intervene to reduce domestic violence. Ultimately, the heightened awareness of this issue can result in improved services for the African American community, as well as policy and programmatic changes targeted to meet the needs of this population.
5. Inform public policy;
IDVAAC believes that mainstream policies and intervention strategies designed from a "one-size-fits-all" perspective fail to address the unique needs and experiences of African Americans. To promote changes in policy to eliminate domestic violence in the African American community, IDVAAC is committed to promoting awareness and spreading information about the issue to policy-makers at the local, state, and national level. We reach out to lawmakers and family violence advocates, including them in mailings, forums, and discussions, and take every opportunity to highlight the unique needs of African Americans dealing with issues of domestic violence. IDVAAC's Steering Committee members demonstrate leadership in this area, by serving as officers and board members of national organizations that deal with various facets of this issue, by conducting and publicizing relevant research on the topic, and by serving as advocates to bring this issue to the attention of lawmakers in Congress and others able to influence family violence policy. Moreover, IDVAAC provides forums through which the information shared helps impact policy development.
6. Gather and disseminate information on community needs and promising practices;
Research regarding domestic violence and African Americans is often scarce and/or obscure. There is also growing concern regarding how data on African Americans are collected and subsequently analyzed. For these reasons, IDVAAC has long been committed to developing new strategies to promote the voluntary, open, and self-motivated involvement of African American communities in gathering, examining, and disseminating information on this issue. IDVAAC conference proceedings, website content, fact sheets, training videos, special issue journals, monographs, reports and newsletter are widely disseminated and made easily accessible to all constituents. These IDVAAC efforts result in increased knowledge of resources available regarding African Americans and domestic violence.
7. Organize and facilitate local, regional and national conferences and training forums;
IDVAAC conferences and forums provide a tremendous networking opportunity for scholars, practitioners, and other professionals working to mitigate violence in the lives of African Americans, and are effective in reducing the isolation of scholars and practitioners dealing with this issue. Because these efforts create an increasing community of scholars and practitioners, IDVAAC plays a major role in broadening the national network of professionals working to eliminate domestic violence and promoting cooperative efforts nationwide. The topics presented at IDVAAC events are on the cutting edge of issues of concern to the African American community and enable researchers and practitioners to improve their practice. IDVAAC events also inform attendees regarding what is in the minds of those individuals concerned about domestic violence in the African American community