How We Started
In March 2019, a group of African American individuals gathered and reflected upon their own experiences and challenges with mental and emotional well-being, as well as those of others who looked like them. Initial brainstorming focused on the well-being of Black community ambassadors. These individuals in both paid and volunteer roles live out a commitment to a better humanity and a better lived experience for the Black community. Participants painfully reflected on the lives of Amber Evans (2019) and MarShawn McCarrel (2016), beloved Black helpers who were lost to suicide. Inspired to fill a void, the Black Community Ambassador Support Program (BCASP) was designed to offer safe, supportive spaces for Black helpers to connect, step back from giving, and receive.
The difficult reality awaiting the Black community in 2020 created new urgency in the development of BCASP, and required a reimagining of offerings in a virtual space. In this reimagined online experience, the primary focus became facilitating culturally-responsive services, workshops, and safe spaces for Black ambassadors who were on the front lines of both the COVID-19 response and the social justice movement. As outlined in a Columbus Dispatch article about BCASP, programming initially intended to serve those in Franklin County attracted people all over the world, including Canada, the UK, and beyond.
Who We Serve
Our doors are open to anyone who identifies as a “helper.” This includes professionals such as social workers, nurses, teachers, and human service workers but also includes those who volunteer in various capacities including mentoring, organizing, and advocacy. We don’t check your “helper ID” at the door because we know that when it comes to our people, we are givers and keepers of the community in many ways.
Whether you’re working as a organizer and advocate, engaged in volunteer efforts, or simply taking care of family and community members, know there is space for you.
Kimberly Brazwell, MA
Amber Harris, M.Ed, LSW
Founder, Bridgn Gaps
Nasir Bayan, LPC, NCC, CCTP
Managing Partner, The Entelechy Group
Elizabeth Joy, MBA, MSW, LISW-S, LCDCIII, BCC
Kimberly Brazwell, MA
Ernest Levert II
Sheronda Palmore, LISW-S
Ephraim Washington ,CSM
Tiandra Finch, MBA, MA, ATC, LAT