You Got the Power

This program was developed with a focus on youth ages 10 to 17. The program is designed to promote youth development while encouraging them to take an active role in changing social norms and conditions in their community. The program’s goal is to prevent substance use and violent behavior among youth. It also provides youth with a rare opportunity to plan and implement activities that will encourage their peers to be drug-free. “You Got the Power symbolizes to youth that the POWER comes from within (use of internal locus of control) to combat the negative forces (negative peer pressure, drug use and abuse, violence) associated with substance abuse and violence. The program was implemented after-school in middle and high schools. More than three hundred (300) youth has participated in the program.

Parent Power

This program is an innovative, exciting culturally sensitive parent training and family development project. Parent Power was designed to enhance and strength parenting skills that develop self-confidence and parent leadership. Parent Power focuses on strengthening the family unit and empowering parents to raise healthy, proud and capable children. The program also provides support and referral services for families. “Parent Power” encourages parents to become actively involved in changing social conditions that impact children and reclaim their community, one family at a time.

Faith-based Substance Abuse Prevention

Freedom Sunday

EZC developed the “Freedom Sunday” initiative to unify faith-based groups and encourage them to address ATOD-related problems with their congregations and surrounding community. This event was held the Sunday before Dr. Martin L. King Jr. observed holiday. EZC celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy free from ATOD. Each church or faith-based group would provide substance abuse prevention activities implement throughout the Detroit area.

Annual Substance Abuse Summit

Each year, EZC planned and implemented the largest substance abuse summit in the City of Detroit in an effort to raise public awareness regarding drug related issues and to celebrate the success of the coalition. The event was designed as a forum for the community to come together to discuss issues and brainstorm solutions concerning alcohol, tobacco and other drug-related problems. We organized nine summits which galvanized the community residents, public officials, prevention and treatment providers around the issue.

Special Initiatives and/or Collaborations

Town Hall Meetings

EZC participated in the first Underage Drinking Town Hall meetings sponsored by Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), SAMSHA. We organized the “Think DON’T Drink” town hall meeting to raise awareness about the importance of underage drinking prevention among high school age youth. Four high school afterschool programs of 200 youth and their adult leadership participated in this event.

Public Education Campaign

The Faces of Substance Abuse and HIV/AIDS Campaign

EZC was awarded a $25,000 grant per year for four years from McFarland & Associates, a contractor for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. We were funded to create and execute a substance abuse and HIV/AIDS public education awareness campaign in minority neighborhoods with a strong faith-based component. We successfully developed and implemented Lunch & Learn workshop series, public forums, radio public services announcements, billboard, and produced a twenty-nine (29) minute DVD documentary entitled “The faces of Substance Abuse and HIV/AIDS that aired on the local cable station twelve times. The total audience estimated to have seen this special documentary of this campaign is approximately 1,170,000 based on Arbitron data.

Fun in the Hood

EZC designed and organized three Fun in the HOOD events. This event is designed to raise public awareness about the importance of youth substance abuse prevention and celebrate the youth that remain drug free. Twenty organizations collaborated on the event to provide resources to the community. 2000 people participated in the event.

“Love” Media Campaign Kick-off (2005)

Detroit was selected as the site to launch a new African American media campaign developed by the National Youth Media Campaign. The Campaign was designed to raise public awareness regarding the important role parents play in youth substance abuse prevention. Public Service Announcements (PSA) for print and broadcast media were developed and released as part of this event. Doreen Turk-White, EZC Coalition Director was selected to be the moderator for the press conference. This event was an initiative of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and the National Youth Media Campaign.

Reach Out Now – National Teach-In (2004)

Fifth-grade students attending the Dorothy Fisher Magnet School, along with their parents and caregivers, was educated on the harmful effects of underage drinking. This school is one of hundreds nationwide that will hold a “Reach Out Now” Teach-In the last week of April, during Alcohol Awareness Month. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) research shows that more than 40 percent of individuals who start drinking before the age of 15 will develop alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence at some point in their lives. This program is designed to target youth at the age of first use. The Empowerment Zone Coalition (EZC) was selected as the lead organization for the Detroit area Teach-In, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services SAMHSA, sponsor of the event.

Major Cities Project, Formerly 25 Cities Project (2004)

The Empowerment Zone Coalition, National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency (NCADD) and the City of Detroit Department of Health and Wellness Promotion, Bureau of Substance Abuse Prevention, Treatment & Recovery organized the Detroit 25 Cities Project. Detroit is part of a national initiative sponsored by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). The Coalition assisted in convening the committee to develop strategies addressing the substance abuse-related issues in the City of Detroit. We also assisted in planning the Detroit kick-off to introduce the local initiative to the community and Director John Walters, ONDCP. The initiative is designed for ONDCP to work closely with the local officials and concerned citizens in twenty-five (25) of America’s largest cities in an effort to meet the national goal of reducing drug use among all Americans by 10 percent in two years and 25 percent in five years.